The Greatest Danger to American Democracy

By Robert Reich

democracy-congress-tipping-falling-off-cliff-0528211.jpg (1692×1142) (salon.com)

The greatest danger to American democracy right now is not coming from Russia, China, or North Korea. It is coming from the Republican Party. 

Only 25 percent of voters self-identify as Republican, the GOP’s worst showing against Democrats since 2012 and sharply down since last November. But those who remain in the Party are far angrier, more ideological, more truth-denying, and more racist than Republicans who preceded them. 

And so are the lawmakers who represent them. 

Today’s Republican Party increasingly is defined not by its shared beliefs but by its shared delusions.

Last Friday, 54 U.S. senators voted in favor of proceeding to debate a House-passed bill to establish a commission to investigate the causes and events of the January 6th insurrection. This was 6 votes short of the number of votes needed for “cloture,” or stopping debate – meaning any further consideration of the bill would have been filibustered by Republicans indefinitely. 

So there will be no investigation. 

The 54 Senators who voted yes to cloture – in favor of the commission – represent 189 million Americans, or 58% of the American population. The 35 who voted no represent 104 million Americans, or 32% of the population.

In other words, 32% of American voters got to decide that the nation would not know about what happened to American democracy on January 6. 

Furthermore, the 35 who voted against the commission were all Republicans. They did not want such an inquiry because it might jeopardize their chances of gaining a majority of the House or Senate in the 2022 midterm elections. They also wanted to stay in the good graces of Donald Trump, whose participation in that insurrection might have been more fully revealed. 

Eight of these Republicans voted against certifying Joe Biden as president on January 6. Some of their constituents were responsible for the insurrection in the first place. 

The Republican Party is also pursuing new laws in many states making it harder for likely Democrats to vote and opposing voting reforms in Congress.

It is actively purging any Republican who has temerity to criticize Trump. They have removed from her leadership position Liz Cheney, who called Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and his role in inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot the greatest “betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” 

Local Republicans leaders have either stepped down or been forced out of their party positions for not supporting Trump’s baseless election claims or for criticizing the former president’s role in inciting the deadly Capitol riot.

American democracy is at an inflection point. 

Senate Democrats must get rid of the filibuster and push through major reforms – voting rights, as well as policies that will enable more Americans in the bottom half – most of them without college educations, many of whom cling to the Republican Party – to do better. 

In the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt noted that the survival of American democracy depended on the adoption of policies that comprised the New Deal. In that Depression decade, democracy was under siege around the world, and dictators were on the rise. 

Joe Biden understands that America and the world face a similar challenge. And like FDR, Biden is making a strong case that the adoption of his policies will buttress democracy against the forces of tyranny, not only as an example to the rest of the world but here at home. 

[Source]

2022 U.S. Elections Are At Grave Risk From Republican Extremists

We are arriving at a tipping point where fascists can overtake this nation and they’d have Fox News, evangelicals and the like supporting their efforts, apologizing for it and then even justifying it.

By John Amato

2022 U.S. Elections Are At Grave Risk From Republican Extremists
Image from: Getty Images

Michigan Gov. Whitmer was the target of a kidnapping plot planned by a paramilitary group called Wolverine Watchmen, a group whose goal was “civil war leading to societal collapse” before being thwarted on Oct 8th, 2020.

The Michigan governor most likely would have been murdered by these seditious, anti-American traitors.

Then we learned that Ohio Gov. Mike De Wine and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam were also targeted for kidnapping.

All three governors supported early state lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

If these kidnappings had been successful, these governors would have been put on trial for tyranny. And as we’ve seen with radical crazies, they would have been executed, most probably live-streamed.

The anti-United States cult of Trump and their support for an overthrow of a duly elected government played their best hand on January 6. Fueled by Traitor Trump and his despicable minions’ unconscionable behavior, thousands of MAGA cultists stormed the US Capitol, hunting for politicians to arrest.

Many chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” as they built a gallows outside the Capitol walls and we can only imagine what would’ve happened if they were successful in capturing even a single congressperson, let alone Speaker Pelosi or VP Pence?

