You might remember the 2020 election. There has been a lot written about it. Many Republican politicians continue to dwell on it. It wasn’t close. Joe Biden was elected president with 7,059,547 more votes and 74 more Electoral College votes than the other guy. You can look it up.
FiveThirtyEight recently reported on how Republican candidates on 2022 election ballots for the House of Representatives, the United States Senate, as well as state offices of governor, attorney general, and secretary of state view the 2020 election. They found that 140 of the 540 Republican candidates do not accept the results of the 2020 election, and another 62 have doubts about the results. So that means that 37 percent of this year’s Republican candidates do not accept fact and reality. The data further shows that 126 of the congressional candidates they identified are likely, because of their states’ gerrymandered districts, to serve in the next Congress. That would represent more than half of the Republican caucus.
In 2020 the Republicans, breaking with decades of tradition, did not adopt a party platform at their national convention outlining their plans for the next four years. Donald Trump, however, in his usual articulate way, did outline what he intended to do if he was re-elected. He told the New York Times “I think, I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we’d have a very, very solid, we would continue what we’re doing, we’d solidify what we’ve done, and we have other things on our plate that we want to get done.” What could be clearer?
As I noted in a post two years ago (https://politicsandstuff.com/2020/09/01/the-2020-republican-platform-revealed/), there was in fact a platform in 2020, gleamed from what the party said, did, and did not do, such as continuing to cut taxes for the rich and for corporations that don’t pay taxes; completely destroying the Affordable Care Act, including protections for pre-existing conditions, while replacing it with nothing; encouraging schools to save money by dialing back on teaching science, considered to be of little value to America’s future; and supporting all foreign policy initiatives preferred by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For the 2022 congressional midterm elections, the MAGA Republican Party has mostly been promoting “no, no, no” as their platform. Nonetheless some more specific elements of the party’s plans have been revealed.
Senator Rick Scott is the head of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee. He is lately best known for blowing through nearly $200 million that was raised for the campaign by hiring high-priced consultants, and for his extended cruise around the Mediterranean. Earlier this year, however, he released a proposed program for the party to implement if they win the midterm elections. Scott’s suggested policies include:
- The wall along the US southern border would be completed and named after former President Donald Trump. (No comment on who would be paying for it.)
- All Americans would pay some income tax “to have skin in the game.” (At this time about one half of Americans, including most retired seniors, do not pay taxes because their income doesn’t meet a minimum threshold requiring tax payments.)
- Federal debt ceiling increases would be prohibited unless accompanied by a declaration of war. (This would mean the federal government would not be able to pay for spending already approved and the government would likely default.)
- Members of Congress plus all federal workers would be subject to a 12-year term limit. (Hmm! So, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Marco Rubio, Jim Jordan, etc. gone!)
- All federal legislation would have a sunset provision five years after it passes. (That would mean that Social Security and Medicare could be eliminated.)
- Funding for the IRS, as well as its workforce, would be cut by 50 percent, (allowing tax cheats to prosper.)
- Scott also noted that “The weather is always changing. We take climate change seriously, but not hysterically. We will not adopt nutty policies that harm our economy or our jobs.” (Ignore the historic high temperatures, wildfires, and flooding that the country has been experiencing, not to mention the dire warnings of virtually all the world’s climate scientists.)
Finally, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy plans to announce his “Commitment to America,” which outlines the legislative initiatives that he promises to pursue if he becomes the House Speaker. His plans include:
- Focusing on inflation, high gas prices, supply chain issues and competition with China. (His party has offered no solutions for inflation problems, including supply chain issues, and all Republican members of the House voted against the so-called China bill, which will restore American leadership in technology products.)
- Securing the Southern border, reduce crime, stop Fentanyl, and defend our national security, (based no doubt on the outstanding record on such things by the former administration).
- Making sure every kid in every neighborhood can succeed, providing better care and improved health outcomes for all Americans. (Undoubtedly, they will start by cutting back on health care for children, school safety, and defining “neighborhood” very strictly to eliminate any neighborhoods in urban areas.)
- “Oversight” (see Benghazi investigations, 2015. Such activities would likely attempt to re-write the history of January 6. Fortunately, there is video, audio, and written documentation already on the record.)
- Ensuring safe and fair elections, (meaning that access to voting will be limited and state legislatures would be given the power to override the results of voting that they do not agree with.)
So, voters, with just eight weeks to go until the election, you can choose Republican promises, as noted, or support actual Democratic legislative accomplishments over the past two years. Or maybe just consider the disastrous handling of national security matters by the former administration. Or maybe consider what an out-of-control activist Supreme Court might do. Or maybe you just need to think about what Richard Nixon advised the country to do in 1968: “this time, vote like your whole world depended on it.” Because it does.
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