Painful though it be to assign second priority to desperately needed substantive legislation like fixing the minimum wage and restoring environmental regulation, the Democrats’ first priority must be restoring the rules of the game. That’s right: two-thirds of the Democrats’ energy should be devoted to procedure, not substance. Here’s why:
Imagine a football game in which one team scores repeatedly by running out of bounds, clipping, holding, face-masking, and refusing to turn over the ball after fourth down – moreover, they also bribe, impersonate, threaten, and eliminate referees.
Upon somehow gaining possession of the ball, the opposing team must not simply play with competence and integrity. First, the rules must be restored, or else the brawl will continue, and there will be no game. That means Democrats must reestablish the core elements of democracy: information must be accurate, corruption must be prevented, and elections must be fair.
Once these foundation stones are in place, we will be able to make gains that will not be quickly eroded by a renewal of foul play. Below the fold: specific implications.