Intimidation Carries the Day for Republicans

There no hill too steep to climb for Republicans in their war against government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” Their goal is to have it “perish from the earth.” Too soon forgotten are Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg as the great man hoped and prayed for unity.

I’m reading an article from a publication called The Hill, written by columnist Alexander Bolton and titled “GOP senators say Warren nomination would divide Republicans.”

Really?

Is that how they feel after jamming through a Supreme Court nomination two weeks before an election, although eight months was way too close for an Obama nomination? A smirking Mith McConnell saw no irony in that.

A shot-over-the-bow before Biden takes office

The opening paragraph reads,

Senate Republicans are warning that President-elect Joe Biden would spark “a fight” if he were to nominate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or former national security adviser Susan Rice to his Cabinet.”

Warning, are they?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember Democrats ever making such a preemptive statement prior to the seating of a Republican president. There are those in politics who strive to bring back some degree of bipartisan comity to our damaged legislative bodies and those who pour gasoline on an already blazing conflagration.

It seems Senate republicans have staked out their ground on that matter, voting for gasoline. Personally, I find it too obviously a repeat of the Obama treatment. Mitch said publically that holding Obama to a one-term presidency was the single goal for the Republican party.

Democrats never said that about Trump, letting his own Trumpiness, lies, tweets and a national election speak for itself. They just doggedly continue to reach out, whether leading or following and keep getting their fingers rapped with a ruler for the effort and sent to bed without their supper by a party that has nothing left but racism, white superiority, fear and evangelical hatred to offer.

Case in point, Biden is looking to heal a badly divided electorate and the Republican contribution toward that goal is to deny he won the election.

The match over spilt gasoline was struck by Newt Gingrich

In his brief period as Speaker of the House of Representatives (1995-99), Gingrich instructed his fellow Republicans to use words such as “betray, bizarre, decay, destroy, devour, greed, lie, pathetic, radical, selfish, shame, sick, steal, and traitors” when characterizing Democrats in the House and Senate. At least he had them alphabetically arranged.

That rhetoric defines their stated goal of impeaching Bill Clinton, enabling Dick Cheney to start two endless wars, trying to deny Barack Obama a second term and their four-year support of the most divisive president in my memory. Those positions were both annoying and dissentious, but their effect over time was to deaden the senses and bottle-up dissent.

Gingrich left the House in 1999 under a cloud of ethics violations, as seems to be the case in Republican administrations. But, although the song had ended, the melody lingers on even today as Newt remains the Republican go-to guy in partisan politics.

So, what now?

It seems like Newt pried open Pandora’s box of evils. That’s Greek mythology, but in modern times its’ come to mean “any source of great and unexpected troubles.”

A pandemic, perhaps? A rise in confrontations between far-right and liberal-left, that brings armed protesters into our streets as if it were normal? Possibly those ‘troubles’ might include the chronic poor, homeless, imprisoned, jobless or hungry, lingering just below the public consciousness in the most wealthy nation on the planet.

In any event, Theognis of Megara (surely you remember a 6th-century BC Greek poet) wrote that

“Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind; the others have left and gone to Olympus. Trust, a mighty god has gone, Restraint has gone from men and the Graces, my friend, have abandoned the earth.

Men’s judicial oaths are no longer to be trusted, nor does anyone revere the immortal gods; the race of pious men has perished and men no longer recognize the rules of conduct or acts of piety.”

Whoa. History may not repeat, but it surely rhymes

It pretty much stuns me that we seem so lost at the moment. A president who lacks the sense to concede his loss and the media goes nuts—what will we do if he won’t leave? Is this a coup against the government? Will he call out the military and declare himself the winner?

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

Somehow we’ve been duped in a mere four years to hate our opponents and tag fake news on whatever we choose not to agree with. We’ve come to blithely allow our president to conduct foreign and domestic policy on Twitter, without so much as a passing interest in the traditional levers of government available to him.

He finds no argument against this behavior in either the media or his party.

In fact, both are enablers—the first for profit and the second in fear. Fear of their president—the leader of their own party. Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell turned to mushy turd-blossoms of what they once were, or thought they were.

Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a men’s character, give him power.”

Yep. Thank you, Abe.

Extraordinary

A hundred years ago, Mark Twain concluded that

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

Excuse my tendency to quote. You may find it annoying, but there’s connective-tissue between Theognis, Lincoln and Twain.

Exit Newt Gingrich and enter Donald Trump.

Graham and McConnell could have been the saviors of their party but fear has driven-them-to-ground like foxes before hounds. There is apparently no end to the self-serving workings of the Republican Party in pursuit of its own interests over the well-being of the nation, half of which they represent. They were once my party, my father’s and grandfather’s party and we collectively hang our heads in shame.

It will not serve them well to be on the wrong side of history

The man Lindsey and Mitch have chosen to serve destroyed every asset he ever touched and now has all but ruined our republic and its reputation in the world.

Biden would “spark a fight, would he?”

It seems that ten-round fight has been going on for forty years. It’s probably well past its sell-by date.

 

 


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