Democrats can’t relaxation on their midterm success

By any goal commonplace, Democrats received the midterm elections. By defying historical past and political gravity, Democrats will preserve management of the Senate and doubtlessly choose up a seat, relying on the result of the runoff in Georgia subsequent month. They usually’ll both hold the bulk within the Home of Representatives or watch as Republicans, given the make-up of their caucus, have an ungovernable, tiny, single-digit seat majority. 

Whereas that is trigger for main celebration, as we as soon as once more noticed a big and numerous coalition rise as much as defeat MAGA extremism for the third election in a row, Democrats shouldn’t and can’t relaxation on their midterm success, nor fake the menace to our democracy has handed. 

Now could be the time to double down on what obtained us right here within the first place.

Democrats received largely as a result of President Biden and congressional Democrats prioritized, handed, and campaigned on one of the crucial profitable two-year stretches of legislative victories in current historical past. The insurance policies enacted by Democrats positively impacted extensive swaths of the general public and never solely energized the bottom—together with the military of grassroots volunteers and activists, many individuals of shade, who helped ship victory on Election Day—but additionally appealed to Independents and even some Republicans. 

They handed the American Rescue Plan, which helped reopen faculties; funded the vaccine rollout; and expanded the Little one Tax Credit score, which minimize youngster poverty by 40 %. They enacted the Inflation Discount Act, which lastly made firms start to pay their justifiable share in taxes, made the most important funding ever in combating local weather change, and delivered on prescription drug reform. They handed bipartisan laws on gun reform, infrastructure, and rising home manufacturing. They usually added to those legislative accomplishments with government actions to cancel a big quantity of pupil debt, rejoin the Paris Settlement on local weather change, shield reproductive freedom, broaden LGBTQ+ rights, and reform the nation’s out-of-date hashish laws.

Briefly, Democrats delivered daring insurance policies that can have actual impression and confirmed they’re a accountable governing social gathering that can arise for democracy and our primary rights and freedoms. And in the event that they need to win in 2024, they will need to do the identical once more. 

To state the apparent, a Republican-controlled Home—whatever the measurement of their majority—hellbent on political revenge and extra excited about investigating Hunter Biden than financial coverage, will make matching the legislative success of the final two years not possible. Nevertheless it makes the necessity for Democrats to go on offense and never enable obstructionist Republicans to outline the political enjoying area much more vital and pressing. 

So whereas Republicans will spend tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in taxpayers’ cash pursuing pointless investigations and impeachments, Democrats within the Senate should use their majority to proceed to point out they’re critical about governing for the individuals and try and go daring laws to enhance individuals’s lives. Democrats should draw the stark distinction between the 2 events’ priorities and governing philosophies. 

Senate Democrats ought to do one other giant reconciliation bundle, proceed to combat to make sure the highest 1 % pay their justifiable share in taxes, sustain their historic tempo of confirming federal judges, and advance laws to guard reproductive freedom, marriage equality, and the liberty to vote. Even when all or none of it may possibly go the Home. 

Voters simply rewarded Democrats’ daring technique of the final two years. Now could be the second to maintain going massive and let voters see who’s standing in the way in which of defending their households, their freedoms, and their futures. 

President Biden must match this aggressive legislative technique with equally aggressive government motion. As a result of the prospect of passing significant laws by a Republican-controlled Home will not be nice, the president should use the ability of his bully pulpit and his pen to assist drive the nationwide narrative. He should each outline Republicans by their plans to intestine Social Safety, Medicare, and Medicaid—and by their pure obstructionism—and use government authority to advance reproductive rights, civil rights, immigration, and LGBTQ+ rights, in addition to tackle company pursuits resembling Large Pharma, the expertise platforms, Wall Road, and others.  

Whereas the menace from Donald Trump and Trumpism has not handed, this election proved the Republican Occasion and its excessive MAGA agenda signify a loud however shrinking minority. Democrats should now use their Senate majority and the powers of the presidency to make sure that the loud minority doesn’t proceed to set the phrases of the talk and management the political and media narrative. The easiest way to do this is to repeat the successful method of the final two years: Set forth a optimistic, people-centered imaginative and prescient for the nation and our democracy, join with individuals on the problems most vital to them, and combat day-after-day to enhance individuals’s lives. 

Too typically, Washington’s response to separate authorities is inaction. Democrats can’t let that occur. They usually can’t relaxation on the success of this election. 

The 2024 election will not be coming; it’s right here now. And Democrats must ship—once more. 

Epting is government director of MoveOn, and Praeli is co-president of Group Change Motion