The Party Of Q
Being in Congress is a good gig: prestige, power, perks. Lavish retirement. Money on the side, if you’re so inclined. If coming up with well-considered, beneficial legislation for all Americans weren’t so hard, it’d be perfect.
But wait! Today’s Republicans figured out how to retain the benefits while not legislating at all. Getting reelected by way of electoral manipulations and by inflaming their distractable voters with disinformation and scapegoating, they’re realizing no downside to filling the wells of Congress with conscienceless, unproductive people. And they’ve hit upon the latest campaign targets to accomplish it: gay and trans Americans.
Fully given over to Qanon and Qanon-adjacent conspiracies, it’s “Pizzagate” gone mainstream, hollered from the halls of Congress, where inflammatory, rightist mendacity has become routine. Anyone who voted for Judge Jackson, declared Margorie Taylor Greene, is “pro-pedophile.” When Judge Jackson was officially confirmed, as Democrats stood and applauded, every Republican senator except Mitt Romney made a nasty, low-minded show of walking out. How nasty and low-minded must they consider the voters for whom they were performing?
Florida’s preferred nomenclature for its “Don’t say gay” bill has become “Anti-Grooming,” a truly despicable slander; as if it’s true that liberals want to “groom” your kids to become gay, and as if “grooming” sexual orientation is even possible. “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer, or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4 to 8 year-old children,” accused Repugnant Ron DeSantis, DeSmugly. It’s their latest vote-getting trigger-word; probably focus-group-tested with Fox viewers. Grooming is, in fact, how they see any teaching of reality, because educated voters threaten their policy-free electoral schemes.
Promoting misunderstanding of gender identity issues, Republican leaders sense a winning strategy for getting their base to vote, against their own interests, for people that otherwise dismiss them. Transgender girls in sports, for example, is a complicated issue, deserving honest discussion. Lacking ideas for our more existential problems, they’ll run on it, cynically. “I hope the left doesn’t understand how big of a deal it is,” said Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins.
Bullying America’s most vulnerable gets the votes they need, from the ill-informed people they’ve groomed. Rushing to make it a felony even to counsel transgender youth, red states play doctor, while pretending they’re the party of limited government.
More DeSantis: he just threatened “cold war” with Georgia if they elect Stacy Abrams governor. Yet self-described conservatives rationalize remaining in that “limited government” party, one of whose governors tries to intimidate voters in another state over their potential electoral choices. One who’ll likely seize the mantle of Trumpism and lead the party to even worse breaches of constitutional democracy. (Admittedly, if Georgia replaces Senator Raphael Warnock with debate-avoiding, ill-informed, domestic abuser, Trump-endorsed Hershel Walker, cold war comes to mind.)
How disinterested are today’s Republicans in solving problems meaningfully? Texas governor Abbott says he’ll round up migrants and bus them to D.C. How fact-averse? Playing to cultivated stupidity, a candidate for Wisconsin Attorney General promises to prosecute doctors who refuse to prescribe ivermectin for Covid, despite its multiply-confirmed ineffectiveness. Given the undead persistence of Trumpism, it’s probably a winning strategy.
How lawless have they become? All but two R Representatives voted against holding Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino in contempt of Congress for refusing Constitutional subpoenas. “The militant left wing in our country has become the enemy within,” said senator and convicted Medicare-fraudster Rick Scott, borrowing successful terminology from history’s worst tyrants while providing no examples of left-wing activities comparable to what militant right-wingers did on January 6. Republicans’ perpetual self-labeling as the party of law and order is laughable.
Sixty-three voted against a resolution in support of NATO, guardian of European freedom, and, by extension, our own. Ten voted against aid for Ukraine until Trump’s easily-breached wall is finished. (In fairness, the Senate voted unanimously to withdraw “most favored nation” trade status from Russia. Brave patriots all.)
Because of Republicans’ and their media’s grooming of credulous believers, none of the preceding outrages matter. Proof: under President Biden, job creation has occurred at the greatest pace in history; yet more Americans believe there’s been a net loss than know the truth. Why bother with policy when Trumpofoxification works so well?
Is there a solution? Well, an experiment was done with regular Fox “news” viewers, getting them to switch to CNN for a month. As the researchers reported, “… participants concluded that Fox concealed negative information about President Trump. Partisan media does not only [give] its side an electoral advantage — it may present a challenge for democratic accountability.” Gee. Ya think?
So, there it is: unFoxify voters, save democracy. If only.