Tag Archives: Republican voter suppression

If you become what you hate, is that why Republicans are now Commies?

For as long as I’ve been aware of politics (and longer), “communist” and “red” have been conservatives’ go-to attacks. It was true during the Cold War. It’s true now, when they use “communist” and “Marxist” as something equivalent to “poopyhead.”

But with Republicans, it’s always projection. Much as they decry communism, they’re increasingly embracing old-school USSR-style government. After all, the USSR is pretty close to their vision for America: a one-party state where the Party wins every election. Business owners must either support the party or pay a price (it says a lot that much as Republicans revere business, suppressing votes is more important to them).

Or consider Ron DeSantis. In addition to endorsing the right of drivers to murder protesters, he wants to make sure everything taught at Florida colleges conforms to party dogma. You know, nothing upsetting about the U.S. history of racism that might make people uncomfortable with the Republican commitment to white supremacy. As Vaclav Havel observed about the Eastern bloc communist regimes, Republicans believe the center of power is the center of truth. Dissent and protest are poison to that worldview, not because they threaten to topple the authorities but because they point out the government lies. He’s not unique, either — a lot of Republicans are dancing to the same autocratic tune.

A Politico article about how DeSantis is rising in the party but afraid it’ll look like he’s challenging Trump also reminds me of the power struggles in the old communist dictatorships (satirized in The Death of Stalin). Republicans hate communists the same way they hate Islamic theocracy — their only real objection is not being the ones in charge.

The Tampa Bay Times‘ article about the education bill includes one interesting detail: “the measure DeSantis signed into law will bar university and college officials from limiting speech that “may be uncomfortable, disagreeable or offensive.” I presume in practice this means anyone who wants to tell gays they’re pedophiles, use the wrong pronouns on trans people or simply scream “n-word n-word n-word!” will get a free pass. I’m quite sure that if the shoe’s on the other foot and right-wingers get called on their bullshit, DeSantis will hold this up as an example of oppressing intellectual diversity and therefore Bad (much as the right to run over protesters won’t apply if they’re blocking the road to an abortion clinic or the like).

And where Russians shipped their dissenters to the Soviet gulag network of prison camps, we have an OAN host saying we should just execute Democrats as enemies of the state.

And much like the communist leaders, the right wing has no qualms about making money in the process of taking away people’s rights (a long conservative tradition). Gen. Michael Flynn, who recently said we need a military coup, is also finding ways to monetize QAnon. The leader of the bullshit voting audit in Arizona is appearing in a Qanon movie. There are lines of fashion for fascists.

I’m inclined to see the current freakout over the military as part and parcel of the same thing. While the military is hardly free of sexism, racism and harassment, it’s also much more diverse than many parts of America. Women and gays can serve openly in combat now. So the new Republican talking point is that a military that worries about diversity can’t win wars. Russia will crush us, Ted Cruz claims. If you worry about diversity, Hitler will destroy us! Tucker Carlson sneers that the chair of the joint chiefs doesn’t know how to win wars any more because he’s concerned about racism. Laura Ingraham says even discussing racism with the troops is racist.

So much for supporting the troops. I think Cruz & Co. may be more worried about what the military would do in a coup, given that The Former Guy wanted to unleash the military against protesters after the death of George Floyd.

It’d be funny if they didn’t have a good shot at winning.

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Matt Gaetz, the Trump Virus and more! Links

Matt Gaetz, the smirking congressional representative for my old home district in the Florida Panhandle, is under federal investigation for possibly hiring sex workers (which I admit doesn’t shock me much as a crime) and paying a 17-year-old girl to travel across state lines (that I find way creepier). According to a couple of lawmakers, he also liked showing his colleagues naked photos of women he’d slept with. He went on Tucker Carlson to declare the whole thing an extortion scheme by crooked lawyers, volunteering the information that he’s never been photographed with child prostitutes — which nobody to date has accused him of (and if they’re underage sex workers, then it’s statutory rape again, not prostitution). Unsurprisingly, QAnonites, despite their delusions about sex trafficking conspiracies, believe he’s innocent.

By a strange coincidence, Gaetz also voted against a human-trafficking bill a couple of years back. And here’s some details about his friend Joel Greenberg, an impressively sleazy sleaze — which is relevant because the FBI’s eye fastened on Gaetz as they were pursuing his buddy.

Eight, nine months ago when it looked like it might be two or three years before we had the Trump Virus under control, I could understand people just giving up. But now? With lots and lots of virus becoming available? Surely we can hold on and take extra steps to keep it under control a little while longer? Not according to Wisconsin judges (dissent dissecting the ruling here). Or Florida Governor Ron deSantis, who opposes vaccine passports and wants to stop businesses requiring them from customers. Culture war apparently trumps even the supposedly sacrosanct right of businesses to set their own rules. Which is actually not new. And despite their support for low taxes, Georgia just stripped Delta of some state tax breaks for opposing Georgia’s war on voting. I wonder how they’ll react to baseball pulling the All-Star game from Atlanta?

On the bright side, while GOP won’t protect us from COVID, but it’s out to save us from the non-existent threat of trans people. Protect us from guns? Of course not.

False prophet Nathan French claims his prophecy of a Trump victory was right — it’ll happen in April. Meanwhile, President Biden continues unmaking Trump’s agenda, in this case some of his overseas anti-LGBTQ policies. And dismissing some of Trump’s EPA advisors. And unlike the Obama years, Biden knows to fill empty judicial seats. Oh, but the GOP have nailed him now — his infrastructure bill includes spending on things such as the power grid, water pipes and non-car transportation.

A black activist confronts the police in former Klan country. Another town broils over when two cops take part in the Sedition Day insurrection.

Yet another Sedition Day militant learns he shouldn’t have gone public.

The century-old Antiquities Act allows the president to designate federal land as national monuments, protecting it from development. Chief Justice John Roberts wants to put a stop to that.

Someone ramming their car into the barricade around the Capitol has killed a cop. But a minister thinks disallowing people inside the Capitol area targets his religious freedom to hold a prayer vigil there. Interestingly, the three individuals named in the lawsuit are Vice President Harris, Rep. Pelosi and the female Senate Sergeant at Arms. I think the dude has issues.

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