The contours of politics today look much like they did yesterday. President Biden is forging ahead through executive actions—today pausing oil and gas leases while switching the government to electric vehicles— while the two factions in the Republican Party claw for supremacy.
At the moment, I’m conflicted.
Yesterday Jen Psaki opened the day’s Press Briefing simply exuberant.
Introducing John Kerry and Gina McCarthy for a climate briefing and Q&A, she was bubbling with enthusiasm and pride in the administration. Later she took questions and no matter how tough or repetitive they were, she kept her cool, positive attitude and answered each one – except, a question about Marjorie Taylor Greene, about whom Ms. Psaki said, she would “not speak further about her… in this briefing room”.
The contrast between Ms. Psaki, who is fronting for a President with integrity, and those who fronted for the fraud who recently vacated the premises, was so dramatic I felt genuine joy streaming into my heart.
I clean my house one room at a time, and some chores that are more unpleasant and some stains more difficult than others. They need more effort, maybe a little Ajax – but at the end of the day, when I throw the windows open and clear the air, the house is more or less the way I hoped it would be when I started the job.
I know we will lose some battles. We’ve got some stubborn, old stains to deal with and a lingering stench that will take a good airing to clear. But yesterday in the Briefing Room we witnessed the power of truth telling – of doing a job when you know you are doing the right thing.
I have faith that Joe and Kamala and the powerful team they have assembled are Ajax-strong enough to clean this nation’s house – and perhaps (with our help) the senate too!
And on the other side of my brain, there is this:
Trumpist Representatives Boebert (CO) and Greene (GA) were both given Committee assignments by McCarthy.
The party formerly known as Republican (PFKAR) has done the math and chosen their course: They have embraced the Trumpist cause.
Their number controls most of the States. They will likely gerrymander the districts and take the House and Senate in the next two years. The majority of Americans oppose them, but existing rules favor their agenda.
We can either change the rules or change minds. Neither of these seem likely to change outcomes in the short run.
Short of taking up arms, how do we prevail? How does Democracy prevail?
The conflict I’m experiencing right now isn’t unique to me, of that I’m quite sure. At the end of the day, I stand on the side of supporting the President and encouraging our elected representatives to do the right thing, while working to unseat those Trumpists who currently hold office.
But, I also believe that we need to be thinking about and working on, plans to turn things around in States and Localities as well as on the Federal level, and that is not going to be a short-term project.
“Today, Republican House leadership assigned her to the Education and Labor Committee.” Her = Marjorie Greene. As a teacher, I find this horrifying for two reasons. First, it shows how little people think of education. “Here’s a whack job...throw her into education because who cares?” Second, well, I CARE. It’s the lack of education to discern truth from lies that has someone like Greene in office. Then to put her somewhere responsible for education policy??? Time to fight this one.
"Two [Capitol Police] officers have since taken their own lives."
Was it remorse for having failed to protect the capitol building or, worse, remorse at perhaps aiding and abetting something that went way beyond what they thought they were getting into?
I think it is important to know.
Were these two part of those officers who posed for selfies and held the door for surrectionists? (And if not, are those officers up on charges of gross dereliction of duty?)
These two suicides won't leave me alone. I hope at some point we, and their families, get some clues about why they did it.
Now that we can actually control what happens in the Senate with an extreme effort and to address the problem of 2022, Biden needs to attack now the question of a New Voting Rights Act in which he not only states that everyone must have the right to vote, nullifying all restrictions on that sacred right, and declaring that each vote must have equal value........thus also outlawing gerrymandering and limits on House Representatives in one blow.
It would go to the Supreme Court obviously, so he needs also to get his new SCOTUS reform commission to give him assured passage of this key measure too. We can't accept that the Supreme Court would be able to block such a measure.
Time is short, I know...but this seems to me to be an absolute priority. Get this through and into law and you win the 2022 elections with a massive majority......Democracy is alive and well.....almost! Otherwise we are back where we started.
