Let's just say it — there is no bottom

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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Sigh. I’ve stopped listening to most pundits when they get on a diatribe about reclaiming the Republican Party. Like Charlie Brown with Lucy Van Pelt and the football, how many times are you going to be fooled?

Pundit after pundit pontificates that when X happens — whatever X happens to be at the moment — then finally, finally Republicans will turn their back on the disgraced Donald J. Trump and white supremacy and the whole package. But it never happens. Not with an emphasis on morality. Not with the Democratic tsunami in the U.S. House in 2018. Not when Trump committed bribery. Not with Trump’s defeat. Not even when Trump sent a blood-thirsty mob into the U.S. Capitol to kill his vice president.

The silly season continues with some opining that, if only the House impeachment managers had called witnesses, more GOP senators would have found some courage and patriotism. Really? To quote Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost:

If you’re going to impeach the president for anything, don’t you think it’s sending a mob to kill the Vice President? I feel bad for Pence—43 of his work friends were like, “Oh come on, Mike, they only TRIED to hang you. Stop being such a drama queen.”

And if you think that, had a member of Congress or Vice President Mike Pence actually been injured or killed, we would have had a different outcome on Feb. 13, you haven’t been paying attention. There would have been a different, albeit equally implausible, excuse to stick with Trump. Just remember the multitude of “pro-life” Republican politicians and pundits explaining why it was OK to kill Grandma in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And maybe it’s not cowardice that motivates these senators, but admiration.

Senator Josh Hawley got elected president of the Federalist Society at Yale University’s Law School by taking credit for another law student’s work and exploiting a loophole. Senator Hawley’s obviously not that into democracy.

Most of the Republican senators got elected in the first place through voter suppression. Their own cult leader pointed out that, if everyone got to vote, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

An exaggeration, but one that clearly Republicans believe, as their first reaction to defeat was not to align themselves with constituents, but to restrict voting further. Georgia hasn’t found a voting restriction that’s too extreme to prevent Democrats from voting and a repeat of the Democratic sweep in the Peach State.

It’s just a coincidence that the GOP embraced a lot of the things they now revile — no-excuses absentee voting, mail-in voting, early voting — until Black people started doing it. The era of Jim Crow rises again.

So there’s no need for believing that there’s a bottom that’s going to convert the 43 Republican senators who voted to condone insurrection and an attack on democracy. They were never really into democracy.

After all, they might lose. And that’s the bottom line.

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