Now we see Americans buying guns a rapid rate and this is similarly alarming. The NY Times writes, “But beneath the timeworn political cycle on guns in the United States, the country’s appetite for firearms has only been increasing, with more being bought by more Americans than ever before.”

Conservatives have relentlessly fear-mongered the lie that millions of immigrants are coming into our country through our southern borders to steal our homes, and that Antifa will destroy your neighborhoods.

20 states have passed laws that do not require a permit for concealed carry.

Former Trump reprobates like Mike Flynn, a former General and pardoned felon are still hoping for a Myanmar-like overthrow of our government.

What is this leading up to?

Gun dealers have been marketing their wares to violent extremist groups like the Boogaloo Bois, Oath Keepers and Proud Boy groups. who haven’t gone away, just receded into the background to evade the FBI.

We know they are lurking, waiting.

Outside of targeting politicians that either refused to overturn a free and fair presidential election or supported instituting CDC guidelines to combat COVID, the new targets may be polling locations and voters around the country, including the swing states. Maybe especially in the swing states.

Right-wing state legislators are trying to undermine the integrity of our entire Constitution — A government of the people, by the people, for the people — by passing immoral and illegal voting restrictions targeted at the working class and minority populations. They are trying to pass legislation that puts the election results to be determined by a hand picked enclave of Republican activists, not the voters, even the people they deem eligible to be voters.

If a concerted effort is made by these right-wing militia groups beholden to Trump to intimidate voters, vote counters and to even shut down polling locations, how would local municipalities handle this? Trump won the 2016 election by three states only. There needs to be protections ready and waiting to thwart any effort to undermine the right to vote in every state.

As a precursor to the present, back in the highly contested 2000 election in Florida, the famed Brooks Brother riots were held to shut down the recounting of votes that eventually helped award George W. Bush the presidency.

Roger Stone was one who took credit for organizing Republican staffers to demonstrate, but it “turned violent and, according to The New York Times, “several people were trampled, punched or kicked when protesters tried to rush the doors outside the office of the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections. Sheriff’s deputies restored order.”

Within two hours the recount was stopped.

They got what they wanted.

These were GOP staffers wearing suits, not gun wielding psychopaths who would have no problem pulling the trigger against defenseless Americans. Many of those staffers ended up in key Trump administration positions.

We are arriving at a tipping point where fascists can overtake this nation and they’d have Fox News, evangelicals and the like supporting their efforts, apologizing for it and then even justifying it.

[Source]

Republicans Are ‘No Longer Americans’ Because They’ve Stopped Supporting Democracy: Howard Dean

Matthew Chapman

Republicans are 'no longer Americans' because they've stopped supporting democracy: Howard Dean

http://www.rawstory.com

On Wednesday’s edition of MSNBC’s “The Beat,” former Democratic Party chair Howard Dean outlined the existential threat Republicans pose to American democracy — and suggested that as long as the GOP is on this path, they cannot call themselves American at all.

“I think this is a more serious problem than what’s going on in the Republican Party,” said Dean. “This is a contest to see if our democracy and our country survives. And most Republicans have chosen their power and chosen not to have a democratic country. The lies that have been told, there was a Georgia congressman out there saying there was no insurrection and it was all peaceful and all this stuff. It is not just the lies that Trump won the election. It is the Republican Party that has embraced this lie.”

“I think Liz Cheney deserves a lot of credit,” continued Dean. “I’m sure there will be people that are horrified that I should say that. But what we need is not that we all agree on our vision of America. What we need is honesty and to stand up for core democratic principles. The Republicans have abandoned principles. McConnell has abandoned them. All the backbenchers are carrying on and people from all over the country. The vast majority do not have a spine. If you could find six spines in the Republican Party, I would say you are exaggerating.”

