Is The GOP DOA?

I have long questioned how the Republican Party could have fallen so low that they licked the boots of the worst president in our history, how they could tolerate the likes of Mitch McConnell who point blank refuses to do anything that would be in the best interest of the people of this nation … you know, the ones who pay his salary.  For the past year or so, with republicans seemingly tied by invisible bonds to Trump even at his worst, I’ve thought that the GOP must surely be dooming itself.  Do you remember what GOP stood for back in the early days?  ‘Grand Old Party’ … today, there isn’t a damn thing ‘grand’ about them … the party has become one of big business and wealth, to the exclusion of ALL else, even our lives.

Bill Press has written a column that echoes my own thoughts about the future of the GOP – that it has none, that it has, basically flushed its reputation and future down the toilet.  Take a minute to read his column … let me know what you think.


Forget The Republican Party: It’s Dead

bill-press
By Bill Press

No institution lasts forever. They get too old, too big, too tired. Eventually, they outlive their usefulness and forget their original purpose. When that happens, the best thing you can do for them is pull the plug.

It’s time to pull the plug on the Republican Party. Because, let’s face it, the Republican Party we once knew — a credible political force that offered Americans a real alternative in the form of smaller government, lower taxes, and tighter fiscal policy — no longer exists.

Most readers of this column grew up, as I did, when Republicans were not the enemy. They were just friends and family we sometimes disagreed with. Take it from me. I’m a lifelong, yellow-dog Democrat, but my grandfather and father were both Republican mayors of our small town in Delaware. My brother David was the Republican energy adviser to the Republican Governor Pete DuPont of Delaware. I went on to become chief of staff to California Republican State Senator Peter Behr, whose major environmental legislation, the “Wild Rivers Bill,” was signed by Republican Governor Ronald Reagan.

At the national level, Republicans Bill Ruckelshaus and Russ Peterson were two of the earliest leaders of the conservation movement. Dwight Eisenhower established the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency. George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But that Republican Party exists no more. Today’s Republican Party’s nothing but a cult. And, worse yet, a cult devoted to slavish worship of one of the most loathsome, disgusting, revolting creatures ever to walk on the world stage. There’s no Republican Party today, there’s only the Trump Party. It’s no longer (if it ever was) the party of Lincoln, it’s the party of Trump. Its slogan is no longer GOP, or “Grand Old Party,” but TUA, or “Trump Uber Alles.”

Many credit Donald Trump for taking over the Republican Party. They’re wrong. Trump didn’t take over the Republican Party. Starting with Newt Gingrich, Republicans paved the way for Trump: encouraging nonstop political warfare, rejecting bipartisan cooperation, embracing the most-extreme elements of the party — remember the “Tea Party?” — while ignoring their racist, white-supremacist roots. All they needed was for someone to come along and dare to say out loud what they secretly believed.

Enter Donald Trump: exactly what they were looking for. An outright racist. A man who didn’t really believe in governing, and would spend no time at it. An outsider whose goal was to tear things down, not get things done. A Napoleonic monster who viewed the presidency like dictatorships he loved around the world, where he, like Putin, Erdogan, or Kim Jung Un, could operate above the law.

And what did leaders of the old Republican Party do? They not only rolled over and totally surrendered to Trump, they continued to defend him as he trashed everything that they once, supposedly, believed in. They stood by Trump when he bragged about grabbing women by their genitals and paid a porn star $130,000 in hush money. They stood by Trump when he locked little children in cages and grabbed infants off the breasts of their mothers. They didn’t make a peep when Trump increased the national debt (which he had promised to eliminate) by $7 trillion.

Worse yet, in the face of the worst world public health crisis in our lifetime, Republicans stood by Trump as he downplayed the coronavirus pandemic, encouraged people to ignore advice of the CDC, staged his own superspreader events, and cavalierly ignored the deaths of almost 280,000 Americans so far.

And today they stand by Trump as he attacks the very core of our democracy: the sanctity of our right to vote and elect our own leaders. By refusing to accept the results of the election, attacking state election officials, filing frivolous lawsuits, and claiming our entire election process is rigged, Trump is attacking America. And he only gets away with it because today’s Republican leaders — Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, and all the rest, cowards all — let him get away with it. History will not treat Donald Trump kindly, but it will be even more critical of his spineless enablers.