As a Georgia resident living in an affluent suburb of Atlanta, Marjorie Taylor Greene is widely looked upon as a kook. But she has plenty of support in the less educated, under informed rural counties. (Sorry, it's true.) Her constituents have come under the Trumpism spell, based on misinformation and watching too many action movies. But she was duly elected and must be allowed to serve her term. The best Congress can do is censure her for making false statements and bragging that she carries a weapon. We can only hope that her own actions will extinguish her oxygen herself.
Speaking of Integrity, Biden is schooling Republicans on how to get things done and to keep his promises. His opponents, however, will vote against impeachment for one reason: They want to get re-elected. So they subjugate any sense of integrity for another term, thus fueling right wing "challenged" supporters, selling their souls to the devil. Mitt Romney and others will vote to convict former president Trump because they possess character in voting their consciences. This moment in history argues strongly in favor of term limits.
Why does the Harry Potter series continue to come to mind? Voldemort now retreated but the dark elements still seethe with dementors lurking in the shadows. We’re only on book five.
Thank you Heather. I mentioned you to a friend the other day that if she wants a fact based read, you are it. She is now a devote follower quite engrossed in reading your past posts, engaging me and others about them.
Needless to say I am concerned that there are Republicans that refuse to accept reality and are continuing to bang the drum of contempt. I don't remember there being this level of divide after an Inauguration. The QAnon are very much in the mix with their goal post changing agenda. Entirely to many negative factors pushing back a rebirth of Democracy. As President Biden pushes ahead towards his goals I can't help but wonder how far he will actual get. I suppose that is why we say we don't know the future, only the past.
Stay safe, stay well. This is far from over.
I keep waiting for news that Rep Boebert is being charged with sedition for the tours she gave on Jan 5 to insurrectionists. Who gave those tours?
And charges against Trump, when will they drop? I think these arrests will take some wind out of some sails.
There is a certain calm, a peacefulness to your words today. And yet, the message is at its optimistic best, worrisome.
Trump has been quiet, and Biden productive which are both good things. But the Insurrection Movement did not begin on Jan. 6, and still has plenty of oxygen. When a movement depends on pure fantasy and falsity, any message pushed out by bad actors will have legs. This one seems to be quietly moving from outright horror to a resigned acknowledgement of its continued presence.
We should have known this when on November 3rd, Trump gained 11 million new voters and the GOP House actually picked up several seats and seated Q-Anon believers.Right now, America is an overheated boiler. The plates are holding... for now, but the pressure is still too strong, and more than a few rivets have popped.
What feel right now seems more like an uneasy truce than a peace agreement. I do not see the majority of the GOP party peeling away from Trumpism. The "Big Lie" continues, as does the "Big Con". These days the "Lost Cause" seems to have found its way, its path lit by the torches of hatred. And their cause guided by the Grandest Wizard there ever was.
May God Bless Joe Biden. May God bless America. May God bless our troops.
What can we learn from continuing to read about anything that includes the phrase “polls say a majority of Americans believe ... , but a majority of Republicans side with Trump and believe ...”. Every time I see another poll result on any issue that includes this phrase it confirms my view that most Republicans are just f****** stupid. Sorry for that observation, but I have reached the conclusion that triage demands that those destined irretrievably to the lowest ring of Dante’s inferno should be allowed to go to ****, and we focus on saving those Republicans who believe in facts, science, truth, and democracy.
Tell me if I am wrong but as I understand it, the House managers can use the latest video of Greene harassing David Hogg and his sister, plus her FB postings as evidence of insurrection and criminal activity. They can present this in Fake45’s trial. Those inflammatory statements and videos are also proof positive that she must be expelled from Congress. A resolution to do so was introduced tonight by Rep. Gomez ( I think) from CA. saying that she basically is dangerous and should no longer hold that seat. Dems must “claw” and scrape for democracy.
Since the inauguration, I am deliberately regenerating my belief in my country by only reading you for my political news and finding my way back to the positive, creative being I was before 2016 ripped the scab from the underbelly of America allowing the dark ooze to flow and spread until I no longer recognized former family, friends, neighbors.
