Elsewhere, I've had the temerity to offer some proposals for how the Democratic Congress might help get America back on track, even despite Republican obstructionism and presidential vetoes.
Now I'd like to present two more that are urgently related to this present primary season.
First: Democrats (especially Barack Obama) should start laying down rhetorical points in case of a terror attack or other major disaster, between now and November.
Second: There are five distinct reasons why the "Florida and Michigan problem" can only be solved by calling fresh caucuses. Indeed, this imbroglio can be turned from a lemon into fantastically beneficial lemonade.
--------Suggestion #1 Preparing for the worst----
What are the odds that America will suffer some kind of major attack or catastrophe, during the run-up to our national elections in November?
Yes, it sounds paranoid. But bear with me. Whether or not you have a penchant for conspiracy theories, a basic fact is that it would take something huge -- perhaps devastating -- to pull the Republicans' hash out of this fire they have made. So, why not take out a little bit of insurance, by preparing the mental landscape just a little?
One doesn't have to envision this as part of a plot. After all, our present leaders have been screeching this very possibility in our ears, declaring "emergency!" (largely as an excuse to cancel normal contracting rules) for most of a decade. Shall we not take them at their word and at least prepare, just a little?
It is vital for a mental and spiritual bulwark be established, to ensure that any such tragedy will not benefit those who brought America into this mess. Just a few basic talking points could provide that bulwark. Especially if someone like Barack Obama were to go on record that:
1) Urban America knows it is in the cross-hairs, and that "it is not a matter of if, but when" we will take another big hit. At one level, we are all citizens first. We are firm in our resolve to stand by each other. To not let our nation or its values be changed.
2) In any event, we can be assured that the next victims will respond with the same resilience that was shown by citizens of New York, Washington, Boston and Pennsylvania, back on September 11, 2001, a day when empowered citizenship made all the difference.
3) The scandalous decline in U.S. readiness must be reversed. Bill Clinton left George W. Bush 30 fully ready brigades, we now have none. Not even one. The list goes on and on. It will be a campaign issue! But establishing the point early will make any summertime attack our issue, not theirs.
4) Even leaving out such specifics, some general, rhetorical riffs about "fear vs resilience" would give people across the nation a resonant feeling, that any sudden emergency will be yet another a reason to choose change, not a cause to cling to bad leadership.
It isn't too early to be saying these things, or to be erecting thoughts of firmness in the minds of our fellow citizens. Indeed, if these notions are erected, it may help to prevent such a dire event from happening, at all.
If you get my drift.
------ Suggestion #2 The importance of being caucused -----
I am really hoping that the Democrats will decide to hold fresh caucuses, in Michigan and Florida. It is by-far a better solution than either disenfranchising those states at the convention, or else seating disputed delegations.
1) Spur-of-the-moment caucuses would be laborious, but not terribly onerous to hold. Especially in a year when volunteers can be had simply by opening a door.
2) All bitterness or fairness issues, leftover from the earlier disbarring of Florida and Michigan results, would vanish. People in those states should be thrilled to be given a last-minute chance to be the most important deciders in a close race.
3) Anyway, most democrats and independents simply did not vote, in those earlier events. Hundreds of thousands were told their votes wouldn't count. In Michigan, only one major and one minor candidate were on the ballot. Seating a delegation so-selected would simply be a travesty. (As one of you said: "Senator Clinton will almost certainly STILL win Florida. It's loaded with her strongest Demographics. That's fine. But let's have a fair process.")
4) Who could turn down the chance to throw a vast "Democratic Party Festival" in two states that will be vital in November? In fact, two that were pivotal the last two presidential elections?
What a fantastic opportunity! Just by throwing these caucuses... and letting independents come too... Democrats could create unbeatable buzz and momentum, causing many crossover voters to identify with the general movement... and incidentally benefiting candidates for state and local offices, across both states.
Indeed, the caucuses needn't cost very much. This year? Simply ask the people of Florida and Michigan for donations to pay for it! Ask. You shall receive.
5) However much energy Hillary and Barack pour into organizing in those two states, both of the resulting volunteer pools would be available to serve as ground troops, when they are needed in November.
These advantages are simply overwhelming.
In contrast, the fact that Obama does better at caucuses may tempt Hillary to try to seat the earlier-selected, highly questionable delegations. This will be divisive and bitterly resented. Especially since there is an alternative, one that has a general correlation with fairness.