This is my very first Daily Kos post. Many of you may know my twitter handle, but I have something that cannot be expressed in 140 character bursts, so I thought I would do it here.
Democrats need to start thinking like Republicans. No, I don't mean that we should be cheerleading freeloaders grazing on federal land or vigilante gun wackos gunning down unarmed teenagers. I mean strategically. Whatever your politics are, no one can deny one simple fact: Republicans are kicking almighty ass at the long game. Just look at the Supreme Court. Look at how gerrymandered the House is. Look at how many laws have been passed against abortion or voting rights. None of this happened by accident. Conservatives didn't just get lucky. They have been planning it for decades.
While Democrats of the '90s were busy trying to "compromise" with Republicans by watering down financial regulations or voting for "religious freedom" bills, Republicans were busy moving to the right behind the scenes. Conservative billionaires were funding think tanks and "nonprofits" that were floating the idea of privatizing everything. Hell, the Koch Brothers basically own the George Mason University economics department.
When the Citizens United decision came down, liberals were shocked, but Republicans weren't. The Kochs and ALEC had been patiently waiting, biding their time, and they were ready to spend an absurd amount of anonymous money to win a historic majority in the House, as well as a historic number of state houses.
But Republicans know that they don't have any chance at winning the electoral vote again, so it won't be long before Republicans in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan are dusting off their bills to rig how electoral votes are apportioned. And they will have no fear of any media backlash, because today's media is in the business of stenography and reporting "both sides." Besides, Republicans will just claim that they're not really "rigging" the vote, but making it "more democratic." They'll point to Nebraska and Maine as examples, and say "See! It's reasonable!"
Democrats need to stop hoping that people will just "wake up" to these shenanigans or that the media will finally call Republicans on their bullshit. They won't. Nobody gives a shit how many times Harry Reid calls a vote on minimum wage. Hell, the media is terrified to even use the word "filibuster." The old tricks don't move the needle anymore. It's time to play dirty, like Republicans.
Politics is a blood sport, and Democrats need to stop being pussies. There has been very little reaction from Democrats in blue states to batshit crazy laws being passed in red states. For every law red states pass, pass the complete opposite law in a blue state.
1. If red states are going to pass TRAP laws to shut down abortion clinics, then why aren't Democrats in blue states passing regulations which shut down gun stores? After all, more people are killed at gun shows and gun stores than women die during abortion. Just call it "concern for gun owners' health" or some bullshit like that. Or at the very least, they could tax gun stores and gun shows and use the revenue to help fund anti-violence organizations. Or how about a 72 hour waiting period to buy a gun? That actually MIGHT save lives.
2. If red states are going to pass voter ID laws, why aren't blue-state Democrats passing laws to automatically register everyone who gets a drivers license or a state ID? Or passing pre-registration laws like the one that the GOP repealed in North Carolina? Or passing online voter registration, which actually saves money? Same day registration is another great one.
3. If red states are going to repeal renewable energy laws, then why don't blue states (with oil) start passing oil and gas taxes to and use the revenue to make college free for everyone? Oil in the ground doesn't go anywhere. You can't ship those jobs out of state. You can drastically increase taxes and oil companies will still drool at the prospect of drilling.
4. If red states want to make Christianity the state religion or pass "religious freedom" bills, then why can't blue states make Atheism the state belief? (OK, this one is mostly an exercise in hardcore trolling, but I still think they should do it).
5. If red states refuse to reduce their prison populations or de-privatize their prison systems, then why isn't EVERY blue state decriminalizing or legalizing pot? Furthermore, if this isn't one of the main parts of Hillary's (or whoever the nominee is) 2016 platform, shame on us.
6. If red states are going to privatize, voucherize, or charter-ize the public school systems (like they are in my home state of Louisiana), then why aren't blue states drastically boosting the budgets of public schools? Pay for it by increasing state taxes on capital gains.
7. If red states are passing "papers please" laws, then blue states should do like California did and pass bills allowing immigrants to get a driver's license and free in-state tuition.
8. If red states want to pass personhood amendments, blue states should react by mandating that public schools provide free contraception to students.
9. If red states are going to drug test food stamp recipients, then let's EXPAND the food stamp program in blue states.
10. If red states are going to refuse to expand Medicaid, then why aren't blue states instituting their own single payer health systems? (in fairness, Vermont is trying)
11. If red states are passing Ag-gag laws, then let's stiffen up Ag regulations and enforcement in blue states. And pass GMO labeling laws.
12. If red states are going to oppose equal pay, then blue states should pass family leave laws and universal Pre-K.
Atrios made expanding Social Security part of the platform. KagroX got us filibuster reform. There is no good reason why Democrats can't start playing offense in the states they control. You can't win the war when you refuse to fight.