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Congressional Obstruction of the Senate GOP

May 30, 2021

President Barack Obama faced strong headwinds in obtaining Congressional passage of what many consider to be one of his Administrations greatest accomplishments – the Affordable Care Act – in his first year in office. Most attribute this to the fact that, however briefly, the Democrats held a virtual filibuster-proof majority in the US Senate and a solid majority in the US House of Representatives. Even so, tremendous effort needed to occur in both Houses of Congress before the final passage of this bill and signing it into law. Most Republicans strongly opposed the legislation as being too costly and unnecessary, while many Democrats (especially Progressives) thought it did not go far enough in terms of who gained affordable coverage and how they would receive it.

Despite these objections, the ACA passed and significantly improved health care coverage for millions who did not previously possess it. Given the losses suffered in the midterm elections and numerous court challenges to its Constitutionality, the law remained largely intact until the inauguration of Donald Trump and efforts by him and his followers in Congress to chip away at it. Talk promising to repeal and replace the ACA with some heretofore Republican alternative health care system that does not now and never did exist in any proposed legislation has been drowned out only recently by two impeachment attempts and a 2020 election drubbing of Donald Trump.

Upon the rise to power of Mitch McConnell to Senate Republican Leader, the call was first to reach the goal of a one-term Presidency of Obama, then to do anything in his power to thwart any initiatives put forth by Obama and/or Democratic Congressional representatives which strayed from his views of how to rule the country. Throughout the entire length of the Trump Administration, no effort, other than an occasionally critical public statement, was made to curtail the overt or covert attempts by the former President to usurp the will of the people while aggrandizing his personal wealth and making life better for himself, his family and those willing to go to great lengths to curry his favor.

Following the November election defeat of Trump at the hands of even more millions of voters than he lost by in 2016, the delusional (or some might say demented) soon-to-be-Former President Trump made a mockery of the entire election by claiming – via lawsuits in just about every state where anyone but he was deemed the victor. All these attempts to overthrow legitimate election results were defeated or dismissed as groundless accusations of voter fraud that existed in the muddled minds of himself, his ardent supporters, conspiracy theory extremists like Q-Anon and politicians elected largely based on groveling at his feet (metaphorically at least). To this day, the man insists that the election was stolen from him by anyone – Republican, Democrat or other – who dared state or certify that anyone other than Donald Trump received the most votes and hence won the election.

Two sham impeachment trials and uncounted sums in legal costs later, Trump still rails against the unfair and unlawful system that would leave the Greatest President That Ever Lived jobless after only four years at the helm. His outrage has encouraged Republican elected figures in numerous states to fight for legislation designed to make the election of non-Republican candidates in future elections much more difficult if not virtually impossible. Many of these laws, some of which have already passed in state legislatures and signed by their Republican governors, are so blatantly intended to make voting significantly harder for so many voters as to ensure that voter turnout will drop precipitously if they are allowed to remain in effect for any given election.

The assault on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 will be remembered as a day that will live in infamy (if I may steal a line from FDR) as a low watermark for democracy in this country. Donald Trump inspired that riot. Intentionally. He was properly impeached for it and provided a sham Senate trial after leaving office – which for the time being means he is still eligible to attempt another run for office. He needs to disabused of the notion that he has some inalienable right to be our Emperor.

The attempt to form a commission to investigate exactly what preceded the events of January 6th to make a future such coup attempt by Trump or any other Hitler/Stalin/Name-Your-Favorite-Dictator to gain power more difficult and less likely to succeed in the future. The Senate GOP, through the use of the undemocratic filibuster, is pretending we do not need to punish the leaders of this insurrection as well as the hundreds of ground troops and followers who have been arrested and charged since then. People like Donald Trump, in whose name these folks acted following his incitement speech just prior to the riot, need to be held responsible for their actions. There is no doubt some of the others are still “representing’” us in Congress and elsewhere.

President Biden no doubt faces greater obstacles to achieving his and/or our agenda to strengthen our Democracy, improve the lives of all Americans and enable us obtain and increase the power of our voices  in determining the future course of our lives. Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump and their political clones at every level of government in this country and abroad, must lose the power they have stolen from the rest of us and restore the integrity of this society before they can burn it to ashes and us with them. The American people deserve to know exactly what went on to create the events of 1/6/21 and ensure that all those who contributed to this failed coup are not only held accountable for their illegal activities but are never again allowed to subject the rest of us to their tyranny.

Further Suggested Reading:

‘Never again’: Liz Cheney spits fire at Trump’s 2024 re-election after she’s ousted from GOP leadership

The purge is complete: Republicans oust Cheney from leadership post

Trump critics push new direction for GOP

As the GOP implodes, Biden governs

McConnell fully embraces the Big Lie to fight Democrats’ efforts on voting rights and fair elections

‘Mass Psychosis’ May Follow Cheney’s Ouster

Adam Kinzinger Exposes Kevin McCarthy’s Rigged Vote To Boot Liz Cheney

Joe Manchin’s surprisingly bold proposal to fix America’s voting rights problem 

GOP election official in the Arizona county targeted by ballot recount called Trump ‘unhinged’ and said ‘we can’t indulge these insane lies’

The ‘third wave of autocratization’: Analyzing red-state America’s place in a landscape of democratic decay

‘Democrats will proceed to find the truth,’ Pelosi says after Republicans kill Jan. 6 commission

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One Comment
  1. Margie G Martinez permalink

    Rick, you covered it all and and if words live forever in history, I hope people everywhere read this, your recent editorial about the corruption of DJT and his cohorts is so clear and concise. Thanks again for reminding us there is a real threat another Hitler is still trying to destroy our USA, our democracy and our civil rights.
    Best wishes.
    p.s. I knew you on Twitter. I no longer Twitter, but thanks for your emails.

    Liked by 1 person

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