Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Without the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Top Is Nowhere

This may be obvious; I think it ought to be.  But I haven't seen anyone stressing it, so here goes.

The outcome of the Presidential election in November is important.  But the downticket races are more important.

If Biden wins but the Republicans keep the Senate and, worse, retake the House, we can't expect much to improve during his administration.  Biden's famous (or notorious - take your pick) for his ability to work with Republicans, but that doesn't bode well for the country.  And I expect that the Republicans consider it one thing to work with a right-wing Democratic Senator, but quite another to work with even a right-wing Democratic President.  Biden has already said he's good with fracking and fossil fuels, he will veto a universal healthcare bill even if it reaches his desk, and his foreign policy is even worse.  A Democratic Congress, especially if more progressive and left members are elected, might even be able to push Biden in a better direction.

If Trump wins but the Democrats take Congress, they will be able to block him.  They might be willing to impeach him again, and possibly remove him.  They might be able to pass halfway good legislation over his veto, refuse to confirm the judges and others he wants to appoint, and so on.

The same goes for all the downticket races around the country: governors, state legislatures, judiciary, city and county governments.  The national Democratic establishment neglected them for decades, with results that everyone can see.  Even this year, that establishment has tried to block progressive and left candidates and officials, by backing corporatist challengers to such figures as Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  That they failed is a very hopeful sign, it seems to me.

I mention all this because, though some candidates and races have gotten coverage, at least in my part of the Internet, I don't see many commentators looking at the larger picture - the necessity of booting out the Republicans who've taken over most of the country, with dire effects.  Dangerous as Trump is, and feckless as Biden is, there is more to our government than the Executive branch.