A Basket Of Deplorables

Remember back in September 2016 when Hillary Clinton, while running for president, was speaking at a fundraiser when she made her world-famous gaffe …

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?  The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

Not the smartest thing to say when you want these people to vote for you!  She wasn’t at all wrong, but her comment was likely the very thing that may have cost her the electoral college vote.  (Note to readers … she won the election by more than 2.8 million votes, but lost the electoral college vote, primarily due to gerrymandering.)  The reason her comment was a defining moment in her campaign is simple:  many people saw themselves in what she said and believed she was pointing her finger at them, calling them ‘deplorable’.  And, of course, her opponent had a field day with it, never let it out of people’s minds for a single minute, and at the end of the day, it was likely the single most important thing that cost her the presidency.  Twenty seconds, forty-five words, was all it took to doom her candidacy.  Sure, there was Comey’s October surprise, and the fact that Hillary was … GASP … a woman, but I think those could have been overcome had she not uttered those 45 words.

So, you wonder where I’m going with this, don’t you?  Asking yourselves why I’m digging up nearly 5-year-old news.  Well, several things regarding Republicans in the news these past few days have immediately brought the word ‘deplorable’ to mind, and about the third time this happened, the light bulb came on and I remembered what Hillary had said, and I thought, “Y’know, she was spot on in her assessment, not only of Trump supporters, but today’s Republicans as a whole.”  Here are a couple of examples …


The glaring hypocrisy

Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is considering a run for … wait for it … president in 2024.  Now, I respected Nikki as governor of South Carolina, but once she threw her lot in with the former guy, I lost any respect I had for her.  In my book, she sold her soul to the highest bidder.

Nikki does, however, have a conscience somewhere under all the rot, for after the January 6th attacks on the Capitol and on Congress, she seemed to push away from the former guy, even outright criticizing him the next day …

“He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville, and I told him so at the time. He was badly wrong with his words yesterday. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”

She went on to say in an interview a few weeks later that he had “lost any sort of political viability” and that she didn’t think he was “going to be in the picture” any longer, before adding: “He’s fallen so far.”

But, once she figured out that he IS still in the picture as far as the Republican Party and who they support, she changed her tune … not just a little, but by one hell of a lot!  Here’s what she said earlier this week when addressing a crowd at the Iowa Republican Party dinner …

“Thank goodness for Donald Trump, or we never would have gotten Kamala Harris to the border.”

And that statement is so utterly ridiculous that I cannot even dignify it with a response.  She went on to heap undeserved praise on him, saying that she “saw firsthand as ambassador to the United Nations that Donald Trump put America first” and telling a humorous story about Trump’s decision to label North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “Little Rocket Man,” saying it showed how the former president had “a way of getting people.”

Oh yeah, she’s licking some big boots there, and there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to lick the stench off anytime soon, for the former guy rejected her request to visit him at Mar-a-Lago not long ago.  Hypocrisy?  Oh yeah … oozing from her pores.  Deplorable.


Rudy, Rudy, Rudy … what have you done?

Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York, is another who I used to have tremendous respect for.  In the harrowing days following the 9/11 attacks, Rudy held not only New York City, but the rest of the nation together.  But just like Nikki Haley, he sold out, he threw We the People to the lions when he cast his lot in with the former guy.  Rudy became one of many attorneys defending Trump in numerous legal areas, and he followed Trump’s lead … lie, cheat, and steal, do whatever it takes.

All Rudy’s lies finally came home to roost yesterday when a New York court ruled that he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” while fighting the results of the 2020 election on behalf of Donald J. Trump.  Rudy Giuliani was once the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, was once known as a law-and-order crusader and whose creative courtroom tactics against mob bosses turned him into a fixture on national television.

The New York State appellate court temporarily suspended Mr. Giuliani’s law license on the recommendation of a disciplinary committee after finding he had sought to mislead judges, lawmakers, and the public as he helped shepherd Trump’s legal challenge to the election results.  In part, the 33-page court decision read …

“The seriousness of respondent’s uncontroverted misconduct cannot be overstated. This country is being torn apart by continued attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and of our current president, Joseph R. Biden.”

How low Rudy Giuliani has sunk.  I don’t expect he’ll ever have his law license re-instated, nor should he, for he is naught but a liar, a boot-licker, and a puppet.  Deplorable.


