Tag Archives: Republican Party

Stacey Abrams: Our democracy faced a near-death experience. Here’s how to revive it.

Pro-Trump rioters storm the U.S. Capitol to contest the certification of the presidential election on Jan. 6. (Ahmed Gaber/Reuters) (Ahmed Gaber/Reuters)
The Washington Post, Opinion by Stacey Abrams, Feb. 7, 2021

Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, is a former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives and founder of the group Fair Fight.

The violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, coupled with ongoing threats to election officials, election workers and lawmakers at all levels, represent unprecedented attacks on the foundations of our democracy. Certainly, President Donald Trump and others in his party who inspired the attacks must be held accountable through all available means. But accountability alone will not be nearly enough.

Only meaningful reforms can undo the damage done — and establish a government that is truly representative of the people. The next real test of our democracy comes now.

Make no mistake: Democracy may have survived this year, but President Biden and Vice President Harris were elected despite, not thanks to, weakened electoral systems. Together with the Democratic Congress, they now have the opportunity to implement reforms that reaffirm our nation’s promises that our country represents and works for everyone. We as Democrats must act before it is too late.

Our democratic system faces extraordinary threats today because of sustained attacks from Republican leaders who throw up roadblocks to voting and, among the worst actors, stoke the flames of white supremacy and hyper-nationalism to cling to power. There can be no clearer example than the covid-19 pandemic. The deaths of more than 450,000 people in the richest country in the world are symptomatic of a democracy in crisis and a political system that rewards cronyism over competence. Despite strong public support for the Centers for Disease Control’s work, the Affordable Care Act, and other economic justice and safety-net policies that could save lives, millions nevertheless continue to contract the disease without adequate access to health care.

No thinking person can deny that the communities of color disproportionately suffering and dying from this pandemic are also the people whose votes — and ability to hold failed leaders accountable — have been continuously suppressed.

The pandemic has been a collision of tragedy and corroded institutions, and the challenge is in how we respond. We can either engage in collective amnesia about what we have just lived through, and leave an unaccountable government in place, or we can rise to meet this moment by fixing the broken social compact. Defeating Trump was not enough. Meaningful progress on health care, racial justice and the economy requires aggressive action on voting rights, partisan gerrymandering and campaign finance.

One of the first steps must be an overhaul of the Senate filibuster, which has long been wielded as a cudgel against the needs of millions who struggle. Today, the parliamentary trick creates a more sinister threat to our nation: the ability of a minority of senators, who represent 41.5 million fewer people than the Senate majority, to block progress favored by most Americans.

Democrats in Congress must fully embrace their mandate to fast-track democracy reforms that give voters a fair fight, rather than allowing undemocratic systems to be used as tools and excuses to perpetuate that same system. This is a moment of both historic imperative and, with unified Democratic control of the White House and Congress, historic opportunity.

The agenda to restore democracy also includes passing the For the People Act to protect and expand voting rights, fight gerrymandering and reduce the influence of money in politics; the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore the full protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; and the Protecting Our Democracy Act to constrain the corruption of future presidents who deem themselves above the law. These landmark bills have broad-based support, and would have passed long ago were it not for obstructionist leaders who fear losing their own influence if the American people have more power of their own.

Further, fixing our democracy requires we finally allow our fellow Americans in D.C. and Puerto Rico, the vast majority of whom are people of color, to have full access to our democracy. That means D.C. statehood and binding self-determination for Puerto Rico. In the District, as white extremist mobs destroyed the Capitol, murdered a police officer, and threatened the lives of elected officials and residents, Washingtonians were left defenseless because D.C. is not a state and its chief executive had no authority to deploy the National Guard.

Time is short. The forces standing against a democracy agenda seek to preserve and expand paths to power by shrinking the voting pool rather than winning voters over. In reaction to the historic turnout of 2020 and Democratic victories in places such as Georgia, already this year more than 100 bills have been put forward in state legislatures seeking to restrict voting access. Those efforts will not end without a fight.

We don’t know how many chances we will get to reverse our democracy’s near-death experience. We must not waste this one. We must go big — the future of democracy demands it.

Benicia Author Stephen Golub – From Russia, With Love

Lessons for the Republicans’ leadership, starting with 1917.

By Stephen Golub, A Promised Land, February 4, 2021
Benicia Author Stephen Golub, A Promised Land

Adopting a policy of “no enemies to the left,” Russian prime minister Alexander Kerensky freed Vladimir Lenin from jail shortly after he tried but failed to overthrow Kerensky’s government in July of 1917.

