Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Clowns To The Right Of Us

Obvious for years, Republicans have become incapable of governing except, when having sufficient majorities, in ways that benefit their wealthy patrons. It’s no longer subject to doubt. What we’re witnessing now is that they can’t govern for anyone. And, notwithstanding their congenital inability to take personal responsibility, preferring to place blame anywhere and on anyone else, it’s altogether their own doing.

It started with Newt Gingrich, still lionized on rightwing indoctrination media, the philandering wife-cheater, once and still perfectly described as “the stupid person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.” If earth was smoldering before he sank to Speaker of the House, he immediately took a blowtorch to it, calling for and getting the end of bipartisanship. Which pleased their big donors, even if (or because) it did nothing for average citizens.

Aware of their exceptionally unpopular agendas but desiring perpetual power, in every state whose legislatures they control, Republicans are taking legal (as long as their hypocritically created, bought-and-paid-for SCOTUS majority remains) gerrymandering to unseen extremes, freezing out the opposition, assuring majority control despite having a minority of voters. They’re sneaky and good at it.

Eschewing the idea of democracy and free and fair voting, they proceed even though it means electing unqualified, irrational people to state and federal office. There might be a bit less gloating over their success now that a couple of handfuls of their not-best are making current congressional Republicans, in the words of one of their own, “look like a bunch of idiots.”

Having ejected Speaker-In-Name-Only Kevin McCarthy (R-Jell-O), the best they could propose for his replacement were, initially, a man who spoke at white supremacist rallies and compared himself favorably to the Grand Wizard of the KKK; and another, who’d done nothing about a pedophile team doctor while assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State, a January 6 insurrection insider who voted to decertify the election and remains a denier, who’s been literally in contempt of Congress for two years and figuratively for his whole career, who sponsored a Constitutional amendment to ban abortion nationwide without exceptions, who called a ten-year-old rape victim from his own state a liar, who personifies government weaponization and is the dictionary photo next to “witch hunt.” His made-for-Fox, committee-chair “gotcha” questions were regularly shot down with facts from Democrats.

Abetted by Fox “news” Trumpagandists, who threaten reprisals to naysayers from their viewers, that person, Jim Jordan (R-Trump), deployed his minions to intimidate, menace, and dox “no” Republicans. And their wives. When you can’t win on merit, bully. Nice. Gingrichian nice. And on-brand. MAGA’s brand, because Jordan is Trump.

The paramount job of Speaker is wrangling votes to pass legislation; something at which, no matter what you think of her, Nancy Pelosi was exceptionally successful. Ranked fifth from the bottom by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, in his sixteen-year career, Jordan has proposed scant bills, and only one that passed, even in his own House. If, knowing all this, their party selects him, honorable conservatives should abandon it like the submerging sloop it’s become.

Ironically, Republican efforts to marginalize all opposition might be what brings a return to something like bipartisanship, if only temporarily. If enough “never Jordan” Republicans maintain spine, the only solution to the current paralysis will be selecting as Speaker someone on whom enough Republicans and Democrats can agree. Democrats stand ready to support just such a person, Hakeem Jeffries, well-liked and respected, thoughtful and calm, a constant caller for bipartisanship.

Failing that, getting enough Democrats on board by proposing a reasonable Republican would make the Crazy Caucus irrelevant, something, it’s clear, non-crazy Republican members would love to see. As added incentive for such bipartisanship, indicted liar George Santos’ (R-Brazil) promised to resign if there’s cooperation.

Some pundits and politicians have said Democrats should have voted to save McCarthy’s asinine. Perhaps, but it’s worth noting that not a single Republican ever voted for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. And, even as his support was teetering, McCarthy vowed not to turn to Democrats; and he’d spent most of his Speakership lying about President Biden and Democrats while kowtowing to Freedom(-hating) Caucus nihilists; making Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Space lasers), of all people, Speaker Pro Tempore. Hoping people will notice this astronomical dysfunction and vote accordingly in 2024, Democrats are right to popcorn, as Republicans remove all doubt about what they’ve become.

The Trumpofoxified will keep sending to Congress people like Greene, Boebert, Gaetz, Gosar, Tuberville, Cruz, et awful ad infinitum, so the only way to produce legislation helpful to all Americans, even the MAGA cult, is for non-oxymoronic sensible Republicans to return to pre-Gingrich times, when meaningful progress resulted from trans cooperation.

Note: These columns are sent in by Wednesday evening. We’ve yet to know the resolution of the Speakership debacle, if any. We do know Jordan lost the second vote with less support than first time, and that Rep. Jeffries received more votes than Jordan, both times. Such is the self-made bed in which Trumpojordanistas lie. Both meanings.

1 comment:

  1. "The lawmakers have done so by the rigorous use of two forms of privilege: the better known attorney-client privilege and what is known as legislative privilege, which allows elected members of state legislatures to deliberate in private."

    Sounds familiar? The coup was built on that foundation. So is the mob.

    That Propublica article referenced is a real eye opener for those that do not have intimate knowledge of the minutia involved in Gerrymandering.

    "Finally, they relied on GOP map-drawers who worked for law firms, which allowed lawmakers to assert that the maps were “legal advice.”"

    Once again, the foundation on which the coup was built on. One "alleged conspirator" after another claimed "privilege". Attempt after attempt to delay. It's not working out as planned for the alt right christian nationalists. Texas is the unwashed taint of America. Once the oil market crashes they are doomed.


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