I could go on, for there are many more, such as Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy, Lauren Boebert, Margie Greene, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis … so many deplorables all in one party.  So yes, Hillary Clinton hit the nail on the head when she called them a ‘basket of deplorables’ … she paid the ultimate price for her honesty, but at least she was honest, something that is not to be found anywhere within the Republican Party today.

Looking Forward Doesn’t Mean Forgetting The Past

The attacks on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th of this year are destined to become a notable part of the ongoing history of this nation.  We rely on the media to help us find answers to the ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions, but instead the press, whose independence we cherish and protect, is turning a blind eye, has moved on without delving too deeply for answers.  The GOP prefers to simply ‘move on’ and the press is giving in to them, it seems.  Robert Reich’s piece in The Guardian yesterday speaks to this issue …


Republicans tried to overturn the election. We can’t just forget that

Robert Reich

Americans like to look forward but the effects of Trump’s lies about Covid and the 6 January insurrection are still with us

America prefers to look forward rather than back. We’re a land of second acts. We move on.

This can be a strength. We don’t get bogged down in outmoded traditions, old grudges, obsolete ways of thinking. We constantly reinvent. We love innovation and disruption.

The downside is a tendency toward collective amnesia about what we’ve been through, and a corresponding reluctance to do anything about it or hold anyone accountable.

Now, with Covid receding and the economy starting to rebound – and the 2020 election and the attack on the Capitol behind us – the future looks bright.

But at the risk of being the skunk at the picnic, let me remind you: we have lost more than 580,000 people to Covid-19. One big reason that number is so high is our former president lied about the virus and ordered his administration to minimize its danger.

Donald Trump also lied about the results of the last election. And then – you remember, don’t you? – he tried to overturn the results.

Trump twisted the arms of state election officials. He held a rally to stop Congress from certifying the election, followed by the violent attack on the Capitol. Five people died. Senators and representatives could have been slaughtered.

Several Republican members of Congress encouraged the attempted coup by joining him in the big lie and refusing to certify the election.

This was just over four months ago, yet we seem to be doing everything we can to blot it out of our memory.

Last Tuesday, the Washington Post hosted a live video chat with the Missouri Republican senator Josh Hawley, a ringleader in the attempt to overturn the results of the election. Hawley had even made a fist-pump gesture toward the mob at the Capitol before the attack.

But the Post billed the interview as being about Hawley’s new book on the “tyranny of big tech”. It even posted a biography of Hawley that made no mention of Hawley’s sedition, referring instead to his supposed reputation “for taking on the big and the powerful to protect Missouri workers” and as “a fierce defender of the constitution”.

Last week, CBS This Morning interviewed the Florida Republican Rick Scott, another of the senators who tried to overturn the election by not certifying the results. But there was no mention of his sedition. The CBS interviewer confined his questions to Biden’s spending plans, which Scott unsurprisingly opposed.

Senators Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson and the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, also repeatedly appear on major news programs without being questioned about their attempts to undo the results of the election.

What possible excuse is there for booking them if they have not publicly retracted their election lies? If they must appear, they should be asked if they continue to deny the election results and precisely why.

Pretending nothing happened promotes America’s amnesia, which invites more attempts to distort the truth.

On Monday, Trump issued a “proclamation” seeking to co-opt the language of those criticizing his falsehoods. “The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as the BIG LIE!” he wrote, repeating his claims that the 2020 election was stolen and that President Biden is illegitimate. Most Republican voters believe him.

Trump’s big lie is being used by Republican state legislatures to justify new laws that restrict voting. On Thursday, hours after Florida installed new voting restrictions, Texas’s Republican-led legislature pushed ahead with its own bill that would make it one of the hardest states in which to cast a ballot.

The Republican-controlled Arizona senate is mounting a private recount of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa county – farming out 2.1m ballots to GOP partisans, including at least one who participated in the 6 January raid on the Capitol.

The Republican party is about to purge one of its leaders, the Wyoming representative Liz Cheney, for telling the truth.

It is natural to want to put all this unpleasantness behind us. We are finally turning the corner on the pandemic and the economy. Why look back to the trauma of the 2020 election?