LINK – On the Raw Story Podcast: Marcus Flowers
Marjorie Taylor Green’s worst nightmare

“We need people to stand up like Liz Cheney did today,” Dean added. “I could have every disagreement you would imagine on policy with Liz Cheney. But what we agree on is loyalty to the country should trump disagreements on policy. Liz Cheney exhibited that today. She’s a true American, and I have to say that most politicians in the Republican Party are no longer Americans because they no longer believe in democracy.”

Watch below:

Former Democratic Party chairman says Republicans are unAmerican

www.youtube.com

[SOURCE]

Republicans’ Jim Crow 2.0 Voter Suppression Laws Spark Fight for Democracy (+1 more)

BY LEE DLUGIN

Republicans’ Jim Crow 2.0 voter suppression laws spark fight for democracyPeople rally outside of the Capitol in Lansing, Mich., April 13, 2021, during a rally to support voting rights and end voter suppression. | Matthew Dae Smith / Lansing State Journal via AP

The country is today faced with a fundamental crisis with the proliferation of voter suppression laws, nullification of votes cast, and the determination of the Republican Party and pro-fascist forces to prevent people—particularly African Americans, Latinx, youth, and seniors—from voting.

The so-called excuse for this proliferation is the myth of voter fraud, the same false excuse made for the last 30 years. The right-wing rationale for this myth is to undermine people’s confidence in the electoral system. This fraud is taking place in Maricopa County, Arizona right now with a fourth, and now secret, recount is being done by a private firm with no accountability or transparency almost six months after the election.

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Postal Workers Fight DeJoy Plan to Close Processing Centers and Eliminate Jobs

BY MARK GRUENBERG

Postal Workers fight DeJoy plan to close processing centers and eliminate jobsPostal workers sort mail at the U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Oakland, Calif., on April 30, 2020. Trump-imposed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy plans to close 18 such processing centers nationwide. | Ben Margot / AP

WASHINGTON (PAI)—The 10-year U.S. Postal Service “reform” plan unveiled by Trump-imposed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy includes “the good, the bad, and the ugly” among its elements American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein says.

And right now, he adds, DeJoy is pushing the bad ahead of the good, as the PMG delivered a notice to the nation’s postal unions on April 27 that he intends to close 18 processing centers nationwide, shifting their services elsewhere.

The closures, Dimondstein said in a video Q-and-A with APWU members that night, would slow down service and cost postal workers’ jobs. “Fighting the closures is not easy, but it can be done if we mobilize,” he said.

He’s put union Vice President Debby Szeredy in charge of APWU’s panel of postal craft leaders to deal with DeJoy’s plans and mobilize members against them.

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The Messy Truth About America That the Right Wing Can’t Bear to Admit

The messy truth about America that the right wing can't bear to admitTim Scott John Stoehr May 03, 2021

This article was paid for by AlterNet subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

I got a second dose Saturday. I was bed-ridden Sunday. I’m feeling better today, but writing is hard labor. I won’t do the usual dissection of recent events. I’ll instead swing for the fences and see what happens. Even if I strike out, it might prove to be useful.

The president and the vice president were asked last week if Tim Scott is right. In a GOP response to the State of the Union address to the United States Congress, the United States Senator said America is not a racist country. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris agreed. America is not racist country. But, they said, there is work to do.

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Conservative Maps Out Why the ‘Derangement of the Republican Party’ is Only Getting Worse

Conservative maps out why 'the 'derangement of the Republican Party' is only getting worse

Donald Trump supporters outside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, Wikimedia Commons 

Alex Henderson May 03, 2021

The state of the Republican Party in the Biden era was the topic of a robust discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on May 3, with a panel of guests agreeing with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski that the GOP has become increasingly unhinged.

The guests included conservative pundit Charlie Sykes — a blistering critic of former President Donald Trump — Financial Times’ Ed Luce, the Associated Press’s Jonathan Lemire, and Eddie Glaude, Jr., a professor of African-American studies at Princeton University who is often featured as a liberal pundit on MSNBC.

Scarborough, a Never Trump conservative and former GOP congressman, noted that pro-Trump Republicans have been going after Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming with a vengeance for condemning Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection — and that in Maricopa County, Arizona, Republicans have been conducting an overtly partisan audit of the votes in the 2020 presidential election. Those things, according to Sykes, not only illustrate “the derangement of the Republican Party” but also, the “acceleration of the derangement of the Republican Party.”

