Adult supervision was on the ballot in November 2018, and it won big. Now some are predicting that 2019 will be an even wilder ride–but it doesn’t have to be that at all. Why should we accept the soft bigotry of low expectations for our president? Nancy Pelosi is not likely to do anything radically disruptive. It’s up to the president to become presidential, if he is able. Shouldn’t we expect our president to be not a toddler? Not an enabler of Russian disinformation? Not a thug but rather a president for all Americans? So if 2019 is an even wilder ride than the last two years, it probably won’t be because “both sides” are lacking in civility. A few Democrats can and will act foolish, but the leadership in the House of Representatives has an opportunity to pass bills that–if the president and the Senate cooperate–make America a better and greater place. Will Senator McConnell and President Trump persist in serving the interests of the 1% of the 1%? Will they persist in overfilling the swamp with even more special-interest lobbyists in charge of our health care and our environment and our public lands and our military?
This year does not need to be a wild ride at all. It can be a year of draining the swamp of self-dealing politicians, starting at the top. The president is perfectly capable of respecting the rule of law and going quietly. If he is rude and corrupt and unhinged, we need not make a big drama out of marginalizing him and, if warranted, removing him. Democrats have the opportunity to do the people’s work calmly and professionally. They can legislate and investigate, no need to choose. They can pass a minimum wage increase, and fixes for the Affordable Care Act, voting rights legislation, clean air laws to counteract the EPA’s disgraceful abdications to polluters, renew the Violence Against Women Act (which Paul Ryan allowed to lapse), and much more–and if the Republican Senate and the president refuse to make these bills into law, so much the worse for them in November 2020.