And what to "Democrats need to do"?
1) End the filibuster. It's all but gone, anyway.
Here is the problem I have. Ending the filibuster will take away the voices of some in the minority. The Founding Fathers structured the constitution to protect the rights of the minority. Assuming the Democrats win the Senate, and the fillibuster is eliminated, you might as well rubberstamp anything that is good for New York and California (See Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, etc). I don't think this is a formula for long term prosperity.
2) Establish the right to vote for all citizens who will be 18 years old on election day as a fundamental right by Federal Law. Establish that voting may not place an undue burden on citizens (time limit on line, absentee ballots for all, no crazy requirements to register). Make it a federal crime tantamount to sedition for any government official, elected or appointed to even suggest a policy that would abridge those rights. In addition, pass anti-gerrymandering laws.
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't your first sentence already protected by Amendments 14, 15, 19, 24, and 26? As for the rest of your statement, I dont want someone stealing my identity and then using it to vote in my name. That is why I think Voter ID is a great idea. As for anti-gerrymandering laws, I agree that we need to make gerrymandering more difficult but how do you construct such a law? Personally, I like the California model, but how do construct non partisan commissions? That is the challenge.
3) Pack the courts so that they can't undo the above.
This is dangerous, and it imposes a litmus test on judges that I don't think is appropriate. If you construct your laws in a way that is faithful to the constitution, they cannot undo the above. Personally, I feel that the way to fix the courts is to change the advice and consent clause in the constitution to one where a judicial nominee requires a 2/3 majority to confirm in the senate. Interestingly enough, if this was in the constitution from the beginning, the only three justices currently on the court who would have been confirmed are Roberts, Sotamayor, and Breyer. Everyone else would not have been confirmed. I will also point out that both Ginsburg and Scalia would have easily been confirmed under this as well.
4) Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. Partisan political commentary is fine, but not masquerading as "news."
This sounds good, but I have all sorts of issues with this, and to leave enforcement of this in the hands of government bureaucrats is asking for trouble. Not to mention this has all sorts of first amendment issues as well.
5) Establish the right and responsibility of Congress to regulate campaign finances.
I would go further than this. I would amend the constitution to regulate campaign finances. Leaving it in the hands of congress is problematic on so many fronts. The establishment in both parties won't allow this to pass because they realize doing so would threaten their own jobs. I point to the Democratic Primary in the MA-1 congressional race earlier this year. Richie Neal, who is the house ways and means commitee chair and the most corrupt congressman in either part is a big part of this. He was able to use the campaign finance laws in place to run a homophobic smear campaign against his primary challenger. This was the most disgusting smear campaign I have ever seen. And he got away with it. This should never happen in a democratic primary. Because the law protects the establishment, they wont change it, especially after Citizens United (Which was correctly decided IMO). This is why you need to amend the constitution.
6) It's a tall order, but abolish the Electoral College.
This will never happen as you will never get 3/4 states to ratify a constitutional amendment. Nor do I support it.
The above will mean that if either party wants power, they are going to have to convince Americans that their policies are the best for America
. No more toying with the democratic process. Every adult citizen gets to vote. You want their votes? You earn them honestly.
I think what GF his saying is that equality is better left up to the states.
No, it really isn't. We sorted that out in the Civil War, the 14th Amendment, and again with the CRA and with Loving
and with Obergefeld
. It's all well and good until US Citizens cross state borders and suddenly don't have the rights they did in the one before by virtue of who they are. The thing about rights is that you don't get to vote on them; that's why they're called rights.
If that's so, why did it literally take a constitutional amendment for Blacks to have Rights, Women to have rights, etc? The fact of the matter is the rights that we take for granted are basically guaranteed by the constitution. The issue is many rights that the constitution says nothing about have been granted by court rulings. In my legal opinion, if the constitution does not specifically spell out a right, it is not there at a federal level and therefore it falls to the states as the tenth amendment says.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
That being said, I do not believe that Obergfell or Roe were properly decided on from a legal standpoint (Loving was). This is why I feel so strongly congress needs to act to overturn the defense of marriage act and actually made Same Sex Marriage written into federal law. The reason for this is because by not doing so, you risk a supreme court decision that overturns obergfell and this would cause misery for lots of LGBT folks in this country. Don't give the court the chance, just pass the law.
As for Roe, it is very clear that if Roe is overturned, Abortion is kicked back to the states. Some states are choosing to protect the unborn, some are choosing the opposite. As it should be.