It's 2020, and even the most jejune commentators are bored to death of the constant belaboring of the utter irony of 20/20 vision in the American dystopia of 2020. The very idea that anybody in the government, ensnared as it is in a gridlock so crippling that it can best be described as more akin to rigor mortis, has vision is ludicrous on the face of it. Polls show that amazingly Congress is even more unpopular than ever, scoring far below tech help, used car and insurance salesmen, and even below vegans.
A small but dedicated cadre of the most-conservative of Republican House members, who because of gerrymandering have safe districts as long as they act like bombthrowers instead of reasonable legislators, have managed to stall almost every bill since January of 2019, even shutting down the federal government multiple times, using the always reliable debt ceiling as a cudgel.
Adding to the general chaos has been Democratic representatives staging sit-ins whenever there is a mass shooting, which has averaged about once a month of late. And, if that's not enough, Black Lives Matter demonstrators have staged raucous protests and shut down major thoroughfares in Washington, D.C. out of frustration with the continuing inaction of the federal government. Throw the Democratic governors of California, New York, and a handful of other states threatening to declare their entire states Sanctuary States unless comprehensive immigration reform is immediately implemented into the mix, and you get the general idea that the Obama-era dysfunction is now on steroids.
And all because of a computer program called Maptitude . After the 2010 elections, Republican operatives were able to use it to draw districts that resembled Rorschach blots that with computerized precision were able to combine different African-American communities for a Democratic district, and then with the African-Americans safely ensconced in one Democratic-safe district draw several districts that would be Republicans-insured districts for years to come, regardless of the outcome of presidential elections.
Before the midterms, Democrats were able to work with a handful of Republicans in order to pass a modest raise in the federal minimum wage, a substantial but inadequate infrastructure bill, and some tinkering at the edges of what was once called Obamacare. In 2018, almost all those Republicans who committed the deadly sin of cooperating with Democrats were soundly defeated by opponents so conservative they'd make Ronald Reagan look like the head of Politburo.
In 2020, President Hillary Clinton has her hands full. Like her husband, she has been impeached by the House, and now, faces trial in the Senate. After her electoral college landslide victory in 2016, Republicans knew not to despair. They bided their time, until the midterm elections, when the electorate favors them by being whiter and older than the general population. And it paid off because of America's unique mid-term elections when a small percentage of voters can essentially overturn what the larger, more representative electorate in a presidential election year voted for.
So the umpteenth rumor of the death of the Republican Party proved to be wrong yet again. In 2018, the House increased its Republican majority, while the Senate reverted back to Republican control. Facing a do-nothing Congress in the midst of out-right revolt, President Clinton decided to do the only thing she could -- issue executive orders on a variety of issues, including immigration and the environment. Taking none of that lying down, Republicans played their trump card, so to speak, and got a special prosecutor with an open-ended mandate. After months of testimony, Republican researchers announced they found the smoking gun, what they believed to be perjured testimony given by the President , ironically not on Benghazi or emails, but on some inconsequential documents that one of the many congressional committees investigating her had subpoenaed.
Besides impeachment, the Republican-led House hasn't done much, except busy itself with largely symbolic votes to overturn completely or partially what was once called Obamacare, but is now derisively labeled Hillarycare. The running tally now is 75 votes against and counting.
Of course, 2020 is also an election year, and what a race it's been. Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, former TV-star Scott Baio, and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame lead another "yuge" pack of Republican presidential (and Fox News) hopefuls.
Amazingly after their last electoral drubbing, the Republican field has even outdone the Trump of 2016 in their xenophobic, anti-immigrant rants. They promise not only to build a wall but to send troops to the border to stop disease-infested, gang-banging, criminal Mexican and Central American immigrants or, depending on the day or audience, to stop ISIS-inspired terrorists who are, they claim, sneaking in the US by the truckload.
And yet, multiple polls have shown that the American electorate has moved even further to the left, fewer and fewer identifying as conservative or Republican. Hefty majorities now favor a single-payer system of national health insurance and giving the undocumented a path to citizenship. And, it's widely agreed that President Clinton, if she survives her impeachment trial, will be reelected easily.
If she does, the Republican drought in winning the popular vote for the presidency will then stretch to twice in 32 years, a truly horrendous record, almost unparalleled in American history. But with the inspired scheming of the Republicans, each Democratic victory has proven diaphanous, almost-Pyrrhic-like. They can win the presidency, but can't do anything once they're elected.
The net effect is that we have a center-right government of a center-left country with your average citizen left with no way to effectively change government policies -- all because of a well-financed and well-organized political minority interested more in fundraising and doing the bidding of the billionaire class than in governance. In 2020, I promise you, you won't need 20/20 vision to see the system is utterly broken.