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writing for godot

2018 On a Silver Platter

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Written by Tom Cantlon   
Thursday, 06 July 2017 09:34

Democrats have an easy path to full victory in 2018. One they are ignoring. One that's being handed to them on a silver platter over and over again, on an almost daily basis. Here is just one of those silver-platter opportunities.

Late in Obama's term his administration directed Medicare and Medicaid to stop covering nursing home care if the facility required new residents to sign a forced-arbitration agreement. Normally, if a company had a pattern of mistreating or short-changing residents, those residents or their representatives could ban together and try for a class action suit. A suit by one person often isn't valuable enough to make it worth a legal team putting in the time. A suit by a group of claimants suing together is worth the time. Forced-arbitration agreements mean each wronged person has to contest the company one-by-one, and only via arbitration.

The Trump administration has started the process to roll back that change, allowing nursing homes to, once again, require arbitration agreements. To state it clearly, his administration went out of their way to force seniors and the disabled and their families to give up their leverage if there's a problem, and to give bad operators much less incentive to straighten up. You couldn't write a more perfect headline for Democrats to raise holy hell about.

It's not just Trump but the GOP in general. One example, the GOP in Congress are working on removing the requirement that companies keep record of their workplace injuries; records that reveal which companies are careless toward their workers.

To win, to lead the charge, there is no need to rely on free college or expanded Social Security or other issues that can easily be spun as "hand outs", or that reasonable people can disagree on. There are a thousand places to take a stand that are simply about getting people fair treatment. There are policies that need to be ended which hurt workers, like the not keeping track of injuries, and changes that would empower workers, like setting the target unemployment-rate lower so workers are more in demand and have a better bargaining position. There are a thousand policies to shift priority to people. Not to attack the rich. Not "hand outs". Not radical new degrees of social programs that make some people nervous. Just getting people fair treatment, and getting workers the full benefit of the value they create.

Any party that presented a unified message, that raised such holy hell about it that it cut through the Trump-crap news cycle, that convinced the public they would swarm throughout government and find those thousand policy changes and tilt them all in favor of people, would ride to victory with such a landslide that one Trump promise would finally come true, that there'll be so much winning, you'll get tired of winning.

The silver platter is just waiting. The grassroots across the board, from progressives to some of those economically frustrated Trump supporters, are like a twitchy frog ready to jump on board and support a campaign. Where are the supposedly politically-savvy elected officials? Find your local Democratic official and give them a swift kick in the butt and tell them to wake up. The action is clear. The moment is just aching to be grasped, and won't wait. If the opportunity is ignored, 2018 will be worse than now. If the opportunity is used, 2018 can be in the pocket.

 

See my core piece, The Plan for the Win

 

Tom Cantlon has the interesting challenge of being a left-leaning writer for the paper in a small, right-leaning Western town, in a right-leaning state. He can be reached at comments at TomCantlon dot com.

 

Sources:

Nursing home arbitration: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-06-08/pdf/2017-11883.pdf

Injury records: https://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2017/03/20/congressional-rollback-of-injury-log-requirement-would-endanger-workers/

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+2 # Kauai John 2017-07-11 16:16
You forget Tom that the Democrats are now Corporatists who fear reprisals for changing any of these single issues. Talk of changing even one, and an armada of special interests will rise against you. In fact, the reason there are so many of these "fair treatment" issues is that the corporatists have traded them for contributions to their campaign.
 
 
+1 # Tcan 2017-07-12 10:09
I partly agree, but there are members like Warren, Sanders, Franken, Grijalva, a Progressive Caucus, and a grassroots kick in the butt could change which Dem leader voices dominate and call the tune. No guarantee but entirely possible, especially in a time of dramatic surprises. So, worth pushing. Either it works or it's a step to what's next.
 
 
+1 # ReconFire 2017-07-15 18:13
Victory in 2018 will not be achieved without two things happening:

1) Total house cleaning at Democratic headquarters. Corp. Dems. must be forced out.
2)Confronting our fraudulent election process (electronic voting machines) and Repug. voter suppression tech.(crosschec k, ect.)

Until these problems are addressed Repugs. will win again and Dems. will blame everyone but themselves.
 
 
0 # Tcan 2017-07-16 11:39
Agree that voting needs security such as paper receipts, and suppression needs to be fought in courts. I would expect non-progressive Dems will lose their leadership if grassroots push the party to be progressive and if progressive Dem office holders and candidates lead with campaigns that get popular support. The combo of grassroots and candidates who pull a wave of support by leading on these issues is exactly what will bring a change ind Dem leadership.
 
 
+2 # grandlakeguy 2017-07-15 18:18
NEVER FORGET... The Republicans get to secretly count the votes that are cast or counted electronically with no oversight.

As long as that is allowed we will always lose.
 
 
+1 # Tcan 2017-07-16 11:53
Could you cite a verified source for that? There are serious voting issues, but while we fight those it is proceeding with winning campaigns that will move the waves of people toward progress.
 

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