OK, I peeked inside one of the gifts under the tree and found America is getting a new president for Christmas. It’s no surprise, really, because the current one doesn’t work very well. That’s our big gift this year, but there’s still time to put a few more ideas on Santa’s list.
Me? I’m hoping for something recognizable as logic to reappear in the brain waves of most Congressional Republicans. At the moment, they’re acting like hold-out enemy soldiers, living in caves long after the war has ended. It’s time — long past time, actually — for them to discard the make-believe nonsense they’ve been spewing and take their seats in the real world again.
It starts with recognition of things that most Americans know to be true. Climate change is real, so stop pretending it isn’t and start taking meaningful steps to control it. Our health care system is both ruinously expensive and woefully imbalanced, so reforms are needed to bring down costs and provide coverage for those who need it.
The GOP also needs to stop playing footsie with armed militias, white supremacists and unhinged conspiracy theorists. No, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are not stuffing unborn babies into woodchippers, and no, George Soros is not financing it. Stop reposting and retweeting ludicrous QAnon claims. Republicans need to re-familiarize themselves with the world their constituents actually inhabit.
In the realm of public policy, blind faith is a poor substitute for thought and reason.
Speaking of blind faith, Republicans need to stop trying to invalidate the presidential election simply because their candidate lost. For a party that’s continually braying about the rule of law, the GOP hasn’t shown much respect for it.
Republicans have gone to court dozens of times to reverse the election results, but they have lost again and again. In many cases, the judges who dismissed their claims were Republican appointees.
Rather than accept hefty defeats both at the polls and in the courts, nearly two out of three Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives threw their support behind a Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate election results in four other states. They took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was immediately dismissed.
C’mon GOP, that’s not how we play ball in the big leagues. It’s not even how children play in the sandbox. Don’t try to change the rules and nullify the result simply because you lost.Elections have consequences. This is what losing looks like.
Is that so hard for Congressional Republicans to understand? Why can’t they show some respect for the 81.2 million voters who chose not to reelect an under-performing president?
The modern GOP doesn’t respect voters because it follows a simple formula: Figure out what people want, then don’t give it to them. Smug in the insolence of office, most Congressional Republicans coast to reelection with votes that are taken for granted. They don’t care what you want because they’re not listening.
Do people want affordable health care? Then do everything possible to prevent it, starting with destruction of Obamacare.
Are people afraid of mass shootings? Then do everything possible to obstruct meaningful gun control.
Are people worried about the obvious effects of climate change? Then deny it’s happening while dismissing the data and ridiculing the experts. Definitely ignore the science. That’s very important.
The GOP used to have a reputation for fiscal austerity and, with a Democrat moving into the White House, the party will exhume its previous commitment to Scrooge’s ideals. That’s a given, but I’m hoping for a wider rollback of the hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty that’s infected party leadership.
Want an example? Consider the Senate’s treatment of recent Supreme Court nominees during an election year. Slow walk? Or fast track?
Looking to the future, the GOP needs to recalibrate its moral compass if it’s to remain relevant. The fact that it is still competitive in presidential elections is due solely to a contrivance from the past, the Electoral College.
America is changing, growing more diverse and more populous by the day. Until its leaders start engaging with obvious problems — such as climate change, health care, and racial inequality — the GOP’s nation-wide prospects are dimming.
William Brock of Pullman has been a Daily News columnist since 2002.