Opinion: Republicans Don’t Hate Government; They Hate Democracy
Republicans have proved to be masters at soundbite manipulation. The GOP has gotten, mainly, poor white people in the Red States to oppose Medicare expansion, happily believing that rich people trickling on them will eventually improve their lot. Truth in schools is being portrayed as a threat to whiteness, and now even the military and police are no longer their reliable allies. The democratic idea of power to the people has given way to power to the oligarchs. Republicans have operated for the last 50 years exclusively on convincing their base that government is the disease and only they have the cure.
‘…I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’
Ronald Reagan described those words as the nine most terrifying words in the English language. Ever since the former President issued that proclamation, along with the so-called 11th commandment, the GOP has made it their mission to create a fantasy to oppose. They argued successfully against Hillary-care as a government takeover of healthcare. They resurrected the same arguments against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the Covid Relief Package, and now the Build Back Better plan is being lambasted as a giveaway to the poor; and most notably, in the GOP propaganda machine, people of color.
It is not government…
Clearly, the GOP enjoys greasing the wheels of government when it benefits their aims. Republican lawmakers found a way to extend the George W. Bush tax cuts for the rich initially agreed to sunset at the end of 2010. Their reneging of the deal forced the Obama administration into an untenable position, eventually leading to forced austerity (Sequestration). The disgraceful maneuvering of the government’s levers of power to deny President Obama his appointment of a Supreme Court Justice was a blatant denial of democracy. Current Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell tacked hypocrisy to his rejection of democracy by force-feeding the American public Amy Coney Barrett after nearly sixty million Americans voted early in the 2020 presidential election.
Following the January 6 insurrection, Republicans realized that they misread the waves of their angry base and reversed the canoe. House Minority leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, and Chuck Grassley have decided that compromising democracy to stay in the government positions they purportedly hate so much is more important. McCarthy’s short ascension into the lofty light of country over self-interest quickly devolved into a ring kissing Mar-a Lago visit, genuflecting at the feet of Trump. Graham, who declared he was “out” of Trump’s orbit after the insurrection, quickly recanted in fear of being ostracized by the angry rioters and their supporters. Senator Grassley just recently appeared with Trump on stage, basking in the lying light of the former President to protect his government job.
To a man and woman, McCarthy, Graham, Grassley, and their GOP colleagues voted against the most critical entity we have to protect our democracy, voting rights. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon is currently in non-compliance with a Congressional subpoena. At some point, probably next week, the entire Congress will be called upon to vote to hold Mr. Bannon in contempt of Congress. Almost assuredly, congressional Democrats will vote in favor of democracy and hold Mr. Bannon in contempt. Let us see if Republicans use government once again to hate democracy.
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