(I told myself when I started this blog, I said, “Self, don’t let this be about Politics. You are pretty much a politics junky,” I said, “So, don’t go there. Go deeper!” But desperate times call for desperate measures. RBG can not last forever! The passing of John McCain has left a Republican Party with no moral rudder! Trump has murdered Kurds and attacked a foreign power (Iran)! And our Dem party candidates are being foolish on the national stage. Help! Here is a proposal but forward by two of our most respected Liberal Commentators: Thomas Friedman and E.J. Dione. It’s probably far fetched, but we need some kind of Knight in Shining Armor, or two, to come a’ridin! Or “you can kiss the America you grew up in goodbye.” )
Dems, You Can Defeat Trump in a Landslide
By Thomas Friedman, NY Times, approximately 2/27
If this election turns out to be just between a self-proclaimed socialist and an undiagnosed sociopath, we will be in a terrible, terrible place as a country. How do we prevent that?
My short answer is that the Democrats have to do something extraordinary — forge a national unity ticket the likes of which they have never forged before. And that’s true even if Democrats nominate someone other than Bernie Sanders.
What would this super ticket look like? Well, I suggest Sanders — and Michael Bloomberg, who seems to be his most viable long-term challenger — lay it out this way:
“I want people to know that if I am the Democratic nominee these will be my Cabinet choices — my team of rivals. I want Amy Klobuchar as my vice president. Her decency, experience and moderation will be greatly appreciated across America and particularly in the Midwest. I want Mike Bloomberg (or Bernie Sanders) as my secretary of the Treasury. Our plans for addressing income inequality are actually not that far apart, and if we can blend them together it will be great for the country and reassure markets. I want Joe Biden as my secretary of state. No one in our party knows the world better or has more credibility with our allies than Joe. I will ask Elizabeth Warren to serve as health and human services secretary. No one could bring more energy and intellect to the task of expanding health care for more Americans than Senator Warren.
“I want Kamala Harris for attorney general. She has the toughness and integrity needed to clean up the corrupt mess Donald Trump has created in our Justice Department. I would like Mayor Pete as homeland security secretary; his intelligence and military background would make him a quick study in that job. I would like Tom Steyer to head a new Cabinet position: secretary of national infrastructure. We’re going to rebuild America, not just build a wall on the border with Mexico. And I am asking Cory Booker, the former mayor of Newark, to become secretary of housing and urban development. Who would bring more passion to the task of revitalizing our inner cities than Cory?…”
If Bernie or Bloomberg or whoever emerges to head the Democratic ticket brings together such a team of rivals, I am confident it will defeat Trump in a landslide. But if progressives think they can win without the moderates — or the moderates without the progressives — they are crazy. And they’d be taking a huge risk with the future of the country by trying.
Veteran political analyst E.J. Dionne, in his valuable new book, “Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country,” got this exactly right: We have no responsible Republican Party anymore. It is a deformed Trump personality cult. If the country is going to be governed responsibly, that leadership can come only from Democrats and disaffected Republicans courageous enough to stand up to Trump. It is crucial, therefore, argues Dionne, that moderate and progressive Democrats find a way to build a governing coalition together.
Neither can defeat the other. Neither can win without the other. Neither can govern without the other.
If they don’t join together — if the Democrats opt for a circular firing squad — you can kiss the America you grew up in goodbye.
Thomas L. Friedman is a New York Times columnist.