Hello there, thanks for stopping by. It's been an interesting 24 hours to say the least. If you needed an indication of the likely outcome from Trump's impending impeachment trial, Rand Paul delivered it yesterday in the floor vote to declare the trial unconstitutional. 45 Republicans voted with him, including Mitch McConnell. So to be clear, 45 Republican Senators gave a seditious, felonious president a pass for inciting insurrection that resulted in the death of a police office, and four other Americans. Then there was the beating of numerous other police officers and the serious intent to hunt down lawmakers and hang the vice president of the United States. Clearly all in a day's work for Republicans wanting to overturn the will of the American people. I want you to pause at the point to remember the family of Brian Sicknick and the others lost and injured on that day.
The deafening silence of the GOP on the death of a serving police officer, is a chilling reminder of what the Republican Party has become. I make no apology for describing it as a domestic terror organisation at the heart of American democracy. Actors within both Congress and the Senate, are now on par with holocaust deniers. They would have you believe that the insurrection that happened on 6 January was an acceptable expression of dissatisfaction at the 'stealing of an election'. At the fringes, it's even being described as a false flag operation by Democrats to make Trump look bad. If ever you wanted proof that the lunatics have taken over the asylum, there you have it.
I could go on about Bengaze and the vast number of hearings instigated by the Republicans at the time. There was outrage from every corner of Republican ranks. It went on and on and on. However, now there is absolutely no appetite to speak of the laughable security, the withholding of help from the National Guard and the joy visibly evident as Trump watched events unfold on TV, on that terrible day for the reputation of America. How does the GOP paint it? Nikki Haley said on Monday that we should, and I quote 'Give him a break' when speaking about poor Donald Trump and his apparent victimisation during these difficult times. I remain speechless.
For all Democrats, there is rightly, a deep sense of injustice that the impending impeachment trial will probably once more result, in Trump walking away with a ‘not guilty’ verdict.
Given the evidence of what he did appears so overwhelming, it is simply wrong, that he should just walk away without justice being served. There are those that say, ‘I don’t care, I want his crimes laid out for all to see, regardless of the outcome’. I have absolute sympathy with that position.Trump is disgusting on so many levels, I find it difficult to articulate my feelings towards him. However, at the moment, he is being denied the oxygen of publicity. If there was a chance of conviction, even if only slim, I’d say go for it. However, the vote on the floor yesterday proved, Republicans will simply not vote to convict him. Herein lies the opportunity for Trump to seize the media moment. The right will fire up what’s left of their messaging machine and Trump will relish the opportunity to reach out to his base through the mainstream media. He will dominate the news cycle, give oxygen to his seditious group of sycophants in Congress and the Senate, who will queue up to sell the messaging of the right. A new hit TV series will be born ‘We don’t have the votes’ . The only upside I can see, is Dems raising money from it, but so too will the right and his base will be fired up once more. For me, it’s a media disaster waiting to happen, a self inflicted wound of monstrous proportion. I personally can see no upside and it does nothing to further Joe Biden’s agenda. McConnell is a happy man today.
As the ultimate act of disrespect, Rand Paul chose not to wear a mask on the floor of the Senate. The answer to that? Wait a moment....let me see if I can find out.....still looking....nope, there was NOTHING. There is no answer to his stupid behaviour. Lead by example I always say Rand, thank you for spitting in the face of the almost 425,000 Americans that have perished as a result of your grossly incompetent messaging. It's just another example, of individual representatives that have absolutely no agenda other than their own hunger for power and privilege. The Republican Party has embraced the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert to their family, despite their abhorrent views. It seems that the maniac right is now amongst the ranks of an ever growing contingent that will not leave Trumpism behind. I suspect this is because at the heart of it, that is who many of them are.
It's not for nothing that there is now a purge in progress to remove 'moderate' Republicans. I'll not blather on about Arizona, because what's happening there is insane. However, it appears Matt 'clown jacket' Gaetz is on his way to a town hall to oppose Liz Cheney. He tweeted 'Liz Cheney is losing support in the GOP faster than I’m losing Twitter followers...'
One thing the right is very good at, is what I call the 'outsider argument'. Creating an 'us and them' environment, is conducive to assisting in the marginalisation of the target. It appeals to the tribal instincts in us. The outcome is unclear as they begin to eat their own young. Wait, oh no am I now a QAnon follower. Let me be clear I don't like the taste of children, any more that I like the direction in which the Republican Party is being dragged.
Inevitably, it all comes down to money. CNN recently looked at corporate PAC donors to the Republican Party to ask if they were intending to continue to donate after the attempted insurrection. 120 said they were either stopping or reducing political donations following the attack. 12 said they would continue as normal, as they just saw his as the rough and tumble of politics. The interesting stat, is that 33 companies were specifically ceasing to give money to the 147 members who voted to overturn the election. These included some major players like AT&T, Verizon, Walmart, to name but three. I will however be interested to see if that commitment remains in place once the media spotlight is off. I think by the time we arrive at the mid-terms, it will likely be business as usual.
The sole objective of the Republican Party is to move on as quickly as possible. People have short memories, so if they can ride the storm, use impeachment to say that this is just Biden vengeance, suggesting that the Dems want no part of unity, then their job will be done. Make no mistake the division remains and the likes of Josh Hawley and crew have to rely on the base that Trump built on the back of racism and hate of the 'other guy'. Hawley as you would expect, will vote against any nominee, any policy, frankly anything that comes from the other side of the aisle.
