Since nothing much is happening in Washington, we have manufactured stories to entertain us. I call it the Nunes-CIA-Manafort-Flynn-FBI- Kushner-Putin-NSA-Podesta-Clinton-email scandal. What a farce. Meanwhile, we see a lot of Republican resistance to cutting federal spending. Oh no, you can’t cut here, and you can’t cut that, and we really need to spend more, not less, on this. And these are the “Republicans”. Actually, they’re not. They’re Congressmen. And Congress, as an institution, is corrupt, incompetent, lazy and dysfunctional. A dysfunctional Congress leads to an imperial Presidency, which is what we’re going to get. Obama concentrated a great deal of power in the Presidency, and Trump will wind up keeping a lot of it. If Congress won’t do anything, what else can he do?
2016 was a change election, but Congress doesn’t want to change. The appetite for change is as strong as ever. In fact, I suspect the few people who are paying attention to politics right now are so fed up with all this stupidity that they want change more than ever.
And we’re stuck with them. The one thing they have accomplished is to devise a system where an incumbent Congressman is very hard to take out. They may not be good for much, but they know how to win elections. Ryan and his leadership team are such failures that there is talk of the Democrats taking the House in 2018. With an approval rating in the 30’s, Trump wouldn’t be of any help.
But what, pray tell, will the Democrats campaign on? The Clinton campaign message, the one that failed so dismally? No, it’s Sanders time. But these people don’t seem to understand. Sanders is a socialist. In most of this country, socialism is seen as a failed political model. It doesn’t work. And in the places Democrats need to pick up seats, you can’t sell socialism.
So we’ll have this Congress, in pretty much its current form, for the next six years, at least. And this Congress is useless. The latest deficit projection is $560 billion, and heading higher. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump added a trillion to the national debt in his first year.
So, what’s to be done? If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know my answer. My question is, if you don’t like my idea, what’s yours? There are a lot of people with a lot of money who are scared to death of the growing debt, and believe it is a threat to our national security. If they won’t step forward to help us, what will they do?
I’ve been singing that tune for several years now, and it hasn’t caught on. Our best hope for a breakthrough will be in Nashville. If that doesn’t work it may be game up.
I’m hoping we can get Governor Jerry Brown to come as a delegate from California. When he ran for President one of his main themes was to use Article V to get a Balanced Budget Amendment. Unless he’s changed his mind, he should be a supporter. Brown has an independent streak a mile wide. He might surprise everybody and reaffirm his support of a BBA.
120 years ago the Democrats were the party of hard money. But there hasn’t been a “Cleveland Democrat” since then. Who knows? Maybe the time has come.