Friday 6 January 2023

Spilling the Tea on the Worst Party

Quick timeline recap on the context of the current Speaker of the House mess: 

About fourteen years ago, the Tea Party emerged with a combination of conservative activism and "burn it down" anti-government attitude. The Republican party decided to handle this by absorbing this extremist faction and hunting moderates within their own party to extinction. 

By 2016, a separate Tea Party faction was no longer necessary, as their anti-intellectualism, Christo-Fascism, ammosexuality and isolationism had become mainstream GOP positions. From this mess, Trumpism and the MAGA movement emerged. 

For four years, our federal government was utterly headless, with important institutions and agencies hobbled or gutted, and which culminated in widespread protests and COVID mismanagement, not to mention babies in cages and a Supreme Court with an ill-gotten conservative majority willing to remake the United States as a theocracy.

And then, two years ago today, we witnessed a thankfully failed coup, complete with armed insurrectionists overrunning one branch of our government at the behest of another. The long line of peaceful exchange of power was ruptured, and people were killed defending and attacking Congress because a former president encouraged violence during the certification of our election results. 

Today, that same "burn it down" faction is holding the House of Representatives hostage on what should be the easiest vote of the session. These extremists have never wanted to govern, they want to turn power to their own benefit while grinding the gears for absolutely everyone else who relies on a functioning government in the United States. 

The slim majority Republicans hold in the House of Representatives is a fairly direct result of gerrymandering and Trump's meddling in the census. Without this tinkering, we might have a government that could pass meaningful legislation on healthcare, climate change, student debt, bodily autonomy... 

Instead, we are witnessing this cancer continuing to cripple the basic functions of our federal government, which was the Tea Party pitch in the first place. 

Please, at every opportunity, use your vote and your voice to block the Republican Party. None of this is normal, nor moving us toward anything better. It is pure politics of grievance and obstruction, fueled by racism and misogyny, along with phobias generally: homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia... 

Eugene Goodman never should have had to face that mob alone, but I stay grateful for his bravery. We still have to hold the line against this insurrection.

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