I know I quote from my Tweet threads here, but that is deliberate. The object of this blog is to weave the narrative around my engagement on Twitter. It struck me this morning, that amidst all the deflection and attempts to move on, it might be worth recognising that, being president is not about Twitter and self congratulatory appearances on Fox TV.
It’s about digging in, getting the job done without fuss. It’s about taking time each day to explain the plan and not sugar coat it. It’s about having a grasp of the big picture and in the case of Covid, putting in place a federal response, cognisant of logistics and cost to states. Delivering for every state, not just blue states. It’s about re-establishing alliances, rejoining WHO and the Paris Climate Agreement. It’s about empathising every day, with those that have lost loved ones. Recognising the division that remains and working to diminish it daily. It’s about recognising the job is more important than playing golf. It’s about being an honourable person with values and integrity. This is who Joe is. It might not be exciting or worthy of fanfare, but that's not why Joe does the job. As a man who's been around a while, I know the value of 'boring'.
In the background, he's spoken to Putin, made his position clear on matters of national security and oh yes, managed to get the Start Treaty extended. Putin ratified it in both parliamentary bodies within 24 hours. Let's not mention that if parliament had not ratified it, they'd have all been shot or mysteriously fell out of high windows! In addition, he's reached out to the Palestinian Authority and re-engaged on providing critical aid to the Palestinian people.
I read daily, tweets from Republican members screaming about the number of executive orders and ruling by the pen. I'll resist the temptation to jump into the ditch on Trump's use of executive orders. The whole reason that Biden is able to undo what Trump did, was because they were done under executive order, rather than legislation. Having taken time to consider where things have settled, now that Biden has been inaugurated, I have come to the conclusion that it's time to get into the trenches and go hand to hand combat on issues that matter. He's effectively got a year to make a marked difference, from that point on, mid-terms will be in full flow and he needs to be able to tell a story of building back America better than before. That is a massive challenge, no matter how you look at it. He has to listen to communities of color, the unheard and those who have been on the edge of fiscal collapse, if he's to obtain a bigger mandate.
Republicans are now well on the path of a fiscal conservative approach to Biden's administration. It's worth remembering that Republicans used budget reconciliation to push through the huge tax giveaway to corporate America during Trump's term. This short segment from the National Law Review may explain it a little;
..While Trump and the Congress were unable to use reconciliation to repeal the ACA, they were successful in using the tool to enact a tax reform bill, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, that included, among other provisions, the repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate and reductions to tax rates...
With this in mind, Biden should have no concerns about using it to pass his $1.9 trillion relief package. Republicans will squeal 'abuse of process', but the need of the American people is greater than their sensitivity to the use of process. Might I remind you of the SCOTUS debacle, that probably represents one of the most egregious abuses of process to put Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court. The bottom line is DO IT JOE, it's time to lay down a marker that Republicans lost the election and the grownups are now in charge. Once that's sorted, it should be decided that the filibuster is back on the table because circumstances can change. This remains the real key to future progress for Democratic politics.
I'm going to go past my normal 6-7 minute read if you'll indulge me, because I want to share with you the key to Biden leaping forward in popularity (not that his opening approval ratings are in any way shabby). I'll give you a clue. My pick for the Democratic nominee was Pete Buttigieg.
On reflection, I know it was too soon for Pete, but his appointment as Transport Secretary, not only made my soul soar for the LGBTQ community, but also because Pete has embraced the opportunity with the enthusiasm that is needed for the magic bullet that can kickstart an economic revolution for America. I have three words, INFRASTRUCTURE, INFRASTRUCTURE, INFRASTRUCTURE. Wait a minute, that's just the same word three times! Yes it is and that's how important it is.
Republican outdated fiscal ideology, needs to be set aside and a huge investment program needs to begin on infrastructure. I don't just mean big, I mean HUGE. The global bond markets are screaming out for governments to borrow and it is cheap, very cheap. Tomorrow I want to explore it in a little more detail, events permitting. However, I was to make the point of the difference between Republican fiscal ideology and what is really needed to facilitate economic development. If you give a trillion dollars to corporate America what happens? Simple, they buy back stock. To make that abuse palatable, they hand a few dollars to workers and claim 'trickle down' really works. I would hazard a guess that some corporate PACs gave more money to political friends than to their workers. It does absolutely nothing to grow the economy. There will be those that argue otherwise, but to those people I would say what's the return on a tax break?
Infrastructure investment under a Democratic administration will always meet vigorous opposition from Republicans. Why? Because Dems will introduce regulation to ensure value for money federal contracts. Republicans prefer 'light touch' regulatio, to enable their rich friends to boost the bottom line at the expense of the taxpayer.
Now before you scream this has been a part of all administrations, that does not forgive this abhorrent abuse. I can't for one moment think that this contractor was a Democratic donor.
I digress I know, but the example above, is I suspect, the tip of a giant iceberg that has been gaining momentum for decades. I can assure you that Republicans will play no part in uncovering what is clearly billions of wasted taxpayer dollars. The point I am trying to make here is that even before the work begins to uncover Trump's malfeasance in office, there is a mountain of cash that can be released for the betterment of American society, just by shining a light on these sharp practices.
That clears my way, so that tomorrow we can do a deep dive into infrastructure and the big economic benefit of going HUGE.
Thanks for stopping by and stay safe out there.