• Nabilah Islam

Democrats must unify… Or we’ll all be living in Texas

By Nabilah Islam

There is not much to admire about the Republican Party these days.

When they’re not trying to kill as many Americans as possible with COVID, they can usually be found defending the monsters who attacked the United States Capitol on Jan. 6.

But if there’s one thing that truly amazes Democrats most about the GOP these days, it’s that they tend to stick together — even when their backwards, bloodthirsty, child-dating behinds should break ranks and run for a hot shower and a church confessional.

And while Democrats are never going to be a party that gets Joe Biden’s face tattooed on our bodies or sinks boats in a lake to show how much we love him, this would be a great time for Democrats to come together and focus on what we are accomplishing and the work we still have to do.

Especially now that we are seeing in Texas and Florida what happens when Republicans get their way.

The last few weeks have admittedly not made that kind of unity easy.

The Delta variant — with a giant assist from Red State governors and the poor lost souls who are still trying to figure out how to inject bleach with a horse dewormer chaser — is wreaking havoc on our plans to put COVID behind us and move focus to recovering and rebuilding.

The horrific losses and tragic images out of Afghanistan — coupled with a press corps that has rediscovered its spine after five years of atrophy — have complicated what was once and largely still is enormous public support for ending a 20-year war.

Taken together, the Washington press and the Republican Party have decided that now Democrats are weak and divided, and you can already feel both licking their chops at the thought of a “shellacking” in next year’s midterms, to borrow a term used by former President Obama.

But we have come to expect that hypocritical nonsense from them.

The better question is why are we Democrats helping them push these messages?

On COVID, the Blue Team has been mostly united. Together we have put shots in arms, checks in people’s hands, and moved to vaccinate as many Americans as possible in a shockingly fast amount of time. And you don’t see our members recommending livestock medication.

But on Afghanistan — and on the work it took to get to the budget resolution, the infrastructure bill and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act — there have been too many in our own party who seem to think that the best way to save their majorities in the House and Senate is by joining the chorus of bad-faith critics on the right and in Washington green rooms.

Is it too much to ask them to put their need for attention or hand-wringing or their rich donors aside for five damn minutes so we can save this country?

We saw last week in Texas what happens when Republicans get their way. GOP attacks on women’s rights are nothing short of terrifying. Our opponents are only getting more dangerous. We certainly can’t afford to be more divided.

Between redistricting, a wave of new voter suppression laws and historical trends, Republicans have enormous built-in advantages heading into next year’s midterm elections. But historical lessons are difficult to apply when we have no idea what the country or the world will look like in October and November of next year. How many “this could sink Democrats” issues have you already seen come and go this year? Remember that silly Dr. Seuss crap?

It seems reasonable to expect that going into next year’s races, we still control our own destiny.

Or put another way, we can either be in disarray or we can be in array.

We know which one Republicans and reporters prefer.

But we have so many good stories to tell.

Consider that 75 percent of all the jobs we lost during the first waves of the pandemic have been recovered. Unemployment is down. Incomes are up. One estimate says that the American Rescue Plan will get us to a 45 percent decline in Americans living in poverty.

45 percent!

And that doesn’t include the lives we have changed with child tax credits or expanded Affordable Care Act eligibility or stimulus checks.

There are a lot of positive things we can talk about without eating each other alive.

Of course there will be disagreements because, again, we are not a cult. In fact, we’re the only governing party this country has left, so of course we’re going to fight about how best to do that.

But if we don’t come together and defend this president, to promote and defend what he and other Democrats are doing to change the lives of millions and millions of Americans, then our opponents will seize on our division and our self-doubt. They will ignore our accomplishments to question our competence. They will succeed in their goal of eroding our democracy and spreading Trumpism.

Somehow, some way we must unite as a party to do big things for the American people.

Every Democrat must work to show what it looks like when Democrats are at work, and we need our people to lift each other up instead of handing ammo to the opposition.

So maybe, just this one time, we should try acting like Republicans.

Yeah, I know. I felt pretty freaking gross even saying it.