We Are Not Nearly Out of the Woods Yet

The New York Times on the clear and present danger posed by the lawless, nihilist predators and enemies of the common good known as the GOP:

‘Going forward, we can expect bogus claims of voter fraud, and equally bogus challenges to legitimate vote counts, to become a permanent feature of Republican political strategy. Every election Republicans lose will be contested with lies, every Democratic win delegitimized. This is poison in a democracy.’

As of late September, 19 states had enacted 33 laws that will make it harder for their citizens to vote. The Republican National Committee’s “election integrity director” says the party will file lawsuits earlier and more aggressively than they did in 2020. Trump wannabe candidates like Glenn Youngkin, running for Virginia governor, are currying favor with the Republican base by promoting conspiracy theories suggesting that Virginia’s election may be rigged.’

More alarmingly, Republicans in swing states are purging election officials, allowing pro-Trump partisans to sabotage vote counts. In January, an Arizona lawmaker introduced a bill that would permit Republican legislators to overrule the certification of elections that don’t go their way. In Georgia, the legislature has given partisan election boards the power to “slow down or block” election certifications. Why bother with elections?’

Democrats now face an opposition that is not a normal political party, but rather a party that is willing to sacrifice democratic institutions and norms to take power.’

The legislation Democrats introduced in Congress to protect our democracy against such assaults would have taken an important step toward meeting these challenges. But on Wednesday, Republicans blocked the latest version of the legislation, and given the lack of unanimity among Democrats on the filibuster, they may well have succeeded in killing the last hope for any federal voting rights legislation during this session of Congress.’

Having underestimated Mr. Trump in the first place, Democrats shouldn’t underestimate what it will take to counter his malign influence now. They need a bigger, bolder campaign blueprint to save democracy that doesn’t hinge on the whims of Congress.’

We should hear more directly from the White House bully pulpit about these dire threats. The Jan. 6 investigators should mount a full-court press to get the truth out. Funding voting rights litigation should be a top priority.’

Where possible, Democrats should sponsor plebiscites to overturn anti-democratic laws passed by Republicans in states. They should underwrite super PACs to protect incumbent election officials being challenged by Trump loyalists, even if it means supporting reasonable Republicans. Donations should flow into key governor and secretary of state races, positions critical to election certification.’

In localities, Democrats should organize poll watching. Lawyers who make phony voting claims in court should face disciplinary action in state bar associations. The financiers of the voting rights assault must be exposed and publicly shamed.’

The good news is that liberals do not have to copy what the right is doing with its media apparatus — the font of falsehoods about voter fraud and a stolen election — to win over voters. Democrats can leapfrog the right with significant investments in streaming video, podcasting, newsletters and innovative content producers on growing platforms like TikTok, whose audiences dwarf those of cable news networks like Fox News.’

Issues like racial justice, the environment and immigration are already resonating online with audiences Democrats need to win over, such as young people, women and people of color. Democratic donors have long overlooked efforts to fund the media, but with so much of our politics playing out on that battlefield, they can no longer afford to.’

Our democracy has not been this gravely threatened since the Civil War. The GOP are enemies of the United States, enemies of the human race, and enemies of God. They are predators whose aim is the death and dismemberment of the United States as anything but a resource pool, a source of slaves, and a waste dump. That millions of antichrist worshippers with a taste for tacky Christian aesthetics are four-square behind it is a damning indictment of catechesis in the US and a huge call to heroic action to those who take the gospel of Jesus Christ seriously.

One helpful start: Stop calling the GOP “cowards”. They are predators with spines of steel. They are not “gutless” and afraid to break with their party. They are pack hunters. Get it through your head that they are not decent people afraid to do the right thing. They are nihilist enemies who intend to eat you.


17 Responses

  1. I really wish that I thought you were wrong, or exaggerating, or hysterical, or in a panic for no reason. But what you have written is true.

  2. “ That millions of antichrist worshippers with a taste for tacky Christian aesthetics are four-square behind it is a damning indictment of catechesis in the US and a huge call to heroic action to those who take the gospel of Jesus Christ seriously.”

    Well, it is a damning indictment of something, innit? Catechesis? the Buddha said that the cause of all suffering is desire. He was wrong about that. It’s usually desiring the wrong things that’s the problem. Knees bending and tongues declaring. It all depends on whose, dunnit? And why? Oxes and goring, or maybe just oxes and Goering.

    I dunno. i’m just a damn atheist, whining about purely theological concerns, church state separation, treasures on earth, whited sepulchers, and similar snowflakery. Oxes and goring, or maybe oxes and Goering.

    I dunno. I’m on my first cup of crypticoffee.

    1. “the Buddha said that the cause of all suffering is desire.”

