Is Bipartisanship Dead Or Merely Asleep?

Many of us have often spoken of ‘bipartisanship’, especially as it relates to the business of the United States Congress.  It’s a no-brainer, for no one party has all the best ideas and a collaboration between both parties is likely to lead to laws that are fair to all.  In theory, at least.  Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson gives us his views on bipartisanship and how impossible it has become in the reality of today’s political climate …


Bipartisanship is overrated, especially with these Republicans

Opinion by 

Eugene Robinson

Columnist

May 27, 2021 at 4:07 p.m. EDT

Bipartisanship is overrated. President Biden and Democrats in Congress should stop fetishizing it and get on with the work they know must be done.

Of course, it would be nice if a serious, responsible Republican Party willing to stand up for its principles, make substantive policy proposals and negotiate in good faith existed. As is becoming obvious, though — even to the high priest of the hands-across-the-aisle cult, Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) — no such Republican Party exists. Today’s GOP is so unserious and unprincipled that it will not even support a blue-ribbon commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

“There is no excuse for any Republican to vote against this commission since Democrats have agreed to everything they asked for,” Manchin said Thursday on Twitter. “[Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell has made this his political position, thinking it will help his 2022 elections. They do not believe the truth will set you free, so they continue to live in fear.”

His continued fealty to the filibuster notwithstanding, Manchin’s statement seemed intended to draw a line in the sand beyond which he’s not willing to give McConnell an effective veto over almost all legislation in the name of process.

If so, it’s about time. Voters snatched control of the Senate away from the Republicans and handed it to the Democrats. It’s reasonable to assume that those voters wanted forthright leadership, not hapless surrender.

McConnell’s decision to oppose the Jan. 6 commission is the perfect test case for the starry-eyed view — held by Manchin, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and a few others who are less vocal about it — that the Senate can still be made to function the way it did in the past.

Even though McConnell declared earlier this month that “one hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration,” surely the GOP would agree that there should be a comprehensive, nonpartisan investigation of the violent invasion of the Capitol, which left scores of police officers injured and endangered members of Congress as well as then-vice president Mike Pence. Surely, as Manchin said Thursday, there must be at least 10 Republicans willing to vote to advance legislation that has already been shaped and reshaped to accommodate the GOP’s demands. Right?

Wrong. Given McConnell’s opposition, only a few GOP senators seem prepared to support the commission bill. The Capitol had not been breached since British troops sacked and burned it in 1814. But McConnell and the Republicans are taking the position that there is nothing worthwhile to be learned by a wide-angle investigation, conducted in a setting less rancorous than congressional committees, and that it is already time to move on.

McConnell’s reasons are purely political. He does not want to anger former president Donald Trump, whose support he and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) believe they need to regain control of Congress in 2022. He does not want GOP senators and House members to have to answer inconvenient questions about their own possible roles in the Jan. 6 insurrection. He does not want Republican candidates having to answer questions about Trump’s “stolen election” lies as they campaign for the midterm elections. And he does not want to give Biden and the Democrats anything they can tout as a “win.”

The question that Biden, Manchin and others obsessed with bipartisanship must ask themselves is this: If Republicans will filibuster and block a thorough investigation into a shocking, violent, unprecedented attack on our democracy, why would they hesitate to obstruct everything else the Democrats might propose, no matter how worthy or necessary?

The White House described the Republican counteroffer on the infrastructure bill as “encouraging.” Given that the proposal nominally spends only about half of what Biden has proposed — and actually allocates even less new funding overall and none for initiatives Biden describes as vital, such as moving to a clean-energy economy — it’s more of an insult.

The GOP appears to see political benefit in coming to an agreement on police reform. But it is unclear whether those negotiations will actually reach the finish line.

And federal legislation to guarantee voting rights — an urgent priority for the Democratic Party — is a total nonstarter for Republicans. Their strategy for regaining power in 2022 appears to consist of putting as many obstacles as possible between the Democratic-leaning electorate and the ballot box.

None of this looks encouraging to me. None of it is good-faith engagement. The only glimmer of light is Manchin’s growing frustration with McConnell’s obstructionism.

