By David Glenn Cox
It is almost an honorary title, Senate Roadblock. It seems there is always one lingering seat warmer in the chamber who has as his sole purpose making certain nothing meaningful is ever accomplished. The “NO” chamber where good ideas go to die. Because the Democratic Party is a diverse party, we must listen to dissident voices. It is far different for our Republican brethren, “All those in favor of being rich White men with one Black guy in the back, say eye. Meeting adjourned!” Democrats select a candidate, support them and cheer for them and on the day, they are elected to office attempt to rip them to shreds. Because the range of opinion is so wide and our interest so varied that no one will ever be fully pleased, and a consensus rarely reached.
Joe Manchin is this generations, Joe Liebermann. The invisible man, the worm in the apple. When you don’t need him, you can count on him otherwise nothing. Closer aligned with Ronald Reagan than Tip O’Neil and calling himself a Democrat. Joe Lieberman wanted to play that part of the last missing piece of the puzzle. You need Boardwalk and I got it! Now, what will you give me for it? Manchin from poor rural West Virginia and Lieberman from rich urban Connecticut but both playing the angles. Susceptible to local pressure from a limited financial base. Try running for office in Alabama against the timber industry and see how far you get. Or run against the coal industry in Kentucky.
Having lived in the South the term Democrat is often preceded by terms like “West Coast Liberal” or “New England Liberal.” A fractured orientation where opinion is somehow dictated by geography. If it was a good idea in California, it’s a bad idea here. “They is foreigners with crazy ideas and granola. If we use their tax model, they’ll have our kids doing yoga before sundown! Yoga is devil worship and Jack Daniels is just good sippin whiskey.” We don’t need no crazy ideas, we built this state up to forty-eight in the union all by ourselves and aiming for forty-seventh, thank you very much. Dysfunctional states produce dysfunctional representatives more attuned to their master’s voice than the people.
It doesn’t mean that Joe Manchin should be burned in effigy. There’s no parking in effigy, let’s move down to seriously. Better parking and closer to the highway. Manchin is a part-time Democrat he votes with us when no one is looking back home. It is better to have him sometimes than to not have a majority at all. We don’t need to replace Manchin, we need more Democrats in office to make his vote less necessary. With this current majority if you want pineapple on your pizza, you’re probably not going to get it. Don’t think that I’m defending Manchin; I’m not. I’m thinking bad things about his momma as we speak. But a paper-thin majority is barely a majority.
Last time I paid attention there was a nascent beginning of a new anti-Trump, pro-sanity Republican Party forming in Congress. Perhaps treaties can be struck in exchange for landed credibility. If you are a Republican who voted to impeach Trump, what have you got to lose now? Someone to stand up and be the grown up in the room. If they don’t, we beat them over the head with “Trump Lackey!” in November. Better Democrats would be nice (Those who agree with me) but more Democrats are essential. Time is on our side, don’t watch the scoreboard play the game.
The American electorate is getting younger (Leans Democratic) The populations of formerly red sates are becoming blue from transplants. (Leans Democratic) There are no new red states only blue ones. (Leans Democratic) The influence of Faux News and Preacher Bob in his crusade to become a billionaire (In Jesus name!) has a decidedly negative response on the young. Almost like they are immune from the creepy mean people yelling all the time. (Leans Democratic) Finally, there is the march of time. My father was named Emmett, his brothers had a whole list of bizarre, outdated names. They named their kids Dave and Randy and Bob who in turn named their kids, Aiden and Aristotle and Rhiannon. (I love the guitar work in your name)
The political pendulum is swinging our way; it is easy to become discouraged and throw down the tools. The political season ahead should be like fishing with dynamite. There is a clear difference that gives the Democrats a decided edge… we are right. Hey, remember when you were unemployed, and the Republicans wanted to cut off your unemployment? Remember when you couldn’t pay your rent? “Do you think old man Potter would have let you keep it? The moneys not here, the monies in Joe’s house.” A party trying to help people versus a party of rank insanity, with no agenda other than comic book plot lines and vicious propaganda. “I hear Hillary Clinton is visiting her good friends in “CALIFORNIA! Again.” It is like the old joke, they were throwing firecrackers at us, so we lit them and threw them back.
It is easy to become despondent when you don’t get that bike on Christmas morning. This is a marathon not a sprint. The Republican Party is in full Fukushima mode with an orange cloud of toxic waste hovering overhead. The American people like Joe Biden, he is a cool glass of water after four years of Jalapeno the Mullet monster. We have to undo forty years of Republicanism and remind people; we are the party that doesn’t want your bridge to fall in. We don’t want your kid going to shit schools. We don’t want your mother eating cat food or your brother sleeping on the street. We are the party of fair wages and fair play, and we fight like drunken relatives at a will reading. We must continue to fight and to build, the only other option is to give up. An olive tree takes forty years to bear fruit. No one ever plants an olive tree for themselves, but for their children’s future.
“Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end save victory.”
― Franklin Delano Roosevelt
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