As you all already know, I grew up in a different era. I’m 65 years old, and I’ve been highly active in following, and sometimes volunteering in politics for just about 50 years now. And it was never like this.
From my earliest days of political activism, the Republican party was always the enemy. But they weren’t inherently evil, just misguided. Democrats believe that everybody in the country deserves a fair shot at the good life, even the least of them among us, and once in a while they may need a leg up. And that meant that the federal government might need to step up and give them that hand.
The GOP on the other hand was the party of rugged individualism. Their motto regarding poor people was Let them lift themselves up by the bootstraps. And if they didn’t have boots? Then it was the job of state, county, local, and charitable organizations to pick up the slack. The federal government had no role to play.
But even with those massive differences, both parties had plans, policies, and agendas, and they were argued in the public square for elections. But no matter how the elections turned out, both sides went to Washington knowing that they had been elected to Do the peoples’ business. That was their only job. And that meant compromise. Because winner or loser, nobody gets everything they want, but if the people don’t get what they want, then you’ll likely be the next loser. And by and large, despite the piteous whining and histrionics, that system largely worked.
But not anymore. Because one party, the Republican party has decided to forego any attempts whatsoever at governance, and doing the peoples’ will, and concentrate instead on raw political power. They have wholeheartedly eschewed any attempt to actually participate in governing, or to serve the people who elected then to represent them.
And believe it or not, I don’t blame Trump. Trump was nothing more than an overstuffed, pompous, populait buffoon. He never had his hands on the actual levers, switches, and gears of the federal government. He couldn’t be bothered, he had Executive Orders to sign to canned applause. Like Reagan before him, he was a stupid figurehead that made a certain portion of the population feel good about itself. nothing more, nothing less.
No, the actual villain here is Mitch McConnell, and he far proceeded Donald Trump. On inauguration night of 2009, McConnell told a secret gathering of his closest advisors that the GOP would no longer make any attempt of actual governance. Instead they would become purely obstructionist, in a fevered attempt to make Obama a one term President. It didn’t work.
But n the other hand, for McConnell, it didn’t fail either. He regained control of the US Senate, and basically hamstrung almost all of Obama’s agenda. The phoenix being holding a SCOTUS seat empty for more than 300 days to wait for the next election. Which Trump won and gave him a pickup seat on the court.
But the Trump era changed nothing for McConnell. He instinctively understood that Trump was a total moron, incapable of actually governing, so he whispered in Trump’s ear while he consolidated his power. That’s all it was ever about for McConnell, personal political power. He used Trump as a vessel to ram through massive tax cuts for his rich shitpoke donors, and to stuff the SCOTUS with conservative justices that would overturn Roe v Wade. In 4 years of Trump rule, 2 of them with total government control, there isn’t a single example of a GOP attempt at actual governance. Just the expansion of GOP power.
There’s an old saying on Wall Street, Trees don’t grow all the way to the sky. And today, Americans are concerned with real life issues like inflation and rising gas and retail store prices. And the GOP, especially McConnell, steadfastly refuse to announce a single plan as to what they would do to deal with these issues if returned to power. Nothing is about the constituents, it’s all about the power.
In the halcyon glory days of Versailles, Louis XIV’s mistress, Marie Antoinette became ensconced in history when she said, in response to mass starvation in Paris among the peasants, Let them eat cake! Cake being a cheap bread readily available in Paris stalls. But when you don’t have a cent in your pocket, it kind of tends to ring hollow. And we all saw how that turned out.
These are not good times in America. We are no longer at war, but inflation and massive corporate price gouging of Americans are making us all feel the pinch.
Voters want answers, and solutions, and right now the GOP is giving them nothing other than platitudes and Trumpism. The Democrats need to concentrate on kitchen table issues, and demand that GOP opponents provide actual solutions. Good luck with that.