Whenever the United States faces some kind of national emergency, politicians like to tell us that we must put aside our partisan differences and come together for the greater good.
You should never listen to them.
Republicans have spent 50 years trying to destroy the federal government, disassembling it piece-by-piece and tax cut-by-tax cut. President Trump accelerated the process, chasing out or firing noble civil servants and turning DC into a rotting husk of corrupt self-dealers and ideological zealots. In doing so, he has fulfilled the mission of the modern Republican Party and left us entirely unprepared for the national pandemic we now face.
The past three years have been a nonstop gauntlet of mendacity and mini-crises, but it’s the blossoming of the coronavirus that truly lays bare just how catastrophic this model GOP governance has been for this country. Even if Trump weren’t a drooling hobgoblin whose irradiated brain can only process racist TV anchors and angry tweets, we’d have been in big trouble. This was a long time coming.
Beneath the spray tan, Trump is the embodiment of the modern Republican Party, and his uber-GOP policies laid the groundwork for the disaster we’re facing. He fired the White House’s pandemic response team and defenestrated the CDC’s global disease outbreak squad, undercutting competent government. He has waged an unprecedented war on the media and reality that has put working people in danger. And even now, Republicans are fighting tooth and nail against helping even the most vulnerable Americans in this crisis, pushing back against any relief or help for workers and victims.
It’s the same craven social engineering as usual, now only amplified by the outbreak and public empathy for people without healthcare or jobs that pay them enough to stay home for a few weeks.
Instead, the GOP’s solution thus far has been to push payroll tax cuts and bailouts for oil companies; Republicans want to use this disaster to cut taxes for corporations, sever the source of Social Security and Medicare funding, and prop up the stock market by helping oil companies. They’re so spooked about economic fallout for the wealthy, they’re injecting $1.5 trillion into the markets, a sum that just so happens to equal the amount of student debt in the United States.
Socialism for the rich. The rest of us? We can piss right off.
If a global pandemic and mountains of shame won’t move Republicans to even feign a basic sense of humanity, it’s up to us to replace them through sheer brute force this fall. Hopefully, if there’s a silver lining to this disaster, it will be the realization that a competent, compassionate government that protects and provides for its people is absolutely essential, now more than ever.
As long-time readers of Progressives Everywhere know, whether we have any shot of actually overthrowing Republicans in crucial states may depend on a few court cases and legislative battles.
In Michigan, the State Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the GOP’s rushed kneecapping of ballot initiatives after progressives passed a whole host of them in 2018.
Speaking of Republican sore losers limiting democracy, the GOP’s slashing of Amendment 4 could stop up to 775,000 people in Florida from exercising their new right to vote.
Georgia is also working on a new wave of voting rights limitations (after pulling shit like this):
Coming up: I had two really interesting conversations with candidates this week, one in Georgia and one in Ohio. I’ll likely be featuring Sara Bitter, who is running for legislature in Ohio, in this Sunday’s edition of the newsletter. She comes from a very unique perspective and is unlike any candidate I’ve interviewed before, so I’m really excited for you all to read her story.
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