      This is a common misconception. The Buddha referred to “craving”, not mere “desire”, as the cause of suffering. Desire, indeed is necessary if one wants walk down the street, feed the homeless, or be free of suffering, but craving (which could also be described in terms of “addiction” or “obsession”) only causes more suffering.

      1. Back in the days when I was studying Buddhism, well over 40 years ago, I saw that particular interpretation. But My reading of it was that he meant desire in a very general sense: wanting things to be different than they are. The more what one desires differs from what actually is, the more there is suffering. That’s why lies that produce “wrong” action are so dangerous. And extreme example: the lie that the Jews killed Jesus. “You’re children of the devil…” and 1900 years later…

        Unfortunately, I can’t say it anything, only my own memories of what I read. It was over 40 years ago

  3. Maybe your country is on the way of having to taste its own medicine, the one it tried, often with violence, to impose to many other countries… It is tempting to say “its about time”, but we are told to love our enemies…

  4. I see both sides of the political spectrum as delusional in different ways. I look at it and go, logical fallacy one, emotional reasoning 2. disqualifying the positive there. It’s lonely in my world.

    1. I vote in accord with the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI: “A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”

      I vote, not for lesser evils, but to lessen evil. Abortion rates hit their lowest point in history under Obama/Biden. They spiked under Trump, who also raised Planned Parenthood funding to record heights. My conscience is clean. The conscience of MAGA is full of lies, deceit, and projection. You guys don’t care about the unborn as anything but human shields for your nihilist predatory lust for power.

  5. @arthur

    My take is quite a bit different from yours. If you don’t vote for the politicians who vote for the things that are known to reduce abortion – birth control, family planning, sex education, support for families, healthcare, and a long list of other things – you are a pro abortion, but prefer to use abortion as your moral-immoral shield.

    But then, I am one of those liberals that would like to see abortion safe, legal, and rare. I know that doesn’t fit in with what is most likely your stereotype, but them‘s the breaks

    1. @ Ben, “you are a pro abortion, but prefer to use abortion as your moral-immoral shield.”

      This is what really needs to be made real for these people. Fleshed out with bar graphs and charts on wealth. The second Ben utter’s any slogan Planned Parenthood uses, they mute your voice and write you off as lacking any credibility. Chaff and fodder for the hellfire they keep stoked in their own hearts.

      Yesterday a coworker–a nice young man about the age of my oldest son– sat in his chair with mouth gaping open *incredulous* when he learned how many kids I have. I doubt he was judging me much, he was just utterly shocked and fascinated to understand the details, like the ages of the kids, their professions… I went down the list, from the 33 y.o. to the 12 y.o. explaining in a nutshell how I’d pulled it off. I don’t try to paint a picket fence picture anymore.

      When he asked me if I have any grandchildren, I told him, “no, my children are well educated and self sufficient…they work hard, pay their taxes but….” *(two computer engineers, a lead designer for a major corporation, two college students, a high school senior with a very high GPA…and three more coming up the ranks) “…*BUT* the ones that are out in the world can barely pay for a roof and food on their table –much less a baby. Our oldest son moved out of state and *just* scratched his way up out of the roommate stage (married one of his four roommates) and barely managed to purchase their first little house…” *(next to some railroad tracks and off of an off ramp with a homeless encampment).

      I showed him with a fist motion what I’d like to say to the GOP Boomers who mock millennials for not buying cars and homes.


      My son and his wife would dearly love to have a child, but she is 34 now. Fertility really drops off at that age. (I also just read that pollutants, namely phthalates in our environment have led to a full 50% drop in male fertility rates since 1973.)

      I know I’m preaching to the choir, but we can never stop pointing out the GOP brutality that stands in the way of health and families. We have to repeat it over and over again with the charts and graphs and evidence of wealth distribution in the last 50 years. We need to put our phones under their noses so they can stare at it. They vote against the environment, they vote against child care, they vote against living wages, they vote against salaries that would allow women to stay home with their children, they vote against affordable housing, they vote against education…They vote against healthcare. As Mark said, they have spines of steal and will eat anybody who stands in the way of their personal wealth and power.

      I find that the greatest irony of all, is that so many of the folks that vote for the likes of Trump –and turn their noses up at the welfare state– *hardly* have any skin in the game, and are often on welfare! I have relatives like that! In their minds, while they are watching Nascar or Fox News on the couch, –and have been sitting there, depressed for hours –they can only see brown people that they imagine are ruining the country–sucking up their resources, when in fact the brown people are cleaning homes, mowing lawns, watching white kids, picking strawberries, and plucking chickens…–work that is far, far beneath their white entitlement!

      So the working drones that are putting in the grinding hours of work–the ones who would *like* to have a family, and don’t have *time* to read about Q, and 10001 conspiracy theories, and hours and hours of b.s. news shows, keep shouldering more and more of the burden –for less and less.

