There is a shadow war going on to kill off our democracy and the killers are inside the house.
It’s like those horror movies with the blind woman protagonist in a darkened house with a stalker trying to hunt her down and kill her. Since the murderer is inside the house with her, and she can’t see, it really doesn’t look so great for her future prospects.  See No Evil, Wait Until Dark, Blind, In the Dark, Sightless. I could go on. There are also GIFs about stupid decisions people in horror movies inevitably make that terrify the audience and motivate them to want to scream: “Don’t go into the basement where the chainsaws are!” “Don’t believe that guy is on your side! He’s the murderer!” “Can’t you see what’s happening?!”
Yeah. That’s what I feel like yelling at Biden and the Democrats some days.
In our country right now the killers of democracy are literally inside the House (and the Senate). What’s the danger? It’s Trumpian Republicans! Almost all of them!! Makes you want to scream at the TV set when you see the next awful thing the GOP has done and the Dems have failed to respond to powerfully enough. “Are you blind?? Get your act together! Republicans are using everything they possibly can to damage you, beat you, make you look bad so they can regain and stay in power…forever. Once in power they are planning to install an autocracy like Russia, North Korea, Venezuela.  Trump already showed us what that will look like! Don’t you see what’s happening? Please! Stop squabbling!  Focus on what matters! Stop helping them win!”
The Reality We Face
Republicans have morphed into an anti-democratic party with cult-like followers who are determined to do one thing: get and keep power in Washington and in state legislatures across the country by any means including cheating, lying and fear mongering. Why? To keep the power for the ultra rich Libertarian 1%- the Kochs, the Mercers and many others. The way they get Americans to vote for the GOP and against their own interests is to keep them afraid of the rising tide of black and brown people.
Democrats with a narrow majority in both the House and Senate have already delivered two huge bills that have helped Americans. But they have been unable to deliver what was promised that got so many Democrats and Independents to the polls in a pandemic and carried Biden over the finish line as well as Warnock and Ossoff.  The Dems are damaging the good will they had when they took control in Washington. They have been fighting amongst themselves and not behind closed doors but openly so that Americans can see all the sausage making. They are not being helped by MSM which focused on the amount of money each side is wrangling for each line item.  If they could have quickly passed the bill which would have instituted new programs that could be enlarged later if they win a greater majority, that would have looked capable and competent. Unfortunately, they look like they cannot govern any better than the Republicans did when Trump was in charge. The efforts of Dems to pass popular legislation that the majority of Americans really want passed has been tortured at best. Trump, the authoritarian wannabe, didn’t bother with compromise. He ordered the change he wanted and seemed to get his way. Compromise and transparent sausage making may be too hard for impatient Americans to watch.
The good news is that the Dems finally passed the BIF and BBB bill in the House. BIF was signed into law. BBB passed in the House. Now it faces the problem of Manchin in the Senate who is in the catbird seat and is likely to act more like a Republican would. We hear he will not go for paid family leave, and will winnow down measures to deal with climate change.  He is, after all, in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry getting direct benefits from a fossil fuel company his family owns.
Democrats have done far more to help the average American. Nonetheless Republicans are on track to regain power. They have already gerrymandered their way into enough additional seats to regain control of the House. (Because they have the state house power and state legislatures are in charge of new maps.) Once Republicans regain control the House, Trump will run again and if Trump runs again, whether he wins or loses, he will say he won and disrupt our country with a huge constitutional crisis.
If Republicans get back the White House we could be in for about a decade of authoritarian rule from the American version of Hitler. Our version is a bunch of divisive, hateful people, corrupt narcissists, buffoons, conspiracy mongers and mean spirited jack asses including but not limited to: Trump, Rudy Guiliani, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Lauren Boebert, Matt Goetz, if he’s not in jail, and that dufuss Mr. Pillow. There will be many others cut from the same cloth running and ruining our country. All those nice repair jobs Joe Biden did that wiped away Trump’s EOs will be reversed if the Republicans win back control. Biden and Harris will be investigated. Our foreign allies will lose faith in us again. Even if the Dems win in the future the damage internationally will be harder to repair. The autocrats of the world will rejoice. All of this and more it likely to happen if and when the House flips in 2022 given the current state of affairs. Congress will be run by a party with a powerful base that wants Trump back and Trump will be in a good position to come back after the House opens up a bogus investigation into Afghanistan and impeaches Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Americans apparently can’t remember anything longer than what they ate for breakfast. They seem to have forgotten how Trump and his GOP allies failed to pass anything but the tax cut for the 1% and got Americans divided by culture wars, hating each other and believing totally opposite realities with the help of Fox, OANN, Newsmax and the bought and sold politicians in Washington. Americans have already forgotten how Trump and the GOP members of Congress were unable to lead this country when the pandemic struck. Americans think that since Trump is not president and he is off of Twitter that he is out of power.
