There are two far right political brands in America today. They are both dangerous to American democracy. Think this is all hyperbole; read on.
Liz Cheney has received a lot of positive coverage in straight and left leaning publications recently because she simply did something currently uncommon for a public official with an “R” after their name – she repeatedly told the truth. For that the Republican House caucus stripped her of her leadership position. The reality is that there are two types of Republicans in office these days: Trumpublicans and extreme conservatives. Make no mistake; the two are seldom one in the same.
Most Republican office holders really lack a brand; especially the ones elected during or after the 2010 election. There are a few, like Cheney, who have been around for a long time and have a very conservative resume and philosophy. They are known commodities.
The 2010 election was a wave election with many Tea Party candidates being elected under the Republican banner they had coopted. Their cover was fighting government spending and taxation. In reality it was a racist reaction to the 2008 election of Barack Obama. I have maintained for years that if Obama were white there would have never been a Tea Party! Trump was a management disaster in the White House increasing the federal debt by about $10 trillion or 50%. What happened to the fiscal conservatism?
Trump became extremely popular with the Republican base and still is today. With gerrymandering the primary is effectively the election in many House, state and local elections. Since many supposed Republicans really don’t have much of a political philosophy except for racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia they are afraid of the Trump base. I contend they are not Republicans; they are Trumpublicans. Needless to say, they are dangerous based on their un-American views and lack of qualifications to hold office.
Cheney (and a few others) actually have a brand. That doesn’t mean they are any less harmful. That was illustrated recently when she sat down for an interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios. Swan repeatedly asked Cheney questions about the voter suppression legislation pending (and in some cases passed) in most states. Cheney, like a good Republican, simply kept repeating the same non-answer reply to multiple questions in an attempt to defend them.
Cheney specifically defended voter ID laws. The problem (from a democracy standpoint) with them is we know they have a disparate impact on non-whites. That is the intention of the Republicans under the cover of voter integrity. Nice noble sounding phrase, but in reality, it is a solution in search of a problem. Wide spread voter fraud that impacts the results of American elections is close to non-existent. The only recent case of an election possibly being turned on voter fraud was a Republican effort to do massive absentee fraud in one small North Carolina county. The election results were never certified, the Republican candidate eventually withdrew in court and the election was re-run. In short, the existing system worked. Are there isolated instances of voter fraud in American elections? Of course, but they do not impact the results. In the 2020 presidential election we know of two cases of dead moms voting for Trump. It didn’t change the fact that Biden won the state or that when Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman proved it to Texas Republican Governor Ken Paxton the latter failed to make good on his $1 million bounty. Paxton is a Trumpublican who is under federal investigation; like his hero don’t expect him to pay up.
Voting is the core of our representative democracy. Between gerrymandering and voter suppression the Republicans are effectively attempting to destroy democracy in America. Obviously if only “their people” vote they will win.
While we may well be dealing with two different brands, they are both treats to American democracy! Remember that when you vote!
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