Congress has been on break since March 29, and tomorrow members will go back to Washington, D.C., to resume work. The next weeks are going to be busy for the lawmakers, not least because the political ground in America appears to be shifting. In the two weeks the lawmakers have been back in their districts, a lot has happened. The Biden administration released the American Jobs Plan on March 31, calling for a $2 trillion investment in infrastructure. The plan includes traditional items like railroads and bridges and roads; it also uses a modern, expansive definition of infrastructure, including support for our electrical grid, green energy, and clean water delivery, as well as the construction of high-speed broadband to all Americans. The plan also defines childcare and eldercare as infrastructure issues, an important redefinition that will not only help more women regain a foothold in the economy, but will also help to replace manufacturing jobs as a key stabilizer of middle-class America. The administration is selling the infrastructure plan, in part, by emphasizing that it will create jobs (hence “American Jobs Plan” rather than something like “American Infrastructure Act”).
Kudos to all the corporate CEOs who realize they need a strong middle class in order to have a strong consumer base for capitalism and a strong economy. One just needs to look at all the commercials these days to see the diversity corporate marketing is targeting showing happy black families in their new car, men doing the laundry, and LGBTQ people selling whatever. Voting rights and access to the ballot box is so fundamental. The key is still S1 and the For the People Act because the Republicans are going ahead with the state laws on voter suppression. It is high time to end gerrymandering, to make voting convenient and accessible for everyone and the transparency on donors. Time to get Senator Manchin on board. We the People, All of Us This Time!
The Republican Party is going down in flames. A party that is 86% white and that is so engaged in self-delusion that they are risking a mental health episode by sticking to the story that their white boy Felon45 is still President, that party is in self-destruct mode. If your leader believes the same pipe dream, that the whites-first society is still in control of the US and the executive branch, you’re in trouble, because that belief has been eroding since the 50s.
Goodbye Republican Party. 🥳🎉🍿🍿🎊🥳🍿
"The spring is going to see a remarkable game of political chess."
According to the NY Times, in his speech to Republican donors at Mar A Lago the former president described Mitch McConnell as "a dumb bastard." I can think of a number of pejorative terms to describe Mr. McConnell, (I've spent hours building a list) but dumb he is not. He's one of the smartest political mechanics in the history of the Senate. He's well-connected to the donor class of the Republican Party; the moneyed establishment people who would like to see the former president disappear.
Are we seeing the sides being drawn? Will the party divide; first quietly and then openly? Will we, (breathless) have a third party in time to split the vote in the 2022 mid-term election?
That last is probably a bit too much, but the mind imagines that for which the heart yearns.
The public “marketplace of ideas” has been touted as a hallmark of the American democratic experiment. However, it should be evident that this marketplace requires ideas worthy of the competition. The present Republican party seems to be unprepared to engage in this competition not only by it's failure to offer such worthy ideas but rather to commit only to blocking every idea from even consideration. A consistent refusal to consider changes of any kind on any topic and only decry their loss of primacy in the social order reflects a level of intransigent abstinence that is worse than simply unhelpful.
It is increasingly evident that rather than evolve their policy positions to adapt to a younger and more diverse electorate, Republicans are choosing to retain power by trying to control the electoral process in a way that favors those already empowered. This is stunningly short sighted not only for it's increasingly evident unpopularity, but also as it will ultimately freeze them out of power when the electorate’s continuing tilt against them reduces their control.
Recent pushback by various groups of citizens and businesses shows the growing degree of opposition to the intransigence and positions of the Republican party. Will they learn from the increasing opposition or will further electoral defeats be the only way to provide the needed discipline? Time will tell, but Trumpism seems to remain firmly entrenched within the party.
I predict that one day in the not distant future the term Trumpism will become to be a very pejorative noun for foolish and ugly corruption of political thought and morality. That will be the legacy of #45.
You know the Republicans are on the losing side of the argument when they complain that only a small part of the American Jobs Plan is for "real infrastructure." That is, roads and bridges. It's as if GOP leaders think TV shows are still in black and white, and women wear white gloves when venturing outside. Their constituents know better. Will the plan get scaled back in some areas? Of course. But the vast majority of people, regardless of political persuasion, want the plan, and it will become law. And we will begin to climb out of the hole that Reagan started digging so many decades ago.
To hell with the GOP in congress.
My uniquely liberal mother used to say, “Sex reared its ugly head.” No one cares today. We have the pill, single moms, and abortion everywhere.
She might have said, Prejudice reared its ugly head.” She’d be right today.
She was Church of England Episcopal by her liberal and amusing father, Fredrick Charles Dempster Bonnor.
Her mother was German Lutheran, decidedly prejudiced when younger. Her only child rebelled, married three Jews, my dad was the last.
Sad, pathetic typical Christian hating Jews were troubled by my father, rejecting me at The Wall and on the UJA flight over.
