We have heard a lot of talk about the “Brexit” vote in the UK. This vote caused the markets to lose about 500 points on Friday. There is talk of a global recession. There is talk about a host of problems that the UK leaving the EU would cause. The real fact is that we will have to wait and see what the outcome of that vote will actually be. The EU wants the UK to leave very quickly, but the UK doesn’t seem to be in all that big of a hurry. Maybe it is because they are having “voters remorse” with petitions flying to redo the vote.
The thing that is being missed is the chaos that already exists right here at home. We are smack dab in the middle of a Presidential Election. We have two choices. One, the former Secretary of State and Former Senator Hillary Clinton and the Business Man turned Reality TV Star Donald Trump.
We also have elections for who controls both Houses of Congress. Currently the Republicans control both Houses and in the two years they have controlled both Houses, we have received nothing in return. The current House of Representatives are the least effective House on record, surpassing the last House of Representatives two years ago which surpassed the one before that.
“Obstructionism” has been the battle cry of the Republican Party ever since January 2009. The Republican Party has done nothing simply because they have refused to work with the current administration on anything. When the Senate passed a bi-partisan Immigration Reform bill, the House ignored it. There was no debate nor was there any vote on the legislation.
When mass shootings took place, especially after Sandy Hook, a bi-partisan bill was introduced to expand universal background checks to close the massive hole in the law. It would have required that anyone buying a gun at a gun show or over the internet would be subject to the same background check as someone buying a gun at a gun store. There was no debate and no vote. Even though 90 percent of Americans favor expanding the background checks for purchasing a gun.
We have seen several bills die a tragic death either on the floor of the Senate or the House. Not because anyone thought these bills were bad. Not because anyone really thought these bill were not needed. They died simply because the President was in favor of them. Once President Obama said he favored a bill, it was doomed to certain death.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States will hand down their final three cases of the year. That in itself is a big deal especially when the three bills deal with abortion rights, political corruption, and guns. Only, unless something goes odd, we really won’t get any clear indication on any of these cases.
The problem is that the court is missing a Justice. It is missing a Justice because Republicans in the Senate refuse to even talk to the nominee the President put forth after the death of Justice Scalia. They haven’t refused to do their job because they believe the nominee is not qualified for the bench. They haven’t refused because he is a “screaming radical liberal” because he isn’t. No, they refuse to do their job simply because he was nominated by President Obama.
As a result of Mitch McConnell’s attempt to play “god” over the country, cases now before the Supreme Court do not hold the same meaning as if a full court ruled on them. Today, because of McConnell’s deity complex, if the court splits four to four, the lower court’s ruling stands. But, that does not make the case the “law of the land” because no real decision was attained. Meaning all of these cases can be brought up again in the future when the Senate Republicans finally get off their asses and do their jobs.
The case everyone is holding their breath over is the Texas anti-abortion law. If the court holds with Texas, almost every single abortion clinic in the state will be forced to close down due to over-regulation by the state. I thought Republicans hated regulations? Not when it comes to abortion rights. For them, the more regulations the better.
The second case involves the conviction of former Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell who was convicted of accepting bribes. It is expected that the court will “side” with McDonnell in this case. If that happens, it will make prosecuting politicians for corruption almost impossible.
The final case involves guns. Two men from Maine have challenged their arrest and convictions for possessing guns. In these cases, they are challenging a federal law intended to keep guns out of the hands of people previously convicted of domestic abuse, for which both men were convicted. You may think that keeping guns out of convicted criminals hands is a good idea, but we will have to see what the court says.
If these cases are actually decided by a majority of justices, then that old phrase of it becoming the “law of the land” will hold true. If not, and the case is decided by the lower court’s rulings, these cases can come up again. The ruling will only affect the states where the cases heralds from.
On the other hand, if the Texas anti-abortion case is allowed to stand, you can bet that more and more Republican Controlled states will find it in their hearts to love regulations if it means closing down abortion clinics. The flurry of laws that will be passed will be like a hurricane blowing across the land.
All of this in the name of “obstructionism”. The Republican Party has offered the American people no choices between them and the Democrats. They keep rolling out their failed past policies and try to dress them up as something new. Mitch McConnell said on inauguration night, January 20, 2009, that his only purpose was to “ensure this is a one term president”. He failed as President Obama won reelection.
In the meantime, we have seen nothing of any consequence come from Congress. Even when they agree on a budget, they can’t agree on the budget after they agreed on it. They are dysfunctional at best. Incompetent at worst. As a result who do they put forward to be their nominee for President? Donald Trump. The Donald Trump who encouraged his supporters to “beat up” protestors as his rallies. The Donald Trump who wants to build a “Berlin Styled” wall on our border with Mexico. The Donald Trump who called Latino immigrants rapists and murderers. The Donald Trump who say all Muslims are terrorists and should be monitored, their civil rights be damned.
But don’t worry. We have now been told by the wonderful evangelical right that Donald Trump now has a relationship with Jesus. Some people say that is only politics. Some people say it is an insult to “true believers”. I say it is an insult to Jesus! Not once, in their own book, did Jesus preach hate, intolerance, or bigotry. All mantra’s of Donald Trump.
In response, and to show America that the Republicans are really adults, Paul Ryan rolled out his “planks” for conservative policy to give us a choice in November. It is the same old tired policies we have heard since Ronald Reagan ran for President. The same failed policies that Ronald Reagan put into place the sent our economy into a recession just as his Vice President George H.W. Bush took office.
The same “deregulate” policies that led to the total economic collapse in 2008. The same failed tax cut policies that quadrupled the national debt in just four years. But don’t worry, all of that didn’t happen because the policies were bad. They happened because they “didn’t go far enough”.
The Trump camp is all a twitter about the Brexit vote. They know perfectly well that the vote went to leave the EU more for racism than for real economic reasons. Anyone who thinks that if the refugee crisis in Europe wasn’t happening today that the Brexit vote would have gone the other way is crazy. Since the vote to “leave” there has been a spike in racist attacks in the UK according to their own press. And the Trump group knows that they have been using the exact same language to get their hero elected President. So, they figure that we will go along with the racist tactics and Trump will be our next President.
We need to start keeping an eye on our own country right now. The stakes are too high. I know the Brexit vote is compelling. I know that it can cause havoc around the globe. But, if Trump gets elected President of the United States, Brexit will pale in comparison. Our media needs to pay attention to our elections not just what is happening in Europe.
The Republican plan of obstructionism has led to divide. Divide has led to chaos. Chaos has led to hate. Hate has led to Trump being their nominee. Sometimes I hope I will wake up one day and discover this has all been a bad dream. The problem is that if the current crop of Republicans get their way, our bad dream will quickly become a national nightmare and we may have to start practicing saying “Heil Trump”!