Right now, Democrats appear to be doing all they can to help Donald Trump get re-elected. Instead of making the 2020 election a referendum on his embarrassing and damaging presidency, they’re trying to make it about issues that divide even Democrats. Now, they want to scream outrage and revisit the demoralizing case of Brett Kavanaugh. Several have rushed to call for his impeachment based on a New York Times article that already has admitted a major omission.
Presidential candidates immediately began pandering to the base. Instead of any measured response, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro all called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment before the story was 24 hours old. They could have called for opening an investigation into the NYT’s story instead of insisting Kavanaugh is guilty of perjury. The reaction reflects a disturbing trend on the left to mete out punishment without due process and it gives a lot of more cautious Americans pause.
I think America is looking for people who will try to restore sanity to our government, avoiding the emotional swings of Donald Trump. They want less overt partisanship over every issue and more thoughtful responses. I think Michael Bennet had it right when he said “If you elect me president, I promise you won’t have to think about me for 2 weeks at a time.” As a nation, we’re exhausted by the drama created by a reality show president. Calling for impeachments based on newspaper articles is calling for another reality show in Congress.
We need big changes to rebalance our country. The premise of most of Elizabeth Warren’s plans is correct. Wall Street needs to be reigned in. The wealthy need to pay more. Students shouldn’t leave school with mortgaged-sized debts. And we should move toward universal health care.
However, arguing about the details of those plans is counter-productive. Insisting on Medicare for All and ending private insurance is loser. Warren said in the debate that she didn’t know anyone who loved their insurance company. That may be true but there are plenty who love their insurance policies. Our private, employer-based insurance for a family of four cost less than $600 per month, had a low deductible, included vision and dental and only a twenty dollar co-pay for the vast majority of visits. Why would we want to give that up for an unknown government program?
In addition, Democrats move toward open borders and giving health care that too many Americans lack to undocumented workers plays into the hands of conservatives who tell middle class Americans that Democrats care more about non-citizens than citizens. We should be talking about how to fix a clearly broken immigration system, not what we’re going to offer those who exploit it.
There’s a long way before November 2020 but Democrats need to read the electorate better than they do their base. I hope we’re watching them run to the left to win the primary and they’re ready to run to the center to win the election. To win, the issue next fall needs to be Donald Trump and restoring sanity, not Medicare for All, free college or regulating Wall Street. That debate can wait until Democrats have the power to enact something.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >