Opinion: The overturn of Roe v. Wade shows the ineptitude and ineffectiveness of the Democrats. Destroying the Democratic Party is needed to stop the further backslide of democracy.

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The Democratic Party is dead; it’s a decrepit collection of geriatric elite with a president so unpopular that 70% of the country do not want to see his reelection campaign. Unfortunately, it's only a clinical death as they still retain enough burned synapses to hold the reins.

Yes, the Democrats are better than the ontological evil of the Republicans but their inaction is far more insidious. The Democrats will not be ones to usher in theocratic fascism but they fail to use the tools of the state to protect the values they claim to uphold. They represent both the state failing to play its role and an institutional obstacle for any real change. In this sense, the Democrats not only refuse to confront fascism but embolden it by neglecting the material conditions that drive people to right-wing narratives.

When the Democrats get absolutely bodied in the midterms — and they will — let it be the proof that the party needs to be destroyed and reconstructed as an actual populist force.

The overturn of Roe v. Wade is an abhorrent backslide for the human rights of all Americans. The totalitarian theologies that founded this country continue to try to rob women, and more broadly the lower classes, of their autonomy. This article is not about the decision itself because there is nothing to be discussed; abortion is healthcare and healthcare is a human right. The individual has sole sovereignty over their body and the state should protect that fact. Instead, I argue that the overturn of Roe is another morbid case study in how the Democrats are merely a speed bump for the right rather than guardians of our interests.

A draft of the Supreme Court decision leaked back in May; how did the Democratic establishment use this extra organizing time to prove their electoral usefulness?

Well, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spent it in Texas campaigning for pro-NRA, anti-abortion canidate Henry Cuellar, even with the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. His progressive opponent Jessica Cisneros was supported by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders — Cisneros lost by 289 votes.

Further, despite the presidency’s immense power, President Joe Biden continued to regard it as  an advisory role. He refuses to pack the court or end the filibuster despite the near certainty the Republicans will end it anyway for a federal ban on abortion.

So what substantial things have the Democrats done since Roe?

They sang “God Bless America” outside the Supreme Court, Pelosi asked for donations immediately after the final decision, Biden plans to nominate an anti-abortion lawyer to federal judgeship, and Vice President Kamala Harris offered little more than thoughts and prayers from a private jet.

Even the GOP is surprised about how little the Democrats are doing.

It’s a lack of will that drives Democratic inaction, not options. If the latter was true, former President Barack Obama would’ve codified Roe v. Wade with his supermajority in 2009, after he said it would be “the first thing” he does as president. No, even when Democrats hold all the power they still refuse to do anything resembling progress. Even California — the most “progressive” state in the union — recently refused to remove the last remnant of slavery from its state consitution: involuntary servitude for punishment of a crime. Democrats have had a supermajority in California since 1992.

Thus, we must conclude that the Democrats are either incompetent or uncaring. But it is a distinction without a difference, because a party that controls all three branches of government isn’t powerless.

What is the response from the “vote harder,” or the “vote blue no matter who” crowd on any of this?

While we’re on the topic of power, I want to preemptively make a point before the most annoying people email me saying “actually the Dems can’t do anything because of Manchin and Sinema.”

First off, why is it that only Democrats have this problem of rogue agents? Whenever a Republican steps out of line they are immediately reprimanded and kicked out of the party. Liz Cheney is going to lose her primary after participating in the Jan. 6 hearings, and she isn’t even an ideological dissenter to the right — her disagreements are about decorum, not policy with former President Donald Trump. (C’mon, she’s Dick Cheney’s daughter, she supports all the evil things every other Republican does.)

Secondly, why don’t the Democrats exert any leverage over their dissenters at all? Rather than electing them to committees and supporting the next generation of center-right democrats (see: Cuellar from earlier), they chose to fetishize nonexist compromise over ideological victory. You would never see Mitch McConnell saying “we need a strong Democratic Party,” like the Democrats do.

And finally, the Democratic Party is only weak when legislating for popular, progressive policies. Its true power is seen whenever it needs to crush the left, like it did for the Sanders campaign or sidelining Black Lives Matter. Even in a minority the right is never said to be powerless; the Republican party seems to output nearly all of their agenda despite not winning a popular vote in 30 years*.

The current Democratic strategy is one of political fugue: a feverish faith in crumbled institutions and norms their opponents discarded long ago. Being out of touch with reality alienates voters toward right-wing narratives. Understand that supporting conservative politics is not an original sin; it is manufactured by disillusionment through economic, social and political precarity.

When two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck under government inaction, people are going to be pulled to the right-most narratives that blame an other. Only by addressing the underlying material conditions can right-wing politics be marginalized and prevent a looming Trump reelection.

Yes, the Democrats are the harm reduction option, and will certainly be better than any Republican challenger in 2024. But there will always be a far-right threat to democracy and continuing to respond with milquetoast neoliberalism is a guaranteed way to allow that far-right threat to eventually win. 

We need a left-wing political party that is militant and uncompromising on its values; that represents the exploited rather than fundraises off of them. The current Democratic Party is a useless, inoperable mass. If the Republicans are the school shooter, the Democrats are the police standing outside, refusing to go in.


*The last Republican to win a  popular vote was George H.W. Bush in 1988.

 

Opinion Columnist

Porter is an opinion columnist at the Daily Emerald. As a student of Global Studies and Cultural Anthropology, he writes passionately about politics and culture through an intersectional lens.