All Hands on Deck

Democracy Under Attack

Credit: Dave Whamond, Canada, PoliticalCartoons.com

Bamboo ballots should be a Saturday Night Live skit, but it’s for real in Arizona. Liz Cheney has an 80 percent lifetime conservative approval rating from Heritage Action For America (HA). HA rates Elise Stefanik at 48 percent. The Republican Caucus is about to replace Cheney with Stefanik while they applaud a QAnon supporter and a member being investigated for child sex abuse. Republican governors keep signing more outrageous voter suppression laws aimed at stifling the minority vote. All of this is being done in order to pander to Donald Trump and his Big Lie that the election was stolen from him. And, there is not a policy position in sight on the Red side of the aisle. Mitch McConnell’s edict is that the Republican’s sole goal is to oppose the Biden administration.

You can’t make this stuff up; it’s happening. Led by Trump, the Republicans are attacking our democracy. The Democrats had better take it seriously and respond or risk losing control of Congress in 2022.

Because the Republican Party has morphed into the Party of Trump, he, unfortunately, will be central to the mid-term elections. By “bending the knee” to Trump, the Republicans have given the Democrats a gift. They should use it, beginning with the absurdity of the Arizona Republicans looking for bamboo ballots.

Donald Trump’s continued insistence he won the election proves he is unhinged from reality. Cyber Ninjas, in Arizona, trying to prove he won the state by looking for bamboo ballots, six months after the election was certified by Arizona officials, proves Republicans are likewise divorced from reality. Forty-thousand ballots were not “flown to Arizona and stuffed into ballot boxes from the south-east part of the world, Asia”, as the Republicans are claiming. Voters will understand that this kind of madness disqualifies modern-day Trumpist Republicans from holding power, if the Democrats build a campaign around their behavior.

The Liz Cheney, Elise Stefanik sleight of hand is yet another campaign issue being handed to the Democrats. It would be foolish not to use it. Stefanik’s record is more liberal than 98 percent of her GOP colleagues. In 2016 she backed moderate Ohio Governor John Kasich for president and criticized Trump for his “inappropriate comments” toward women. Once elected, she spoke out against Trump’s ban on migrants from Muslim countries and criticized his border wall. Nevertheless, the Republicans replaced Cheney with Stefanik. They did this because Cheney voted to impeach Trump, called him out for his role in the January 6th insurrection, and refuses to back Trump’s lie that the election was fraudulently stolen from him. Clearly, Congressional Republicans care more about appeasing Trump’s need to punish Cheney than protecting our country from Trump’s continued attacks on our democracy. They are now part of the attacks. Democratic 2022 campaigning should say this.

The Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene road show, in support of Trump’s lie, is yet another opportunity given to the Democrats. They claim they led the charge against ousting Cheney from her position as conference chair. Matt Gaetz is being investigated for having illegal sex with a minor. Taylor Greene is a QAnon supporter. Make them a symbol of what the GOP has become.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Biden infrastructure plan “is not going to get support from our side.” We’ve seen this act before when McConnell, as Majority Leader, said the Republicans sole job was to ensure President Obama did not get a second term. McConnell’s star is fading. Whether he likes it or not, he is the senate leader of the Party of Trump. Brand him as such.

The Republican-controlled Florida state legislature joined 40 other Republican-controlled states in passing laws that restrict voting by mail, curtail the use of drop boxes and prohibit people from helping those waiting in line to vote, by providing food and water; while imposing penalties on those who don’t follow the new laws (Curing Racism in America). These voter restriction laws are racist in nature. Call them out for what they are.

A once viable political party has devolved into the party of Trumpism, which lies and obstructs. The Democrat’s message to voters has to be: Do you really want to replace Democratic control of Congress with this kind of Trump-inspired nonsense? It’s essential that the Democrats not rely on the media to make this argument for them. This has to be a campaign designed and carried out through Democratic political advertising on both mainstream and social media. Trump is not popular. His approval rating was 29 percent when he left office. If reminded, the electorate will vote against this attack on our democracy.

There is simply too much at stake for this kind of campaign not to take place.

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