Tonight, we witnessed the Republican Party gaslight America on national television. The modern GOP has degenerated into a dangerous and depraved entity, which habitually elevates power above principle and Party above patriotism.
In this evening’s impeachment hearing, the Republicans created a bizarre fantasy world constructed of sophistry and lies. It’s a dystopian planet where Donald Trump is Dear Leader, the GOP channels Orwell and FOX News is Pravda. It’s distinctly unAmerican and fundamentally disorienting to anyone who grew up in the free country known as The United States.
We watched the Republicans play the role of Deep Stupid peddling Deep State conspiracies that were concocted by Russian intelligence officers. These are the same lies and conspiracies that were disgracefully trafficked yesterday by Attorney General William Barr.
During the hearing we observed mendacious misdirection and a litany of lies by Republicans. It was designed to protect a president run amok, while Republicans run away from their oath to defend the constitution. It was a Republican parade of pretense and charade.
Once again, the Republicans defended a man over the Constitution. They played the most cynical brand of divisive politics. At every turn, they feigned victimhood, even as they vandalized our institutions and disfigured our democracy. What we all witnessed was depressing, disturbing, dispiriting and destructive. We saw a GOP without a shred of decency or a shard of dignity. Instead they disgraced their office and dishonored their nation.
It is fair to say that the Republican Party is not a normal political Party anymore. It’s accurate to say that The United States is arguably no longer a two-party system. We appear to be a system with one party that believes in justice, democracy and the rule of law. And another tragically defined as disloyal obstructionists, posing as legitimate opposition, but with no genuine interest in actually governing or protecting our nation from enemies both foreign and domestic.
The Republican Party of 2019 has become a post-Constitutional cult-like invasive species that seeks to destabilize our nation, degrade our democracy, dismantle institutions, pervert our norms, disgrace us on the international stage and corrupt everything it touches.
Though I am focusing on revulsion toward Republicans, what I write is strangely not partisan. That would imply two parties authentically engaging in debate on issues with the goal of winning the hearts and minds of the American people.
There is no point, however, in furthering this farce simply for the sake of comfort rooted in denial. We mustn’t avoid unpleasant truths because it’s scary and rightfully makes good Americans anxious and insecure. What is actually occurring is the Republicans are acting in bad faith and giving lip service to democracy and the United States Constitution. They are placing our nation in grave danger and uncharted territory.
Exhibit A is the House Republicans voting against restoring the Voting Rights Act. For more than 50 years it received strong bipartisan support. But last Friday, the bill passed 228 to 187, with Republicans voting 186-1 against it, while Democrats voted unanimously in favor 227-0. To put this in perspective, the last time the House voted on reauthorization, in 2006, the vote was 390-33.
The Republican Party under Donald Trump has gone all-in with voter suppression. They flat out don’t care about free and fair elections. Whether this takes the form of denying minorities the right to vote, Trump soliciting help from Russia in 2016 or the President cooking up a “drug deal” in Ukraine to attack Joe Biden with a bogus investigation. It all amounts to the same thing. Republicans no longer believe they can remain in power by the popular will of the people, so they cheat.
Donald Trump got caught cheating, but the Republicans won’t hold him accountable. And therefore, they must claw onto power by subverting the truth, personal integrity, free elections and the rule of law.
What Republicans are doing is enabling the establishment of a royal sovereign who rules by whimsy and whim, rather than a democratically elected head of state. Either the modern GOP survives or the nation survives. But there is increasingly no place for both in a free country with a functioning democracy.
America may yet survive this dire threat to our liberty. However, make no mistake: We are on the precipice of ruin or renewal. Which route we ultimately take depends on our political engagement and steadfast refusal to bow to a wannabe dictator and the quislings who enable his lawlessness and illegality.