The New York Times reports: “Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, told Republican senators privately on Tuesday that he has advised the White House not to strike a deal with Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a new stimulus bill before Election Day, cautioning against reaching an agreement that most in the party cannot accept.”
No better example can be found of McConnell and fellow Republicans’ refusal to address the dire needs of the American people, their dependence on a radical, anti-government base, and their elevation of personal political desires over patriotism. McConnell could, of course, put a bill on the floor and allow a handful of Republicans along with all Democrats to pass a bill that would contain unemployment subsidies for struggling Americans, food support for the millions suffering food insecurity, aid for schools, funding for states and localities (to avoid layoffs of firefighters, police, etc.) and money for covid-19 testing and tracing.
Bottom line: McConnell and his minions would rather not look divided than allow their body to do the people’s business. And Trump is so weak and inept that he cannot figure out how to do something popular — reach a stimulus deal — and then dare Republicans to vote it down. Republicans, in the midst of the most dire economic downturn since the Great Depression and the worst health-care crisis since the influenza pandemic of 1918, are entirely incapable of legislating.
We have frequently heard about Republicans’ moral and constitutional failings (e.g., acquitting Trump despite a mound of evidence, acquiescence to foreign emoluments) in relation to their abdication of their oaths and refusal to check the Trump administration’s abuse of power. But let’s not forget that they have not done their jobs. They have passed neither a substitute health-care bill (to replace Obamacare, which they seek to strike down in court) nor an infrastructure bill. They never even built their nonsensical wall. Now, with more than 70 percent of voters expressing a desire for a stimulus bill, they cannot manage to put through a bill to alleviate Americans’ suffering.
Trump Republicans deploy a strange definition of “populism”: tax cuts for the wealthy, attempts to take away health care for working- and middle-class Americans, refusal to keep first responders on payroll, indifference to the financial disaster (including looming evictions) and a desire to cut entitlements.
They must sense their views are out of step with voters, and are staring at a massive defeat in less than two weeks. So, rather than do their jobs and attend to the needs of voters, they roll over for antigovernment ideologues and seek to jam through a Supreme Court nominee who, they hope, will enact their radical social agenda from the bench.
A Republican Party that no longer leads on national security, gives up the pretense of problem-solving for suffering Americans, scorns democracy, embraces tariffs, eagerly installs activist judges and won’t defend freedom of the press, separation of powers or the rule of law looks nothing like the Republican Party that used to strictly enforce conservative dogma. In meaningful ways, it has adopted the positions it once scorned and has abandoned any responsibility to govern.
Such a party has disqualified itself from holding power. Voters who want a functional two-party system should be eager to sweep away the wreckage of the GOP so something better might emerge.