The Republican Party… Beyond Paleness
Mitch McConnell, gentleman that he is, let us know that he plans to launch a “burnt earth” politics if the Democrats kill the filibuster. To be precise, he simply plans to maintain the scorched earth policy he has practiced since becoming majority leader in 2015. He has done everything in his power to block any legislation put forward by the Democrats and overturn everything that was passed during the Obama presidency. Despite his recent plea for bipartisanship he obviously never believed in it.
He could easily fill a multi-volume memoir with his efforts as a the grim Reaper, he might title it “The Life and Times of a Shameless Hypocrite”. Sure hypocrisy starts at the top and extends deep into what was once The Grand Old Party. Although he can no longer govern by tweet, the former president still dominates the party thanks to the dedication of its basis and few Republican officials dare challenge him.
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) has been criticized as too expensive by Republicans, while the $1.8 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) of 2020 was adopted and signed by the former president as McConnell and his minions. was smiling in the background, but to be fair, there were differences. ARPA was a Democratic bill signed by a Democratic president with the majority of benefits going to low- and middle-income Americans. The CARES Act was a Republican bill signed by a Republican president that provided lavish perks to the wealthy who were not suffering economically and in many cases were increase their wealth during the pandemic.
ARPA also included debt relief farmers of color and it drew the ire of some like Austin Scott (R-GA) who, with a full measure of white privilege displayed, said: “There is no evidence of discrimination. You, by virtue of your skin color or ethnic origin, receive 120% of your loan balance. Sorry, Austin, but after nearly 500 years of systemic racism in this country, being black or any color other than white is proof enough of discrimination.
Taxes on the rich are, by Republican standards, still too high, so their efforts to eliminate the “death tax” have recently been repeated again. While decrying an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 and stimulus payments to $1,400 as unaffordable, Republicans saw no problem again, introducing a bill to repeal the inheritance tax which would provide the wealthiest in the United States with a tax break of $1.7 trillion. Falsely portraying as a burden on small family farms and family businesses, they made it one of their favorite tactics to divert attention from needed social reforms.
While Republicans, with more or less sincerity, condemned the January 6and insurrection on Capitol Hill, they are loath to cooperate fully in the establishment of a bipartisan commission to investigate the events. Naturally, their choice would be to put their efforts (along with those of the former president and the invading white supremacists) to illegally nullify the results of a fair election behind them. Seeking a broader and completely independent reach, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a red herring saying, “What other things happened as well? With Antifa, and others, I think there should be a lot of investigation. Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson continued to fan the flames by try to blame Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the Insurrection.
Not one to miss the chance again, put her foot in her mouth, Johnson, going downright racist, said, “I knew they were people who love this country, who really respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, so I wasn’t worried.” “Now, if the tables had been turned, – this is going to get me in trouble – if the tables had been turned and President Trump had won the election and tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and antifa, I might have to be a little worried. Never mind that, unlike the Capitol insurgents on January 6, the Black Lives Matter protests that have unfolded throughout the year, have been Peaceful.
Those struggling to retain their grip on political power sometimes rely on racism, classism, hypocrisy and outright lies, even if honest people don’t like it. Yet power explains why Republicans continue to disenfranchise voters by gerrymandering electoral districts, suppressing the vote and, as we saw after the November election, outright attempts to reject legitimate votes. Again, these efforts have outright racism in them and there doesn’t seem to be any depths Republicans won’t stoop to. Following the loss of the 2020 presidential election, 43 states are trying to pursue remove vote. Apparently, if you can’t win fairly, you have to rig the game. The integrity of state election laws has been questioned even though in many states these laws were written by Republican legislatures. They cried fraud because the former president lost, even as the downgraded Republicans won on the same ballot.
Wisconsin was once known as the laboratory of democracy, but Republicans have scattered those ideals to the wind, thanks to politicians like Ron Johnson who, in his own way, like former Senator Joe McCarthy, seems to have no decency. Wisconsin Republican lawmakers, not to be outdone by Johnson, recently passed a resolution honoring the former radio host Rush Limbaugh, but couldn’t bring themselves to honor Black History Month.
It makes you wonder how it all went so terribly wrong, so far from pale.