May 1, 2022
The backstory: In 2014 Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed through a constitutional amendment supposedly ending gerrymandering. This involves legislative district maps, with one party packing the other’s voters into a few districts — so they lose everywhere else. Cuomo’s reform was a sham. Ostensibly establishing an independent redistricting commission, but engineered to fail and thus throw the process back to the legislature. Which then drew maps giving Republicans only four congressional districts.
The state’s highest court has now ruled this unconstitutional, appointing a “special master” to replace those maps with (presumably) non-partisan ones.
Ordinarily, I’d have applauded. But Republican-controlled states are heavily gerrymandered, while some others (notably California) have non-partisan systems. Giving Republicans, nationally, a big advantage. New York’s gerrymander would have offset that somewhat. But the court ruling should now give Republicans several more seats. Quite conceivably, in a close contest, tipping control of the House of Representatives.
Republicans also gain from voter negativity toward President Biden and Democrats, over issues like inflation, immigration, crime, etc. This might seen understandable, under political normalcy. But we don’t have that. Now there’s one giant issue that should trump all others:
How can Republicans be trusted on ANYTHING?
They’re a cult worshipping a very bad man who literally attempted to overthrow our democracy, instigating a violent insurrection attacking the Capitol. Based on a stupendous lie, that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Created because Trump’s diseased psyche couldn’t face losing. Any fool knows that.
But it’s not just that Republicans swallow this lie. They’ve actually made it central to the party’s whole ethos. In Georgia’s gubernatorial primary debate, one candidate (Dave Purdue) literally led off by declaring the 2020 vote fraudulent. Both then argued over who is the truest believer. (Probably neither; most Republican politicians know it’s a lie, but they cynically exploit it.)
The lie corrodes trust in the integrity of elections, a key underpinning of a democratic system. Moreover, Republicans are acting on the lie to mess with voting procedures going forward. While also striving to whitewash January 6 and obstruct the investigation of it. And if they control Congress after the next presidential election, they will throw out its results if necessary to put Trump back in office.
That’s no fevered fantasy. Nothing would restrain them from such a brazen deed, if they have the votes. Remember how they stole a Supreme Court seat. Stealing the presidency would kill American democracy.
How can voters shrug off the unprecedented threat of today’s deranged Republican party, while in contrast viewing Democrats with unforgiving harshness?
Recently the NY Timesreported on a conversation shortly after January 6, wherein House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy held Trump culpable for it, said he’s “done” with Trump, and would call for his resignation. But as with other Republicans, McCarthy’s moment of clarity quickly passed, and he pilgrimaged to Mar-a-Lago to kiss his master’s ring. And when the Timesstory broke, McCarthy roundly denied having said what was reported.
Then the newspaper released the audio, proving McCarthy’s denial an outright lie.
Once upon a time this would have ended a politician’s career. And McCarthy was doubly in trouble because of his lèse-majesté. Yet Trump magnanimously forgave him. (Groveling by toadies feeds his voracious ego; McCarthy’s earlier betrayal made his recanting especially delicious to Trump.) Then McCarthy went before his GOP colleagues — and wound up with a standing ovation!
“It’s debasing for Republicans to give this guy a standing ovation,” said one GOP Congressman on Fox News. So at least one retains some integrity? No, it was Florida’s walking cesspool Matt Gaetz — unwilling to forgive McCarthy’s prior momentary apostasy.*
Talk about “debasing.” Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert, Madison Cawthorn, Paul Gosar, Elise Stefanik, and McCarthy himself, are the leading face of today’s Congressional Republican party. All dishonest and irresponsible to the core. The worst of the worst.
This is the creep squad American voters seem blithely likely to hand control of Congress. McCarthy will be speaker. What a disgrace; totally insane. I’ll weep for my country, fallen so low.
*Liz Cheney is the lone remaining honorable Republican seeking re-election. The party is intent on her destruction.