by Kellen Squire
Watching Brett Kavanaugh yesterday undertake a masterful performance for one person – and one person only – while he sat, being “questioned” (if you can call it that) by the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, something I’ve known to be true for quite awhile was brought into stark contrast. Not just about Mr. Kavanaugh, but about the Republican Party; about “conservatism” and partisan rancor; about the motivations behind everyone from Lindsey Graham to Jeff Flake; about where our country is headed; and where we go from here.
Conservatism is dead. It was always a shell game; hawked by the few people who truly benefit from a system like that (hence the incredible astroturfing undertaken by people like the Koch Brothers). People like John Boehner and Paul Ryan thought they could harness the resentment they were feeding without consequence.
But as many of us could’ve told them, the bill always – ALWAYS – comes due. And the consequence was Donald Trump, who has done more than anyone to destroy conservatism and expose it as a meaningless ideology custom-built to serve only a select few. Donald Trump, as we know, has no principles beyond himself. If Trump thought that getting on TV tonight and saying he’s for vociferously standing up for the proletariat in their struggle against the bourgeoisie would benefit him personally and trigger some libs, he’d do it in a heartbeat.
But that’s okay, because the fact is that Republicans never really believed any of their supposed ideals about small government, respect for citizen privacy, individual responsibility, or personal freedom. Oh, sure, there were a lot of people who truly did believe in those things, but they were always ruthlessly kneecapped by the Republican Party elite if they got too powerful, were simply kept around in a ceremonial role to give the impression anything they said or believed mattered, or were told that all of the actual things the Republican Party did were bad. Sure, but what were you gonna do? Vote for a Democrat? Hahahahahahaha!
This is why George W. Bush whipped votes for Kavanaugh yesterday, and why Jeff Flake voted yes. This is why they’ll allow Kavanaugh to lie to their faces, and why they’ll ignore Dr. Ford’s powerful testimony. It’s because the traditions and institutions our country was founded on, the intent of the Founders, all the b.s. they’ve said over the years, only mattered insofar as it benefited them. Once it became a liability, it was jettisoned without a second thought.
Republicans understand their inability to win elections without unlimited dark money, gerrymandering and voter suppression. They know that Trump’s election in 2016 was a fluke which won’t ever be able to be replicated again. That is fine with them, as they hate Trump almost as much as they do anyone else, and him being toast is a good thing as far as they’re concerned. They know that the progressive ideals we’re fighting for are widely popular amongst the vast majority of Americans; so much so that it’s not even left-wing ideals we’re fighting for, but the new American center, where the vast majority of the country lives.
Republicans know they’ve squandered and seriously endangered not just the future of our country, but of humanity itself. Today the Trump administration quietly released a report that says they’re planning on a possible 7-degree fahrenheit warming of the planet by 2100 – and that there’s nothing we can do about it, so, fuck it – let’s go all in and repeal the entire EPA.
They know that they, their political ideology, and the people who make them up are in danger of losing power forever.
And this is the endgame. Leave a couple of partisan, activist judges on the Supreme Court as a “delaying action”, while they raid the Treasury, and set themselves up for the future as best they can at the expense of everyone else. Decry the mean old Democrats for being “mean,” ignoring the rancor and lies and personal attacks they love to whip up, to everyone from Max Cleland to John Kerry, John McCain to Barack Obama- and to any and every strong woman they encounter, from Anita Hill to Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. And, at its core, make the stark decision to refuse to put the people of our country over the needs of their own party.
These are the stakes, folks. The question is, what are you going to do about this situation?
We can save our Commonwealth. We can save our country. We can save humanity. We can save our children’s futures. But it’s going to mean going all out, now. Not later. Right now. We’re at a seminal crossroads for our future, and we won’t get another opportunity to act like we have now.
So we’ve got to act; all of us. Now.
Before it’s too late.