The Republican Party, having done next to nothing to become the “big tent” it was advised to become after Mitt Romney’s loss to Barack Obama in 2012, embraced Donald Trump and allowed him to trash all aspects of American democracy. They did this because it’s the only play they have — eschew precedent and norms, stack the federal judiciary with conservative judges, make voting as difficult as possible, fire up the angry racists, support tax cuts for the wealthy and take marching orders from the plutocrats.

Writing in The New York Times, Henry Farrell and Bruce Schneier describe the biggest threat to the democracy as the disinformation Trump has spread about our long-held, shared beliefs and the complicity of “insiders,” in this case Republican leaders and the crackpots who have tried to make the case of massive election fraud.

With the exception of 2004, Democratic presidential candidates have won the nation’s popular vote in seven out of the last eight elections. Republicans know that the tide of demographic change will continue to turn against them as its leadership, infested with Trumpism, works against the rights and welfare of rising minorities. That strategy was there before Trump, it was amplified during this presidency. You see it in voter suppression efforts, in the rhetoric used to describe the Blacks Lives Matter movement and in the embrace of policies that hurt the working class. You see it clearly in Mitch McConnell’s complete indifference to people struggling financially through the pandemic.

The only solution for this is to make them pay a price they, unfortunately, did not pay in the 2020 election, though there’s still a possibility that Republicans will lose their Senate majority in January.

“The fundamental problem is Republican insiders who have convinced themselves that to keep and hold power, they need to trash the shared beliefs that hold American democracy together,” write Farrell and Schneier. “They may have long-term worries about the consequences, but they’re unlikely to do anything about those worries in the near-term unless voters, wealthy donors or others whom they depend on make them pay short-term costs.”

Democrats need to win two Senate runoff elections in Georgia on January 5, or McConnell will remain as Senate majority leader and continue to block progress for the nation; he could even sabotage Joe Biden’s administration by holding up cabinet nominations. McConnell will do anything to hold power, and he knows his only plays are those he’s been using. It’s tragic that he won reelection in Kentucky, but his ouster as Senate leader is still possible.

Unless that happens, it will be hard for Biden to deal with the pandemic, the economy and climate change, the huge challenges he inherits from the incompetent and ignorant Trump.

Biden and the Democrats need a chance to regain the confidence and trust of more Americans who saw salvation in Trump. Recovery from pandemic will get the country moving in the right direction again. I expect Republicans to stand in the way of that; they opposed Obamacare, after all, a law that benefited thousands of their own constituents. (Several Republican governors continue to oppose Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in their states.)

Even if the Democrats do not capture a majority in January, they will only need one or two seats to take it back in 2022 when Republicans will have to defend 20 seats in the Senate. McConnell and the Republicans who supported Trump need to pay a price for doing so. That will happen with a double win in Georgia in January. Otherwise, Biden will have to show the nation that the Democrats have a plan for the future while the obstructionist Republicans, led by McConnell, have none. At some point, with Trump gone, more Americans will see this.

2 thoughts on “Make them pay a price for supporting Trump

  1. 1) Voter Suppression: About 130 million votes were cast in 2016. In 2020 there will be about 153 million.That is an increase of about 17 or 18 per cent, which is substantially more than the increase in voter eligible persons. If there were attempts at “voter suppression,” they certainly didn’t work very well. Frankly, just as there is nary a shred of voter fraud, I have not seen any affidavit or statement by anyone saying he was prevented from voting or couldn’t vote. With the expanded use of voting by mail, and early voting (which doesn’t occur everywhere), it was easier than ever to vote.
    2) Anti-Democratism: Personally, I can’t stand Mitch McConnell. But if the voting population in Kentucky votes for him, then have they not the democratic right to do so? I can’t stand Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Do not the people in her district have the democratic right to vote for her?
    3) Saying that Republicans will stand in the way of the recovery from the pandemic is as unsupportable an accusation as saying that Democrats were hoping not to have a vaccine until after the election, so as not to assist the Trump re-election effort. The Republican president lost, at least in part, because of his anti-scientific and laisse faire approach to the pandemic. Republican congressmen and Senators saw that and are not idiots. Taking an affirmative stand against resolving the pandemic would be political suicide.
    I voted for Biden, not just as an anti-Trump vote, but I actually think that he is a pretty decent man, who will restore America’s standing in the world community, and who will try to move forward with reasonable efforts to
    cut the deficit, try to put us on a path toward calming climate change, and restore morale in the federal work force. If he governs from the middle, he’ll get enough Republican support in the Senate to move forward on some of these issues. Democrats can count on a vote or two from Murkowski, from Romney, from Collins, from Sasse, and from one or two others…not all the time, and not from the doctrinaire Republican conservatives. If he takes a wild-eyed AOC-like approach, he won’t even get support from more conservative Democrats like Manchin, for example.

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  2. You don’t recognize the voter suppression efforts conducted by Republican legislators in recent years, much less the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights act? The good news is that these efforts have apparently backfired. Here’s some further reading: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/10/is-republican-voter-suppression-starting-to-backfire.html
    Support for Trump amounts to support of anti-democratic attitudes. Trump was clearly an autocrat in the making, and a second term would have been disastrous. Further reading: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/09/17/american-democracy-cant-withstand-four-more-years-trump/
    And to say, given a continued majority in the Senate, that McConnell and the Republicans will play nice with Biden is naive.

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