The Dog that caught the car

Isn’t it funny when cliches come to life? Maybe not funny haha, maybe just funny strange. And I suppose, if you’re in the US, not funny at all.

Because US politics, as things are devolving to extremes, is rife with cliches, aphorisms and ancient curses. The headlines writers don’t need to exert themselves.

May you live in Interesting Times

I’m not sure we can survive times getting any more interesting. The Trump Circus, with its scandals and incompetence, and the revolving door installed in the White House for endless changes in staff. Followed by the Covid Pandemic. And the 2020 election. And the Jan 6th insurrection. And the Trump Impeachments. And the classified documents stolen by Trump. All these big, exciting, interesting events. It would be nice to get a news alert without thinking “Oh God, What Now?”

The Devil is in the Details

But through all this, it’s the boring stuff you have to watch out for. The Republicans have been appointing judges at all levels of the court, a strategy with huge long-term implications, as Judges interpret the law and set precedents, which future judges will use in their interpretation of the law. Even as the people’s opinions are growing more progressive, the court’s decisions will be skewed to the right for a generation. They’ve also been restricting voting rights. When voter ID laws didn’t gain traction, they took another route; Paperwork. Purging the voter rolls, closing polling stations, restricting voting hours. All small administrative details that could pass unnoticed until it was too late. You don’t know you’re not on the voter roll until you show up to vote, you don’t know you’re polling place is different until you can’t find it.

Be careful what you wish for

After enviously watching the popular Presidency of Barack Obama, the Republicans yearned for a populist leader who would inspire the base while actually serving the needs of the 1% and they found it in Donald Trump. Somehow, this narcissistic, pseudo-millionaire (he went bankrupt 6 times) had the ability to inspire a large portion of the Republican base. Sadly, what he inspired was racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, paranoia and the feeling that all these irrational fears were not only justified, but glorified. The Unite the Right riot in Charlottesville was a beacon of things to come, as the Proud Boys, Bugaloo Boys, Oathkeepers and other militant white supremacist groups chanted their slogans of fear and division. But instead of condemning the violence, Trump told them to ‘Stand By.’ Because there were bigger things to come. And the Republican party realised they had given Trump a platform, and credibility, and he, in return and pushed them off the platform and eaten their credibility.

A lie can run around the world before the truth has got its boots on

Bigger things came in the form of “The Big Lie” and the January 6th insurrection. Donald Trump and his flying Monkeys perpetuated the lie that the election was stolen. They kept repeating it, the lie so absurd that it took a while for people to realise they even needed to counter it. They still repeat it to this day, in the face of exhaustive investigation and evidence.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

The Issue of Abortion, and a Woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body pulls together a lot of what the Republicans have been working towards for a generation, and having achieved their goal, it may well be their undoing. Women, who have gotten used to, you know, having rights are up in arms. Republicans, particularly white, male republicans running in solidly red districts are getting some hard scrutiny from female voters. They are now loathe to appear at campaign events without their wives along for protection. Older women who remember what it was like before Roe V Wade are angry at having to fight this battle all over again. Young women are the largest group of newly registered voters. With so many political issues, it’s hard to see how it matters to the individual, but this one strikes at the uterus of every woman. And while Republicans are known for ignoring groups that don’t fit their preferred profile, it’s hard to dismiss 50% of the population.

And it’s not just Abortion, and it’s not just women. Trans rights, Gay rights, Civil Rights, universal suffrage… If a 50-year-old statute protecting the rights and lives of women can be struck down, anything is up for grabs. When the people who struck down Roe include 4 who declared under oath that Roe V Wade was settled law; when two of them were political appointees with dubious qualifications, are any rights actually safe, or are they subject to ideological whims?

The Republicans do not have real popular support. They just have a very loud megaphone. And they’ve spent the last few years corrupting the voting system. The upcoming midterms will show how far they’ve gotten with that. An informed and active electorate, being necessary to the security and survival of a free state, the right of the people to vote shall not be infringed. Given the country was founded on the concept of ‘No taxation without representation’ followed by bloody revolution, Republicans should probably take note of history. They are the dog that caught the car; what do they do with it now?

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