By Rosetta Miller-Perry
President-elect Joe Biden hasn’t yet taken office nor named any potential Cabinet appointees, but already the same Republican senators backing the ridiculous attempts of Donald Trump to remain President despite losing the election by millions of votes are once again showing their total lack of integrity and willingness to do anything except act like cult members. This week the worthless bunch warned Biden he would spark “a fight” if he chooses to nominate to his cabinet either Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders or former national security adviser Susan Rice.
This is the same crew who blocked former President Barack Obama from getting a Supreme Court nominee confirmed on the grounds that an election was about to happen and “the people should decide.” Then they totally reversed course when their supreme leader Trump did the same thing with less time remaining before an election than in Obama’s case. Consistency and honesty aren’t strong points among these Republicans, but no one should expect much anyway from people who continually back a lying, incompetent narcissist, no matter what he says or does.
The GOP is banking on winning both races in Georgia and having a clear majority in the Senate. They currently control 50 seats, but if the Democrats take both Georgia seats, they’ll have a majority plus VP Kamala Harris available to cast a tie-breaking vote. Biden has a lead in Georgia of more than 14,000 votes, even as the Republican-dominated legislature has manipulated things and forced a recount. No recount has ever resulted in a 14,000 + vote swing, but Trump followers will do anything to please their master.
The Republicans have the audacity to tell Biden he needs to pick centrists like Senators Chris Coons or Doug Jones for the cabinet. They won’t speak on the record regarding their disrespect for two of their colleagues, but they are opposed to Warren or Sanders possibly heading the Treasury and Labor Departments. They’re also opposed to Rice getting any State Department or key foreign policy role.
“I had a colleague of mine say there’s no way Elizabeth Warren or Susan Rice could ever get confirmed,” one unnamed Republican Senator told The Hill.
But this is really about reactionary legislators trying to keep the Trump philosophy in power even as the people have voted him out. They’re trotting out their usual garbage about ideology and radicalism. Senator Marco Rubio, who represents the extreme right-wing of his party said “if it’s someone who represents some of the more radical views that we see gaining a lot of traction in the Democratic Party, I think they would have a lot of problems getting through.”
Both Sanders and Warren have proposed a wealth tax. Warren has offered a 2 percent yearly rate on net wealth above $50 million and 3 percent on wealth above a billion while Sanders has called for a wealth tax of 1 percent on married couples worth over $32 billion, sliding up to 8 percent on wealthier estates, according to the Tax Foundation. They both support Medicare for All, free college, canceling student debt, and the Green New Deal.
Rice upsets right-wing Republican voters and activists who continue to believe, despite the absence of evidence, that she misled the public about the nature of the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. She previously withdrew from consideration for secretary of State in December of 2012 because of the controversy.
Then of course there’s grotesque Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who said this last year as he began to acknowledge the signs that his cult lord and master was going to lose. “You add up things like packing the Supreme Court, getting rid of the Electoral College, the Green New Deal, and Medicare for none and you have a prescription of turning America into something it never has been and never should be.”
Well, America would be a lot better place if these measures were enacted than what it’s been for the past four years. The nation has had in charge of a preening, incompetent egotist unconcerned with anything beyond profits for his personal businesses. McConnell and crew have stood by him while he either refused or was unable to forge any type of national strategy to combat the worse disease to hit the nation in over a century. The results of that failure are now well over 230,000 + Americans dead. And don’t listen to anyone who claims Trump shouldn’t be blamed. If even 50,000 Americans had died during the Obama administration from the Swine flu or Ebola, Trump and his flunkies would have been clamoring for his impeachment.
Never mind Biden has never said he’d either pack the Supreme Court or get rid of the Electoral College. He’s professed mild support for aspects of both the Green New Deal and Medicare for all, but neither was a cornerstone of his platform. But these senators take their cues from Trump, who’s spent four years spewing lies on a regular basis that far too many Americans accept as facts. So these legislators figure out why not adopt the same strategy?
The lessons to be learned from this are two-fold. First, it is absolutely critical that the turnout for the Georgia senate runoffs be as large as it was for the Presidential election and maybe larger. It’s a chance to weed out of the office a pair of Trump sycophants, and also ensure that Biden’s cabinet choices and overall agenda can get through. It would put McConnell in the position of minority leader and no longer able to set the agenda for what the Senate does or doesn’t consider.
Second, for all those who chatter away about being disillusioned by the Democrats, do not fool yourselves for one minute thinking that the Republican Party is either interested in or wants more Black support. They have zero desire to address any items on any Black agenda. It doesn’t matter whether it is addressing police misconduct and criminal justice disparities, expanding economic and educational opportunities for Blacks and other people of color, ensuring access to health care for the millions who now lack it, building more affordable housing, implementing measures to curb the disproportionate spread of COVID-19 in Black, Brown and poor communities or any other issue of significance for those most affected by American social injustice and inequity.
The Republican Party has become the Donald Trump Party, and it is every bit as much of a global disgrace as he’s been for four years. The Biden/Harris team needs to press forward with bold, new ideas, put competent and imaginative people in the Cabinet, and restore integrity and honor to public service. Above all, they should not let Trump lovers dictate policy moves or official appointments.