We should begin the new year with hearty thanks to the American voters who put democracy and the soul of this nation ahead of pathetic partisanship.
Despite the multiple attempts of the MAGA crowd to destroy the American way of life, most American voters said “no way” to the criminal actions of Donald Trump and his shrinking band of cultists. Trump, and several of his enablers, face felony charges of sedition, obstruction of justice, fraud, and more.
But the threat remains, as Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes:
The skeptics who said that campaigning on democracy in the midterm elections was a foolish strategy for Democrats were proved wrong. The GOP’s red wave failed to materialize for many reasons — Supreme Court overreach, especially on abortion, was a factor, and the actual achievements of a Democratic president and Congress counted, too. But democracy mattered. The Republican candidates rejected by voters tended to be the most extreme, the ones especially committed to Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, and those least ready for office.
Still, Republicans won their narrow House majority, and this will make governing during the next two years much tougher. You can’t have bipartisan legislation unless the party controlling the levers of congressional power brings it to a vote. President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were all ready to pass legislation a significant number of Republicans could support. Pelosi pushed through bills that fell far short of the hopes of many in her caucus because she preferred progress to inertia.
The new House GOP majority, well to the right of the mainstream, has little interest in any legislation Democrats could vote for. It would much prefer to use debt ceiling and government shutdown threats to try to force deep budget cuts while passing a pile of symbolic, one-party culture war bills. The Republicans’hope is to discredit Biden through nonstop hearings, plainly deeming it in their political interest to make Washington under a Democratic president look dysfunctional.
Biden and congressional Democrats must try to govern anyway. By offering a realistic legislative program in areas of popular concern — among them health care, housing and help to parents raising children — they could challenge House Republicans to join them or offer serious alternatives. Ideally, they’d get something done. At worst, they’d expose the GOP’s obstruction and investigative overreach.
We see the real threat of current Republicanism with the election of admitted liar and fabulist George Santos, the only member of the party of the elephant to beat an incumbent in the Midterm elections.
Writes Michael Gold and Grace Ashford in The New York Times:
In two years, George Santos went from being a little-known also-ran to a beacon of the Republican Party’s unexpected resurgence in a deep-blue state.
But a swirling cloud of suspicion surrounds Mr. Santos, just as he is poised to take the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, to swear to serve Constitution and country.
Mr. Santos has admitted that he fabricated key parts of his educational and professional history, after a New York Times investigation uncovered discrepancies in his résumé and questions about his financial dealings. Federal and local prosecutors are investigating whether he committed crimes involving his finances or misleading statements. Now, new reporting shows that his falsehoods began years before he entered politics.
Mr. Santos would join Congress facing significant pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Republican leaders have avoided commenting on Santos and his frauds. GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy isn’t saying anything because he needs Santos’ vote in his quest to become the Nexg Speaker of the House.
That is typical. A lying fraud may hold the key to who serves as Speaker of the House. Yes, more work is needed to boost democracy and save the republic.
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