Thank you for the increasingly granular analysis of the country's state of affairs. The core of it is stated succinctly today: "While the Republican Party’s apparent embrace of Trump and all he now stands for is grabbing headlines, Biden and his administration officials are taking on the radicalization of his opponents in a new and promising way. They are demonstrating an approach to sidelining Trumpism by shifting the focus off the exhausting drama of the former president and his supporters and onto a functioning government that is working for ordinary Americans."
Morning all! Thank you HCR--and I hope your semester has begun smoothly, as I am sure you're also (like me) in the purgatory of online course prep--it is really refreshing to wake up and not hear the constant drumbeat of terrible, awful, disgusting things coming out of the White House and Congress. My favorite phrase in this letter is "deprive the Republicans of oxygen." That is the most useful and best strategy, I think, in terms of their attempts to prop up their Naked Emperor again. But I also am enjoying the research and social media mining that is happening (and popping up in my FB feed as well as in print media and here) in which people are revealing the myriad times when some of the most egregious examples of Gormless Obstructionist Party members (Greene, Hawley, etc) engaged in acts of bullying, faux outrage, and--in Hawley's case--verbal "manspreading". Greene should be ejected. But short of that, every disgusting thing she has done should be aired in public and no one should let up. This is kind of the reverse of depriving them of oxygen: it is sort of replacing the oxygen with another gas that is less palatable. Maybe helium? They can breathe it but it makes them sound ridiculous.
As I enjoy the many ways in which the Biden-Harris administration is working hard to present explicitly different ways of doing business as a kind of re-normalization of government work, I am reminded also--in news stories of rich and powerful people jumping ahead of essential workers to get Covid vaccines when they pooh-poohed the idea of Covid being a "thing" or they are threatening to withdraw support of hospitals (there is a hospital board in Topeka that got vaccinated while the police and hospital WORKERS were told there were no vaccines left) unless they get ahead of the people who really need early vaccines--I am reminded of something that Martin Luther King articulated many times, (I'm paraphrasing here). The wealthy and powerful benefit from a political and economic system (let's call it a form of socialism, shall we?) that supports and uplifts them with government handouts and access to the halls of power. The poor and those outside the usual white male dominant trope are told to "pull up their bootstraps" and are told that they have to "prove themselves" in order to make a living wage and survive. The level of inequality is notional, not only economic and physical, and the ideas have to change, as well. We need to call corporate welfare by its true name, and call out the corporations objecting to a living minimum wage--because they benefit by not paying their workers who have to rely on food stamps and other forms of assistance that we all pay for. I am not begrudging the people who have to use food stamps and WIC to survive. I am furious that the billionaire Walton family won't release a fraction (tiny, tiny fraction) of their billions in order not to have the US taxpayer subsidize their great experiment in economic autocracy.
So yeah: hoping that the push from the POTUS continues unabated for two solid years and that we throw the bums out in 2022.
On Jan 6th, 2020 the Republican Party became the Seditionist Party as they tried to overthrow our US Democracy.. This is how they should be forever branded, even after Trump is trown into the trash heap.
Even 78% of the Republicans, according to this article now stand behind Trump ... is aa far cry from the 94% or so just a few weeks ago. I have to think that the Independents have a MUCH more negative view of the Republican Seditionists than they had not too long ago, and are leaning away from the Seditionist party and/or joining the Democratic party in record numbers. (See how easy it is to brand them ... just brand them as Seditionist at every opportunity)
The Republican Seditionist Party has boxed themselves into a corner. If they support Trump's riot the Independents and moderate Republicans will desert them ... and if they don't support Trump the Republican nut jobs will primary them. A no-win situation.
After all, NEVER attack the US and our Democracy, no real Americans will go with that program.
While I don't rule out the possibility of another attack on the government, I'm not afraid. What makes the Capitol vulnerable also makes it safe. We're talking about protecting 535 people. The insurgents were lucky the first time because their threat was not taken seriously. They had a real chance and they blew it. It's a shame DC looks like a war zone. This is a Republican Party problem and they deserve whatever befalls them between now and March 4.