Repost: Freedom is under siege, and the besiegers have now told us they have no mercy

Earlier today I posted a news item about the failure theater of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz making a motion to “favorably” report the Biden administration’s FCC nominations for a full vote in the Senate, even as Cruz at the same time stated he was against their nomination. This absurd lack of real fight now prompts me to add this quick comment, and a repost of a January 2022 essay.

In that essay I quoted the words that open each volume of Winston Churchill’s memoirs of World War II:

In War: Resolution
In Defeat: Defiance
In Victory: Magnanimity
In Peace: Good Will

Cruz’s actions are typical of our conservative leadership for decades. They are good at magnanimity and good will, but know nothing of resolution or defiance. To them, there is no war, and defeat is really just another word for victory.

We are in a war however, and we have been losing that war now for more than a century. We have reached a point where a sizeable part of the American population thinks it is okay to imprison its opponents, even as it firmly supports censorship and blacklisting.

Fortunately, more and more Americans recognize this, and are no longer easily fooled by Republican failure theater. As a reminder to help strengthen that resolve and to remind the fence-sitters of the real war we are in, a war that now requires resolution and defiance by all who value freedom, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law, I give you my January 2022 essay, which outlined starkly what the other side wants:

Freedom is under siege, and the besiegers have now told us they have no mercy

Liberty under siege
Liberty under siege.

For many years I deeply and sincerely believed that many rank-and-file Democrat voters honestly did not know how corrupt and power-hungry the political leaders of their party had become. I thought that if I could simply get them to see the clear evidence of misbehavior and abuse of power that has been going on in the Democratic Party without check since Bill Clinton was president, they would reconsider their voting habits and abandon their support of that party.

I thought that the vast majority of Democrats were decent people who opposed oppression and intolerance and simply were unaware that they were voting for it when they supported the Democratic Party.

I now know unequivocally that I was wrong. Two stories in the past week illustrate bluntly that a large number of ordinary Democrats, maybe even a majority, are eager supporters of oppression and intolerance and dictatorship. They like the corruption and abuse-of-power coming from Democratic Party politicians. They even want more of it.
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Fake pushback: Texas passes law banning DEI at the state universities

Failure Theater!

Failure theater: This week Texas’ Republican governor Greg Abbott signed a new law that formally abolished all diversity, equity, and inclusion offices at the state’s public universities and schools.

“An institution of higher education may not establish or maintain a diversity, equity, and inclusion office or hire or assign an employee of the institution, or contract with a third party, to perform the duties of a diversity, equity, and inclusion office,” states the legislation, Senate Bill 17, which takes effect at the start of the spring semester of the 2023-24 academic year.

Exceptions spelled out include “academic course instruction,” “research or creative works by an institution of higher education’s students or faculty,” and activities by student groups.

The new law also bans “ideological oaths,” or DEI statements, for hiring and enrollment. [emphasis mine]

Hooray! The unicorns have come out and the world is now good and pure. All racist teaching at Texas universities will now forever cease!

Bah. This law was first proposed in May. At that time I wrote the following:
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Tennessee’s Republicans move to represent the left, not their constituents

What Tennessee's Republicans are doing
A picture of Tennessee’s Republicans

Capitulating as always: In response to calls from Tennessee’s very small and very minor Democratic Party — including its normal mobs of screaming protesters, some of which routinely threaten violence — the Republican governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, is now demanding new gun laws aimed at making it easier to take guns away from Tennessee citizens.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee called Tuesday for state lawmakers to pass a law aimed at preventing guns from getting in the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or others.

The Republican governor also said he will sign a new executive order later Tuesday aimed at strengthening background checks on firearm purchases. “I’m asking the General Assembly to bring forward an order of protection law,” Lee said in a news conference at a Nashville police station. “A new, strong order of protection law will provide the broader population cover, safety, from those who are a danger to themselves or the population. “This is our moment to lead and to give the people of Tennessee what they deserve.” [emphasis mine]

Yeah, he wants to give it to them, good and hard. And apparently he has support from the Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton, and Republican Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, who is the Senate speaker.
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State legislatures proposing repeals of 2020 election revisions that made fraud easy

I’ll believe it when I see it: The state legislatures of Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania — all strongly controlled by Republicans — are now considering numerous proposals to repeal the many improvised revisions to state election laws that made fraud easy and contributed to the widespread belief of many that the 2020 presidential election was stolen by the Democrats.

Significant legislative attempts are underway in multiple U.S. states, including key battleground states, to roll back major changes in voting rules and regulations to various pre-2020 status quo antes. The efforts come after an historically chaotic election process that has left millions of Americans doubtful of election fairness, security, transparency and accountability.

Changes to election rules — some of them enacted prior to 2020 and others put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic last year — have included expansive mail-in voting, expanded early voting, relaxation of verification rules, and extensions to ballot receipt deadlines.

Those rules likely contributed to a record 158,000,000-plus votes cast in the 2020 election. But the relaxation of various voting requirements has also led to significant distrust in the election system: Nearly 40% of voters believe that U.S. elections are beset by fraud, while a similar number claim that such concerns haven’t been properly vetted by public authorities.

As far as I am concerned, until these changes are actually imposed and enforced, stories like this are nothing more than another example of Republican Party failure theater: lots of big talk that means nothing.

And if you sense a bit of contempt for these Republicans, you are not mistaken. I have watched them stand by impotently for decades as the the principles of freedom and individual rights that this country stands for were trampled upon and nullified, step-by-step by the corrupt and power-hungry Democratic Party. Why should I hold any respect for them?

Is the ultimate Republican Party failure theater about to happen?

The dead Constitution

For the past thirty years the Republican Party has been amazingly consistent in almost every political battle put before it by the increasingly leftist and radical Democratic Party. Almost every single time, the leaders of this so-called conservative political party have put on a big show of resisting the leftist and radical proposals put forth by Democrats, only in the end to back down, making a deal that allows those policies to take effect in some manner or another.

I am not sure who originally coined the term, but in recent years this incompetence has often been called “failure theater.” The Republican Party justifies its failures by citing the big theatrical fight they put on. They then promise they will fight harder next time, only to fail again. And again. And again.

This failure theater has been going on repeatedly for decades, since Ronald Reagan was president. Then Donald Trump came along. Unlike the establishment Republicans who ran for president since Reagan (Bush Sr., Dole, Bush Jr., McCain, Romney), Trump generally does not back down easily. He does not participate in failure theater. When he fights he fights to win, which has made the corrupt leadership in the Republican Party very uncomfortable for the past four years.
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Senate kills House bill to cut $15 billion from passed $300 billion spending deal

Failure theater: The Senate today killed a House bill that would have cut $15 billion from the $300 billion spending deal passed in March.

In a 48-50 vote, senators failed to discharge the measure from committee. A majority vote was needed.

GOP Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.) and Susan Collins (Maine) joined 48 members of the Democratic caucus in voting against bringing up the bill. “My belief … is that it’s the job of Congress to comb through these accounts and that’s what we do on the appropriations committee,” Collins said.

The vote is a blow to conservatives and the White House, who pushed the package in response to backlash from the GOP base over a mammoth rescissions package passed in March.

I wish Burr and Collins would simply switch parties. At least that way there would be no way for them to fool anyone into thinking they believe in smaller government or controlling spending.

The bill was garbage anyway, as it really did little to really promote smaller government or controlled spending. All it did was give House Republicans a fake talking point when they campaign for re-election in the fall. “I fought to cut the budget!” they will scream, citing the House vote that passed the bill, even though they all knew the bill did little, and that it was almost certain the Senate would kill it.