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When Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States twice in the 1990s, Americans didn’t react until the 9/11 attacks years later. That didn’t work out so well. Yet Republicans quietly, then more noisily, declared war on the Democrats years ago, and have successfully fought their war against the Democrats, and America, every day since then, with near-impunity. It’s time for Democrats to go to war against the Republicans.

Perhaps the first sign of the Democrats’ unilateral surrender against the Republicans came in 2006 when Nancy Pelosi famously declared that, when it came to President George W. Bush, “impeachment is off the table.” That’s Constitutional malpractice. The Constitution doesn’t allow politicians to take impeachment “off the table” any more than it allows them to take the First (or Second) Amendment “off the table.”

Since then, Democrats handily won the 2008 and 2012 elections (gaining not just the White House but seats in both houses of Congress), but what do they have to show for it? President Obama‘s Justice Department prosecuting Bush administration officials for torture and other war crimes? No. Closing America’s torture prison at Guantanamo Bay? Nope. Universal single payer health care? Nein. Public option? Negative. A robust stimulus bill to get us out of George W. Bush’s Great Recession? Nugatory. A jobs bill? Nay. Infrastructure bill?  No sir. Safely ensconced head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? I don’t think so. A fair amount of federal judges appointed? Never. An end to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that bankrupted America? Hell no, except for a pathetic one percent or less of taxpayers. Reasonable gun safety laws, such as expanded background checks supported by 90 percent of Americans? Nix. A real fix to the filibuster that Republicans have abused to a record-shattering degree? Again, nothingness.

Even worse, Democrats have let Republicans get away with sabotaging America’s economy and then turning around and saying it’s President Obama’s fault for not fixing the economy, even though the Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the ability to do so. And now, President Obama has offered a “Grand Bargain” to Republicans which would cut Social Security benefits, which have nothing to do with fixing the economy or creating jobs, but everything to do with destroying the Democratic Party’s brand. That’s not just economically erroneous and morally repugnant, it’s politically insane.

It has been clear for years that the Democrats’ method of trying to work with Republicans in a reasonable way has failed. Now it’s time to go to war against the Republicans. The only thing the Republicans will respond to is being hurt at the voting booth or the pocketbook, which are often the same thing nowadays. Therefore, Democrats should kneecap the Republicans (politically speaking) by stating in no uncertain terms that it’s the Republicans, not “Congress” or President Obama, who have stood against jobs, economic growth, reasonable gun safety laws and many other areas of progress supported by the majority of Americans.

Democrats should grab Republicans by the collar and throw them to the ground (politically speaking) by fixing the Senate filibuster in a real way that requires an actual talking filibuster rather than allowing an automatic 60-vote “quiet filibuster” on every bill. Democrats should follow Sarah Pallin’s advice and “don’t retreat — reload” (again, politically speaking only) by crushing the Republicans on the floors and hearing rooms of the U.S. House and Senate, in tv ads and elsewhere, not just in rare cases but all the time, rather than futilely appealing to the Republicans’ nonexistent sense of cooperation, reason or patriotism. Democratic officeholders who can't do this should get out of the way or get voted out of the way.

Time is no longer running out. It has run out. The time for Democrats to go to all-out war political against the Republicans is yesterday.

[Originally posted at Messaging Matters]

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