Bipartisan consensus on these issues would be ideal. A sincere effort to improve Democratic bills would at least be something. But the alternative cannot be to let Republicans control the Biden administration’s agenda. Choosing powerlessness in the name of an abstract principle isn’t just weak. It’s an unseemly sacrifice of everything else Democrats say matters.

Snarky Snippets — Continued

Lest you thought I was finished being snarky with yesterday’s ‘snarky snippets’, never fear, I have not yet run out of things about which to snark.


Back in 2016, I wrote two posts (links below) about Ammon Bundy, the head of the Bundy clan of thugs who illegally occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon for 41 days.  He is a cattle rancher who has thumbed his nose at the law more than a few times.  And guess what?  He is running for governor of Idaho next year, despite the fact that at present, he is banned from the Idaho State Capitol for one year from last August after being arrested there twice in as many days.  Check out this newscast of his arrest(s) …

I don’t know much about Idaho, but if they elect this fruitcake as their governor, then I know it’s a state I will never want to even pass through on the way to elsewhere!  Oh, and Bundy was one of the people who was given a presidential pardon by the former guy … go figure.

Links to posts about Bundy and the Malheur standoff in 2016:

So … Who Is Right? or … Filosofa Takes on the Ranchers …

7 Thugs Go Free — Blind & Deaf Jury


The headline read:  Ivanka Plays Dumb in Sworn Deposition and I had to laugh!  Ivanka does not need to play dumb …


I briefly mentioned yesterday that there had been another mass shooting, this one in San Jose, California, but at the time I wrote that post, there were few details available.  We now know that nine people and one monster were killed, the monster being the shooter who, according to police, then turned the gun on himself.  Co-workers say that Samuel Cassidy, who was an employee at the VTA facility where the shooting took place, he had a seemingly split personality, and a neighbor described him as ‘reclusive’.

The victims of this shooting are:

  • Taptejdeep Singh, 36
  • Adrian Balleza, 29
  • Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35
  • Timothy Michael Romo, 49
  • Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40
  • Paul Delacruz Megia, 42
  • Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63
  • Lars Kepler Lane, 63
  • Alex Ward Fritch, 49

The shooter’s father learned of his son’s involvement and death from a phone call by the media.

President Biden issued a statement saying …

“Enough. Once again, I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America.”

We all know that he might have better luck wishing for the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy to solve the problem of America’s gun culture, for Congress … at least the Republicans in Congress … have made it abundantly clear that they have NO intention of passing ANY form of gun legislation.

This makes 61 mass shootings in the U.S. in the month of May alone!  Get off your asses, Republicans, take off your damned blinders!  And voters – please note that your Republican members of Congress do not give one royal hoot about your life, else they would be working overtime to draft gun control legislation right this minute!  Instead, they are working to block any laws about guns.


Every Saturday, I receive a newsletter from Warren Davidson, the representative for my district in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Now, Warren is an ass, pure and simple – he is, after all, a Republican.  He’s also a member of the House Freedom Caucus, the most abominable of the lot.  But last Saturday’s newsletter had one point that made me literally want to smack Mr. Davidson upside the head:

“This week, I continued to build support for my new bill, the Fauci’s Incompetence Requires Early Dismissal (FIRED) Act. Introduced last week, this bill would place a 12-year term limit on appointees for Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a post Dr. Fauci has held since 1984. Americans agree that Dr. Fauci has sown more confusion around the COVID 19 pandemic than he has confidence.”

Warren Davidson, a man without a single shred of scientific or medical education, knows more than the most well-respected expert in the field???  Hopefully, his bill will fail to make it out of the meeting room, let alone into the chamber for a vote!  Surely even most Republicans have better sense than Davidson!


What Are Our Options?

At some point today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will call a vote to end debate on the creation of a bipartisan commission to study the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6. It will — barring some massive change — fail, doomed by the unwillingness of 10 (or more) Senate Republicans to vote for it.  Mitch McConnell has given Republicans their marching orders:  vote against it, or else.  Mitch and every other Republican are clearly eager to make the events of January 6th disappear.  I believe that if they could, they would remove January 6th from the calendar altogether.

