Thursday, April 20, 2023

Defeating every Republican should be the goal in 2024 We need the right candidates and unified support. (Washington Blade column by Peter Rosenstein, April 19, 2023)

Years ago, in what now seems a distant past, there was a Republican Party still in some ways rational. Although I never agreed with its philosophy, or platform, conversation was possible. Ronald Reagan was a terrible president in so many ways. He was responsible for many deaths because of his refusal to recognize the AIDS crisis. Yet he was able to work out a deal with Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill, to extend Social Security in 1983. I didn’t vote for him, and would never today, but it was possible to talk. That is no longer the case and it is sad.

We are seeing Republican governors in states like Florida and Texas, with legislatures in Republican hands, pass legislation attacking women, the LGBTQ community, the African-American community, and other minorities.  We just saw the Tennessee Legislature vote out two Black legislators who stood up for gun control. We saw a Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge, Matthew Kacsmaryk, in Amarillo, Texas, rule to stop women across the nation from getting mifepristone. That drug, when followed by misoprostol, is used to terminate a pregnancy within the first 10 weeks. That method accounts for more than half of U.S. abortions. 

We are seeing MAGA Republicans in Congress attempt to hold the nation hostage to their whims by threatening to not approve an increase in the debt ceiling. They have said they have no issue with bringing down the nation’s economy to get their way. I still have some Republican friends, they are not MAGA Republicans, and one of them recently asked if I would vote for a moderate Republican. My response was, “that is not a question that should be directed at me. Rather it should be directed at Republican primary voters.” A moderate, even a semi-rational Republican, can’t win a Republican primary. So, asking me the question is a moot point. I suggested he go to those Republicans voting in Marjorie Taylor Greene’s district in Georgia and ask them how they can vote for a total moron. Greene, who has now gone on twitter “to defend Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, who was arrested Thursday over his alleged role in leaking Pentagon files. She said “Jake Teixeira is white, male, Christian, and antiwar. That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime.” Remember, she won her district by 31%.

There are Democrats who some consider crazy. But the ‘crazies’ in the Democratic Party don’t control it. They have a say and can try to influence it, but they don’t control the Democratic Party like the crazies in the Republican Party control their party.  There are conservative Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and left-wing ones like congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). But when it comes down to it, they both vote for their party leadership. House Democrats don’t need 15 ballots to elect a speaker. They fight over bills, but when it comes to cultural issues, they tend to speak out in favor of legislation to benefit women, the LGBTQ and African-American communities, and other minorities. At least they don’t try to move them back into the Stone Age. 

So the time has come for Democrats and clear-thinking independents, to get together and focus on defeating every Republican running for office at the federal level and in states so they no longer control a state legislature or governor’s mansion. While calling for this I am smart enough to understand it won’t happen to the degree I want. Redistricting has made some changes impossible. 

But if the Democratic Party finds moderate candidates to run in moderate districts, and the general electorate is moderate, we might be able to defeat enough Republicans to make a difference. One example is supporting Adam Frisch against Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.). He came within 500 votes of defeating her in 2022 and is running again in 2024. He can win and we can win in other close Districts, with the right candidates and unified support for them.

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dems need better candidates in Florida, but you've got to figure that even a Democrat from Florida has been subjected to these forces here over so many similar neanderthals beat down by this place. Same old same old neo-liberal thinking about the economy... meanwhile hogs pushing their usual "I'll save you from for me" at big business while simultaneously roping in dopes by pandering to stupidity and poor culture. Florida is fked. I'm sorry to be pessimistic but it is what it is. These hogs will have to be hammered for the next 20 years for anything to change. Sad to say that even something terrible happening might benefit the state in the long run.