Political Crisis 1/12/23

Political Thoughts with Richard Bleil

The Republican have finally begun their tenure as the majority of the House of Representatives.  It was such a rocky beginning that it could have been made into a television comedy series.  Kevin McCarthy lost the vote to take over the Speaker of the House, something that hadn’t happened in a century.  To make matters worse, a hundred years ago it took fewer votes to resolve the issue than it did this time. 

That this happened at all is a statement of the disgraceful state of the Republican Party.  Going back to the Tea Party, ultra-conservative Republicans have been reshaping the party into unreasonable and extreme policies.  The party that once espoused small government now want the government to meddle in and regulate what women can do with their own bodies, excessive oversight into elections demonstrated time and again to be safe and have very rare incidences of fraud, and even some Republicans pushing for restrictions to religious freedom.  And sadly, they’re making progress with the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, which only embolden more extreme suggestions such as making birth control illegal.  Some would probably argue that these are rare voices, but they would have been unheard of just ten years ago. 

With the legitimacy called into question with the problems Kevin McCarthy faced, making the entire Republican Party look as serious as the Keystone Cops, they’re already wasting time.  The first legislation they passed in the house calls for a reduction of funding for the IRS and other programs passed just a few months ago.  I say waste of time because this legislation has no chance of going any further.  The Democrats still control the Senate, meaning the bill to repeal this funding won’t have the majority to pass the senate.  As such, it won’t reach the President’s desk, and even if it did, he would veto it, and neither party has the supermajority required to overturn a veto. 

This raises into question the purpose of passing legislation that has no chance of going any further.  It’s just posturing, the sign of a dysfunctional government and a dedication to party politics rather than the good of the people.  The concepts of debate and compromise is a thing of the past, leaving us with electing senators and representatives who have no desire to do actual work, favoring instead being obstructionists to oppose the other party.

Speaking of party politics, the first article of impeachment has already been submitted by a representative of Texas.  The target for the impeachment is the director of the director of the DHS (Department of Health and Human Services).  The claim in the articles is a failure to address the immigrant problem.  Of course, immigration policy has been a disaster in our nation for years.  Trump’s answer was inhumane treatment of people entering the country legally through immigration ports and seeking citizenship as is permitted by US law.  Clearly this isn’t a serious article of impeachment because it didn’t even follow any kind of investigation.  It’s just a way to try to lay blame on the Democrats just as busing immigrants was.

The issue isn’t the immigrants, but the underlying reasons for immigration.  Frankly, the extreme conservative supporters are a large part of the blame for this as well.  In Brazil, there were recently riots that overtook government building by those who support the far-right communist president that was voted out of office legally.  It has come to light that the supporters of this coup were those who supported the insurrection organized by Trump supporters, and in manners reflecting the insurrection two years ago.

It is a frightening concept, but it seems as though there are those who are practicing tactics to overthrow a legitimate democratic government in favor of extremists.  Like Trump, Bolsinaro was voted out of office in a legal election, meaning that the true majority of voters wanted Lula de Silva.  Unfortunately, the voices of the minority wanting to overturn the legitimate government, just as happened here in America, have been artificially amplified by opinion personalities, and the same ones, in fact, involve in the US.  Seeing thousands of people overrunning government buildings may make it appear as if the majority favor the loser, just like it may have seemed with Trump, but those who peacefully chose the winner are remaining home.  And, just like the insurrection of two years ago, the riots and actions were organized by social media, leaning heavily on extreme right social media platforms like Trump’s Truth Social. 

I don’t have an answer, but there must be a way to curtail the actions of those in the minority trying to force their will on the rest of us as they did in our insurrection. 

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