If there was ever a time for bold action this is it. Democrats cannot afford to play it safe in the next general election because playing it safe is what lost the last one. I know it was disappointing and dispiriting to watch HRC go down in defeat to the likes of Donald J. Trump but let me share this with all of my committed progressives and liberals out there: we can’t afford to give them two for one by giving them 2020 because we are so broken up over what happened in 2016. A woman can and will win the Presidency of the United States. The right woman in the right time can and will do it. We know who the women are and we know what time it is. We must learn from 2016 and use those lessons to win in 2020. And no, the lesson is not to nominate our own billionaire political novice to run the greatest government beauracracy on Earth. Yes, Oprah and Mark Cuban and Michael Bloomberg are impressive people- they are in fact what Trump pretends to be- but we don’t need them to right our ship. Leave the political gags to the GOP. We take governing seriously and our choices must reflect that.
Let me be perfectly clear: Hilary Clinton lost by narrow margins in all of the swing states because her campaign had the energy of a game of shuffleboard at the Shady Rest Retirement Home. And energy determined the election. Hers lacked it and we are all paying a horrible price because of it.
I began expressing grave doubts about the outcome of the election the day that HRC announced that Tim Kaine was going to be her running mate. Make no mistake about it- Tim Kaine is highly qualified for the office and by all accounts is a very good man. He is capable and likable but DULL AS ALL HELL. And whether political snobs like me like it or not people need to be entertained to turn out these days. Titillation is now required to win an election. Barack was the best man running both times he ran but- NEWSFLASH!– Barack was black. And his blackness just enhanced the undeniable charisma that overwhelmed the political world like nobody ever has before- and yes that includes media darling JFK and the sainted Ronald Reagan. That is a novelty that was built-into the election narrative and assured an emotional energy and personal investment for everybody involved- supporters and opponents alike.
Sure, policy mattered, but personality mattered a whole lot more and the nation just didn’t want to look at geriatric John McCain or socially awkward Mitt Romney for four years when it could look at or listen to Barack Obama. I understand how superficial that sounds but look at what was just elected- a damned television entertainer. America chose the sizzle over the steak and really got burned.
What if the Democrats could put together a ticket that had both searing sizzle AND succulent steak? They CAN, but the only question is whether they have the will to do so. The Progressive Pugilist is proclaiming here and now that Democrats need to DOUBLE DOWN on electing a woman by nominating the first d*ckless ticket in U.S. history. Run Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris against Team Trump and watch Donald get the humiliating ass kicking that he so richly deserves. And as screwed up as this presidency is and the GOP is, I believe that ONLY this ticket can deliver. And if the Dems decide to play it safe and run away from backing a woman for the highest office because of the HRC experience, then THEY will be the ones getting ass kicking that THEY so richly deserve. This is a winning ticket for all of the right reasons and for all of the other ones too- and those matter even if we wish they didn’t.
But in this case, they would not just be picking women for the sake of picking women. It just so happens that Senators Warren and Harris really are the very best that the party has to offer for the upcoming election cycle. There are no current seasoned political figures in the Democratic camp that can be relied on to run, win and most importantly govern effectively after the election is over. The GOP is floundering right now because their governing plans were nothing more than a bunch of bumper sticker slogans and cable news talking points. So when they got the Trumpster in office they didn’t know what to do and it showed. They have ultimately sat around for the first year and passed absolutely no substantive legislation. They have made a lot of noise, gotten lots of media attention and posted tons of Tweets, but no actual governing or service to the citizenry.
We will NOT have that problem with Elizabeth Warren at the helm and with Kamala Harris running the wing like a champ. In their time on the political stage they have proven beyond any question that they are about what progressives are supposed to be about: securing that our governance is structured for the good of all citizens, holding all elected and appointed officials accountable for their conduct and expanding on the ideals and machinery of social egalitarianism. And best of all, Donald Trump is terrified of Elizabeth Warren and early indications are that Kamala Harris has the special quality of bringing the absolute worst out of old, white Republicans on Capitol Hill.
These women unnerve a bunch of men who the country desperately needs to be unnerved until they are ultimately unseated. The reason is that these men are serving themselves and not the public that elected them and only foolish pride and confirmation bias is keeping rank and file GOP voters from openly admitting it. And when they see Senator Harris coming up the escalator, they should remember with great clarity that the world watched their current King ride down one to announce his candidacy. It will be a moment they will never forget and will catch the attention of the independents that will be crucial for an electoral victory. These folks are terrified of these women and they should be. None of the baggage that weighed HRC down will be burdening them and so their ability to capture the imagination and channel the energy of independents will be entirely up to them- and that is a great thing.
To validate the position I am taking on these two senators, we need only a brief review of the events of the last couple of weeks: When the GOP effort to kill Obamacare died, there was NO voice in the Senate that was louder, more forceful or more authoritative in its full condemnation of the GOP than Senator Warren’s. Of course all of the grassroots activists around the country made a huge difference but Ms. Warren was the tip of the spear- a position she has proven to be quite comfortable in. And just days prior to that, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions attempted to back-pedal, side-step, and electric slide away from direct questions during his hearing on Russian collusion with the Trump Presidential transition team, Senator Harris struck a match and lit his little ass on fire so bad that John McCain came running to protect Jeff from her wrath. He broke protocol and enraged those familiar with such proceedings but he didn’t care. He could see that Jeff- a senator for about thirty years- was getting pummeled by a superior force and he just couldn’t bear to watch it. That should tell us something.
The last time that Democrats ran and won on a proud progressive platform was in 1976. I was five but I stayed up all night and remember it well. The political cycles and the social winds of change indicate that it is time to reconnect with that philosophy but with a new energy – and claiming it as a winning formula this time rather than a status quo, lukewarm compromise. The Democratic party has drifted too far to the right and needs to rediscover its North Star. Barack is my man, a hundred grand, but his policies were very carefully calibrated to include something for everybody across the political and ideological spectrum- including “Obamacare” which was a Republican supported and Heritage Foundation creation from soup to nuts. Had the Affordable Care Act not had his filthy Kenyan fingerprints all over it, these assholes foaming at the mouth to “repeal and replace” it would be its chief promoters and defenders.
But President Obama did what he had to do and we are all better for it. And we have to build on that after this Trumpster fire burns out. Senators Warren and Harris can lead the way. We can’t leave them on the bench just because they are women and we are scared. Scared money don’t make none; You can’t love scared; And The Progressive Pugilist believes firmly that you can’t win scared either.