It certainly is getting more and more difficult to identify the GOP with anything remotely resembling family values. Images of apple pies and refrains of “God Bless America” don’t come to mind when every senate Republican voted against a stimulus bill designed to provide a lifeline to desperate people and the prospect of sensible gun control legislation instigates fits of apoplexy.
The paunchy senator from South Carolina is now playing a geriatric incarnation of Rambo with his AR-15 pointed at imaginary mobs storming conclaves of happy white domesticity. The father of a child murdered during the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. called the stunt “pathetic and grotesque” and he was right.
From the quiet reassurance and integrity prevalent during the Eisenhower years, the Republican Party slipped into the casual societal cruelties of the Reagan era, to the war-mongering lies of the Bush II reign and, finally, to blatantly insurrectionist promptings from an unbridled narcissist that led to the deaths of five people and brought the country perilously close to the brink of fascism.
That is quite a precipitous descent, but the family values masquerade has always been a ploy that the Republican hierarchy used to exploit peoples’ good intentions for votes. It is a cynical, opportunistic maneuver intended to apply a coat of red, white, and blue camouflage over a political entity whose real purpose is to maintain and sustain the dominance of wealthy white power in America.
Never was that goal rendered into such sharp relief as it was through the unfiltered lens of the previous administration under the leadership of a man who probably can’t even spell subtlety. Now, the party finds itself in the same quandary that Doris Day faced during her last years on movie screens. It is hard to pass yourself off as either a blushing virgin or a champion of American values when all the wrinkles are showing.
It is evidence that the GOP is aware of the predicament by their determination to make casting a vote just a little less difficult than scaling Mount Everest. This attempt to undermine democracy integrates a primary component of what will emerge in historical infamy as The Big Lie. Throughout the previous president’s desperate attempts to remain in power, there was a concerted effort — long before the 2020 election itself — to cast doubt on the integrity of the voting process. Over 60 lawsuits were filed by the president’s three-ring coterie of lawyers. Some of the cases were argued before judges appointed by the administration. Not one single trial resulted in any finding of widespread voter fraud.
Republicans in the state of Georgia have recently passed anti-voting legislation so ludicrous it criminalizes offering candy to anyone waiting in line to vote. Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill seated under a painting of an antebellum plantation while surrounded by seven white guys. If that image isn’t a concise summation of the real intent of this racist assault on democracy, I don’t know what is. Kemp is trying to smooth over a rift with the former president. His refusal to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia consigned him to the long list of nasty people.
Reverberations are beginning to sound throughout the state, however, with economic ramifications that are bound to get the attention of both the public and the power brokers. Major League Baseball, much to its credit, has pulled this year’s All Star Game out of Atlanta.
It recalled a similar situation which former vice president Mike Pence, the Prince of Piety, found himself in when, as governor of Indiana, he promoted a bill to discriminate against the LGBT community. When a major donor threatened to withhold support and business leaders in the state rebelled, Pence backtracked.
(Please God, let this guy with his smarmy and very adjustable sanctimony be the Republican candidate for president in 2024.)
The current crop of Republicans in Congress don’t make family values very easy to pedal either. A woman from Georgia, who really should be weaving nice baskets in a strictly supervised environment, thinks that President Biden carries “the mark of the beast” and that Dr. Fauci should be fired. In a rambling, mostly nonsensical diatribe on Twitter, she blamed the proposal for carrying documentation proving that individuals had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as either corporate or communist plots. She wasn’t sure which or, perhaps, she just didn’t know the difference. She thinks that a good, healthy workout will do the trick, so who needs voodoo science?
It was speculated when this woman was stripped of committee assignments because of her whack job conspiracy theories, it might backfire by giving her free time to think up more whack job conspiracy theories. That seems to be the case.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, who Jimmy Kimmel aptly described as “the worst of the worst,” is under investigation by the Department of Justice for his cocaine-fueled sex romps that allegedly involved at least one underage girl. It seems Mr. Gaetz has detached himself from the previous president’s backside long enough to pursue a hedonistic lifestyle that might give Mick Jagger pause.
He is fond of showing off nude pictures of his conquests and is as much admired by his colleagues in the House as Ted Cruz is in the Senate. Whatever Matt gets, he richly deserves and the rest of us are left wondering how in hell these people ever get elected in the first place.