Although I agree with much of Andrew Sullivan's assessment of the disheartening present, the poor man is sinking ever deeper into a hopeless, helpless, dystopian funk about the future.
What does the ostensibly conservative party in America - the Republicans - propose we do? They propose that we make all of this de-legitimization of democratic capitalism much, much worse. I’m referring primarily to their proposed massive tax cut to the super-wealthy, the abolition of the estate tax, and their bid to add over a trillion dollars to the debt….
Now, there is a credible argument that … tax relief for many in the lower half of the earning population is a good idea. I agree. So why not give it to them, rather than the obscenely wealthy?… You could indeed pay for big middle class tax cuts or an increase in tax credits for the working poor if you doubled the estate tax, or add[ed] a new tax bracket - say, 45 percent - for those earning over $1 million a year….
If the Democrats were smart, they would propose something like this themselves - and get ahead of the GOP, using it as a platform for 2018. And if the Republicans could abandon zombie Reaganism, they could rescue themselves from the electoral oblivion they so richly deserve. There’s a win-win here for both parties and the country. So why do I suspect it will once again be lose-lose?
There exists a significant pile of polling that suggests the Democrats, a year early and yet absent any concrete "platform," are in fact winning the 2018 midterm elections. Republicans will of course not abandon zombie Reaganism in the foreseeable future, which is inclined to bring them the "electoral oblivion they so richly deserve." That combination sounds like a spectacular win-win and not a dispiriting "lose-lose," does it not?
That Democrats have not presented a unified front is largely the result of the moaning we hear about the out-of-power party every four off-years: Where is the singular voice, the coherent plan, the leadership? It's two years off — that's where. There will be no unified Democratic front until it has a presidential nominee to present one. And that's not all bad, since in 2018 435 Democrats will need to craft a campaign message tailored uniquely to 435 disparate congressional districts.
Despised as he is by so many progressives as an unprincipled mossback, Rahm Emanuel nevertheless held the conceptual key to victory in 2006: Play to the homefolks and forget what some other Democrat is saying two districts away. The Dems seems to "get" that once again, and that gives me hope.
Turning around the waterlogged behemoth of Trumpian depravity can't be done on a dime. These things take time, and what Sullivan sees as an accumulating "abyss" of worthy despair, I see as the set-up for the way out.