Does The Republican Party Have A Problem With Democracy? Yes, It’s Not An Autocracy!

The Republican Party has morphed into something that is all but unrecognizable to Americans and the rest of the world, especially since America is the leader of the free world.  And what’s even more frightening, they are continuing to devolve!  No one knows what the final version of this monster will look and be like.  The Republican Party has given itself over completely to a disgraced former Occupier of the Oval Office who allegedly caused the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, is suspected of – wittingly or unwittingly – collaborating with Russia to further Russia’s interests at the expense of those of America, using the U.S. Department of Justice as a tool to punish his enemies and reward his friends and is plagued by lawsuits.  And finally, he is continuing to state publicly that he is still The Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and that he will be reinstated to office in August 2021.  Mr. Trump is leading the Republican Party into oblivion and all of the members of this Party are afraid to consistently confront and challenge him even though he is an existential threat to the American democracy.  All of these members are cowards!

I am not saying that these Republican politicians should not be afraid.  Their jobs and careers are at stake and they have more than just themselves to think about; they have their families to think about.  Just like anyone else, they have the responsibility to do their part to feed, clothe, and shelter them.  What I am saying is that these politicians – even though they are afraid, must step up and do what is in the best interest of America.  They are not there to do what is in their own best interest, although that is what most of us regular working folks would do, or what is in the best interest of their political party.  These elected politicians do not have the luxury of doing what most regular working folks would do because in order to be officially placed in office, they swore an oath to defend the Constitution and to protect America and defend her against all enemies foreign and domestic.  This subjects them to the same standards that apply to anyone else in positions of trust and authority; people like policemen: More about policemen later.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to do the same thing to President Biden that he did to President Obama; he wants to gum up the works.  Senator McConnell has already publicly vowed to do everything within his power to block President Biden’s agenda.  And although House Leader Kevin McCarthy has not verbalized his intention to follow Minority Leader McConnell’s lead, his actions indicate that that is exactly what he plans to do.  All of the Republicans in the House and Senate are supporting Mr. Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ in which he says that the 2020 election was stolen from him.  Some are supporting the ‘Big Lie’ by openly siding with Mr. Trump while others are supporting it tacitly.

Many people are giving Representative Liz Cheney and Senator Mitt Romney credit for their bravery in speaking out against Mr. Trump.  They do not deserve credit for being brave for this!  What they are doing has more to do with self-preservation and political gain than it does to do with fighting to preserve the American democracy!  Representative Cheney and Senator Romney are among those previously mentioned tacit supporters!  Representative Cheney cannot even bring herself to publicly admit that those states that are putting laws into place that make it harder for people to vote while using Mr. Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ as their foundation for these laws is wrong!

Based on the way that the Republican Party is conducting itself, it is bound-and-determined to place Party above country and it does not care who knows it.  Not only do Republicans believe that American voters have a short memory; they think that we are stupid!  And just like they don’t care who knows that they are placing Party above country, they don’t care that American voters know that the Republican Party thinks that we are stupid; otherwise, why would they be so brazen about defending indefensible positions?  They do not care that those things that they are defending are devoid of any rationale and completely ludicrous as long as they are sticking together as a Party!  They believe that they will be readily reelected just like most of them were in 2020.  All Republicans do now is talk about retaking the House and Senate in 2022.  Their mantra could easily be ‘to hell with democracy right now, let’s retake the House and Senate!”

In a 55 to 34 vote Republicans – fueled by votes whipped by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, blocked a bipartisan bill that would form a commission to investigate the January 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection.  Eleven senators did not even bother to vote!  Nine of those non-voting senators were Republicans and two were Democrats.  Although the Republicans were on the short end of the vote with only 34 votes, because of the filibuster rule they were able to prevent a bipartisan majority from moving forward to establish this commission.

All of these Republicans are aware that the majority of Americans want to see this commission formed and that they want commission members to get to the bottom of the January 6 insurrection.  But again, they do not care that this is what the American people want and they do not fear any reprisals that they might be faced with.  Instead of concerning themselves with what the American people want and what reprisals they might face, Republicans are busy rigging the election system so that they will be elected or reelected despite what the majority of Americans want.  They are doing things like moving forward on introducing and passing voter suppression laws in at least 43 states around the country, gerrymandering districts so that they can select their voters rather than have their voters select them and continuing to promulgate and support Mr. Trumps ‘Big Lie’ which says that the 2020 election was stolen from him.  Republicans have abandoned the rule of law because they believe that they can get away with doing so: They really do believe that voters are stupid!

Speaking about abandoning the rule of law, that provides the perfect segue into the ‘more talk about policemen’ statement that I made earlier in this article.  As you probably already know, Republicans love to ‘talk’ about the rule of law and how much they really love and support the American policemen who are on the front line when it comes to enforcing the law.  Evidently, they love to talk the talk and it is just as obvious that they fail miserably to walk the talk.  In other words, they love to talk about how they love the rule of law and those who enforce it.  But when it comes to actually supporting the rule of law and assuring that those policemen who enforce it do so with integrity and have Republicans’ support in creating and maintaining a workplace environment that is tantamount to the need to assure that all Americans have confidence in the system, they consistently are found lacking.

Why do I say this?  Here are three excellent examples; 1) Mr. Trump was impeached twice and the Republican-controlled senate failed to convict him despite overwhelming evidence that supported the fact that he was guilty.  2) Republicans refuse to admit that Mr. Trump incited the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot – for what they view as lack of proof – and they continue to side with him on his ‘Big Lie’ that the 2020 election was stolen from him and 3) they recently blocked a bipartisan bill that would have formed a commission to look into the January 6, 2021 riot that would have gotten to the bottom of what caused the riot and either exonerated Mr. Trump or provided proof of his guilt.  They blocked this commission even while knowing that a number of Capitol police officers were injured during this riot and some were even killed!

Our democracy is obviously at risk and, unfortunately, Democrats are not taking the threat nearly seriously enough.  Instead of marshaling all forces and stepping up to meet and defeat this existential threat, we are harping on the need for bipartisanship and insisting on supporting an obscure senate rule in order to preserve the integrity of the senate; go figure!  In the meantime – as I mentioned earlier in this article, Republicans are running around trying to put voter suppression laws into place in as many states as possible so that they can win regardless of the wishes of the majority of the American people!  Are Democrats continuing to bring knives to a gunfight?!

Have we not learned anything from dealing with Republicans over all this time?  How they regularly break their own rules and only believe in and act upon their so-called desire for bipartisanship when it is convenient for them to do so?!  Are Democrats so naive that they fail to realize that if the same situation that the senate finds itself in now were reversed and Republicans had the advantage that they would immediately move forward with their agenda with or without the support of Democrats?!  If they are, whoa!  And strap in Democrats because we are in for a long, rough, stressful and possibly tectonic ride.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line