The usual anti Semitic WASPS and Catholics found me Jewish.
Exclusionary private clubs were hysterical on both sides.
Catholic William E. Simon resigned from Beacon Hill in Summit, New Jersey when the fascists there rejected us - on their board. Walked away.
Good people are disgusted today. Seventy million illiterate whacks in our prejudiced nation found Trump appealing. George C. Wallace would smile.
That’s America today.
Watch Minneapolis. One is all it will take. Just what Trump wants.
Blacks are properly fed up. As all right minded Americans are.
It’s time we grew up.
Black kids are our kids. All kids are our kids.
Kids are our future. To good mothers!
Strength in Tolerance.
It's worth noting the victory of Japanese golfer Hideki Matsuyama in yesterday's Masters tournament in Augusta, GA. The first black player to be invited to the Masters was Lee Elder in 1975, when I was in college. A column could be written on the parallels between a Japanese golfer in 2021 going to voter-suppressing Georgia in a background of violence against Asians, and Jesse Owens going to the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and both coming away champions.
Whenever he opens his mouth, one can almost hear the massive sucking sound as all the truth in the room is pulled into the vacuum of dead space behind the lying lips of Mitch McConnell.
Very good Monday morning to all & many thanks HCR for a comprehensive overview of what's what in politics and beyond. Each point covered is well worth digging into and could easily support individual Letters!
In re the infrastructure proposal: in rural communities where big ag, both row crop and livestock, is predominant, there has been a steady push for over a decade to enhance broadband and satellite internet connectivity. Much of big ag technology is dependent on real time use of data in the field. Ranchers and farmers may end up being vocal advocates of a large infrastructure package especially where internet access plays a key role.
During the last administration, the USDA advocated heavily for enhanced broadband access for rural Americans. Attached is a link to an overview with a live link to the report at the beginning of paragraph 5. Gee, did Donald forget to include this during his big infrastructure week announcement? (Ahem.)
They're self-destructing but it isn't happening fast enough. Why oh why couldn't covid-19 have been fatal to idiots who didn't take it seriously?
I love how you tie the many threads together Heather. All connected; yet seemingly different activities by the Biden administration.
Thank for your energizing and focusing letter, Professor! I hope all who read and share your letters are ready for what is ahead, "So, in the face of remarkably popular Democratic proposals to rebuild the country-- proposals that will kill the central principle of the Republican Party since the time of President Ronald Reagan that the government must get out of the economy—Republicans are split between their voting base, which wants Trumpian voter restrictions, and their donor base, which recognizes that those restrictions will destabilize the country."
We need so badly not only to pass these acts - every one of them - but to weld them into the foundation of a post Reagan era, redefining Democratic principles and challenging Republicans to renounce their racist and economic slavery.
The Dems have their work cut out for them as they return to DC. And, they better work fast as I believe we might be heading towards a "long, hot summer." Another black man was shot and killed by a police officer in Minneapolis yesterday, sparking protests. If the Chauvin trial ends with acquital, the streets throughout the country will fill with justified anger and frustration. When will this end? When will those responsible with protecting and serving do that rather than "shooting and asking later"?
¨With the Justice Department indicting the January 6 insurrectionists and popular voices turning against the forces Trump encouraged, the angry Trump base appears to be going underground.¨¨makes them all the more dangerous.
The place the republicans are in now is where people without integrity end up.
Yesterday, I noticed a remarkable imagine in a NYTimes article photo. The article was about the NRA bankruptcy. The photo was NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre delivering his message on the stage at the 2021 CPAC meeting. The ceiling of the stage featured a lighting design composed of a blue cross outlined in lights, lights spaced in the cross, representing the Confederate flag cross and stars. The reference and symbolism could not have been unintended.
CPAC has been the litmus test for Republican Party candidates, promoting conservative extremists. The most extreme conservative agenda would be to move the US back to the days when white supremacy, pro slavery states, militia violence, suppression and oppression of all others stimied and ruled our nation. When caning representatives in Congress by white supremacists was considered a right with no consequences.
The Republican Party does not play chess. They use brute force. They are not the party of Lincoln. They have become the party of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Preston Brooks. US House Representative Preston Brooks entered the US Senate Chamber and caned nearly to death US Senator Charles Sumner on May 22, 1856. Northern newspapers ran reports of this with comments about how abusive southern Democrats are. They have no respect for free speech. They mistreat northerners as they mistreat their slaves. They believe they are our masters. Southern papers wrote Brooks up as a hero and said northerners like Sumner should be caned everyday. This event established for both sides the brutality of the soon to become Confederates that helped spark the Civil War. There was absolutely no bipartisan will in the south. A belief that brutality prevails. These attitudes are still with us. Symbolized in the CPAC stage ceiling with NRA's Wayne LaPierre advocating guns for whatever purpose you feel deserves protection against your fellow citizens. This is the Confederate States of America alive and active in 2021.