But we cannot put it behind us. Trump’s big lie and all that it has provoked are still with us. If we forget what has occurred, the trauma will return, perhaps in even more terrifying form.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 5/8

Yesterday, our friend TokyoSand published her weekly roundup of political cartoons and there is just to much material right now that I don’t know how she can even decide which ones to choose!  She does always manage, though, to pick the best of the lot, and this week is no exception.  Most of them, you’ll notice, feature the Republican Party as the brunt of the joke … a position they have worked hard to earn!  Thank you, TS, for your hard work on these ‘toon posts!

Source: The Week’s Best Cartoons 5/8

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.

A Woman Of Principles

There aren’t too many congressional Republicans for whom I have even a modicum of respect these days.  Liz Cheney is at the top of the list of those I respect.  I don’t agree with her political positions, and quite often detested her father, but … Ms. Cheney has proven herself to be a woman of conscience, a woman who is not afraid to stand by the courage of her convictions.  She has what so many … almost all … Republicans lack these days:  integrity.

And it is because of her conscience, her integrity, her refusal to support the lies being told by the former guy and his minions, that she is almost certain to lose her leadership position as the third highest ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Think about that one … because she is honest, she is to be punished by dishonest people like Kevin McCarthy, who knows damn well that the election results were fair and aboveboard, but for his own political purposes has tied himself to the former guy’s train.

Ms. Cheney has written an OpEd for The Washington Post that I think deserves to be widely read.  I don’t agree with everything she says toward the end of her column, but that doesn’t diminish my respect for her for being one of only a handful of people in her party who put country before self.  I expect to have ideological differences with those on the right … I just don’t expect to be lied to, deceived, and threatened as we all have been by today’s Republican Party. This is what sets Liz Cheney apart from the rest of the party … her honesty.


Liz Cheney: The GOP is at a turning point. History is watching us.

Opinion by Liz Cheney

May 5, 2021 at 5:05 p.m. EDT

In public statements again this week, former president Donald Trump has repeated his claims that the 2020 election was a fraud and was stolen. His message: I am still the rightful president, and President Biden is illegitimate. Trump repeats these words now with full knowledge that exactly this type of language provoked violence on Jan. 6. And, as the Justice Department and multiple federal judges have suggested, there is good reason to believe that Trump’s language can provoke violence again. Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law. No other American president has ever done this.

The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution. In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) left no doubt in his public remarks. On the floor of the House on Jan. 13, McCarthy said: “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.” Now, McCarthy has changed his story.

I am a conservative Republican, and the most conservative of conservative values is reverence for the rule of law. Each of us swears an oath before God to uphold our Constitution. The electoral college has spoken. More than 60 state and federal courts, including multiple Trump-appointed judges, have rejected the former president’s arguments, and refused to overturn election results. That is the rule of law; that is our constitutional system for resolving claims of election fraud.

The question before us now is whether we will join Trump’s crusade to delegitimize and undo the legal outcome of the 2020 election, with all the consequences that might have. I have worked overseas in nations where changes in leadership come only with violence, where democracy takes hold only until the next violent upheaval. America is exceptional because our constitutional system guards against that. At the heart of our republic is a commitment to the peaceful transfer of power among political rivals in accordance with law. President Ronald Reagan described this as our American “miracle.”

While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country. Trump has never expressed remorse or regret for the attack of Jan. 6 and now suggests that our elections, and our legal and constitutional system, cannot be trusted to do the will of the people. This is immensely harmful, especially as we now compete on the world stage against Communist China and its claims that democracy is a failed system.

For Republicans, the path forward is clear.

First, support the ongoing Justice Department criminal investigations of the Jan. 6 attack. Those investigations must be comprehensive and objective; neither the White House nor any member of Congress should interfere.

Second, we must support a parallel bipartisan review by a commission with subpoena power to seek and find facts; it will describe for all Americans what happened. This is critical to defeat the misinformation and nonsense circulating in the press and on social media. No currently serving member of Congress — with an eye to the upcoming election cycle — should participate. We should appoint former officials, members of the judiciary and other prominent Americans who can be objective, just as we did after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The commission should be focused on the Jan. 6 attacks. The Black Lives Matter and antifa violence of last summer was illegal and reprehensible, but it is a different problem with a different solution.