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New Poll Confirms the GOP’s Fears on Voting Rights

New poll confirms the GOP's fears on voting rights

Rep. Kevin McCarthy // PBS NewsHour 

Kenny Stancil and Common Dreams May 03, 2021

Zero GOP lawmakers have backed the For the People Act, congressional Democrats’ comprehensive plan to strengthen U.S. democracy by making it easier to vote, curbing partisan gerrymandering, and limiting the influence of money in politics.

Republican voters, however, support many of the proposals in the 800-page bill, according to a new poll released Monday.

The survey (pdf) of 1,138 likely voters across the country—conducted from April 16 to April 19 by Data for Progress on behalf of Vox—found that, when presented without partisan cues, the voting rights and election reform bill is popular with voters across party lines. Overall, 69% of the electorate supports the For the People Act, including 52% of Republicans, 70% of Independents, and 85% of Democrats.

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Lauren Boebert’s Stunt At Biden’s Congressional Address Hilariously Backfires (+2 more)

Travis Gettys

Lauren Boebert’s stunt at Biden’s congressional address hilariously backfires

(Screenshot via YouTube.com)

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) unfurled a thermal blanket during President Joe Biden’s congressional address to draw attention to the surge of migrants at the southern border, but her stunt backfired.

The silver blanket was similar to those distributed to migrants held in detention facilities, and Boebert tweeted about the border situation during Biden’s address to Congress — but her demonstration mystified and irritated many observers.

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Trump is ‘Fixated’ on Arizona Audit — and Republicans Fear It is Going to Backfire on the GOP

Bob Brigham

Trump is ‘fixated’ on Arizona audit — and Republicans fear it is going to backfire on the GOP: report

Gage Skidmore.

The controversial audit of Maricopa County votes in Arizona has been widely panned for lacking legitimacy, but former President Donald Trump is reportedly fixated on the political theater — even though it may backfire on Republicans.

“More than five months after the 2020 presidential election, and after numerous failed attempts to overturn the results, former president Donald Trump has seized on a new avenue to try to call the outcome into question: a hand recount of 2.1 million ballots cast in Arizona’s largest county. Several advisers said the former president has become fixated on the unorthodox process underway in Phoenix, where the GOP-led state Senate took ballots and voting equipment from Maricopa County and turned them over to Cyber Ninjas, a private contractor whose chief executive has echoed claims that the election was fraudulent but has now promised a fair review of the November results,” The Washington Post reported Thursday.

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Trump Boat Parade Organizer Caught on Video Yelling ‘White Power!’

Sky Palma

Trump boat parade organizer caught on video yelling 'white power!'

https://www.rawstory.com/trump-supporter-white-power

Trump fans Dion Cini and Cliff Gephart held their pro-Trump boat parade earlier this month in Tampa, Florida, and they plan to take their parades nationwide, with more events planned for San Diego, Cleveland, and Las Vegas, according to the “Trumparilla” Facebook page.

This Wednesday, Mother Jones shared a video showing Cini at a Trumparilla event yelling “white power!”

According to Mother Jones’ Ali Breland, Cini yelled the phrase as he was being recognized from the stage by Gephart for his efforts to organize the event.

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Proud Boys Leaders Ordered Jailed Ahead of Trial for #MAGA Riots (+2 more)

Brad Reed

Proud Boys leaders ordered jailed ahead of trial for MAGA riots: report

Proud Boys in Washington, D.C. (Johnny Silvercloud / Shutterstock.com)

Two leaders of the far-right Proud Boys gang are now being detained ahead of their trial for their roles in the January 6th riots at the United States Capitol building.

As reported by BuzzFeed News’ Zoe Tillman, Proud Boys leaders Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs were ordered to go back to jail pending their trials by United States District Judge Timothy Kelly of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

In his ruling, Kelly emphasized the seriousness of the charges facing Nordean and Biggs, whom he said “stand charged with seeking to steal one of the crown jewels of our country, in a sense, by interfering with the peaceful transfer of power.”

