by Roger C. Kostmayer
Under Senator Mitch McConnell’s leadership, Senate Republicans used and abused Senate rules and procedures (like the filibuster) to obstruct the Obama administration’s efforts to fulfill the mandate the People gave them. Republicans deliberately filled the courts with right-wing radical judges, often with lifetime appointments. Republican presidential candidates lost the popular vote by millions, yet won the presidency. They have shamelessly grabbed unearned political power and escalated partisan abuses which culminated in their stealing two Supreme Court seats. The threat to democracy, law, precedent, checks and balances could not be more real. The majority of Americans do not want to lose their affordable health care, women’s rights, legal abortions, LBGT equal rights to marry, gun regulations that protect their children, the war on climate change, and the separation of church and state—all of which is imminent unless we take action.
The first and most important action by the majority must be focusing on an overwhelming victory November 3—a victory that puts the Democrats comfortably in charge of the White House, the Senate, the House, and grass roots offices.
Secondly, specific Executive Orders and legislation designed to erase Trump corruption, incompetence, distaste for government and rule of law could begin on day one of the new administration, and that second wave of action would start in January by eliminating the filibuster.
The third wave of actions include statehood for deserving territories such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; elimination of the undemocratic and anachronistic Electoral College so that the presidential candidate who gets a majority of the votes wins; and improving the number and diversity of justices on the Supreme Court.
These essential democratic reforms would be important steps toward righting our constitutional democracy and returning our nation to a more unified and level political field.