Sunday, October 23, 2022

Dear Democrats: Grow Some Balls

Election Day is in a little over two weeks and, according to most polls, Republicans are likely to take over the House and, possibly, the Senate.

This, in spite of the fact that we just spent the summer and fall watching the January 6 Committee painstakingly lay out their case that Donald Trump led a multipronged effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and not only orchestrated the attack on the Capitol, but did nothing to stop it.

As I write this, Trump has just been subpoenaed by the January 6 Committee (a subpoena which, if the past is any indication, he will probably ignore), and is the subject of several investigations. In addition to the January 6 Committee investigation, he’s the subject of several investigations by the Justice Department, including the Mar a Lago documents case, where he just lied to a federal court judge; Fani Willis’s investigation in Atlanta, where he interfered with Georgia’s election results (“I just want to find 11,780 votes”) and Letitia James’s investigation in New York, where he simultaneously inflated his net worth to banks and underreported it to the IRS.

In Texas, Greg Abbott is leading Beto O’Rourke in the governor’s race, in spite of yet another classroom of children being massacred in Uvalde and the Uvalde Police Department (and several other law enforcement agencies) doing nothing to stop it, and Texas’s electrical grid failing last winter.

In Georgia, the spectacularly unqualified former football player Herschel Walker is in a close race for Senate. He’s allegedly pro-life, in spite of the fact that he paid for his girlfriend’s abortion (and she has the receipts to prove it).

In Pennsylvania, TV “doctor” and snake oil salesman Mehmet Oz is running for Senate, in spite of the fact that, until recently, he didn’t even live in Pennsylvania.

And all of this is happening because the price of gas is too high.

Let me address the subject of inflation, since that seems to be the only thing that anyone cares about. The inflation we’re currently experiencing is primarily caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the lingering effects the COVID pandemic, both of which have had a devasting effect on the supply chain. We can also thank Russia (and OPEC) for recently raising the price of oil.

Moreover, it’s a worldwide phenomenon that President Biden has very little control over.

Inflation is a temporary situation. If we lose our democracy, that will be permanent.

I often wish Biden were a more forceful speaker. I know he had a stutter when he was a child (and he’s mostly overcome it), but nowadays, the ability to convey a “presidential” image on TV (whatever that means) means more than the ability to pass legislation or having any coherent policy positions.

Biden needs to be a motherfucker on the level of Trump. I don’t mean someone who’s willing to break the law. I mean someone who’s willing to call Republicans on their bullshit.

But speaking of legislation, Biden passed the only meaningful climate change legislation ever. He passed the only meaningful gun control law in decades. The Inflation Reduction Act will reduce the price of prescription drugs (among other things). Why aren’t Democrats shouting this from the rooftops? And, if they are, why isn’t it getting through.

Because Republicans (and, to a lesser degree, Democrats) are living in an information bubble. If you watch Fox News, you don’t even know the January 6 hearings happened. You still think Trump won the 2020 presidential election (even though numerous recounts—including by Republicans—and court cases have proven otherwise).

And if you think I’m being alarmist about losing our democracy, look at what’s happening (and has already happened).

Trump tried to overturn a free and fair election. That has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt and, if that weren’t enough to sway our opinion, we all watched the January 6 insurrection happening on live TV.

Republicans have passed numerous laws restricting people’s right to vote and are now threatening to engage in voter intimidation.

And, if they take over Congress, they’ll dismantle the January 6 Committee and try to investigate Biden. (For what, I don’t know, but that’s beside the point.)

If Republicans take over Congress (and State Houses and governorships), the price of gas will be the least of our problems.

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