Former. In today’s politics that may be the word most desired before your name. I’ll give you four examples of that today. (And much more!)

The House passed a version of the Defense Authorization Bill that cannot survive the Senate in its current form. (I’m sure I’ll cover that in greater detail in the weeks to come.) That means that it will end up in a conference committee to work out the differences. It is telling that part of what appears to be a backroom deal to gain passage of the legislation included Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the alleged leader of the House Republicans, putting Marjorie Taylor Green on the conference committee. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

Several amendments were added to the bill, I prefer to call them poison pills. Normally this is a bi-partisan piece of legislation that passes by a wide margin. The final bill squeaked through the House on Friday in what was largely a partisan vote. The reason is several amendments that passed on Thursday one of which I want to concentrate on below.

The amendment was basically a joint effort of Texas Representatives Ronny Jackson (a/k/a The Candy Man) and Chip Roy. It cut off funding aiding service members in need of an abortion but stationed in a state where that procedure was illegal. I see this weakening America’s military in two ways.

The military has a serious recruitment problem. Recently the Army dropped its minimum educational requirement of a GED. That requirement was too stringent, prevented many potential recruits from joining the Army and in the process made recruitment goals unattainable. Do you think that forced births are going to attract more recruits?

How are troops going to be battle ready when they are pregnant? I don’t feel I have to elaborate; this is pretty simple.

This amendment passed (and it wasn’t the only poison pill one) with the votes of five New York Representatives that will have an uphill battle (and that may be putting it kindly) to be reelected in 2024. They are Anthony D’Esposito, Nick Lakota, Michael Lawler, Marc Molinaro and the Representative current known as George Santos.
I’ll dispense with Santos first. He’s been covered in depth and I’ll simply say that as far as reelection goes, he is a dead man walking. In fact, I doubt he can win a Republican primary if it gets that far.
Like Santos, the other four are in districts that Joe Biden won. The original New York redistricting for the 2022 election was ruled too partisan and changed. A recent court ruling rejected that change (the one the 2022 election was held under) and the districts should be fairer for the 2024 election.

More importantly those four are in districts where their voters favor a women’s right to choose. So that begs the question: Why did representative democracy fail? My answer is that the four know they are going down in 2024 and have chosen to play good soldier (no pun or disrespect for the military intended) and lobby for a good job after their lone term in Congress. We see a lot of former members of Congress in good gigs that are less strenuous than being a member of Congress, don’t require reelection and often actually pay more.

Now, I really don’t care much what happens to the four in question after they are ousted but I do care about America and its military. One of Vladimir Putin’s goals is to be militarily superior to the United States. He can’t achieve that by surpassing us other than by passing us as we are on the way down. I’m old enough to remember when one of the Republicans’ strengths is that they were perceived (and mostly correctly) as being stronger on defense than the Democrats. That is no longer the case. In fact, I’ll offer that GOP now stands for Group Of Putinites. Hey guys, Vlad says thanks.

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