Finally, we Republicans need to stand for genuinely conservative principles, and steer away from the dangerous and anti-democratic Trump cult of personality. In our hearts, we are devoted to the American miracle. We believe in the rule of law, in limited government, in a strong national defense, and in prosperity and opportunity brought by low taxes and fiscally conservative policies.

There is much at stake now, including the ridiculous wokeness of our political rivals, the irrational policies at the border and runaway spending that threatens a return to the catastrophic inflation of the 1970s. Reagan formed a broad coalition from across the political spectrum to return America to sanity, and we need to do the same now. We know how. But this will not happen if Republicans choose to abandon the rule of law and join Trump’s crusade to undermine the foundation of our democracy and reverse the legal outcome of the last election.

History is watching. Our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that, no matter what the short-term political consequences might be.

Oh Yes … Racism Is Alive And Well In America

Yesterday I read a statement by one of the terrorists who attacked Congress and the Capitol on January 6th that made me want to connect my fist to the man’s nose …

“This is not 1950. I’d say about 95, 96 percent of people are not the least bit racist.”

SAY WHAT????

John Hugo at ‘Straight Pride’ parade

The remark was made by a ‘man’ named John Hugo, president of a group called, believe it or not, Super Happy Fun America (SFHA) that bused some three hundred people to the Capitol on January 6th to create chaos, murder and mayhem, and first earned their claim to fame when they held a “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston in 2019.  I guess this is what they call “Super Happy Fun”, eh?  Let me tell you something, MR. HUGO … racism is alive and well in this nation … and YOU, sir, are part of the problem!

According to a PEW Research study … well, here … take a look for yourself …

Even without the Pew study, we can see with our own eyes that racism surely exists among the majority of people with pale skin in this country!  I’m talking about the sort of racism whereby pale people believe … truly believe in their warped minds … that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

Case in point:  There is overwhelming proof that white people use more illegal drugs. Yet, the only way anyone can explain why Black people are arrested for possession at three times the rate of whites is the racist belief that there is a huge drug use problem in Black communities. Racism is the only way to explain why the largest policing project in world history revealed “Black drivers were searched about 1.5 to 2 times as often as white drivers, while they were less likely to be carrying drugs, guns, or other illegal contraband compared to their white peers.” It is necessary to believe that race is a “fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities” if one wants to understand why Black men receive prison sentences that are, on average, nearly 20 percent longer than white men who commit the same crimes.

I have a Black friend who has been incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, that nobody, not even the police, thought he committed, and now his sons are stopped on average once or twice a month for the crime of “Driving While Black”.  ‘Splain that one, Mr. Hugo!

It isn’t only Black people, it is Hispanics, Asians, and anybody who doesn’t have the physical traits of those pale people.  WHY???  WHY, people … can somebody please explain to me why those pale-skinned people think they are somehow superior???

The PEW study goes on to show that most (65%) white Americans believe it has become more common for people to express racist or racially insensitive views since Trump was elected president …

And while I really don’t like tying such things as racism to one political party or the other, the proof, as it were, is in the pudding that overall, Republicans are the ones who think Black people actually have too many r ights!

DAMMIT!!!  Could somebody give these nudniks a bit of education???  Eight-in-ten white Democrats – vs. 40% of white Republicans – say the legacy of slavery continues to have an impact on black people’s position in American society today. And when it comes to views about racial discrimination, 78% of white Democrats say the bigger problem is people not seeing it where it really does exist, while a similar share of white Republicans say people seeing racial discrimination where it really does not exist is the bigger problem.  Tell me again that the Republican Party hasn’t turned into the party of racism and bigotry … go ahead, tell me! 

All my life, since I was a small child, I have believed that someday racism and bigotry would end, that people would come to understand that the colour of a person’s skin, the homeland of his ancestors, do not change the fact that his heart and brain function just the same as anyone else’s and that there is nothing … NOTHING … that makes pale people superior.  All my life … nearly 70 years now … I believed that people would eventually wake up and smell the goddamn coffee.  Today, I no longer believe that.  I have seen the human species as it is and I understand, after all these years, that some people are simply never, ever, going to give up their illusions of superiority and will continue to pass those heinous beliefs on to their children and grandchildren.

