Republicans have given up on democracy, deficits, and laws
Republicans have long been the party of surrender. Their concern about the deficit exists only when it’s needed as a means of attacking Social Security and Medicare. Their fretting over “voter fraud” is limited to voters whose skin color makes them appear suspiciously Democratic. And immigration is important so long as it can be used to frighten voters in Iowa, without affecting the wait staff at the country club.
But in the last year, Republicans have flipped their surrender express into high gear. Not only have they given up any pretense of being worried about a yawning budget deficit that would have required multiple trips to the fainting couch under a Democratic president, and not only have Republicans developed a sudden disdain for genuine, provable election fraud, they’ve given up on democracy. As USA Today reports, anyone waiting for Republicans to get concerned about any of these issues will need to take “a time capsule to before the 2016 GOP convention.”
What’s also clear is that the fate of America now depends on whether Democrats can expand voting rights faster than Republicans can restrict them.
But Republican disdain for democracy isn’t just represented by the ever-tightening vice of laws restricting access, the closing of polling locations, the movement of polling stations away from communities of color, and the absolutely intentional and shameless effort to simply make it harder to vote. Republicans are now displaying a hatred for democracy that goes beyond trying to alter the outcome of an election in advance. They’re more and more willing to alter the outcome of an election when it’s over. In North Carolina, losing Republicans passed a bill to severely limit the power of the incoming Democratic governor in 2016. This type of legislative coup is now going even further in Wisconsin, where Republicans are using the lame duck session to democracy-proof the state.
The 2018 Midterms showed Republicans that they can no longer intimidate, inconvenience, and “purge” their way to easy victory. And they’re responding by simply instituting rules that erase results that they don’t like.
It was power grabs at the state level in the form of gerrymandering and voter restrictions that allowed Republicans to lock down legislatures and statehouses in state after state. Now that those tools are being challenged, they’ve moved on to the next level effort … which turns out to be simply ditching democracy.