Democrats should convene a council of political war shortly after Labor Day to mobilize the full force and power of the party and the base that has been leading the resistance to the Trump presidency behind an aggressive campaign to win control of the House and Senate in 2018.
This council of political war should include former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBarack Obama wishes a happy 58th birthday to 'best friend' Michelle Voting rights is a constitutional right: Failure is not an option Florida looms large in Republican 2024 primary MORE, former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaBarack Obama wishes a happy 58th birthday to 'best friend' Michelle The Memo: 2024 chatter reveals Democratic nervousness Michelle Obama announces push to register 1 million new voters ahead of midterms MORE, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMacro grid will keep the lights on Pelosi suggests filibuster supporters 'dishonor' MLK's legacy on voting rights Sanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown MORE, former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonLeft laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket A year into his presidency, Biden is polling at an all-time low Second gentleman Emhoff acts as public link to White House MORE, former Vice President and 2000 presidential nominee Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Biden unleashes on Trump and GOP A presidential candidate pledge can right the wrongs of an infamous day VP dilemma: The establishment or the base? MORE, former Secretary of State and 2016 nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket A year into his presidency, Biden is polling at an all-time low MORE, and former Secretary of State and 2004 nominee John KerryJohn KerryA presidential candidate pledge can right the wrongs of an infamous day Equilibrium/Sustainability — Dam failures cap a year of disasters Four environmental fights to watch in 2022 MORE.
I have strongly supported all of them in the past, but must warn that, since the day President Trump was inaugurated, they have all been derelict in their political duty of doing everything they can to defend our country, and lift our party, against attacks on our democracy from a foreign enemy and his admirer, who is now our president.
Count me as a super-hawk against a Russian president using covert action to elect the American candidate he favors. Count me as a super-hawk for the idea that Democrats must wage a far more aggressive political war for our deepest values of patriotism and human rights with a tenacity and intensity equal to those who wage war against us.
Too many Republicans have been cowards by failing to fight for American democracy against a foreign enemy who would destroy it while they pursue an anti-democratic program of voter suppression, depression, division and deception executed by GOP politicians and supported by their propaganda.
Too many Democrats, for too many years, have been tentative and timid in fighting for what we stand for. Whatever Obama accomplished after eight years of his presidency, Republicans control the House, the Senate, the presidency, governorships, state legislatures and possibly soon the Supreme Court to pursue policies that impose hardship on the middle class, division among our people, antagonism against our president throughout the free world, and pain against the poor that is the antithesis of what leaders of faith such as Pope Francis teach.
The Obamas, the Clintons, Biden, Gore and Kerry should join the fight in full force — now — alongside others with a will to win the indescribably important midterm elections in 2018.
There is good news for Democrats. An anti-Trump wave election is building. Democrats have a strong chance to regain control of the House. The prospects for Senate Democratic incumbents running in 2018 are strong. Many strong GOP challengers have chosen not to run against them. If Democrats take GOP seats in Arizona and Nevada and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke pulls off an upset victory against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGolden State Warriors owner says 'nobody cares' about Uyghurs All hostages free, safe after hours-long standoff at Texas synagogue: governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks MORE (R-Texas), there is a pathway for Democratic control of the Senate.
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerKelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Hundreds attend mass funeral for victims of Bronx apartment building fire Romney: I never got a call from White House to discuss voting rights MORE (D-N.Y.) is leading brilliantly. The Senate Democratic Caucus today includes the strongest and most talented membership of any caucus of any party in any Congress in modern history.
The Democratic council of war I propose would include the luminaries named above, large Democratic donors who today fall far short of their right-wing counterparts, and grassroots superstar Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown Hispanic Caucus lawmaker won't attend meeting with VP Harris's new aide The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Memo: 2024 chatter reveals Democratic nervousness We are America's independent contractors, and we are terrified Fed's Brainard faces GOP pressure on climate stances MORE (D-Mass.) and a Democratic Hollywood star or two.
They should rouse large and small donors for a massive wave of fundraising in September 2017 to build an early war chest for 2018. They should immediately begin the largest voter registration and party building movement in history — which should have begun already but has not, because of Democratic lethargy I challenge here.
There is huge energy and passion in the anti-Trump multitudes that Democrats have barely begun to tap. There is immense political power, moral and patriotic duty, and urgency of time behind the cause of defeating Trump’s corrupt and heartless plan to remake America in his image, and Putin’s aggressive plan to destroy our democracy.
Fellow Democrats, this is the war we face and must fight with fury to win, beginning now.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), then-chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. in international financial law from the London School of Economics.
The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.