As someone who feared Biden would be centrist and too eager to cooperate with Republicans, I’ve been happily surprised that he’s pushing a relatively radical agenda for 21st century America. As John Scalzi says, it’s hard for Repubs to hammer him as the Evil Devil Socialist because he’s a blandly boring, decent white dude. While Republicans shriek about him betraying his talk of unity, Catherine Rampell says he’s delivering it a different way: by not treating the enemy the way Trump treated his.
The downside? Although Biden’s policies are popular and Republican policies are very much unpopular, our country has reached a point at which Republicans find minority rule easy. It’s not just that they won two of the last five elections despite losing the popular vote; the counter-majority elements in the U.S. system also give them disproportionate power in the House, the Senate and at state level. And they’re pushing to make it harder to vote while lying it’s because the election was stolen. Or that their voters think it was stolen (“When half of the voters of this country don’t have faith in our electoral system, doing nothing is not an option,”) which is supposedly enough of a reason (I’m sure if Dems feel the same about 2024, they’ll be back to “fuck your feelings.”).
As we’ve seen the past month or so, given a choice between supporting corporate America and making it harder for people to vote, they prioritize disenfranchising people. This leads to bizarre twists such as Ted Cruz admitting he’s sold out America for corporate donations and pretending he won’t do it again. Or Marco Rubio’s outrage that corporations won’t support the new version of Jim Crow. Or Glenn Beck being shocked and appalled that anyone would see this as a return to Jim Crow (whereas it’s perfectly acceptable for him to call liberals Nazis). Of course Ron DeSantis tops him by insisting systemic racism is a myth.
Hell, they’re still trying to “prove” Trump won in 2020.
Republican candidates have to worry about alienating their voters in primaries much more than winning over the majority. That gives them an incentive to let their inner, anti-American scumbag out. Especially with Trump still demanding revenge for Republicans not overthrowing the government for him. That involves giving them someone to hate; as gay-hating is losing its punch, we’ve seen the sudden concern about the trans menace. Sexism isn’t the only thing that spawns undead cliches.
And there’s no stopping the rejection of reality or the lies. Michelle Bachman lying about how Biden will impose the homosexual agenda. Tucker Carlson telling viewers to call the cops on parents with masked kids. Republicans supporting Carlson’s rants about replacement theory. A lying snake who claims the George Floyd murder was a hoax. Or the completely bullshit claims that Biden’s climate-change plan will restrict Americans to one burger a month.
Meanwhile, the capital rioters are still struggling to stay out of jail. And extremist groups are making it fun and entertaining to become a white supremacist and hang out with your buddies. Which is not surprising: it was part of the appeal of the 1920s KKK.
And when you get down to the state level, like Kansas Rep. Mark Samsel, they’re even creepier.
I keep trying to think of ways I can contribute besides writing a check, or writing to the lying liar Sen. Thom Tillis, but so far I haven’t much in the way of ideas.