The Senate GOP late last week bowed to the bidding of Mitch McConnell (and Trump) and blocked a bipartisan panel to seek the full story of the infamous insurrection at the US Capitol. That outrageous refusal to face facts fits into the larger right-wing plan to gain and hold power at the expense of democracy -- a plan outlined in the PM BlogSpace last week by analyst Sean Dobson. Here's a recap of that deep-diving, four-part series on "The Once and Future Takeover."
We have seen in this week’s deep exploration of the GOP right wing’s strategies – taking advantage of resentments among the former culturally dominant but now dwindling white working class, finding weaknesses in the US’s antiquated system to reverse electoral outcomes at the state and federal level – that only an informed and active pro-democracy movement can protect our future elections by making executive, legislative, behavioral and other changes at every level.
Analyst Sean Dobson, who is board chair of Progressive Maryland, outlines the surprisingly broad agenda – both difficult and energizing – that progressives and their pro-democracy allies must tackle NOW to ward off a right-wing takeover of government that, if not fought early, could be very difficult to reverse and result in a permanently authoritarian nation.
Pro-democracy forces "need to truly and massively deliver to the working class – white, black, and brown -- in a way that tangibly hoists median living standards. The obvious need to jump-start the economy, fight climate change, and invest in (green) infrastructure offers historic opportunity to do so – but only if Democrats finally act on their professed principles and ignore their big campaign donors."
You can read the earlier installments of this week-long analysis at
https://www.progressivemaryland.org/the_once_and_future_takeover, https://www.progressivemaryland.org/the_once_and_future_takeover_ii and https://www.progressivemaryland.org/the_once_and_future_takeover_iii_plugging_gaps_in_our_institutionsRead more
In the first two parts of analyst Sean Dobson’s account this week, we have seen the shape of the failed Trump coup in 2020 and the many flaws in our electoral system that could be far more exploited by an organized post-Trump white-supremacist GOP rightwing core at the next opportunity. What are the ways that pro-democracy forces could contest those strategies – not only the obvious ones that happen before, during and even after Election Day but the less-visible vulnerabilities that require legislative and executive action sooner rather than later?
In the third of four parts, Dobson -- Progressive Maryland's board chair and a progressive historian of modern politics -- the activist path is laid out that will be required to mount the best defense against a likely more coherent GOP takeover attempt. Keeping police and the military neutral and militias weak are critical tasks, as is reining in the unchecked power of social media and the Russian trolls who surf it. As we find, “Nothing in the US Constitution or federal law specifically mandates that the President be popularly elected” and that leaves the field open for a lot of GOP mischief that must be fixed legislatively.
Here is how the fixes can be accomplished. This full essay can be read here.
photo:Saul Loeb/getty imagesRead more
In the second of four parts, analyst Sean Dobson outlines the weaknesses in our ageing constitutional system that could be exploited by right-wing zealots, especially elected Republicans in federal and state office. Existing strategies of voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering (the GOP is much better at the latter) will combine with further attacks on the judicial system, top to bottom, as well as internal party attacks to remove GOP officials who remained loyal to the democratic electoral system, as Dobson, who is board chair of Progressive Maryland. Further, the already-flawed Electoral College system is further open to exploitation by GOP state legislators. Each part of the strategy is well known to be vulnerable to manipulation but, added up, the dangers this poses to democratic process are truly alarming and will need to be addressed.
This is the second of four parts being published on the PMBlogSpace this week. The complete essay may be read at https://seandobsonprogressive.wordpress.com/category/blog/
The right-wingers at the core of today’s GOP demonstrated January 6, 2021 that they have no interest in American democracy if it interferes with their goal: political, financial and cultural dominance of this nation. In this deep-diving essay, Maryland progressive leader and analyst Sean Dobson shows how close this frothing minority came – and could come, in the future – to overcoming the democratic processes that we are used to thinking of as normal elections. Donald Trump was the clear perpetrator of the attack on the Capitol and Congress in January but the sentiments and strategies of the Republican right predated him and will be rehabbed by his clumsy failure. A next round could succeed in upending democratic electoral processes by targeting their dangerously fragile 18th-century roots with 21st-century strategies, as Dobson -- board chair of Progressive Maryland -- shows here. In the first of four parts we see how Trump’s and Trumpism’s assaults on the election before, during and after Election Day, imperfect as they were, nearly succeeded in undoing the majority rule on which our process is grounded. A coup has failed, for now; a future one has better chances unless understood and fought against.
This is the first of four parts being published on the PMBlogSpace this week. The complete essay may be read at https://seandobsonprogressive.wordpress.com/category/blog/
It’s People’s Recovery Lobby Week this week so we are pushing Congress to pass a comprehensive American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan as large as the physical reality of the climate crisis, the health crisis and the economic reality of mass unemployment and underemployment, and the structural reality of systemic racism.
Been to a statewide COVID Forum? Attended a Justice Task Force event? Have you taken part in a local organizing meeting for a County Chapter or Fair Elections? Supported our drug policy work? If the answer is yes to any or all of these: thank you! Now we ask you to take a next step to help us expand our work and impact on these issues-- join hundreds of other local PM supporters and become a Progressive Maryland member.
This and much more in the Memo.
Happy birthday today (Monday) to Bob Dylan, an 80-year-old White folk singer who in 1963 wrote and recorded “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” about the 1963 beating death of a Black barmaid by a drunken and abusive young White man, son of a tobacco-wealthy Charles County, MD, family. Allies everywhere. And everywhen.
Thank you for being part of this movement.Read more
"Maryland is one of only three states that has no statewide law covering collective bargaining rights but allows every jurisdiction to decide whether they want to have collective bargaining or not. The result is that 90% of local jurisdictions do not have any law that allows public workers to have a union. Some of the biggest municipalities where public workers do not have union rights are Gaithersburg, Hagerstown, Salisbury, Cumberland, Hyattsville and New Carrollton. This is also true for a majority of Maryland counties."
Activist and former House of Delegates member Jimmy Tarlau outlines in a Maryland Matters opinion column why this practice stems from Maryland's dominant Democratic power structure and its tacit compliance with business interests, not those of working families.
Much Love To Moms: PM Weekly Memo for Monday, May 10, 2021
This past Mother’s Day Weekend, we reflected on the many roles of mothers in the world, and the impact of the pandemic on womxn and families. We are thinking about all the mothers who have lost children, and all the children who have lost mothers. And to all those who chose to be mothers, chose not to be mothers, are unable to carry a child, have adopted or fostered children, have two moms, have chosen mothers, have estranged relationships with their mother, etc. - we are sending much love to you all.
As does Gaea, a love that we all return.
One way in which we can all stand with womxn is by fighting for Medicare For All, worker’s rights, and people’s recovery. This and much more in the memo.
Thank you for being part of this movement.
The PM Team
In a whirlwind week of events threatening a tsunami of evictions and homelessness, activists urged the state government to protect renters against eviction as courts re-opened, a federal judge voided national tenant protections (and then reinstated them) and yesterday (Thursday, May 6) executives of the state's biggest population centers jointly urged Gov. Larry Hogan to stop Maryland courts from enforcing evictions when tenants were often unable to appear in the newly opened courts to defend themselves. See more in this blog post.