Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Jimmy Carter puts Trump, his WI acolytes to shame

The contrasts between Republican and Democratic behavior at the state and national levels are painfully obvious.

For example, and as he's done often, the indefatigable Democratic ex-President Jimmy Carter is giving us another life lesson.

At age 95, Carter appears to have survived a second brain surgery - - and two recent serious falls - - and may yet return to teaching Sunday school and building homes for the poor.

While our current Republican President is in a nation-shaming fight for his political life, aided by battalions of sycophants trying to preserve their own privileges and Trump's ability to make more money from his incumbency.

That Carter voluntarily gave up control of his family's peanut business when he was elected to avoid any conflicts of interest, while Trump and his family continue to soak up money from campaign donors and foreign governments, highlights the differences between Trump and Carter and also between what motivates the two parties.

Meanwhile, Trump's GOP defenders, including Wisconsin's GOP Senator Ron Johnson, have reduced their defenses of Trump's self-interested extortion of Ukraine - - just as as they have excused his unhinged, coarse, racist and demagogic corrosion of American democracy - - to a shallow and policy-free justification simple enough for Trump's stamp-of-approval:
Because we're Republicans
But I see broader, systemic differences between the two parties and their leaders which shows that the Carter-Trump divide - - which is really about official policy and public practice for whom - - is not unique to how the two Presidents have behaved.

When Scott Walker was running Wisconsin government, his mantra and agendas were rooted in:
"I wanted someone with a chamber of commerce mentality."
You could see that message over and over again, whether the issue was keeping the hourly minimum wage at a rock-bottom $7.25, or enabling livestock operations to let the manure flow, or starving transit services and delaying road repairs while borrowing billions to build new superhighway lanes that rewarded special interests and further subsidized favorites like Foxconn.

You could that see that endemic arrogance expand after Walker was defeated when his legislative lieutenant partisans protected his legacy 'achievements' and added to their own power through lame-duck one-sidedness.

And since have played dominance games with a paralyzed, wheel-chair bound Democratic colleague, run the legislature with brutish partisanship and even fired an Evers cabinet nominee out of thin-skinned, partisan pique while putting off during a cold snap a vote until spring on life-saving assistance to Wisconsin's homeless.
The Republican-run Senate refused last week to discuss or vote on Assembly Bill 119, which would have provided $500,000 more annually to homeless shelters. The bill is one of eight popular and bipartisan proposals approved by the GOP-led Assembly. 
Why would they do that? 

To demonstrate and enforce their new Wisconsin GOP catch-all talking point that builds on Walker's empathy deficit and displays their own payback-fueled cockiness:
 Because we can.
In fact, you can watch the Trumpian GOP in action right here, as Wisconsin State Senator Scott Fitzgerald shuts down in a matter of seconds a special session called to debate gun safety measures. 

I see in that video Trump's patented walk-away from reporters to his waiting helicopter, or in Walker's refusal to take the stage the night he lost to Evers and concede in public, or in Wisconsin GOP leaders' various declarations of #Never and 'No' to basic public health and safety needs.

Which takes us back to Trump and how US Senate Republicans plan to save a President who has freely worked hard for his donors, Russian dictator Putin, Turkey's dictator Erdogan, Jared Kushner's real estate empire and Rudy Guiliani's other 'clients.' 

All of which he can do because he has apologists and enablers in the right-wing media machine, and in pathetic copycats at the local level and higher in Wisconsin, including 2020 re-election co-chair Scott Walker, or the hopelessly self-parodying Ron Johnson, and now to home-grown autocrat wannabe Congressional water-carrier Scott Fitzgerald, who, all together, repeat:
Because we're Republicans, and because we can
Meanwhile Jimmy Carter just wants to build more homes for Habitat for Humanity.

Which side are you on?


Anonymous said...

Worst president in last 100 years.

Anonymous said...

Worse President EVER!