The primary reason Republicans are so damned determined to erase January 6th from our memories is the 2022 mid-term election.  If, when the likes of Kevin McCarthy, Matt Gaetz, Margie Greene and others come up for re-election, January 6th is still clearly in our minds, and if by then some of this crew have been shown to have played a role in the events of the day, their chances for returning to Congress in 2023 are slim-to-none.  Which is as it should be, but … Republicans don’t play by the rulebook, they play for power and are perfectly willing to break every rule in the book, even as it hurts the very people they claim to represent.

So, the idea of a commission to investigate is going to be dead on arrival by the close of today.  What next?  We simply cannot let it drop, cannot ever forget this any more than we can forget 9/11, for it was a threat to our country, our lives.  Washington Post journalist Greg Sargent recently interviewed political scientist Norman Ornstein about the options open to us.  I found it a thoughtful and thought-provoking dialog …


Republicans are likely to kill the Jan. 6 commission. But we have other options.

Opinion by

Greg Sargent

Columnist

May 19, 2021 at 4:56 p.m. EDT

Now that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has come out against the commission to examine the Jan. 6 insurrection, it’s looking increasingly like Republicans will kill it. This is especially likely given that Donald Trump has commanded them to end this entire discussion “immediately.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is set to hold a vote Wednesday on the bipartisan deal reached in the lower chamber to create a commission. That compromise was very fair and made concessions to both Republicans and Democrats.

But with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) opposed as well, it’s unlikely to get the stampede of support from House Republicans that might forestall a GOP filibuster in the Senate.

Now what?

Congressional scholar Norman Ornstein is well positioned to explain this moment and where we go from here. That’s because he was an early and very prescient observer of the GOP’s radicalization against democracy who also happens to be an expert on congressional procedure.

I spoke to Ornstein about what happens now. An edited and condensed version of our conversation follows.

Greg Sargent: What are the chances that 10 Republican senators vote for this commission?

Norman Ornstein: Once McConnell flatly opposed any commission, it created an uphill battle for getting 10 Republicans. If you got 50 Republicans in the House, then maybe it could happen. But it’s not likely.

Sargent: Let’s walk through the alternatives. One would be that Nancy Pelosi could set up a select committee tomorrow if she wanted to, right?

Ornstein: Pelosi could craft a plan for a special committee. We’ve had them many times in the House. You’d undoubtedly have the votes to do it.

Sargent: What would a select committee look like and what might be the problems with it?

Ornstein: Most select committees have an even number of members from both parties, because the whole idea is to take them away from being partisan. But there’s nothing that mandates that a select committee have equal Democrats and Republicans.

You could set it up with a slender majority of Democrats or with a larger majority. But the big challenge is the political one. You’d have to let the Speaker and the Minority Leader, or their representatives, choose the members.

Kevin McCarthy is going to do whatever he can, first, to block a committee, and second, to stack it with members designed to turn it into a farce.

Sargent: How can we have a bipartisan select committee investigate an attack that Trump incited against democracy, when one party was heavily complicit in inspiring that attack, doesn’t want to admit its own culpability for that, and is in the process of abandoning democracy?

Ornstein: It’s why I do not believe a select committee can possibly work. Republicans don’t want information to emerge about what happened on Jan. 6. They don’t want to focus on the role of the president — or their own party members.

Sargent: Could you theoretically construct a select committee to give the chair unilateral control over subpoenas?

Ornstein: Yes, you could give the chair unilateral subpoena power. But remember, congressional subpoena power is theoretically extraordinarily powerful. Practically it can be subverted fairly easily. We’ve seen instance after instance of people defying subpoenas, taking it to court, and stretching it out for years.

Sargent: A select committee would have to consist of current members, correct?

Ornstein: Yes.

Sargent: So what is our alternative?

Ornstein: There are two. One I would not like is to have the president create a group by executive order, a commission.

Sargent: You’re talking about something like the Kerner Commission created by LBJ to investigate the causes of urban rioting?

Ornstein: Yes. You could do a Kerner-type commission. And the president could pick some remarkably distinguished Republicans and Democrats to do that kind of inquiry.

For things like the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President Kennedy, there was national consensus that this was a hugely significant thing that we need to get to the bottom of.