[Read On]


‘Everyone in the Capitol is Nervous’: Florida Republicans Fear They’ll Be Swept Up in Matt Gaetz Investigation, Lawmaker Says

Matthew Chapman

Rep. Matt Gaetz

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (Photo: Gage Skidmore)​

On Sunday evening, Jordan Zarakin of Progressives Everywhere on Substack released an interview with Florida state Rep. Carlos Smith, the first gay Latino member of the Florida legislature, in which they discussed the growing sex trafficking scandal surrounding Rep. Matt Gaetz.

During the segment, Smith noted that the Florida Republican Party, behind the scenes, is terrified that the investigation could sweep up more of their members.

“The web of corruption that Matt Gaetz, Joel Greenberg, and [Ron] DeSantis are all wrapped up in is really a web that appears to tie up the entire Republican Party of Florida,” said Smith. “It seems like everyone in the Capitol is nervous about what the next revelation is going to be and who else is implicated in this sweeping saga of corruption that they’ve been a part of for so long.”

[Read On]


Trump and the GOP suffer another humiliating Supreme Court defeat

Tom Boggioni

Trump and the GOP suffer another humiliating Supreme Court defeat

US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP

According to CNN, the Supreme Court has once again declined to take up a lawsuit asserting the 2020 presidential election was tainted by voter fraud.

On Monday, the high court declined to take up a case filed by Republicans that the voting in Pennsylvania was tainted by changes to voting rules.

Noting that the latest dismissal by the court is signal that the justices want no part in Donald Trump’s assertion that he was robbed of his second term, CNN reports, “Before Monday, the justices had already declined several requests to dive into one of the most litigious elections in history, denying petitions from then-President Donald Trump and other Republicans seeking to overturn election result in multiple states President Joe Biden won.”

[Read On]

Like the Nazis & Fascists, the Republican Party Must Be Purged

It must not be allowed, like the Confederacy was, to live on with its own “lost cause” BS mythology

Thom Hartmann
Photo by DesignClass on Unsplash

President Joe Biden has largely given up on trying to negotiate anything with Republicans. There’s a good reason for this: the GOP is no longer a legitimate political party.

One of the most comprehensive and well respected surveys of political parties worldwide is called the Global Party Survey and came out of work done at Harvard in the US and Sydney University in Australia. The researchers note: “Drawing on survey data gathered from 1,861 party and election experts, the study uses 21 core items to estimate key ideological values, issue positions, and populist rhetoric for 1,127 parties in 170 countries.”

What they found was that the Democratic Party in the US is fairly solidly within the norms for political parties in fully developed countries around the world. It resembles normal and legitimate parties in Canada and most of Western Europe.

The Republican party, however, both behaves and is ideologically most similar to Hungary’s Fidesz party, Turkey’s AKP party and Poland’s PiS party.

[Keep Reading]

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz: Their Unholy Trumpian Alliance Continues

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz: Their unholy Trumpian alliance continues

Rep. Matt Gaetz speaking s at an “An Address to Young Americans” event, hosted by Students for Trump and Turning Point Action at Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona in June 2020, Gage Skidmore Alex Henderson April 04, 2021

Although former President Donald Trump has been gone from the White House for over two months and Democrats control both the executive and judicial branches of the United States’ federal government, Trump’s grip on the Republican Party continues —and in the U.S. House of Representatives, one of the most Trumpian alliances is that of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. With the 38-year-old Gaetz facing allegations that he was sexually involved with a 17-year-old girl — allegations he has vehemently denied — Greene is rising to his defense just as he recently rose to hers.

Gaetz finds himself caught up in a broad sexual trafficking investigation being carried out by the U.S. Department of Justice. The far-right GOP congressman and devout Trump supporter is not the main target of the probe, but the allegation that he had a sexual relationship with an under-age girl and paid her to travel with him is one of the things the DOJ is investigating.

[Read More]