      And they wonder why their children and grandchildren resort to birth control –that it becomes a way of life when faced with a dismal array of choices.

      They are GOP parasites, sucking the life blood out of the youth of this country. Someday they will see it all in vivid color, and realize that they in fact were the devil’s children that Jesus spoke about.

      1. *the second someone like Ben utters…”

        sorry-I’m bad at editing, and am supposed to be buying milk at the grocery store :/

      2. @taco

        I’ve relayed it several times on these pages my experiences in the abortion fight in Hawaii 50 years ago. I still remember just how awful those people seem to be, how little they seem to care for anything except their own opinions – although they did seem to be very fond of bloody pictures of body parts. it wasn’t a big surprise at all to me when I came out a few years later, and found those very same names referring to “nests of homosexuals in Waikiki“ and “they’re coming after your kids“.

        Ever since i saw what John Briggs tried to do with his death penalty and antigay measures, ever since Anita Bryant raised he well coiffed snout above the Florida swamps, i have seen nothing to change my opinion of that sort of Qhristian, A great irony about Anita Bryant: the daughter of the son she had with Bob greene, The man she divorced after claiming that divorce was against everything she stood for as a Christian (except convenience and money), her granddaughter turns out to be gay, and was getting married to another woman. It was a public debate whether she should invite her grandmother to her wedding. I said she should. Treat her nasty ol’ gramma the way she herself would like to be treated, not the way gramma treated hundreds of thousands of others.

        This resonated strongly with me: “ So the working drones that are putting in the grinding hours of work–the ones who would *like* to have a family, and don’t have *time* to read about Q, and 10001 conspiracy theories, and hours and hours of b.s. news shows, keep shouldering more and more of the burden –for less and less.” One of the great sadnesses and ironies of reading the stories at sorryantivaxxers.com Is the sheer number of them that leave four or five young children fatherless, or motherless, or both because they were absolutely certain that every bit of Q nonsense that they believe justifies what MUST be true, no matter how detached from reality. They whine on and on and on about communist and socialists and governmental tyranny, but have a go fund me to socialize the cost of their vaccine refusal. so many of them don’t seem to have any health insurance, which is also communist until they need someone to support their children- someone else.

        Maddening amd saddening at the same time. If I had kids, I would do everything in my power to make sure I would be there for them until they reached adulthood, and hopefully beyond. I cannot imagine putting trumpenpolitiq above the welfare of my children,

  6. @Ben,
    I began to read their stories after you posted the name of that antivax site, and then had to stop. It is so heartbreaking. My sister’s husband barely dodged the Covid bullet but railed against a picture of children wearing masks yesterday. She just can’t see it. She’s in the cult. When I observe how well meaning she has become now that she is in her 50s I realize that she is not fully responsible for her errors. She is actually a very fearful person but has been conditioned for so long that she can’t discern the enemy, or what can kill the body and disfigure the soul.

    It is the same with my mother. Presently she has what I would call an “anti-confessor”–an elderly woman who nursed her semi comatose husband for decades. Due to her long and arduous trial, the woman considers herself a living saint, and counsels my mother how to speak to her children and grandchildren. I had odd and disturbing dreams of her after my daughter told me about the lecture she received from her grandmother. My mother thinks she is trying to save my daughter’s soul. She has no idea what is actually going on.

  7. @ heartbreaking is certainly a word that is appropriate here. As i said a few weeks ago, it is not merely our educational system that bas failed a significant proportion of our society, but our entire culture.

    All that was required was for someone like Former to lift up that rotten old log to see what was beneath, and they love love love him for doing just that,

  8. Ben and taco:

    The people we see around us falling into MAGA unreality are all adults of reasonable intelligence and no apparent mental illness. They bear the same responsibility as any other adult to ensure that their sources of information are actually reliable. When they fail at that, it is their failing and not anyone else’s.

    I don’t feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for the people who have to live with them, I fell sorry for the families becoming estranged because of them, and I feel sorry for America. But not for them. My pity is finite – I can’t waste it on people who don’t deserve it.

    – joel

    1. @ joel

      Thanks for writing that. I feel exactly the same way about it. Although i sincerely believe that our educational system and our entire culture have failed these people, the ability to excuse their behavior because of this can only go so far.

      It is interesting to visit sorryantivaxxers.com, a phantasmagoric display of toxicity: religion, despite, contempt towards their fellow citizens and humans, ignorance, stupidity, crazy conspiracy theories, crazier (if possible) conspiracy theories, sociopathy, futile prayers, occasional regrets, mindless platitudes (Julie got her angel wings today— Julie, who just left her five kids without a mother), hostility towards anyone they see as other, hostility to good government, greedy money begs, denouncements of “socialism” right before they start their gofundme.

      Yet, I’m sure at the same time that they love the Lord and they love their families. I do have to ask, though: what kind of an excuse is that?


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