Too many Americans have gotten sick of politics; they want to relax and turned off their TV sets. They have gone back to business as usual. They don’t see the danger ahead. They are living their lives and they blame the president for the things that are wrong in their lives: the high price of gas and groceries, the reason they cannot buy the supplies they need to fix their house or get Christmas presents in time for Christmas. (Spoiler alert- that’s because the pandemic is raging around the world and the supply chain is disrupted. That’s outside Biden’s power to fully repair. It’s not all on him.) If Americans don’t understand the danger we face and can’t remember what it was like with Trump and the Republicans in charge, we are headed back to Crazytown.
What’s the Proof that Americans Have Forgotten How Rotten Republicans Are?
Let’s see…Virginia and New Jersey for starters. The Dems lost the governorship in Virginia and almost lost the governorship in New Jersey, both states that were believed to be fully inside the Democratic court.  Think again.
Trump is doing poll-testing to see how he matches up against Biden. Biden is losing in the five key battleground states that matter.
Donald Trump is poll-testing a 2024 run in the 5 key swing states he lost to Joe Biden. In each, Biden is losing to Trump both in head-to-head matchups & on the issues surveyed:
Arizona Trump is +5, Georgia +3, Michigan +12, Pennsylvania +6 and Wisconsin +10. [Marc Caputo/ Politico]
Biden’s approvals are in the dumper at 44%. If Biden’s BBB bill does not get passed by the Senate and fast, the window of opportunity to keep our country a democracy will get flushed away. Pundits of the future will be musing about how a failed twice impeached president who was guilty of sedition was able to win the 2024 election as president by rigging the system in advance in plain sight of everyone. But the damage will be done. The sad thing is that we can already predict what will happen and we already know why right now.
The War in the Shadows
Manchin and Sinema are being manipulated by special interests and Republicans. Ultra wealthy special interests are engaged in massive support for the Trumpy side of the political world. There are shadow activities going on that may make all the difference in the outcome. Many ultra rich conservatives are not only shoveling money into PACs and the pockets of politicians to block the passage of the Manchin Compromise so they can stay on top, these ultra rich conservatives are playing at every level of the influence game including local school boards and election commissions to make sure the only key people with power to oversee state elections left standing are Trumpy Republicans. Only people who are already onboard with the Eastman playbook to cheat to win in 2024 are being supported by Trump and his cult-like party.
There are also groups of progressive donors who have been raising millions of dollars to get Manchin and Sinema on board to do a filibuster carve out for voting rights. The For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act have died in the Senate over and over again thanks to the filibuster.  Vote after vote proves over and over again that they will not pass as long as the filibuster stands in the way of a simple majority vote. The last best hope is the Freedom to Vote Act.  That’s the Manchin Compromise version of the Voting Rights Act. It outlaws partisan gerrymandering and it would allow challenges to the state voter subversion laws that would allow the John Eastman playbook to be successful in 2024. But even if the House can pass it with a narrow margin, once it reaches the Senate it will slam up against the brick wall of the filibuster. The only way to pass that bill into law would be some carve out or work around to allow 50 Senators plus Kamala Harris to vote it into existence. Manchin and Sinema are the protectors of the filibuster brick wall in the Senate. They are being paid off to stand firm.
This is a Republican party that cheats to win and doesn’t think twice about it, pitted against fact based, science based, norm based Democrats who always play by the rules and who don’t yet understand how to message in clear and compelling ways to the American people to get them excited enough to vote in large enough numbers to overcome the outraged, misinformed, mislead, fearful Republican base that WILL show up to vote because they have been lied to and misled.
I wish I could say the good guys are winning but they aren’t winning… at least not yet.
There is a path forward, however. Here it is.
1) Pass BBB asap to prove to Americans that Dems will help them have workable, affordable every day lives. Message clearly to the public about what they got thanks to Biden and the Dems.
2) Get BIF projects going so Americans see new roads, bridges and airports and CLEARLY LABEL THEM: Brought to you by Joe Biden and the Democrats NOT the Republicans. Drill down on that!
3) Get the Manchin Compromise passed by doing a carve out for voting rights. OMG give Manchin and Sinema whatever they want to get that done.
4) DOJ challenge the voter subversion laws starting NOW so the slow courts will have acted before 2024 (It’s probably already too late for 2022.)
5)  Get going starting NOW to create relationships with overlooked white, black and Hispanic voters who feel forgotten unless it’s a presidential election and register these voters especially in the key swing states: Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia. Tell voters why Democrats care about them and have helped them have better lives while Republicans only care about getting and keeping power for the 1% and be clear about what the Republicans are trying to take credit for that they voted against.
6) Do everything possible to elect Democrats as governors. (They can veto election subversion laws and hopefully if there are Republican legislatures in the state they cannot override those vetoes.)
7) Elect Democrats as Attorneys General. (They can police elections or subvert them.)
8) Elect Democrats as secretaries of state. (They oversee the certification of elections in most states.)