We don’t have a party on the Republican side willing to create that national consensus. [So] it’s better if the president is not directly linked to any of this.

The whole assault was based on the “big lie” that Joe Biden didn’t win the election. If Joe Biden creates the group looking into this, it’s going to provide fodder for Trump and his acolytes to turn it against him.

Sargent: There isn’t going to be a serious inquiry into what happened that’s bipartisan.

Ornstein: The only way to make this work otherwise is if we can find a way to have the attorney general pick a group that uses the power of the Justice Department — not like a special prosecutor that can itself bring actions against people, but that could make recommendations where action by prosecutors was warranted or not. Justice Department subpoena power is a completely different matter.

Sargent: What would be the legal authority or mechanism for creating something like this?

Ornstein: The Justice Department has the responsibility to look at potential criminal violations, especially those that involve sedition. So doing it in an innovative fashion makes sense.

Whether the attorney general can do this on his own, I’m not entirely sure. If you had to have some kind of executive order, I’d rather have it done in a fashion that empowers the attorney general to do this [with] a commitment from the attorney general that he’d be hands off once this group were created.

But it seems to me you could be innovative here. The attorney general under the regulations of the Justice Department has some ability to create groups like this.

Sargent: In essence, it would be an investigation to determine whether there was criminality, and then it would produce a report on what happened, no matter what it recommended in terms of criminal charges?

Ornstein: That’s the idea. You could have a public report.

Sargent: There isn’t going to be a bipartisan effort at accountability as long as one party is committed to covering up what happened.

Ornstein: That’s the tragic and infuriating bottom line here. It’s hard to imagine something like this that doesn’t have full buy in from everybody who has a drop of patriotic blood running through his or her veins.

That you have one party which has as a singular goal evading responsibility and covering up what happened is almost beyond description.

Why is the GOP Against The For the People Act?

There are two major issues happening in Congress that the Republicans are hellbent and determined to block. One is the formation of a January 6th commission to attempt to identify all those who contributed in one way or another to the attempted coup at the Capitol on that day. The other is the For The People Act, a bill currently being held up in the Senate that would protect our right to vote, to have a say in our government. I’ll let Jeff tell you more about that one … thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

It’s far past time we start to hold the GOP accountable, especially as it pertains to The For the People Act, already passed as H.R. 1in the House, and S. 1, its mostly similar companion legislation pending in the Senate. It’s a simple question that needs to be asked: Why on earth are you against this piece of legislation?

Because once you take a look at it, you can only wonder what it is that keeps our GOP friends in Congress from supporting the bill. Because, folks, this bill will transform our politics for generations to come if it were to become law. And for the better.

The opportunity to truly remake our democracy in the 21st century is within our grasp. Failure to capitalize is not an option. Yes, we can talk about Senator Joe Manchin, if you’d like, because who in the hell knows where…

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Then They Came For Me

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


You’ve all heard and read this poem, written by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, more than a few times.  Niemöller penned this in 1946, at the end of WWII, the end of the Holocaust that took more than 6 million lives.  It is engraved on a plaque at the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts, and is known worldwide.  The poem speaks volumes and should serve as a warning to people all around the world today.

Here in the United States, they are coming for our voting rights, for our right to have a voice in our government.  They are coming for our right to peacefully protest those things we see happening, such as police brutally killing unarmed Black men.  What will they come for next?

“They” who are coming for our rights are not necessarily who you might think.  Most of us, if asked who ‘they’ are, would likely say “Republicans”.  Understandably, for they are the ones writing the voter suppression bills, the ones writing the bills that now allow people to run down and kill even peaceful protestors.  But the truth of the matter is that the Republicans are but pawns in a much bigger game.  They are puppets being moved like pieces on a chess board by the likes of Charles Koch and other uber-wealthy men who want to ensure their pawns stay in power, to ensure that We the People have only a very limited voice, or preferably in their eyes, no voice in how our government operates.

They work hand-in-hand with the likes of Vladimir Putin to buy politicians such as Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz and more.  They don’t choose the brightest bulbs in the pack to do their dirty work, but the weakest, those who have the most to lose if elections going forward are fair and honest, if every person over the age of 18 in this country has a vote, a voice.

