Another year, another impeachment vote. The wreckage of the Trump administration and Trump’s extremist Republican defenders in the United States Senate will leave this country in unsettled political turmoil for years to come.
So will the cowardly position of the majority of the party’s members in the House of Representatives who supported wacka-doodle QAnon Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.
And so will upcoming votes on President Joe Biden’s COVID relief package, which is designed to deal with the pandemic and the related financial, physical and mental pain that the virus has spread throughout the country.
The Republican Party is fixated on its support of their cult-like leader, and the venom runs from Washington, via Mar-a-Lago, to state capitals and to local governments. The party and its leaders have abandoned all pretext of being a party of principle, a party that respects the laws of the land. The old self-describers like “conservative” and “law and order” are what the party used to be. No more.
Genuine “conservatives” respect the law and respect individuals. They work hard to get their candidates elected, but if they lose the election they accept the result and move on. They stake out public positions on important issues, which they are prepared to develop, explain and defend. Real conservatives don’t fixate on a single leader who puts his personal enrichment ahead of the common good.
The insurrection against the United States was directed by a president who could not substantiate any election problems that would have affected the outcome. Nor could he accept the results of the election, one that he lost by more than seven million votes and a landslide in the Electoral College.
The death and destruction at the United States Capitol on January 6th was the direct responsibility of Trump, his adult sons, and his sycophant supporters like Rudy Giuliani and Mo Brooks, who used the Trump mob gathered on that day to march on the Capitol and conduct a “trial by combat.”
Ten Republican members of the House and seven senators understood where responsibility lies for the January 6th mob violence. The rest of the party’s congressional delegation, however, chose to look the other way, to downplay the insurrection, and, by their actions and words, to make it clear that the Republican Party does not stand for the rule of law.
Republicans in the House mostly stood in support of Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric has only been outdone by her advocacy of violence against public officeholders. She should have been expelled from the House.
Yet to come will be another example of where the Republican Party claims to speak for the public while turning their backs on the needs of the unemployed, those facing eviction from their homes and the loss of medical coverage for millions of families. President Biden’s COVID relief package, which has the strong support of the American public, will come up for a vote by early March. The legislation will provide the resources that families, schools, health care organizations and businesses need while they tread water, waiting for vaccinations to be broad-based enough to offer the herd immunity that we need. Then we can move on to more normal lives; however the post-pandemic era will define “normal.”
Republicans will oppose the Biden relief package because of the concern they will express for spending government money. Funny that that was not a problem when they pushed through their partisan tax cuts for the rich, under the same budget reconciliation procedures, which cost approximately $1.9 trillion dollars. Funny that they did not raise objections as the federal government deficit grew by $7 trillion over Trump’s four years.
There is a great deal to do to get this country straightened out after the multiple disasters left by Donald Trump and his followers. The Democratic Party will once again have the responsibility and the opportunity to set the country back on the right track.
Lest my Republican friends become concerned that this blog and post is too Democratic, I believe it necessary to discuss the growing difficulties facing Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration.
I first point out the positive achievements of the Governor in managing the pandemic in New York State. The state was hit first and hardest by the COVID crisis. In the face of the inept management of the pandemic by Trump and his administration, Cuomo worked incredibly hard to keep things under control. When crises are flying at you from every angle, you have to do everything at once. In such situations mistakes are made.
When the time comes for some reflection about those actions, however, people in charge should be able to say they accepted their responsibilities, were transparent and honest about what they did, but also took responsibility for what did not go well. Therein lie the roots of Andrew Cuomo’s problems.
Most reviews of the way Cuomo has operated over the years will recognize that his preferred MO is to control everything. Aside from the pandemic issues, a good example of these tendencies can be observed in his management of the state’s economic development activities.
Cuomo has a lot of explaining to do about his management of the COVID crisis as it concerns the deaths in the state’s nursing homes. Being more open and less defensive along the way could have prevented some of the problems with the facilities that state Attorney General Letitia James, the state Legislature, and who knows who else will now be investigating.
Cuomo’s criticism of the experts in the state Health Department does not make sense. It is like an echo of comments and actions by a recently departed Washington politician.
Along the way some of the blame for the financial and management problems that the state now faces rests directly with the State Assembly and Senate. They have the power, with the super majorities that exist in both houses, to quickly modify or take back the authority they ceded to Cuomo a year ago. Legislators need to get to work in assessing the problems that exist and in assisting in the management of both the state budget and the huge amount of federal government money that is likely to flow into the state, its localities and schools in the near future.
One of the ways that a government goes off the rails is when leaders struggle to manage a crisis while dealing with the need for transparency. Massive federal resources will offer an opportunity to improve and protect the wellbeing of the state and its residents. Decisions should be shared with the public. Let’s see how this all works out.