Can you feel it? The Blue Wave? It’s coming. Even Paul Ryan knows, and that dude is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. He’s cravenly (but I repeat myself) abandoned his caucus with nearly 7 months to go before the election.
And yes, we need to continue to donate and canvas and phone bank and write postcards and campaign like we’re 20 points behind.
But it’s also really important that we not get caught with our pants down.
My wish list includes:
- Statehood for DC and Puerto Rico
- Ending partisan gerrymandering
- Overturning Citizens United
- Restoring the Voting Rights Act
- Adding more Representatives to the House so that a Representative in Wyoming or Rhode Island represents the same number of people as a Representative in Texas or California
- Restoring voting rights to returning offenders (I’m actually not so sure they should lose them in the first place. The rural districts in which they’re incarcerated get to count them towards House apportionment. But they can’t vote? That smacks of some 3/5 Compromise bullshit.)
I’m not trying to permanently get rid of any persons or policies with which I disagree. I want to re-level the playing field for the clash of ideas, and may the best one emerge victorious. But that requires one person – one vote, legislators who are answerable to the voters, voters who choose their legislators (and not the other way around), and preventing a handful of billionaires from creating a bought and paid for political system. That’s what all that stuff I listed above is designed to do.
My point is that we have to do the prep work for these issues NOW. We can’t wait until the Democrats are next in power to be all: “Champagne’s drunk. Confetti’s cleaned up. Now what do we want to do?”
Nope – we have to start making plans right away. That means identifying the legal path – including standing and likely cases – to be able to make change at the Supreme Court. That means doing the legwork to be ready to admit DC and PR the second we have Congressional majorities (and no, neither requires a Constitutional amendment – check your history). That means supporting the work of people like the Rev. Demetrius Jifunza of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. Write the policy NOW. Identify the cases NOW. Work the magic NOW.
In the meantime, in case you need a little inspiration:
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Image found here.