HR1, now S1, For the People Act, would expand voter’s rights, end partisan gerrymandering, increase access to ballot boxes, postal ballots, and the polls.  But, what frightens the shadowy cabals pulling the puppet strings the most is that it would limit secret campaign spending and provide more transparency about political donors, effectively stemming the flow of ‘dark money’ in politics.  None other than the ignoble billionaire Charles Koch has said that congressional republicans would do better to ignore the will of the people and simply kill the bill in Congress.  To whatever extent possible, that is what they will do, and we will never know quite what hit us.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative organization that consistently ‘advised’ the former guy on his staff picks, recognized that the For the People Act is tremendously popular almost equally among democrats and republicans, so they have encouraged members of Congress to subject the bill to the filibuster and shut it down before it ever sees the light of day.  That is precisely what they are planning to do, and with the help of two Democrats, Joe Manchin from West Virginia, and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

The clock is ticking

Our voting rights are on the auction block … or rather, the chopping block. Why? Because billionaires like Charles Koch, funding organizations like the Heritage Foundation, are using Republicans in Congress as their puppets to impose their will on the people of this country. Right now, their will is to take as many off the voting rolls as possible, by hook or by crook. Blogging friend Brosephus has written this post to show us the lengths to which these people are willing to go to curtail our Constitutional rights. Thanks, Bro.

The Mind of Brosephus

I’m guessing that you’ve seen this video by now. If not, take a few minutes to listen or you can read the article about it that was posted on Mother Jones. Here’s a snippet to digest.

The leaked video reveals the extent to which Heritage is leading a massive campaign to draft and pass model legislation restricting voting access, which has been swiftly adopted this year in the battleground states of Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and Iowa. It’s no coincidence that so many GOP-controlled states are rushing to pass similar pieces of legislation in such a short period of time. 

Republican legislators claim they’re tightening up election procedures to address (unfounded) concerns about fraud in the 2020 election. But what’s really behind this effort is a group of conservative Washington insiders who have been pushing these same kinds of voting restrictions for decades, with the explicit aim of helping Republicans…

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Wait And See

An announcement letter in The Washington Post yesterday caught my eye.  The letter was written by a number of Republicans, including former members of Congress, cabinet members, and governors, and promises … I’m not sure if they are promising an entirely new party, or simply a more centrist, sensible arm of the Republican Party.

I am, by nature, a skeptic … question everything.  Trust nobody.  However, I am pleased to see that in the wake of the abhorrent treatment the party has heaped on not only Liz Cheney, but all who had the integrity to stand against the former guy and his Big Lie, I’m pleased to see that at least some notables in the GOP are not simply lying down and waiting for the bulldozer to flatten them.  I am, for now, taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude toward the whole thing, but will have more to say as I see the direction this group takes, see if they put their money where their collective mouths are.  Meanwhile, read the letter and check out their mission statement and outline with 152 notable signatories of what they hope to achieve.


The GOP has lost its way. Fellow Americans, join our new alliance.

Opinion by Charlie Dent, Mary Peters, Denver Riggleman, Michael Steele and Christine Todd Whitman

May 13, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. EDT

Charlie Dent represented Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 2005 to 2018. Mary Peters was secretary of transportation during the George W. Bush administration. Denver Riggleman represented Virginia’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 2019 to 2021. Michael Steele is a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Christine Todd Whitman was governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001.

The Republican Party made a grievous error this week in ousting Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) from the House leadership for telling the truth about Donald Trump’s “big lie,” which has wreaked havoc in our democratic republic by casting doubt over the 2020 election.

Cheney rightfully struck back against party leaders and warned about the GOP’s dangerous direction. She is not alone.

Alongside dozens of prominent Republicans, ex-Republicans and independents, we are announcing “A Call for American Renewal,” a nationwide rallying cry against extremist elements within the GOP, and highlighting the urgent need for a new, common-sense coalition.

We urge fellow Americans to join us.

Our alliance includes former governors, members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, state officials, seasoned political strategists and grass-roots leaders dedicated to offering a hopeful, principles-based vision for the country — and ensuring that our votes have decisive impact in key elections across the United States.

