Stop me if you’ve heard this before. The Democrats are headed towards an historic victory in the fall, thanks in no small part to the fractured menagerie formally known as the Republican Party. Most prognosticators, including many Republicans themselves, concur: 2016 is shaping up to be a Democrat tsunami. Nothing’s ever 100% certain, but things are looking pretty bleak over in Pachydermtown right now.
Look across the aisle. It’s late April, and the Daddy Warbucks types have yet to endorse anyone. Sheldon Adelson appears to be sitting this one out entirely. He’s not backing any presidential candidates, possibly because he’s smart enough to see what’s coming down the pike. Instead of placing all his chips on Trump or Cruz, he’s putting them on Republican House and Senate seats. He may be a disgusting, jellyfish-faced oligarch, but he’s not stupid, and he didn’t get to be worth $29 billion by placing bad bets. More than just about anybody else in this country, he knows the ins and outs of the gambling world and he apparently doesn’t think the odds favor the GOP taking the White House in November either. If he did, he’d be putting his money down. In the immortal words of Kenny Rogers; sometimes you’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. IMHO, it screams volumes that Adelson’s not even getting in the game.
And if past elections are any precedent, the larger the margin of victory, the longer coattails. The Democrats will have an excellent chance of taking back the Senate and a so-so chance of reclaiming the House. Wouldn’t that be sweet? That would certainly make seating progressive Supreme Court Justices a lot easier. Senator McConnell, would you mind stepping aside please? Your era of obstruction has ended. A liberal Executive, a more liberal Legislature, and a more liberal Judiciary. Blue/blue/blue, all the way through. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But there’s one obstacle that has the potential to derail it all. A threat so potentially damaging, it can make the above fantasy end before it begins:
If my personal friends and my friends on Facebook are any indication, the divisions between the two Democratic candidates have reached a fever pitch that has the potential to ruin it all… and hand the keys to the White House to Donald Trump. Or worse, to the Senate’s very own Norman Bates doppelgänger; Ted Cruz.
You think I’m wrong? Look at Florida back in 2000. Ralph Nader, great consumer advocate though he is, stubbornly refused to get out of the race even though he knew his continued presence might end up spoiling the election. Oh, and what a spoiler he was. Thanks to Nader’s intransigence, Bush took Florida and won the electoral vote by a nose. And once sworn in, essentially turned his administration over to the crooked hands of Dick Cheney who gave us the legacy of the Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, torture and for their final act, a recession so deep it affected everyone but the 1% who helped put them in power in the first place.
My advice to my fellow liberals who insist on bickering and bad-mouthing the other Democrat: Wake up! Do NOT snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again! This one’s for all the marbles my friends. Whoever gets sworn in next January will be seating 3, possibly 4 SCOTUS judges in their first term alone. And should that person be Donald Trump or <shudder> Ted Cruz, then you can kiss off any chance of overturning Citizens United, passing sane gun control legislation and protecting a woman’s right to choose. Yes, it’s entirely possible that a 6/3 conservative/progressive court might overturn Roe vs Wade, and that’s no hyperbole.
So once the Democratic nominee has been confirmed this summer, kiss and make up, and do it fast. Get it all out of your system, then take a deep breath and look through the big window. Any frayed edges, any “I didn’t get the candidate I wanted, so I’m not gonna vote” bullshit, only increases the odds of repeating the 2001-2009 nightmare. Or worse. Much worse.
Featured image: cc 2012 Brandon Grasley.