With President Biden’s benchmark for the first hundred days, a crucial question should be: How is it GOP to do?
Republican leaders watched eagerly as their popularity dwindled as America turned blacker and browner. Georgia and Virginia, for example, are no longer reliable red states. And Gallup this month concluded that only 25 percent of voters self-identify as Republicans (another 15 percent are Leaner), the party’s worst performance since 2012 and a sharp decline since November.
The party and conventional wisdom, however, assume that they can return to minority rule by using several anti-democratic legacies: the electoral college inherited from 1789, extreme hiking, oceans with special funds, the filibuster of the Senate, an upper chamber that focuses more on arable land as a population based, and an outbreak of recent bills to suppress state voters. Then you throw in two bonuses: that the census allocation will likely move three to five seats from blue to red this week, and that the party won without power an average of 28 house places in every first mid-term election since 1974.
Such levees, holding back the will of the people, are now at risk of being labeled the “perfect storm” by … the stink of Trump, the January 6 riot, the pandemic and an epidemic of GOP lies.
First, the country is staggering from the twice-accused Trump to the comforting and popular Biden. The 45th President has become a rotting albatross around the necks of GOP candidates who are struggling to win the primaries without him – or have won general elections with him. Second, we are still in the grip of a potentially shape-changing pandemic that came “on his watch” because Trump was not watching (best estimates put 200,000 unnecessary deaths, equivalent to wiping out Buffalo or Madison). Third, the uprising has produced unforgettable images of right-wing extremists destroying democracy.
Republican leaders strive to reconcile their 19th century laissez faire philosophy with 21st century society, resorting to conspiracy theories and obvious lies to document some very unpopular measures – regarding gun safety, Tax rates, climate violence, health care, race and justice, social spending, minimum wage and money in politics. Trump’s astonishing volume of 30,573 documented falsehoods over four years Washington Post Fact checker, was followed by a new wave of outraged dissimilarity: Biden is a socialist who stole the election. The uprising consisted of law-abiding Trumpers or Antifa supporters – or both. Masks are more about freedom than security. The For the People Act will “destroy” democracy by restoring majority rule. “Reverse racism” is worse than racism. No statehood for the DC majority minority because it is too small (with a population larger than Wyoming) and not included in the constitution (not even the Dakotas). Non-existent electoral fraud requires laws to be passed to stop it.