The Daily Beast’s Wajahat Ali asks a good question. What will it take for the American majority to be freed from the bad-faith politics of an increasingly radicalized GOP willing to go to any length to promote death and minority rule?
Ali proposes that most of us in this country, who have decided to survive this pandemic, are seriously asked to coddle the mentally unstable childish tantrums and violent extremism of a republican base that is still supporting the Jan. 6 violent armed insurrection and targeting our voting rights, and is happy to sacrifice our children as canaries in the COVID mine shaft to fuel their never-ending propaganda war during a pandemic that has killed over 600,000 Americans.
“Yet their elected leaders and mouthpieces, like Rep. Steve Scalise, are still treated as credible sources and normalized by being invited on news channels and by papers of record to criticize President Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a cartoonishly hardcore Trump loyalist, and ridiculous pseudo-intellectual Ben Shapiro, whom The New York Times once referred to as “the cool kid’s philosopher” and whose Daily Wire is hugely influential in pushing vaccine misinformation on Facebook, still get coveted platforms in Politico.”
Ali says “Welcome to the upside down.”
Pluralism may not survive, but reviews will be strong because the GOP base has become so demented and indoctrinated on a diet of lies and misinformation that Crenshaw, a subservience MAGA supporter, was taunted for refusing to say the election was stolen.
At a recent rally in Alabama, even Trump, their deity, was booed by his adoring cult. Did he say anything radical? No. He simply suggested that they get a life-saving vaccine like he did, which would save them from a horrific, needless death.
Ali holds that you can’t win these people over any longer. They are just too far gone to be swayed by scientific experts, FDA vaccine approval process, sympathetic profiles of voters in coal country diners, or small town forums with undecided voters. Facts, common sense, and good nature will not sway their vulnerable, frightened souls.
“Enough coddling. It’s time to say enough is enough.”
Ali feels that fortunately, Democrats are using their slim congressional majorities—the result of Republican redistricting, and trying to push back. The 13-member House panel tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 riot officially confirmed Wednesday that it is requesting communications from the Trump White House and other agencies in order to learn more about the organizing and financing of the insurgency, which left five people dead.
This includes requesting that telecommunication companies preserve phone records of congresspersons in order to determine what, if anything, they knew about the riots and when they knew it.
Republicans have already rejected the investigation as a political witch hunt, including GOP House “leader” Kevin McCarthy, as it could lead to incrimination as well.
After all, McCarthy has already admitted that he spoke with Trump from inside the Capitol on the day of the insurgency, and Rep. Jordan has also admitted that he spoke with Trump.
Despite the fact that the FBI found “scant evidence” that the insurgency was the result of a “organized plot,” one of the main organizers of the “Stop the Steal” rally, conservative activist Ali Alexander, has claimed he worked in tandem with three GOP lawmakers.
“We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting,” Alexander admitted in a since-deleted video, referring to Reps. Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, and Paul Gosar.
“When he isn’t busy giving keynote speeches at white nationalist rallies and tweeting white supremacist talking points, Gosar is busy accusing Capitol police of “lying in wait’” to “execute” Ashli Babbitt, a radicalized insurrectionist who was transformed after her death into a “martyr” by Trump and the GOP. “I know that day I saved countless lives,” veteran officer Lt. Michael Byrd said in an interview with Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News finally revealing his identity after enduring months of racist hate and death threats. Thankfully, Officer Byrd was just internally cleared by his department for any wrongdoing, but that didn’t stop Tucker Carlson and Russian state TV from weaponizing his Blackness and attacking him and alleging that he “executed” Babbitt.”
Ali notes that meanwhile, Brooks had more to say in support of the failed terrorist and Trump supporter who livestreamed his pathetic attempt to blow up the Library of Congress last week than he did in support of Officer Brian Sicknick, who died while defending the Capitol. Brooks recently confirmed that he wore body armor during his Jan. 6 speech to Trump supporters who would later overrun the nation’s Capitol.
““Should I wear a striped tie? Cuff links? Bow tie? Body armor?” is a totally normal, daily sartorial debate for elected officials. Meanwhile, his colleagues who didn’t get the memo and were barricaded, protected by Capitol Hill officers, fearing for their lives.”
Rep. Andrew Clyde is one of them, a hypocrite so committed to his extremist base and their assault on our democracy that he tried to dupe the world by claiming after the fact that the riot was a “normal tourist visit.”
In reality, new reports show that the Secret Service warned Capitol Police about violent threats a day before the insurgency, but did not prepare for a large-scale assault due to intelligence failures.
Meanwhile, the same 21 Republican lawmakers who have attacked the Squad for advocating for “defunding the police” voted against awarding congressional medals to Capitol Police officers who saved their lives.
These radical and violent Republicans who are fighting to keep minority rule in place are helped and consoled in no small part by “moderate” Democrats like Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin.
If there is a positive aspect to these bad ideas, it may be that death and economic pain are powerful sources of motivation for the large percentage to wake up and say “enough” to the alt-right’s culture war.
Ali ends with a battle cry.
“We are the majority. We have the numbers. However, it’s not enough for the rest of us to be complacent and simply acknowledge the multiple threats to our democracy. It’s time to flex and fight back on all fronts to save lives and our democracy from a conservative hate machine willing to attack truth, science, safety, and democracy in its desperate, violent attempt to preserve white rule.”