Teaming up for good

Are we accomplishing enough with the Jan. 6 hearings?


Without an obstructionist Republican megaphone, these hearings are both coherent and revealing – nothing like what you get when one party is doing everything they can to obscure any progress or significant realization.
And yet, of course, people are asking: Will any of it matter? Once you have drunk the Republican Kool-Aid, you seem to remain forever deluded. Even Arizona Republican Speaker Rusty Bowers admits that while Trump is a liar and a lawbreaker, he’d still vote for him in a general election. Apparently, no matter what crimes the Republican elite has committed, run-of-the-mill Republicans will still vote Republican. It’s part of their identity. They are who they are. And they don’t feel the same way that we do about either hypocrisy or democracy.
A lot of people hate it when I talk this way. They call me intolerant. They call me ideological, and offensive, and “just as bad.” They say I’m not helping things by painting with such a broad brush and blaming people for not being able to see past or through their own culture.
Maybe. But I, for one, am tired of watching us turn the other cheek and then feeling it burn with another slap. I no longer believe that bipartisanship is healthy for us. If the Republican Party was a spouse, we would have gotten divorced. We’d be seen as foolish for trying to work things out with such an untrustworthy partner.
Which is exactly what they have been. Untrustworthy. And it didn’t just start with Trump. The war in Iraq was based on a Big Lie, too.
We are taught not to judge. And many of us have been taught to accept virtually any moral stance. We’ve even been led to believe that it is immoral to make moral judgments. I don’t buy it any longer. We’ve been married to an untrustworthy party, and we keep trying to work it out without offending anyone. I’ve come to see it this way: we may choose to quietly not offend, but we can’t work it out. And I’m starting to wonder if not offending is the moral choice any longer.
Of the seven deadly sins, pride is number one. The flip side of pride is shame, and shame is perhaps the most difficult of all experiences. It takes courage to face your shame. Ask yourself this: Do you have the courage to admit that you’ve been wrong about something?
It isn’t just the politicians who are unable to face the shame of having been so wrong for so long. It’s your neighbor next door. That’s the awful truth of this. It’s too shameful to stop voting Republican after having voted for Trump twice. You’d have to admit to yourself how wrong you were. You’d have to have courage.
And it’s their lack of courage we see over and over again with their constant minimizing of their party’s corruption. Before Trump, who would have thought the Republicans would have turned a blind eye to Russian intervention in an election? Who imagines that this didn’t embolden Putin?
It’s shameful the way the Republican party has traded decency for power. And it’s shameful the way people allow themselves to be fooled by Fox News.
I know I lose people when I go this far with my words. And I don’t like looking like an unforgiving hardliner. Truth is, I’m not unforgiving. But I do believe that Republicans have a willful indifference to the horrors perpetrated by their own party, from the hateful rhetoric against the Black Lives Matter Movement, to the jailing of children on the border, to the continued wrongness of their positions on guns, gays, women, climate change, etc.
They have been morally wrong on all the moral issues of our time – yet we non-Republicans refuse to make the moral judgment. We let them off the hook, as if it’s just a preference, like chocolate over vanilla. To each his own... Right? No. Wrong. Voting is a sacred act, and a moral choice. And voting Republican is morally wrong at this point.
These Jan. 6 hearings are proving truths beyond any doubt. But so did the impeachment hearings if you were looking at them honestly. The “politics game” is supposed to be played with respect for each other and respect for the rules, but they have made it clear that they do not respect us, nor do they respect the rules. We know this, but we keep hoping they will see the light someday. They won’t. There is no changing a mind committed to remaining closed. The Republican party won’t get healthy until they need to, and, in their own eyes, they haven’t hit rock bottom, yet.
Meanwhile, Biden gets blamed for the inflation caused by war-time oil prices and post-COVID-19 supply problems.
So, what can we do? I, for one, still have faith in getting out the vote, and I still have faith that justice and decency will prevail.
We need to get the fence-sitters out to the polls. And we also need to stop fighting among ourselves, and encourage those of us who have lost faith to regain it. If we can increase our hold on the senate from 50-50 to 52-48, we can bypass the filibuster and then pass The John Lewis Voting Rights Act. That will make all the difference.
We have work to do. Let’s do it.


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