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The Single Greatest Threat to the American Republic
The Republican Party Is the Single Greatest Threat to the American Republic
Its primary national imperatives are bigotry, plutocracy, and ratf*cking. It must be held accountable.
If the American democratic republic is to survive, the Republican Party as it is presently constituted has to go. It has to be ripped from the political landscape, root and branch, and burned to ashes, which then have to be scattered in the sea off Antarctica, of which there is a lot more these days because the Republican Party as it is presently constituted doesn't give a **bleep** if the planet burns.
But that's for another post. Not until the Republican Party as it is presently constituted has been wiped from the memory of man can a sensible, reason-based, science-friendly center-right party rise in its place.
The Republican Party as it is presently constituted exists solely to launder corporate money, and its primary national imperatives are bigotry, plutocracy, and ratfcking.
It doesn't believe in constitutional norms any more than it believes in climate science. The prion disease has progressed beyond all recall. The Republican Party as it is presently constituted needs to be put out of its misery before we are put out of ours.
And it's not just at the national level, either. Last week, we touched on the anti-democratic shenanigans in a few states in which absolute power was struck from the hands of local Republicans. Two of these states were Wisconsin and the newly insane state of North Carolina. Both situations got worse over the weekend.
In North Carolina, we learned that the commitment of the Republican Party as it is presently constituted to proving imaginary voter fraud was so deep that the Republicans went out there and committed actual voter fraud in one of the worst ways possible. They allegedly sent people out to collect absentee ballots from inconvenient voters and, somehow, those ballots never made it to the responsible election officials. Hence, there may have to be another election in the state's Ninth Congressional District.
And now, the ratfckers have managed to run off the Democratic head of the state Board of Elections for the crime of telling the truth online. From ABC News:
Andy Penry, a Democrat appointed to the position by the state's Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, had been facing criticism from local Republican officials that he is biased, pointing to various Twitter posts that were critical of President Trump as evidence. Penry's Twitter account has been changed to private, but the Raleigh News & Observer, whose editorial board called on Penry to resign yesterday, cites an example where he referred to Trump as a "despicable human being." In a statement released Saturday, and first reported by the Washington Post, Penry says he will "not allow [himself] to be used an instrument of distraction in this investigation."
"The investigation of criminal conduct and absentee voting fraud in the 2018 Republican primary and 2018 general election in Congressional District 9 is a matter of vital importance to our democracy," Penry wrote. "The investigation should be free of attempts at distraction and obstruction so that the truth can be revealed. I will not allow myself to be used as an instrument of distraction in this investigation. In the best interest of this investigation, and completely of my own accord, I resign from the North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, effective immediately
I'm cynical enough to observe that the Democrats once again seem to be bringing a catechism to the gunfight. It is impossible to imagine a Republican chairman of the Board of Elections resigning over Facebook posts when there is a vital election still hanging fire. And the Democratic candidate in the race, Dan McCready, has been awfully mushy throughout this whole rancid process.
First, he conceded when he never should have conceded. Having done so, he is left with nothing but some platitudes straight out of middle-school civics, if we still taught middle-school civics.
McCready released a statement on Twitter Thursday saying that he supports "the bipartisan board's decision and its efforts to ensure our elections are fair and every voice is heard," but did not officially un-concede the race to Harris either.
In a situation like this, the word "bipartisan" should never pass a candidate's lips no matter how innocuous the context. This is a lesson that should've been learned 18 years ago in Florida.
Meanwhile, the evidence of the actual ratfcking continues to pile up. One of the things to keep in mind is that the ratfcking also involves the Republican primary in which Mark Harris, a pastor, upset incumbent Robert Pittinger, who clearly has his own suspicions.
GOP Rep. Robert Pittenger, who lost to Harris in the GOP primary this year by just 828 votes, was reached via text by the Observer, and when asked if he blamed his loss on any voting irregularities, had this to say: "Others can determine that. I won't speculate. Look at the votes. Follow the money."
The power grab in Wisconsin is both more naked and more noxious. The lame-duck session of the state legislature, which likely would not even have been called had Scott Walker been re-elected governor, is prepared to turn the state's constitutional institutions into a pinata rather than allow Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul to function fully as the actual governor and the actual attorney general.
Not only are they preparing to move the Wisconsin presidential primary in order to help out an incumbent state supreme court judge, and not only are they preparing to restrict early voting in a way that a federal judge already has declared unconstitutional, and likely will again, but also, they have produced an entire menu of proposals guaranteed to entrench Walkerism and their own power, despite the fact that both were pretty firmly rejected in November.
To wit, from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
The lame-duck legislation would:
Put lawmakers in charge of litigation, allowing them to keep alive a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare.
Give lawmakers — instead of the attorney general — control over how court settlements are spent.
Allow the Legislature to substitute the attorney general with taxpayer-funded private attorneys — picked by lawmakers — when state laws are challenged in court.
Make it easier for lawmakers to hire private attorneys at taxpayer expense when they are accused of violating the open records law or other statutes.
Eliminate the solicitor general's office, which oversees high-profile litigation.
Modestly lower the state’s income tax rates next year to offset about $60 million in online sales taxes from out-of-state retailers that Wisconsin recently began collecting.
Require Evers to get permission from lawmakers to ban guns in the state Capitol or make other changes to security provisions there, including increasing the number of police officers who patrol the statehouse.
Bar judges from giving deference to state agencies’ interpretations of laws when they are challenged in court. That could make it easier to win lawsuits challenging how environmental regulations and other laws are being enforced.
Make it much more difficult, in numerous ways, for the Evers administration to put in place rules that implement current and future state laws. Lawmakers, meanwhile, would gain greater power to block any rules that Evers manages to put in place.
Require state agencies to file quarterly reports on their spending.
Require the Evers administration to report if the governor pardons anyone or his aides release anyone from prison early.
Force Evers to get permission from the Legislature before asking the federal government to make any changes to programs that are run jointly by the state and federal governments. That would limit the governor's flexibility in how he runs public benefits programs. If the Legislature’s budget committee determined the administration was not implementing recent changes to those programs, it could reduce funding and staffing for state agencies.
Require Evers to go along with a plan aimed at reducing premiums for insurance plans offered through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces for individuals.
Increase the number of members on the Group Insurance Board, which oversees state health benefits, from 11 to 15. The proposal would allow leaders of the Legislature to appoint the additional members.
I suppose Evers is lucky that they don't try to defund his office supplies.
This is very much a national story, and it is a national story because it illustrates perfectly how fully the prion disease has destroyed the higher functions of the Republican brain. The Republican Party as it is presently constituted is the greatest threat to the American republic since Appomattox. It needs to die, fast and hard, and the ground salted so that it does not rise again.