Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Golly, so much antidemocratic stuff piles up in just a few days:
• Texas failed to pass its restrictive new voter suppression law Sunday night when the Democrats walked off the floor of the state House and prevented a quorum. Nothing could be done about it before the midnight deadline. That’s political courage, and it’s going to take more bold acts like it to stop what the GOP is trying to do across the country. Among other features of the Texas bill, according to the Washington Post: “Language was … inserted in the bill making it easier to overturn an election, no longer requiring evidence that fraud actually altered an outcome of a race but rather only that enough ballots were illegally cast that could have made a difference.”
You see where Texas, and most red states, are headed, don’t you? They want their GOP legislatures and state election officials to ensure that Republicans always win.
For the record, President Assad of Syria just won his latest election with 95% of the vote.
• Republicans have come back with an alternative infrastructure plan in response to Biden’s $1.7 trillion version. Theirs is $900 billion, or a little more than half of Biden’s. The irony is that if theirs ever gets to the floor of the Senate, not one Republican will vote for it.
• As predicted, the vote to form a January 6 commission failed to defeat the GOP filibuster last Friday. Joe Manchin needs to get his head out of his rectum but quick. Apparently Mitch McConnell asked senators to vote against the commission as a “personal favor” to him. Even meeting with the mother and partner of officer Sicknick and other relatives couldn’t persuade as many as ten GOP senators to break the filibuster. Fine bunch of human beings, eh? Craven sonsabitches.
• For reasons that certainly aren’t clear to me, the Justice Department is asking a judge to throw out the lawsuit against Trump and Bill Barr for the way they handled the clearing of Lafayette Square last summer to make way for Trump’s Bible-thumping photo op in front of St. John’s Church. The logic, I think, is that anything done to protect a president is A-OK. No harm, no foul. I guess the law isn’t granular enough to carve out exceptions when a president does something for self-indulgent political reasons that puts him in danger. It was a show of force, pure and simple.
• A too-clever-for-her-own-good hat store owner in Nashville thought it would be cute to sell yellow star of David patches, like the ones Jews had to wear under Nazi persecution, with the printed message “Not Vaccinated.” Soon after, the Stetson people said, “You can’t sell our hats no more, ma’am,” and pulled out. She later apologized, but her psychotic association of the Holocaust with covid vaccinations puts something of a tinge on it, don’t you think?
• I, for one, am mad at Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, whose forthcoming book is going to chastise liberals for their belief that the Court has been politicized. He says the Court is by definition above politics. And he also insinuates that he won’t be retiring during Biden’s first two years in office, which would smooth the way for a replacement. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, God love her, would probably ask for a do-over if she knew that her failure to retire brought about a 6-3 conservative majority on the Court.
• Four more Oath Keepers have been indicted for conspiracy in connection with the January 6 insurrection. Oath Keepers, in case you haven’t heard, are a bunch of self-appointed guardians of the Constitution, which is a polite way of saying a bunch of white supremacists who interpret the Constitution through a racist lens. Oh, and they own a lot of semi-automatic weapons.
• Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has called for a Myanmar-style military coup in America. That’s where things stand right now. Digest it.