The Country Reels
They Have Been Dreaming About This One For Nearly A Century.
One can only guess what kind of wet dreams Republicans are having after this week.
At a national level they proved that qualifications mean nothing. All of the levers of government will now be controlled not by men and women of knowledge and experience but by those who have something much more important – the right ideology. The only logic I can get out of this is that they believe that there is something divine that will keep the US from erring, as long as they run the government with the right ideology.
At both the state and national level schools and teachers felt a real kick in the crotch and boot in the face as republicans started lining up the strategy to demolish the public education system.
Installing Betsy DeVos as education secretary was a double finger and a moon to Americans. This is Republican’s way of letting us know that our kids only have value to them as a commodity to fill their for profit schools.
In Iowa the ongoing starvation of education took a huge step forward as Republicans piggybacked on a shortfall in revenue to take the knife to education. Once upon a time in Iowa – in an Iowa that actually valued education – such a situation would be met with a temporary tax or at least a bi-partisan study to save the best education system in the land. Times like that seem like a dream.
Now on both the state and the national level, the push is to make public education looks so bad that parents will be begging for private for profit education systems to save their kids from the horrible public schools.
You may think this is an outrage and you would be very correct. So what are you going to do? Vote the scoundrels out? Sorry but they are a step ahead of the masses. While Democrats were tweaking existing voting systems to represent everyone, Republicans were busy destroying both the system and the confidence in it. Along with destroying our public education system Republicans already have several steps into making our voting system heavily in their favor.
With 32 states having the toxic combination of control of both houses of the state legislature and the governor’s chair, expect an onslaught of new voter restriction laws. Expect Iowa and many others to adopt the interstate voter cross-check strategy that threw millions of voters off the the rolls last election.
Expect the national congress to adopt some form of interstate cross check to national elections. What, you think somebody should stop that? Like who? The only agency in the federal government that had only a smidgen of power to stop such shenanigans is being destroyed by republicans in congress.
In the meantime, while The Netherlands announces that, due to hacking fears, they will do away with computer tabulation machines in favor of hand-marked, hand-counted paper ballots (“Democracy’s Gold Standard”) for their upcoming election, Republicans in the U.S. House moved to abolish the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the only federal agency tasked with setting standards for our nation’s oft-failed, easily-hacked electronic voting and tabulation systems.
See how Republicans are setting things up so that solutions such as privatized for profit schools are the only answer? Think they can’t do that to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security? Think you can vote them out of office next election.
Now that the country has jumped in bed with the extremist Republicans ideologues it will not be easy to crawl out of that bed. Do you think Republicans are just going to let America walk away when they have a grip on its neck? Of course not. That is why they are restricting the vote. They will also ramp up the propaganda to an incredible level. Plus the lies will be coming fast and furious at a speed that will almost be impossible to keep up with.
Will we be able to stop this onslaught through public protests and court actions? One need only look at the lesson of Wisconsin to see that once the extremist Republicans gain power they don’t give it up easily. Immediately following Scott Walker’s assumption of the governorship in Wisconsin with a majority in both houses of the legislature.
Walker immediately went after unions and schools. None of his proposals were even mentioned during the campaign. More than 100,000 showed up to protest in the cold of Wisconsin in 2011. The protests lasted for months, but Walker and the Republicans waited them out. By summer the unions had been busted, the schools had been starved and the protestors had other stuff to attend to.
An attempt to recall Walker in 2012 was unsuccessful as huge amounts of money came pouring in to the Walker campaign thanks to the SCOTUS decision in the Citizens United case.
See how it all fit together for Walker? It is even much worse now. Republicans have literally worked for this moment for decades. You certainly do not expect them to see the errors of their way and walk away from the electoral and ruling frameworks they have set up do you? Their dreams of dismantling the New Deal, rolling back civil rights and privatizing everything is within their grasp. Their dream of a ruling elite is already here. The dream of corporations unfettered by laws is within grasp.
They believe and have said out loud that fatigue will set in on our side as it did in Wisconsin. They also believe with the apparatus they have set up for elections that it will be nearly impossible for us to ever gain an overwhelming majority. They already have mechanisms set up to stop legislation in most states and in Congress in the off chance that Democrats ever do gain power. Witness the incredible obstruction of the Obama years.
Their war against America is not just starting, but in full swing. Can we stop it? It will take a huge and sustained effort.
We need a fifty state strategy with a long range plan. At the same time we need an incredible effort to win in 2018.
And I didn’t even mention the media control which will soon be strengthened by ending of internet neutrality.