We want to give voice to the millions of Americans who feel politically homeless and mobilize them to help chart a new path forward for our country.

It is time for a rebirth of the American cause, which we will pursue in partnership and loyal competition with others committed to the preservation of our Union.

Tragically, the Republican Party has lost its way, perverted by fear, lies and self-interest. What’s more, GOP attacks on the integrity of our elections and our institutions pose a continuing and material threat to the nation.

The Jan. 6 insurrection was a wake-up call for many who had remained loyal to the party, even while harboring concerns about its direction.

Many have since left. The GOP has effectively become a privileged third party, ranking behind independents and Democrats in voter registration.

Meanwhile, Republican legislators are trying to impede voting rights across the country as a last-ditch effort to retain power.

We will not wait forever for the GOP to clean up its act. If we cannot save the Republican Party from itself, we will help save America from extremist elements in the Republican Party.

That means hastening the creation of an alternative: a political movement dedicated to our founding principles and divorced from the GOP’s obsessive cult of personality around a deeply flawed (and twice-impeached) man, whose favorability ratings are reportedly tanking in key swing districts around the country.

We will fight for honorable Republicans who stand up for truth and decency, such as Liz CheneyAdam KinzingerLisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney, to name a few.

But we will not rely on the old partisan playbook. We intend to work across party lines with other Americans to oppose extremists and defend the republic wherever we can.

Together with our patriotic allies in other parties, our movement will stand against fearmongers, conspiracy theorists and the opportunists who seek unbridled power.

We plan to invest in a deeper bench of effective leaders in cities and states across the country while recruiting a new generation of principled, pragmatic citizens to the cause.

Some no doubt will urge us to join the Democratic Party. We believe that inching toward a single-party system would be dangerous and would fail to represent the diverse viewpoints in our nation.

America cannot have just one party committed to preservation of its democratic institutions. There must be at least two, if not more.

With Cheney’s dismissal from House leadership, the battle for the soul of the Republican Party — and our country — is not over. It is just beginning, which is why we are forming a “resistance of the rational” against the radicals.

We still hope for a healthy, thriving Republican Party, but we are no longer holding our breath.

Next month, we will convene a nationwide town hall open to all Americans and featuring current and former U.S. leaders who will lay out where we must go from here, how we can ensure a freer America and how all citizens can join the fight.

Extremists may have fired the first shot in this moral struggle for America’s future, but with truth as our lodestar, those laboring to renew America will fire the last.

Open Letter To Republican Members Of Congress

Dear Sir or Madam …

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few things that you have obviously forgotten.  You were not elected to the United States Congress to force your own will or vote for your own wishes, but rather you were elected to represent We the People, to vote in accordance with our wishes, not your own.

When you block legislation that would ensure we are all able to vote in elections, then you are not representing us, for nearly everybody in this country supports allowing everyone the opportunity to vote, to have a voice in our government.  You may remember that we pay taxes in order to have representation.  When you refuse to legislate gun laws that would make this a safer nation for us all, then you are not representing us, for the majority of people across the political divide have expressed a desire for stricter gun laws.

When you put the desires of a former president, whose whims should by all rights be irrelevant, ahead of the needs of the people you are hired to represent, then you do us all a disservice.  In the business world, when you do not do your job well, your boss will fire you.  We the People are your bosses, although you seem to have largely forgotten that, but we are forced to allow you to continue harming us until November 2022, which is the next date we can fire you.  And, of course, you are trying to ensure that those of us who are dissatisfied with your performance will not be given a voice on that day.

You are letting us down in every possible way, but the worst part is that you lie to us.  You tell us, as if we are children too ignorant to understand, that you are acting in our best interests, but you ARE NOT.  The 2020 election was a fair and honest election, as you are well aware, yet you keep lying to us, telling us that there was so much cheating that the former guy actually won.  Do you really think we are so stupid as to believe your lies?  Where’s the proof?  Show us the evidence.