The Republican Party we once knew is dead, and it’s not coming back. Better to replace it with a new party that believes in America. Until then, I stand with H. L. Mencken: “In this world of sin and sorrow, there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

Small & Feeble Minds …

I live in a community that is probably 35% refugees from Middle-Eastern countries.  Our neighbors to the right are refugees from first Iraq, then Syria and have become our closest friends.  We share meals and holidays, share our cultures, laughter and love.  In the days following 9/11, another Iraqi family down the street whose daughters were friends with Miss Goose came to our door asking if there was anything they could do for us and saying how very sorry they were for what had happened.  I was so touched.  The police had to place patrols in the parking lot of the local mosque 24/7, for the Muslim community began receiving threats.  It was a tough time for us all … including our Muslim brothers and sisters.

We’ve come a long way since September 11, 2001.  Or have we?  Last November, the people of this nation elected three Muslim women to the U.S. House of Representatives, which would seem to indicate that we are moving … have moved … past the bigotry and Islamophobia that seemed in some ways to define the days and weeks after 9/11.  However, at least one person in this nation seems to have a problem with those women, one in particular.  The person I refer to is Donald Trump, and the newly-elected representative is Ilhan Omar, a representative from the state of Minnesota.Ilhan-Omar-Time-magIt all started back in February when Ms. Omar made a comment criticizing Israel’s occupation of Palestine.  House Minority Leader and member of the House Freedom Caucus, Kevin McCarthy, jumped all over her comment, saying it was even worse than Representative Steve King’s support of white supremacy.  He claimed her comment was ‘anti-Semitic’ (it was not), and rallied the forces of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) to condemn Ms. Omar.  What happened next was a series of back-and-forth that isn’t worth the time and space to relate here, but suffice it to say that Ms. Omar made quite clear that she was not speaking against the Jewish people, but against the state of Israel overstepping its bounds by occupying Palestine.  For the record, I agree with her.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA (National Rifle Association), of fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policies?”

Then last month, Ms. Omar once again came under fire after giving a speech at an event hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), where she was speaking in response to the two mosque shootings in New Zealand, speaking about the lingering fear directed at Muslims since 9/11, and the rights Muslims have to speak out about being viewed with suspicion.

“CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties. Many people expect our community to feel like it needs to hide every time something happens. But repeatedly we have shown them that we are not to be bullied, not to be threatened, we are not to be terrorized, we are strong and resilient, and we will always show up to be ourselves because we know we have a right to a dignified existence and a dignified life.”

Many of us knew this would get worse, we finally have a leader, a world leader, in the White House who publicly says ‘Islam hates us,’ who fuels hate against Muslims, who thinks it is okay to speak about a faith and a whole community in a way that is dehumanizing, vilifying and doesn’t understand — or at least makes us want to think he doesn’t understand — the consequences his words might have.”

And once again, the republicans and Donald Trump were off the rails, with one comment I read even referring to CAIR as a ‘terrorist organization’.  There is no need for me to repeat all the ignorant comments that came out of the depths of ignorance, but one person took the hate and bigotry a step further, possibly even putting Ms. Omar’s life in danger.  That person is Donald Trump.

On Friday, Donald Trump who calls himself a ‘president’, took one small portion of Ms. Omar’s speech out of context and re-tweeted a doctored video that I will not replay here, for it denigrates every citizen of this nation, including Representative Omar, but suffice it to say that it attempts to show her as being dismissive of the lives that were lost on that tragic day.  This is the work of a small and feeble mind.  When the ‘man’ at the helm of a nation of more than 300 million people resorts to such juvenile tactics, he incites violence by the other small and feeble minds in the nation.  Who, really, is the terrorist here?  It seems to me the one who calls himself a ‘president’ is as much a terrorist as were Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah.

Predictably, the republicans and conservative media outlets went wild.  Ms. Omar has already been the focus of threats, including one by a Trump supporter who was recently arrested.  On April 7, Patrick Carlineo Jr., an ardent Trump supporter, was arrested for making violent threats in a phone call to Omar’s office. According to the criminal complaint, on March 21, Carlineo told one of Omar’s staff: “Omar’s a fucking terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her fucking skull.”

Is this really the sort of nation we want to be?  Is this how we want to be viewed as a society?  The majority of us are capable of thinking for ourselves, reading or hearing Ms. Omar’s speech and understanding that it was a plea for inclusiveness, a condemnation of bigotry.  Sadly, however, there are people in this nation who, rather than use their own minds, prefer to believe what they are told.  In truth, we should be able to believe what the president of the country tells us, but under the current regime, it has been proven thousands of times that he lies to suit his own purposes.

I have the utmost respect for Representative Ilhan Omar, and if anything happens to her, her blood will be on the hands of one Donald Trump.  It’s time, people, to wake up and oust this abomination who some call ‘president’.