Two days ago, Bernie Sanders released a short statement concerning the rise of Cheeto Hitler:
“Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer.
“To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”
Putting aside that a majority of Trump’s voters were motivated by pure racism instead of economic anxiety, Bernie was sending a clear signal that Democrats would work with Republicans if they pass real bills to help everyone, not just the rich. Not an unreasonable stance to take. Good policy that helps everyone is worth pursuing even if it makes Trump look good.
But Republicans won’t do that. They’ll try to fuck everyone but the rich just as they always do. They’re going to pursue massive tax cuts that will go mostly to the rich. They’re going to try to privatize Social Security and Medicare. They’re going to try to slash food stamps and free school lunches. They’re going to try to defund the EPA, the IRS, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and every other agency that regulates corporate greed. There will be little to nothing they try to pass that will have more than breadcrumbs for the 99%.
Bernie should filibuster them all and Democrats should back him every single time.
Republicans will screech about obstructionism but this is what they turned Washington DC into. Perhaps they think that the Democrats will buckle like they usually do and let Trump and his puppeteers run roughshod over the Constitution and the economy. In times past, that probably would have been true. But Republicans got rid of most of the real centrists in the Democratic Party. There are very few blue dogs left and certainly not enough to overcome a filibuster.
That means Republicans will either have to put up with the same kind of obstructionism they practiced for the last 8 years, or they’ll have to get rid of the filibuster. It’s very likely they’ll go with the Nuclear Option because they know, for a fact, that Trump is going to implode by the next election and they won’t be able to rely on racist white people saving them from themselves again.
But getting rid of the filibuster is a dangerous move because then the full responsibility of what Trump does falls solely on the Republicans. A daunting thought to be sure. And without the filibuster, they’ll have no checks on the inevitable next Democratic president and Congress. If Republicans thought Obamacare was the devil’s work, wait until the coming wave of Berniecrats put Single Payer on the table in a few years.
Bernie is going to be one the leading figures of the anti-Trump fight, along with Elizabeth Warren, Kieth Ellison and others. If the Democrats are foolish enough to roll over for Trump like they did for Bush, there are plenty of Bernie followers that will happily primary them and take their place.
The resistance is already forming and if Republicans thought they were going to have an easy time selling the country off to the highest bidder, they haven’t been paying attention.