You forget that it is We the People who pay your salaries, pay for your frequent trips home, and more.  It is not the NRA or corporate executives, though they may donate more to your re-election campaign.  You owe us, you do not own us.  I, for one, am so disgusted with your behaviour, your inattention to the people of this nation, and your lust for power, your greed, that I am just about ready to renounce my citizenship and leave this country forever.  But wait … I have done nothing wrong, it is you who are guilty of criminal neglect, of dereliction of duty, of lying, cheating, and stealing.

I have no illusions that you will find your conscience as you read this letter, for I think you sold it long ago, but I have had my say, and I will continue to speak loudly to fellow voters, to newspapers, wherever and however I can.  And I will help ensure that my fellow citizens are able to vote on November 8th, 2022, so that your efforts at voter suppression will be for naught.  I don’t know … I genuinely do not know how you sleep at night, how you live with yourself, for you are liars and cheaters … lying and cheating the very people who hired you and who support you.

Sincerely

Jill Dennison, voter & taxpayer


Note to readers:  This is the letter I have sent to my own Senator Rob Portman and Representative Warren Davidson.  I hope to also publish it as a ‘Letter to the Editor’ in my local newspaper.  Feel free to edit and use it if you wish.

Party Of The Working Class??? 🤣🤣🤣

The newly-branded GOP, attached at the hip to the former guy, is now calling themselves the “Party of the working class”, a misnomer at the very least.  The party that supports tax breaks for mainly the 1% at the top of the economic spectrum can hardly be the party of the working class.  A party that supports racism and bigotry is not, in my view, for the working people.  However, don’t take my word for it … listen to an expert.

A friend sent me the following video last night.  For some reason, I have missed several of Robert Reich’s columns, but this one video strikes down the GOP’s attempt to redesign itself, to do grievous harm to the people of this country while telling them that the party is “for the people”.  No, they are not.  Take a look at what Mr. Reich has to say …

We Are Not Okay

I guess a lot of us were naïve back in November when we celebrated Joe Biden’s win for the office of President.  I know I definitely was.  Oh sure, I knew we’d have to listen to the former guy pout and whine for a couple of months, but then he’d be gone, I thought, riding that train of irrelevance into obscurity for the rest of his life, and the nation could begin to heal.  And yes, I realized that Republicans weren’t going to just suddenly find their consciences again on January 20th and that everything would be a bed of roses … after all, Mitch McConnell was re-elected along with a fresh batch of nasties.  But still, I thought we were finally back on track to a government for the people, of the people, and by the people.  I was wrong … dead wrong.

Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman writes about where we stand today, the good that is happening under the Biden administration, but also the dangers that we still face in the months and years ahead, and a prophetic warning, if we don’t get our act together.


Trump’s Big Lie Devoured the G.O.P. and Now Eyes Our Democracy

By Thomas L. Friedman

Opinion Columnist

President Biden’s early success in getting Americans vaccinated, pushing out stimulus checks and generally calming the surface of American life has been a blessing for the country. But it’s also lulled many into thinking that Donald Trump’s Big Lie that the election was stolen, which propelled the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, would surely fade away and everything would return to normal. It hasn’t.

We are not OK. America’s democracy is still in real danger. In fact, we are closer to a political civil war — more than at any other time in our modern history. Today’s seeming political calm is actually resting on a false bottom that we’re at risk of crashing through at any moment.

Because, instead of Trump’s Big Lie fading away, just the opposite is happening — first slowly and now quickly.

Under Trump’s command and control from Mar-a-Largo, and with the complicity of most of his party’s leaders, that Big Lie — that the greatest election in our history, when more Republicans and Democrats voted than ever before, in the midst of a pandemic, must have been rigged because Trump lost — has metastasized. It’s being embraced by a solid majority of elected Republicans and ordinary party members — local, state and national.

“Denying the legitimacy of our last election is becoming a prerequisite for being elected as a Republican in 2022,” observed Gautam Mukunda, host of Nasdaq’s “World Reimagined” podcast and author of the book “Indispensable: When Leaders Really Mattered.”

“This is creating a filter that over time will block out anyone willing to tell the truth about the election.” It will leave us with “a Republican Party where you cannot rise without declaring that the sun sets in the East, a Republican Party where being willing to help steal an election is literally a job requirement.”

