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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: trump republicans

Will Americans Go Backward Into Disease And Depression, With Trump?

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

Such an exception ought to be possible in a country where, increasingly, the Democratic Party represents majority opinion on most salient issues, while the Republican Party wields power mainly because of rules, traditions, population imbalances and constitutional anomalies that thwart the majority. In no other democratic nation is the will of most citizens so systematically frustrated.

So the Democrats must fight their way uphill, and they would be wise to start now. The way to begin is to define the terms of battle with a message that reflects the lived experience as well as the hopes and expectations of voters in America after former President Donald Trump's 2020 election loss — and draws a powerful contrast with the opposition.

That message begins with the behavior of the Republicans, who no longer even pretend to have policy solutions to the crises that America confronts. Instead, they function solely as sycophantic servants of Trump, whose synthetic grievances over his impeachments and defeat continue to be their shared obsession. The Grand Old Party is no longer grand and scarcely a party, but it is terribly "old" in the most insulting sense: an entity decrepit and stuck in the past.

In recent days, the Republican leadership and a few of its media minions have seemed to sense how badly and bloodily they botched the pandemic. Suddenly, after more than a year of pretending it would go away and months of undermining the vaccination campaign, some of them are urging Americans to get inoculated. But with so many loonies and cultists infesting their active base, the party can't dispel the aura of needless, stupid death that surrounds it. Geniuses that they are, the Republicans apparently noticed President Joe Biden's strong approval, which rests on his competent, compassionate, scientific response to the pandemic.

Meanwhile that awful negative aura extends over the Republican obstruction of Biden's investments in economic recovery and national infrastructure, which are favored by a big majority of voters — and even a plurality of their own party rank and file. As the benefits of the Democratic program reach more households, the inadequacy of the Republicans will only be underlined.

The last time Democrats defied the midterm curse was in 1998, when Newt Gingrich overplayed his hand by impeaching Bill Clinton — another Republican outrage against the popular will. Their paranoid and conspiratorial tendencies have only grown worse over the past two decades.

Today's Republicans can be relied upon to exhibit the same character deficit as the 2022 cycle unfolds. That process began earlier this month, when a mob of fascist thugs disrupted a town hall hosted by Democratic Rep. Katie Porter in her Southern California district. While Porter spoke about solutions to climate change and the pandemic, they interrupted her with shouted slogans and tried to drown her out. The disturbance was planned, organized, and led by her Republican opponent, a white nationalist and anti-vaccination activist who disgracefully joined in physical attacks on her supporters.

The attack on Porter, so reminiscent of the worst Tea Party scenes in 2009, is a harbinger of things to come. It is a clear reminder to every voter of what the GOP now represents as an engine of authoritarian violence, big lies and bigotry — the continuation of January 6. They are nothing more than Trump, a hollow figure who returns endlessly to a past that reeks of depression, disease and deception. And they are willing to violate every democratic principle to drag the country backward with him.

But most Americans don't want to go backward with Trump and his goons. Now they must mobilize to defend democracy and keep moving forward.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Trump Booster On Staten Island Under Investigation For Absentee Ballot Fraud

Yet another Trump supporter who loudly repeated the former president's lies about election fraud in the 2020 election is now under investigation for vote fraud himself.

According to multiple news outlets, both federal and state authorities are probing the recent campaign of Marko Kepi – a narrowly defeated candidate for City Council in the Republican primary on New York's Staten Island. Kepi is suspected of forging absentee ballots by officials of the New York City Board of Elections.

Ironically many Republicans, including Kepi, have insinuated that Democrats misused absentee ballots authorized for use by voters wishing to avoid crowded voting places during the pandemic.

Reporters for New York City's public radio station, WNYC, and its online publication Gothamist, have obtained an internal Board of Elections memo that indicated concern over more than a thousand absentee ballots handled by Kepi campaign workers. Many of those ballots carried signatures that didn't match voting records, WNYC reported – and there was at least one ballot that was supposedly cast by a voter who was actually deceased. (Trump supporters, including his disgraced attorney Rudy Giuliani, have frequently charged without any evidence that dead people voted for President Biden in various states.)

The same memo noted that similar issues arose during Kepi's campaign for state assembly last year, which he also lost.

The general counsel for the Board of Elections has asked the Justice Department and the New York Attorney General to investigate Kepi's actions, following an executive session vote by the board. Both offices confimed to WNYC that they had received the investigative request. Meanwhile, David Carr, the Republican who defeated Kepi, asked the Staten Island district attorney to open an investigation.

Staten Island DA Michael McMahon, also a Republican, released a statement on the matter. "My office takes these allegations very seriously," McMahon said, "and will fully investigate this matter to ensure the integrity and fairness of our election system."

A spokeman for Kepi's campaign called the allegations a "fake scandal ginned up by a political machine that does not want all legal votes to be counted." He was talking about the Staten Island Republican Party.

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Trump Demands GOP Groups Stop Using His Name To Raise Money

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former President Donald Trump has demanded that three main Republican groups stop using his name and likeness to help raise money, a Trump adviser said on Saturday. The adviser, confirming a report in Politico, said that lawyers for Trump on Friday had sent cease-and-desist letters to the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee, asking them to stop using his name and likeness on fundraising emails and merchandise. The adviser said Trump is sensitive to the use of his name and likeness for branding ...

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Danziger: A High-Pitched Whine

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.