In November, Lenin succeeded.

An excellent essay by Slate’s Fred Kaplan draws parallels between Kerensky and most of today’s Republican leaders. Kerensky thought that his greatest threat was forces seeking to return czarist rule to his country. He accordingly sought to align with the very Marxists who soon toppled him.

As for our own situation, Kaplan explains:

“Republican leaders in America today have, in effect, declared a policy of ‘no enemies to the right.’ With very few exceptions, they have declined to impeach or even criticize Donald Trump for inciting the attempted insurrection of Jan. 6. They have awarded a House committee seat to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who believes in QAnon’s wildest conspiracy theories, who has told right-wing protesters they should feel free to use violence, and, before she was elected to the House this past fall, called for the assassination of Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Several GOP lawmakers still refuse to acknowledge that President Joe Biden fairly won the November election…”

“[They] embraced Trump and now refuse to dissociate themselves from his most fanatical followers because they were, and are, seen as potent bulwarks against the Democrats’ liberal programs, which they see as the real enemy.”

In Kaplan’s view, the upshot of this all is that the Republican Party will “likely lie tattered in shambles, regardless of which side prevails in its internecine battles.”

I’m not so sure. I can see Mitch McConnell, who has suddenly discovered a self-interested spine in pushing back against Trump and Greene, reverting to jellyfish mode if he decides the political tides again favor Trump. I hope that I’m wrong.

There’s another historical lesson here, obvious but ignored: If someone tries to destroy your democracy or government, don’t let them off easy.

That lesson clearly applies to Kerensky’s mistake in relying on Lenin…

And to the German establishment’s error in indulging and then releasing Hitler from incarceration just nine months after his failed 1923 “Beer Hall Putsch,” with the likely expectation that he was “tamed by prison” and “no longer to be feared”

And to post-Civil War Republican leaders’ cynical calculation, which robbed Southern Blacks of democracy and rights for nearly a century as a result of the 1877 deal that installed Rutherford B. Hayes in the presidency in exchange for the Republicans ending Reconstruction in the South…

And, today, to many Republican leaders’ similarly cynical calculation, as they let off wackadoo Greene with just a quasi-tough talking-to and continue to back Trump, despite his incendiary broadsides that ignited the January 6 putsch at the Capitol.

For there’s a third historical lesson for those GOP kingpins who still kowtow to Trump: The revolution eats its own.

That was the case for the French Revolution’s leaders as they turned on and guillotined each other. Though it may serve their short-term interests, the Republican honchos who have enabled Trump and his increasingly fanatical followers for years could yet end up politically dead, should they continue to cave to those conspiracists.

Given what the GOP has become, it couldn’t happen to a nicer party.

#RemoveNow: New data on GOP support for Trump removal

Overnight polling shows GOP support for removing Trump from office with growing fissures in formerly loyal base

[For Organizers: see below.]

Trump voters, who had proven immovable throughout his tenure including the tumultuous post-election period, now appear to be fracturing in reaction to the attack on the Capitol Building. New findings from a survey fielded Thursday, January 7, 2021 (n=2,009) by Avalanche Insights show that a quarter of Trump voters agree that action should be taken to immediately remove him from office.  Further, 41% of Trump voters believe he has “betrayed the values and interests of the Republican Party.”

This emerging disapproval is not only of Trump, but also of fellow Trump supporters who engage in violence. Two-thirds of Trump voters in the survey oppose the actions of Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol with 44% saying these actions “betrayed American values.” Over half (55%) say they should be prosecuted for their actions and 29% believe they committed treason.

More broadly, 62% of Americans hold Trump responsible for yesterday’s events and say he should be removed by the 25th Amendment or impeachment. This call for immediate action extends well beyond Trump, with 71% of Americans saying the Republican Members of Congress who promoted or supported yesterday’s actions should either resign or be censured. Half agree that Capitol police actions demonstrate preferential treatment to white people. Finally, 75% of Americans want the people who stormed the Capitol building to be prosecuted.


FOR ORGANIZERS…

This brand new data shows support, not merely overall, but among Trump’s base for removing him from office.  It’s critical to get this information out as widely as possible and your help is needed in amplifying these data points on your channels in social media, coalescing under #RemoveNow. Check out this social media toolkit for some sample content and join a Twitter storm at 3pm ET.