The Very Least Republicans Could Do

The very least that someone who persists in belonging to the Republican Party, and not just to the Party but to the Senate Republican caucus, as the Party as a whole rapidly consolidates around Trumpist fascism, could do, it seems to me, is acknowledge that their own Party is making a concerted effort to seize and hold power against the will of the people, through a variety of undemocratic means, and that this is bad and should be stopped. That, I feel, is the bare minimum that we should require of such a person if they wish their claims of not being a fascist collaborator to be taken at all seriously. Of course it is still hard to comprehend why they would remain members of an overall-fascist organization, but hey, they have longstanding sentimental attachment to the thing called the Republican Party I guess, and we can be understanding about that. These people, the ones we are interested in anyway, say that they would like to have a non-fascist Republican Party again, and although I don’t think that goal is particularly feasible, I agree that it would be nice. And presumably a non-fascist Republican Party would cut all this “steadfastly working to undermine democracy” stuff out, right? So a non-fascist Republican who wants to see their party become non-fascist again should be on board with preventing those antidemocratic efforts?

Well, yesterday literally every single Republican Senator voted against proceeding to consideration of the Democrats’ major voting reform bill, the For The People Act (a.k.a. H.R.1). Because of the Senate’s current minority-rule tradition, their fifty votes defeated the fifty Democratic Senators, and the bill is currently dead barring some new development (that would presumably have to be filibuster reform/abolition).

Here’s what Lisa Murkowski, probably the single most reasonable Senate Republican on this stuff (she’s been working with Manchin trying to rustle up Republican support for the new Voting Rights Act bill) had to say:

“If you look at the bill it is wholly partisan … My concern and I’ve shared with many is that the bill that we have in front of us is not so much about voting rights as it is a federal takeover of the election system and a partisan federal takeover.”

(Source: CNN live updates)

This is just exactly how a Reasonable Republican should not be talking right now! Of course it’s partisan! The principal means by which your party is attempting to gain and hold power now are antidemocratic. That inevitably means that the question of whether those means are permissible, and will be permitted, goes directly to the partisan balance of power over the next few years! And to reiterate, if you think it is bad that your party has devolved into fascism then you should have the stomach to say that it must not be permitted to win through these fascist means! That it is better for the Democrats to win fair and square than for the Republicans to win through violence and theft! That you will work with the Democrats, as your only other partners opposed to the fascists in your own goddamn party, to make sure that is what happens!

Literally not a single one of them could manage that. Guess that settles that question, huh?

(For more on the implications of the Senate Republicans’ unanimous adoption of the Calhounist mantra of states’ rights to oppose federal election reform, see this fantastic Jonathan Chait piece.)



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