This is not an exaggeration. Here is what Representative Anthony Gonzalez, one of the few Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, told The Hill about the campaign within the party to oust Representative Liz Cheney from her House G.O.P. leadership position, because of her refusal to go along with the Big Lie:

“If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit. Liz isn’t going to lie to people. … She’s going to stand on principle.”

Think about that for a second. To be a leader in today’s G.O.P. you either have to play dumb or be dumb on the central issue facing our Republic: the integrity of our election. You have to accept everything that Trump has said about the election — without a shred of evidence — and ignore everything his own attorney general, F.B.I. director and election security director said — based on the evidence — that there was no substantive fraud.

What kind of deformed party will such a dynamic produce? A party so willing to be marinated in such a baldfaced lie will lie about anything, including who wins the next election and every one after that.

There is simply nothing more dangerous for a two-party democracy than to have one party declare that no election where it loses is legitimate, and, therefore, if it loses it will just lie about the results and change the rules.

That’s exactly what’s playing out now. And the more one G.O.P. lawmaker after another signs on to Trump’s Big Lie, the more it gives the party license at the state level to promote voter suppression laws that ensure that it cannot lose ever again.

Kimberly Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law and author of the book “How to Read the Constitution — and Why,” writing in The Hill on Monday, noted that “as of late March, state legislators have introduced 361 bills in 47 states this year that contain limitations around voting, a 43 percent increase from just a month earlier.

“The measures include things like enhanced power for poll ‘monitors,’ fewer voting drop-boxes, restrictions on voting by mail, penalties for election officials who fail to purge voters from the rolls, and enhanced power in politicians over election procedures.”

Although G.O.P. supporters of these bills insist that they are about election integrity and security, Wehle added, “the lack of actual evidence of fraud and mismanagement in the American electoral system totally belies those cynical claims.”

This is the equivalent of lighting a fuse to a bomb planted beneath the foundations of our democracy.

Imagine if all or many of these measures are passed — and in 2022 and 2024 Republicans manage to retake the House, Senate and White House with, say, only 42 percent of the popular vote, effectively establishing minority rule. Do you know what will happen? Let me tell you what will happen. Disenfranchised Democratic voters will not sit idly by. They may refuse to pay their taxes. Many will take to the streets. Some might become violent, and our whole political system could become paralyzed and start to unravel.

Yet, this is precisely the path that Trump’s G.O.P. is setting us on.

Personally, I have reservations about where the left of the Democratic Party is pulling Biden on some economic, immigration, foreign policy and education issues. But Biden and his party are putting forth real ideas to try to address the real challenges that an increasingly diverse 21st-century America needs to address to become a more perfect union. The best tool for keeping the Democratic Party close to the center-left on more issues is a healthy Republican Party that hews to the center-right.

We don’t have that. We have, instead, a G.O.P. trying to cling to power by leveraging a Big Lie into voter suppression laws that leverage the party back to power by appealing solely to a largely white 20th-century America. Trump’s G.O.P. is making no effort to offer conservative alternatives to the issues of the day. Its whole focus is on how to win without doing that.

Which is why it is incumbent on every American to support in every way possible the few principled Republican legislators fighting this trend from the inside — like Liz Cheney, Representative Adam Kinzinger and Senator Mitt Romney.

What I learned covering the struggle for the future of the Arab-Muslim world post-9/11 is that the war of ideas inside is everything. Sure, it is important for outsiders to condemn bad behavior, but their voices have limited impact. Real change happens only when the war of ideas is won by insiders, working from the roots upward.

On Monday, CNN quoted Cheney as telling Republican donors and scholars at a retreat for the American Enterprise Institute in Sea Island, Ga.: “We can’t embrace the notion the election is stolen. It’s a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy. … We can’t whitewash what happened on Jan. 6 or perpetuate Trump’s Big Lie. It is a threat to democracy. What he did on Jan. 6 is a line that cannot be crossed.” A “peaceful transfer of power must be defended.”

She could not be more right. And without a war of ideas inside the party, one that is won by principled Republicans, we run the real risk of a political civil war in America over the next election.

Things are not OK.

Unless more principled Republicans stand up for the truth about our last election, we’re going to see exactly how a democracy dies.