During Barack Obama’s first term, Sen. Mitch McConnell vowed that Obama would be a one-term president. Fortunately, for the majority of Americans, especially those lacking health care, McConnell was overconfident. Despite repeated Republican efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, though diminished, it still stands. McConnell and his minority party’s hostile attitude toward legislating and governing are out of step, out of touch, and hopefully, out of time.
Surely everyone knows after the last four tumultuous years, the Republican Party stands for nothing but obstruction. The “O” in GOP signifies it. They will concoct any reason to employ it to stifle progress. Unless “progress,” during Trump’s chaotic, destructive tenure, means gifting massive tax breaks to the very people and entities least in need of them. Or mismanaging a Covid-19 relief plan through inept oversight which resulted in massive, unnecessary suffering and death.
Finally, there is hope with the passage of President Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” without a single Republican vote in favor. McConnell predictably panned the bill as “the worst piece of legislation in the nation’s history.” His party has morphed into one huge millstone around the neck of democracy through the filibuster. Democrats must shed their reluctance to kill it and find workarounds to pass badly needed legislation in spite of dire “scorched earth” warnings from McConnell. It’s time to call his bluff. Those warnings conceal his terror that Americans, especially those who may have voted for Trump, will begin thinking, “Biden is actually helping me.”
Republicans do have one ace in the hole – more than 250 bills whose sole aim is blatant voter suppression in all its disturbing forms. But Democrats have introduced more than 500 to make voting easier. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Republicans could conquer their greatest fear? The fear of being honest and fair.