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Once they’re in, you can’t vote them out

I rarely put clips from Maddow on this blog. She’s only on one day a week on Monday’s so we hear from her less frequently. MAGA Republicans don’t appreciate Maddow’s style. She reports the news by telling a story. These stories happen to be based on the historical record. As her narratives unfold, she picks up strands from history and current events and shows how we got to where we are. There’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to the nature of power. History repeats but people tend to forget. Sometimes, you have to touch the darkness before you can recognize the light. But wouldn’t it be nice, less deadly and costly if we could learn from the mistakes of others?

Last night was one of her best narratives. It centered around the election of Giorgia Meloni as Italy’s new prime minister (or is it president? So hard to keep these parliamentary democracies straight).

Meloni is a hard right politician with a strong nationalist streak like Victor Orban and Marine LePen. What makes Meloni unique is the direct descent of her party from Benito Mussolini’s Fascist party.

By the way, did you ever notice that when there’s a word that ties a negative concept to the Republican Party suddenly that word pops up everywhere? It’s like when you are a kid and you start thinking about a word and by saying it over and over and over again in different ways, it loses all meaning. I did that once to the word “door”. Interesting fallout from that. For the longest time, I had a hard time associating the word with the physical object. Eventually, I got over it but you know, experiments sometimes don’t turn out the way you think they will.

I’m pretty sure the Republican psyops masters do the same thing. They repeat a word in many different ways until it loses all meaning and that’s how they inoculate their audience so that the brain no longer responds to the concept. It’s my theory and I’m sticking with it. So even though the republicans are objectively and evidentially displaying strong fascist characteristics right now, the word has been played out and everybody is a fascist. Nevertheless, fascism is alive and well and we need to talk about what happens when they take over.

So I’m playing the clip from Maddow’s monologue last night. It’s worth it to watch the whole thing from start to finish. It’s about 20 minutes long and the images of Mussolini from WWII are chilling.

But about 2/3 of the way in, she starts to review what the fascists are really after. Why go through all this trouble? What’s the point of the “election integrity” shtick? What’s with the “Potemkin referendum” in the occupied areas of Ukraine? Why are elections meaningless in Hungary under Victor Orban? What are they up to?

The answer is that they want to pick their voters because once they are in power and elections become a pre-ordained formality, they can do what they want and you can never vote them out again. Once they are in office, they immediately set about to fix the system of government so that only their voters count and only they count the votes. Ladies and gentlemen of the American states, we are already about halfway there. They’re on a tear. If we are not careful, this election may be the last one that counts for a very long time.

And what would drive American fascists in the Republican Party to do this? Well, they never did like the New Deal. They were dead set against Social Security. Think about that. Why would they oppose giving workers security in their old age? What does that mean to laissez faire capitalism in a dog eat dog, everyone for themselves, put your thumb on the scale society when workers can always leave a job for another one without worrying too much about retirement? Same with Medicare.

Oh, they wouldn’t do that, would they? Sure they would. Look at what they did to 50 years of precedent on reproductive rights. Affirmative action is on the block. Who knows what else?

I’m a firm believer in capitalism but I want the rules to be fair so all of us can play without being screwed. I want our water to be clean. I want energy diversification. I want safe drugs and food. But all that regulation costs money and the way Republicans have been tearing through the regulatory state shows what their intent is. They don’t care what the rest of us want. And they will care even less when they make sure that votes no longer count.

Anyway, here’s the clip from Maddow last night. Pass it around:

I’m back! Thanks to everyone who contributed to my latte and margarita fund. The weather cooperated nicely though the boat started rocking on Wednesday as the waves generated by Fiona finally reached us. That made for an interesting trip up and downstairs as the boat rolled from side to side. It took me a couple days to lose my sea legs. So that was fun.

I’m thinking of a walking tour of the British isles for my next vacay. Is anyone interested in making this a party? Maybe next year? Mayish? Let me know.