But that reasoning takes for granted that the normal rules still apply.
Considering the GOP’s recent lawlessness, its wholesale abandonment of democratic norms, that conviction feels … quaint.
You’d do well to take a lesson from Abraham Lincoln.
Initially, his goal in the Civil War had little to do with ending slavery. No, he only wanted to get back to normal, to restore “the Union as it was.”
Eventually, though, he came to see that this was impossible: The old union was gone, and he would have to make a new one.
That’s when he became determined to eradicate slavery. That’s why he spoke at Gettysburg about “a new birth of freedom.”
Like Lincoln, Democrats are fixated on restoring the Union as it was. Meaning, before polarization and misinformation, before disaffection and insurrection, before crazy came to town, chaos trailing in its wake.
Well, at some point, Democrats must realize, as Lincoln did, that the old Union cannot be restored.
Too much has happened, too much has changed. Consider that a new poll finds two-thirds of Southern Republicans favoring a course Lincoln knew all too well: secession.
In other words, senator, this is not your father’s America.
Yet Democrats like you continue to believe “normal” is a place to which we can return.
One can almost admire your obstinacy. Lincoln, too, had a dogged faith in this country; nothing wrong with that.
But Lincoln was also pragmatic and creative enough to understand that, separate from losing the war, he was also losing the argument — and that to win, he had to take the fight to higher ground.
Your party, by contrast, talks a good game.
That’s what your tweet was about, what President Joe Biden’s voting-rights speech last week was about.
But your talk is cheap. This is a moment of existential urgency. It calls on Democrats to be creative, committed and bold.
Like Lincoln, you must take the fight to higher ground and found a new nation: one without gerrymandering, dark money and voter suppression, one where every voice gets its say.
In other words, a democracy.
We could have that, but first you Democrats must let go of “the Union as it was.”
And embrace the Union as it could be.