Thursday, November 10, 2016

Democrats: It's not as bad as you think. It's worse.

I've been contemplating what happened on Tuesday, and the best analogy I can think of is this:

The ground has been decaying under the Democratic party for years.  Part of this was a natural backlash against the sitting President, but a big part of it was internal corruption.  It's been well established that the Clinton campaign was diverting funds away from state parties to support their campaign.  Result?

* Republicans hold a 51 vote majority in the Senate.
* Republicans hold a 238 vote majority in the House of Representatives.
* Republicans have 33 governors to the Democrats' 15.
* Republicans control 31 state legislatures to the Democrats' 11.

Republican dominance of every part and parcel of the United States' government(s) is not new.  It's been building for years.  It's just that most Democrats haven't been paying attention.  As long as they have the White House, they're winning, right?

But look!  Over there!  It's Donald Trump!  Put all your chips on Hillary Clinton, we have to stop Trump!

Stupid and self-defeating.  Presidential elections are run at the state level.  Wail and gnash your teeth over the Electoral College once again elevating the loser of the popular vote to the White House, but until we can pass a Constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College, that's the political reality we have to deal with.  And you know what we need to have in order to pass a Constitutional amendment?

* A two thirds majority in both houses of Congress


* Control of 34 state legislatures

Notice something?  Republicans currently control nearly enough state legislatures to propose a Constitutional amendment without Congress even getting involved.  Eight state legislatures are currently split, and if you don't think Republicans are working to get full control of three of those legislatures, you haven't been paying attention.  They are right on the cusp of having enough power to make sweeping changes.

Weakening state Democratic parties to serve Hillary Clinton's Presidential ambitions is what weakened the ground enough for the earth to give way under Clinton's feet.  Who do you think was organizing all the canvassing to Get Out the Vote?  The state parties.  The DNC did this to themselves.  Campaigns don't run themselves, and winning the presidency requires a motivated electorate.  Right now, the Democratic party is ashes.

What happens going forward is up to us.  We can continue on the path we've been on, or we can rebuild.  But rebuilding is going to require we start at the ground level and build from there.  We can't start by figuring out who we're going to run for President in 2020.  We first have to figure out who we're going to run for state legislature to prevent Republicans from controlling 34 of them and being able to pass Constitutional amendments through a national convention of states.  Yes, they would need 38 states to ratify the amendments, but it wouldn't have to happen all at once.  The 27th amendment sat on the shelf for 202 years, 7 months, and 10 days before finally being ratified.  At a national convention of the states, 34 state legislatures could ratify the amendment, and then they could just wait until four more came along to complete the job.

What sort of amendments could they pass?  To name a few:

* A marriage amendment wiping out Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).
* A "personhood" amendment wiping out Roe v. Wade (1973).
* A "states' rights" amendment wiping out Lawrence v. Texas (2003).

Literally every bit of progress the Left have made through the courts could be wiped out by Republican-controlled state legislatures.  And the real kicker?  This would be the case even if Hillary Clinton had won on Tuesday.  The President plays no role in Constitutional amendments.  The President doesn't get a veto on those.  The real power base is in the states.  Always has been.  Democrats have taken their eyes off the ball.

This is the political reality of the Democratic party.  It's bigger than Trump.  Republicans could easily dispose of Trump and put Pence in the big seat, and this is the landscape that he would have in front of him.  We Democrats would still have to deal with that.

Once the grieving process is over, we need to get organized.  We have a lot of work to do.