Why are Republicans so Hellbent on creating hurdles to voting, taking away constitutional powers of their own Republican governors, relying on ALEC or some other “conservative” front to create master copies of legislation attacking this-that-and-the-other because some corporations or a billionaire-or-two wants it that way?
Voting hurdles? Right now, there are more than 460 bills sitting in state legislatures that would limit voting. 460! Close polling places. Eliminating mail-in balloting. Phony requirements for voter identification that some Americans don’t have. Requiring speaking English to register.
We’ve now got a nasty bill in Arizona’s legislature, thanks to Republicans. It would allow those ladies and gentlemen - who are heavily in the majority - to overturn election results if they don’t like the outcome. Really! And to let them elect members of Congress rather than continuing to let us plebeians do the work. In 12 other states, too!
Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Idaho legislatures trying to strip gubernatorial powers, even from Republican governors! In some cases, the constitutions of the state enumerate the governor’s powers and duties. How much will it cost taxpayers to mount a certain-to-lose court defense?
Speaking of which, there’s even a bill floating around the chambers in Idaho to limit or erode certain responsibilities of Attorney General Wasden. Wasden has often - make that very often - advised legislators against taking some political action. At the bottom of that, I think, is that Wasden has been right so many times and legislators have been wrong. And, when you’re wrong at something, legislatively speaking, the taxpayer foots an often six-figure legal bill from private attorneys.
Congress, too, is often guilty of legislative over-reach. Making new laws to limit some function of states is always good for a (losing) court challenge. Or, being a plaintiff in some court challenge that, win-lose-or-draw, winds up with six-figure legal bills - or more - because of some questionable action.
These Republican challenges to other co-equal branches of government started several years ago. Especially in some states - like Idaho - that have long been in GOP hands. The late Idaho Governor Bob Smylie told me once “It’s good to change governing parties once in awhile - open the doors - let in some fresh air - clean out the closets.”
I’ve never forgotten that nearly 60-year-old piece of wisdom. Still true today. You have to look no further than the White House to see how true.
Speaking of GOP negativeness, why can’t some Congressional Republicans get it through their heads that Trump lost? Rep. Steve Scalise, number two on the House minority side, was being interviewed in one of those Sunday morning gabfests last week. Asked flat out if Biden won, he just couldn’t bring himself to say so. Or that Trump lost.
We’ve got a guy here in Arizona who’s had several House terms. Paul Gosar. Republican. He’s so off-the-rails his family’s buying advertising trying to get him recalled. Yep, kinfolk. He’s also being investigated by the FBI and others for his involvement in the attack on Congress.
Starting around the first of the year, about the time those idiots broke into the U.S. Capitol, I semi-consciously started looking for some signs of decency, truthfulness, positive thought and even a small bit of cooperation from Republicans at home and away. Damned tough to find any.
I don’t mean this as any sort of attack. It’s just the evidence - legislative and congressional - the evidence isn’t there to cite helpfulness on the part of elected Republican folk running a number of states and Congress.
In Florida, where the governor is a “Trumper,” his legislature wants to trim his sails, so to speak. While, there he’s out there, trying to throw roadblocks to citizen rights to vote. Closing more polling places - limiting mail-in voting by requiring voters have to ask for ballots each year. Things like that. Doesn’t matter. GOP Florida legislators are chewing his coattails.
President Biden campaigned on a platform of “bringing us together.” Making peace among warring political parties. Putting some Republicans in his largely Democrat cabinet. Being “President for everybody.” And, he seems to be working at doing just that.
But, with less than eight-weeks in office, Republicans aren’t buying it. Even before all his cabinet appointments have confirmation hearings, while he’s faced with our terrible pandemic, trying to undo what’s needed undoing, restoring relationships with other world governments - even before all that, he’s fighting Republican headwinds.
In what may be his largest effort to “make peace” with the GOP, Biden has put “all-hands-on-deck” to help Texas get out of the mess Republicans - and only Republicans - got themselves into. Only one question asked. “What do you need and where do you need it?” Not one whimper that the current Texas GOP administration wants to secede from the Union or that it screwed up by not doing the proper regulatory work on its infrastructure. Just, “We’re here to help.”
Republican legislatures attacking Republican governors, Republican governors threatening the constitutional rights of citizens, GOP members of Congress still not willing to call Joe Biden the duly-elected President. What the Hell’s going on?
Voters have got to get better informed. They’ve got to get to know the real makeup of candidates doing the “courting.” Those not registered must do so. And, when the day rolls around to put that ballot in the box, they’ve GOT to turnout.
And, remember - not a single Democrat in Congress that think the Presidential election was rigged. Not one!