The Great Civics Lesson: the GOP’s Plot to Subvert our Democracy

The fish rots from the head, as the saying goes. And, we are living in the three million tons of dead rotting fish off the coast of Florida, right about now.

When did the head of the Repubes begin their inexorable decay into the festering cesspool of treasonous authoritarianism? I’m guessing with the ascension of their most memorable narcissistic imperialist, Richard Nixon. Let’s review the evidence for the blight upon the House Repube:

  • Nixon resigned on 9 August 1974 rather than face impeachment for obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress. We all know this as Watergate Scandal and have been cursed with calling every political scandal something-gate ever since. Really, folks, it is time to move on.
  • Reagan and the country were both graciously spared impeachment proceedings by the Dem led Congress for the Iran-Contra Affair (20 August 1985 – 4 March 1987) because it was evident to the Congressional leaders of both parties that his Alzheimer’s was rendering him incompetent and it was “too soon after Watergate to put the country through another tortuous political fight over obvious malfeasance committed by the President.
  • Clinton was impeached on 19 December 1998 for trying to hide an affair from his wife and lying under oath. The only charge that the special counsel, Kenneth Starr, could muster after eight years of intensive investigation of the Whitewater affair. Most people looked at it as, “Meh, I woulda lied, too,” and kept on going. Seriously, this is evidence of just how rotten the Repubes are, not the Dems.
  • W was not prosecuted for war crimes committed in the course of his war on terror either at the time of commission or afterwards by a gracious Barack Obama who thought it best if the country just tried to move on. He was never held accountable for having lied to the Congress, American people, the UN, and allies to prosecute the disastrous Iraq War. But rest assured, that has left a stench that still fouls the air across the world.
  • And now we have the Ol’ Pussy Grabber confessed rapist, unapologetic racist, treasonous bastard, and narcissistic asshole who is openly obstructing justice, tampering with witnesses and juries, taking emoluments, selling influence, and gaslighting us all.

We can see the learning curve of the Repube leadership across this arc of time. During Watergate, they would making rumblings in the press about how the Watergate investigation was just a media driven partisan attack on the president. Then, the tapes were released, and the public turned against Nixon and the Repubes, so the Repubes to try and salvage something of a political future, turned against Nixon.

When Reagan rolled into office and tried to bankrupt the country just so he could force us to cut entitlements and cursing us with Trickle Down voodoo economics, the Repubes were determined not to lose another presidency to authoritarian scandal. Reagan circumvented Congress to fund the Contras by using the profits from illegal weapons sales to his old friends the Iranians for the purpose. You’ll remember that Reagan swung a patriotic deal with the Iranians to hold real live patriotic Americans in captivity until after the election when he would then unfreeze their assets.

Congressional Repubes were able to cynically play upon the sympathies and patriotism of gullible Congressional Dems to protect Reagan from prosecution. They was learning. They had a sacrificial goat, Oliver North, who was later exonerated.

The Congressional Repubes were learning that you didn’t have to compromise with the other side.  When Clinton was elected to office, Newt Gingrich hit upon the idea of the permanent majority and set about electing Repube majorities to state houses to gerrymander Congressional districts just for that purpose.


Compromise, the Heart of Democracy

Neither tactic is democratic. Compromise is the heart of democracy. Democracy is inherently centerist. (a) Our national political viewpoints and goals do not stretch very far down the political spectrum to either side, well until now since we’ve started pushing up against actual honest-to-god bubbling tar pits of fascism. So, compromise between opposing political factions and parties keeps us safely in the center. And (b) one party rule is inherently undemocratic and authoritarian. Without the other party and the necessity of compromising, a single party faces no constraints on its policies.

They learned that the federal judiciary is easily packed by slow walking Dem judicial appointments, and fast tracking Repube appointments. The nomination of Clarence Conflict of Interest, Mr. Bought and Paid For Thomas was the clearest early signal to me that the Repubes had given up on democracy and were pursuing an authoritarian strategy.

Reagan began the war on facts. W took it to a total war carpet bombing take no prisoners level. And, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber has nuked anything factual. By the time Obama was elected, Repubes were calling anything and everything a Dem said a lie. Now, they just make it up to suit their purposes.

By the time Obama was elected, Repubes decided that they would not cooperate at all with the new president and sabotage his every initiative in an effort to make him look ineffective and “win” the next election. That is inherently undemocratic and authoritarian.

By the end of his term, they decided to completely disregard the Constitution and any norms channeling Andrew Jackson’s famous proposition for Chief Supreme Court Justice, John Marshall, to raise an army and enforce his opinion against him. Democracy depends on office holders respecting the law, norms, the Constitution, and the spirit of democracy. Without them, we do not have a democracy.

Now, realizing that the rule of law is not quite dead and the vote is not quite vanquished, the Repubes are rushing Kavanaugh’s nomination through the Senate to have him sitting on the Court before the challenge to Mueller’s investigation reaches it. They are working overtime to protect the Ol’ Pussy Grabber not for any love or loyalty to him, but to sustain their Repube majority. For them the lesson of Watergate and Nixon was not follow the law and be good democratic politicians, it was subvert democracy by limiting the vote, erode confidence in the organs of government, and corrode the enforcement of laws and court decisions.

Somewhere along the way, they made a deal with the devil, Vladmir Putin. Putin realized that the only way to beat the capitalist west was to beat them at their own game: he bought our politicians. Now, he is approaching critical mass where he can do real damage to us.

Why would Repubes be subverting the US government? It isn’t for the proverbial hold on power; it is what that power gets them: rich. They are driven by short-sighted goals and blinded by their personal greed.

When you look at the last fifty years of federal elections, it is clear that there is a pattern of corruption and subversion in the Repube agenda. It has been growing more evident and prominent until now they are openly defying the Constitution, laws, norms, the courts, and the electorate.

We lose in November, we lose our democracy.

7 replies »

  1. Ford pardoned Nixon (“So the country could move on”). That was the big green light. Reagan believed (with good reason) there would be no consequences. So did Bush. So does Trump. I know only one cure for the disease, Impeachment (and Pence too), Prosecution, and Prison (and, for Trump and his family, absolute bankruptcy) The charge? Go ahead, make it Treason. Make the lesson clear that it is about something more fundamental that just partisan politics.

    This year it is not likely possible for the Dems to get the super-majorities in both Houses needed to impeach, and it would be a disaster to try and fail. Still, they can frustrate Trump into making fatal mistakes and hold out the threat and possibly dissuade Trump from running for reelection.

    Liked by 1 person

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