It doesn’t mean I will stop fighting, though in truth I am tempted, for I see all too clearly that humans are not going to change, that stupidity and cruelty is ingrained and passed on through the genes.  But, what it does mean is that I have lost hope.  I have lost the belief that people are basically good.  I have stopped caring whether the human species survives or not.

Ponder On This …

Robert Reich’s opinion piece in The Guardian today is especially relevant … he covers a number of topics, all of which point in the same direction … the destruction of the democratic principles that were once the foundation of this nation.


Republicans have taken up the politics of bigotry, putting US democracy at risk

Robert Reich-4Robert Reich

There is no ‘surge’ of migrants at the border and there is no huge voter fraud problem – there is only hard-right attack

Republicans are outraged – outraged! – at the surge of migrants at the southern border. The House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, declares it a “crisis … created by the presidential policies of this new administration”. The Arizona congressman Andy Biggs claims, “we go through some periods where we have these surges, but right now is probably the most dramatic that I’ve seen at the border in my lifetime.”

Donald Trump demands the Biden administration “immediately complete the wall, which can be done in a matter of weeks – they should never have stopped it. They are causing death and human tragedy.”

“Our country is being destroyed!” he adds.

In fact, there’s no surge of migrants at the border.

US Customs and Border Protection apprehended 28% more migrants from January to February this year than in previous months. But this was largely seasonal. Two years ago, apprehensions increased 31% during the same period. Three years ago, it was about 25% from February to March. Migrants start coming when winter ends and the weather gets a bit warmer, then stop coming in the hotter summer months when the desert is deadly.

To be sure, there is a humanitarian crisis of children detained in overcrowded border facilities. And an even worse humanitarian tragedy in the violence and political oppression in Central America, worsened by US policies over the years, that drives migration in the first place.

But the “surge” has been fabricated by Republicans in order to stoke fear – and, not incidentally, to justify changes in laws they say are necessary to prevent non-citizens from voting.

Republicans continue to allege – without proof – that the 2020 election was rife with fraudulent ballots, many from undocumented migrants. Over the past six weeks they’ve introduced 250 bills in 43 states designed to make it harder for people to vote – especially the young, the poor, Black people and Hispanic Americans, all of whom are likely to vote for Democrats – by eliminating mail-in ballots, reducing times for voting, decreasing the number of drop-off boxes, demanding proof of citizenship, even making it a crime to give water to people waiting in line to vote.

To stop this, Democrats are trying to enact a sweeping voting rights bill, the For the People Act, which protects voting, ends partisan gerrymandering and keeps dark money out of elections. It passed the House but Republicans in the Senate are fighting it with more lies.

On Wednesday, the Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz falsely claimed the new bill would register millions of undocumented migrants to vote and accused Democrats of wanting the most violent criminals to cast ballots too.

The core message of the Republican party now consists of lies about a “crisis” of violent migrants crossing the border, lies that they’re voting illegally, and blatantly anti-democratic demands voting be restricted to counter it.

The party that once championed lower taxes, smaller government, states’ rights and a strong national defense now has more in common with anti-democratic regimes and racist-nationalist political movements around the world than with America’s avowed ideals of democracy, rule of law and human rights.

Donald Trump isn’t single-handedly responsible for this, but he demonstrated to the GOP the political potency of bigotry and the GOP has taken him up on it.

This transformation in one of America’s two eminent political parties has shocking implications, not just for the future of American democracy but for the future of democracy everywhere.

“I predict to you, your children or grandchildren are going to be doing their doctoral thesis on the issue of who succeeded: autocracy or democracy?” Joe Biden opined at his news conference on Thursday.

In his maiden speech at the state department on 4 March, Antony Blinken conceded that the erosion of democracy around the world is “also happening here in the United States”.

The secretary of state didn’t explicitly talk about the Republican party, but there was no mistaking his subject.

“When democracies are weak … they become more vulnerable to extremist movements from the inside and to interference from the outside,” he warned.

People around the world witnessing the fragility of American democracy “want to see whether our democracy is resilient, whether we can rise to the challenge here at home. That will be the foundation for our legitimacy in defending democracy around the world for years to come.”

That resilience and legitimacy will depend in large part on whether Republicans or Democrats prevail on voting rights.

Not since the years leading up to the civil war has the clash between the nation’s two major parties so clearly defined the core challenge facing American democracy.