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    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 26, 2021
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 26, 2021 by Tony Wikrent Strategic Political Economy “Rich People Are Leading the Anti-Vaccine Movement — and Experts Have a Theory Why” [Money, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 9-20-21] From 2019, still germane: “Disease experts say the parents least likely to vaccinate their kids live in some of the most afflu […]
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Republicans Never Sleep

They apparently spend every hour plotting ways to turn the country into an unassailable authoritarian state.

It appears that ever since last November’s election, they have relentlessly focused on passing state laws whose only goal is to insure that not enough Democrats can vote to stop Republicans from winning state and federal elections. They even pass laws to allow the Republican legislatures to overturn any state results where the Democrat somehow won. This is tyranny, no matter how they lie about it or try to cloak it with their usual nonsense words.

This is their only focus. Not helping families, dealing with the pandemic, improving the roads or the electrical grid. Just making sure that they win every time. In Texas they have just about passed laws about which courageous attorney Marc Elias of Democracy Docket says, “This bill is so terrible, that I would have thought it was an April Fool’s joke, but it’s Texas, so it;s real.”

Texas State Senator Brian Hughes, speaking in favor of one of these bills, said, “Overall, this bill is designed to address areas throughout the process where bad actors can take advantage, so Texans can feel confident that their elections are fair, honest and open.” That is an absolute lie, based on a bigger lie, that the last election was riddled with fraud. Every reputable voting monitoring group in the country said that the election was free and fair. But the Republicans do not care about the truth, they rely on their propaganda machine to tell people what they want them to hear.

We thought, or at least I did, that all this idiocy about rigged elections, and that Trump could only lose if it were fixed, were the products of his mad, self-serving delusions. But it seems that this was all part of an insidious plot hatched by whatever malevolent people run things in Republicanland; Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, or whoever. The polls showed that Biden would win, and so they prepared the fallback plan of convincing their base that a Biden win would be based on fraud. And then virtually none of the Republicans would admit that Biden won. And then they immediately began passing draconian voting laws in every state where they held a legislative majority.

So they said that the election was rigged. Then they tried to completely overturn the democracy, by having a horde of armed insurgents try to kill as many officials as they could, and stop the certification of votes. That barely failing, they then moved to passing laws which will insure that this will never happen again, Their goal is that America will be a banana republic without the bananas, where those in power control and count the votes, and the only way to displace them is some kind of military coup or mass rioting.

I do not like to have to think this way. I derive no pleasure whatsoever in alarming people. But looking at all of this, it seems to be the biggest internal threat to our democracy that we have ever faced. Many people are realizing this; but what to do about it? Republicans just continue with their actions, they are not dissuaded by anything; certainly various Democratic state legislators who angrily or imploringly oppose what they are doing, mean absolutely nothing to them, they are just surface noise.

We see that Delta and Coca-Cola executives have said something or other about the Georgia voting repression being unacceptable. But is that just corporate nothing-speak, where they try to cover themselves so as to not lose market share? What are they actually doing about it? So far, nothing. Republican troops march ahead relentlessly, moving to impregnable positions.

Something has to be done, we all know that. But would it be sufficient? If these laws are not struck down, Democrats cannot win in Texas, Georgia, probably Arizona. They are trying in Pennsylvania and Michigan, too. The vestiges of the Obama shellackings of 2010 and 2014 still remain in those Republican-dominated state legislatures, even where Democrats took back the governorships. Republicans always work with what they have, that is part of their malevolent genius, if you want to call it that. Whatever cards they hold, they use them to get what they want, or at least stop Democrats from thwarting them. That is why the states which they are focusing on are Georgia, Arizona, Texas, states where the Democrats actually won in 2020, or are coming close. They want to take care of that, forever.

President Biden at least seems very aware of this, and so does his Chief of Staff, the estimable Ronald Klain. Time moves on, though, and all the complaining or appealing to people’s better nature, or the history of the Republic, will not cancel half a line, or wash out a word of what the Republicans are doing. They actually feast on the tears and indignation of the liberals, that is their lifeblood, along with untrammeled power.

What must be done, whatever it is, has to be meeting force with force. Boycotts can be a good idea, but Republicans would take a few blips in the profits, to insure complete power, because they can get all the money back again, and then some. Are corporations based in those states somehow going to get the laws changed? Once they are on the books, they can’t be removed except by judicial decree. And a sad and frightening truth is that the takeover of the Supreme Court was done with just this kind of thing in mind. Also, who is to say that even if the courts overturned these laws, the states would remove them? All they want is to win the next election, take over the House and Senate, and they have won. All the rest is just sound and fury signifying nothing.

Republicans also make sure that they try to roll back voting rights in as many states as possible. It is along the principle of sending your forces everywhere, you figure to win at least some battles. If Georgia is overturned, they’ve still got Arizona, and so on. Joe Biden won the popular vote by seven million, and yet, had 42,000 votes in key states gone the other way, Trump would have been elected. Does anyone have the stomach to imagine Trump, or DeSantis, or Rick Scott, or any of them, being president in 2025? The country would be unlivable.

The barbarians are at the gates. We have to do something. We do not have the immense propaganda machine which the Right Wing has cultivated for decades, which lies with Orwellian fluency, and tells people that they are just protecting election integrity from bad actors who do not exist, but which have been implanted in their minds.

File the cases, but don’t expect redress from the Supreme Court. Breaking the filibuster would be far better. Past that, all that might save the democracy are absolutely massive boycotts, or the actual use of federal troops to secure the vote. The Republicans would scream that it was lawless and unconstitutional, but they do things like that all the time. The Supreme Court has to be made to realize that it is not going to be some comfy situation for them, where they deliver right-wing dictates to a compliant populace. If Republicans are determined to turn the country into a permanent fascist state, they have to be stopped by whatever non-violent powers the good people have at their disposal. There is no other course.