I know, I know, you catch more flies with honey, etc etc. I don’t care.
I would like to address the growing expectation (at least in the media) that there will be a Red Wave this fall, and the GOP will retake the Senate and House. I’m a bit of a history buff, I know these things happen cyclically, that the first midterm after a Party regains the White House tends to end up in the hands of the Other Party, Yadda yadda. And I’m hearing the pundits talk about Biden getting the blame for this or that and his approval ratings, etc.
Listen. Biden won because the Last Guy was an unmitigated train wreck. The voting public, most of them, had had enough. The Party machines still had enough mojo to guarantee the ridiculous outcome in the Senate which has led to pretty much most of the frustrations of this past year. Pretty much but not all.
Yes, I know there are two Democrats in the Senate who have been grit in the gears, but the one thing we should not be distracted about, should not forget, is that the GOP is still Trump’s party and they have been nothing but a disaster for many more years than Trump was in office. But it should not—SHOULD NOT—be forgotten that the vast majority of them are still in his ideological pocket and will damage voting rights, women’s rights, immigration rights, and push for an economy that privileges the wealthy AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS. (I do not give a shit, frankly, about how personally wealthy someone gets. But if they do at the expense of the commonwealth, through artificially suppressed wages because they will not reinvest in the community or through the absurdity of tax breaks that might put five bucks a week more into the paychecks of working people but millions into the burgeoning assets of those who hide their wealth offshore, or through offshoring manufacturing because American labor costs too much or through the blockage and disassembling of safety net programs, then I have to wonder at the intellectual capacity of those who keep voting for them—it’s like being held up and not only handing over your wallet but your bank account number and the pistol to the robber.) The fact of the matter is, the GOP has not changed. So voting them back into power expecting a different (read Better) outcome would be dumb.
The GOP is not a new party. The GOP is writing laws in the states to prevent people from voting. The GOP is backing movements (looking at Texas and Florida) to strip rights from women and LGBTQ and minorities. They are doing this. Nothing in the year since Biden won the election has shown that they have learned one thing about being on the wrong side of history.
So we have rising inflation. The president has no control over that. And frankly neither does either political party through Congress. We have had two years of a global pandemic that has fundamentally rearranged our economic priorities. There is now a war in Ukraine that, in order to do the right thing and see justice done, requires the isolation of Russia, which means certain commodity prices will go up. I have a difficult time fathoming a response that says “I don’t give a damn about other people’s freedom if my gasoline prices go up.” But that seems to be what’s happening.
I won’t even go into the absurdity of the posturing of self-identified libertarians protesting mask mandates. How childish can you get? Where’s all that furor over voter ID requirements and gerrymandering that disenfranchises communities and outright bar people from their right to vote?
So. All I’m saying is, if you’re considering voting for the GOP this fall because you don’t like inflation, masks, and the presumed stalemate in Congress, don’t. Remember why we voted Trump out. And while you’re venting spleen over Sinema and Manchin, bear in mind that if the GOP weren’t in lockstep in opposition to anything Biden might propose (the Build Back Better bill? The John E. Lewis voting rights act?) then those two would be sidelined and inconsequential.
Last January 6th, we witnessed a violent attempt to overturn an election. You hand Congress back to the GOP, the perfectly justified prosecutions in that investigation will be suspended.
This is no time to vote with your wallet, because nothing will change in that regard. We’re in this situation now due to decades of one-sided tax policy and preferential legislation in favor of off-shoring industry and our unwillingness to see members of the wealthy class as criminals. Giving control back to them will solve none of these disparities.
I expect that to happen. Because—again, any more than cursory perusal of history will show—Americans are, in a group, pretty nearsighted.
That is all.