By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist
I almost passed on writing a column this week. Thinking hard enough about our political future to put it into writing is becoming depressing.
For example: How can Hershel Walker be deadlocked with Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia’s U.S. Senate race? Is it because Trump endorsed him? If so, then how, after all the criminality roiling around the former “president,” can his imprimatur still be influential? The latest news about the ex-football player’s personal life doesn’t matter to Trump, for obvious reasons.
As to the ex-football player’s denial, who can doubt the word of a man who graduated at the top of his college class, spent years in law enforcement, and runs four hospitals? He says. His son says, “Family values, people? He has four kids with four different women, and he wasn’t in the house raising one of them. He was out having sex with other women.” (Vanity Fair: tinyurl.com/HWlies4u)
Senate Republicans and “pro-life” groups have made it clear they’re with him no matter what. So is Mitch McConnell’s super PAC. Of course they are; they stopped caring long ago about qualifications or expectation of positive contribution to America. They’d support a spawning salmon if it’d give them a majority, enabling their undoing of democracy. Say what you want about libs, they’ve never put forward such unseriousness for senator. Not since LBJ drove Southern Democrats into Republican arms. Even Ronald Reagan would be ashamed (Bulwark: tinyurl.com/all434).
Curious to see how well Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov. John Fetterman speaks while he recovers from his stroke, I participated (i.e., made a contribution) in a Zoom meeting on Monday, with him and Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the latter of whom is running against Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., regularly referred to as America’s dumbest senator. Fetterman did fine; stumbled on a word here and there, but not to any dramatic degree. And Barnes can hold his own anywhere. I hope their debates are streamed.
If it’s possible that a domestically violent, unqualified, campaign-coached, debate-canceling ex-football player can defeat smart, informed, dedicated incumbent Sen. Warnock, the prospect of Mehmet Oz the snake-oil-selling, charlatan doctor representing the cradle of our democracy is even worse. To this fellow surgeon, anyway. An unabashed quack dealer, he’s another who has much in common with Trump. An embarrassment. Seriously. Watch this video: (YouTube: tinyurl.com/snakeoil4u).
And Ron Johnson; in favor of banning abortion with no exceptions. If women don’t like it, he says, they can move. Laughed off Jan. 6, 2021, saying the protesters “did teach us all how you can use flag poles.” Became the slippest Freudian, ever (Yahoo News: tinyurl.com/oopsRon). A hardcore, Trump-excusing election denier, he had this to say about covid vaccines: “Why do we think that we can create something better than God in terms of combating disease?” No doubt many voters, alive thanks to creations of medical science against God-created diseases, are thinking the same.
It matters. If Washingtonians can’t vote for the better candidates in Georgia, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, we can consider what their nomination tells us about today’s Republican Party; and why it behooves any actual conservative, along with liberals, whose policies have repeatedly benefited America, to refrain from supporting any Republican for federal office, until they abandon Trumpism. Which includes our own; one of whose many misleading ads pushes the discredited lie about 87,000 IRS agents coming after the middle class. And who’s been unconservatively silent about Trump’s latest call for violence, echoed, from the same stage, by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who makes the ex-football player seem more motherly than Theresa.
Democrats are planning to kill Republicans, said she, to applause, meaning it literally. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a death wish, said Trump, along with a racist comment about Mitch’s wife, also to applause. Given what Jan. 6 insurrectionists said about Trump’s instigating words, someone might well feel called upon by their God-given idol to attack McConnell. Nary a word, except stumbling excuses, from Republican leaders. (MTG also warned that electric cars, which can leave gas cars in their dust, are [checks underwear] “emasculating.”)
Returning to our local lady, wouldn’t it be nice if political ads were prohibited from lying? Product ads are, after all. It’ll never happen as long as Republicans have the filibuster, because it’s all they have. They killed a bill to require revealing “dark money” donors, too, and Democratic bills protecting voting rights, among many others of benefit to us all. In my Zoom meeting, Barnes made a strong case for ending the filibuster, which makes a structurally unfair body even more so.
It’s too much to process. Demonizing the vulnerable, dehumanizing asylum-seekers. Overruling doctors and their patients, rejecting certified election results, endumbing education. MAGAfied candidates: Congress, governorships, secretaries of state, state legislatures, judges. If Trumpublicans win, that party — and maybe the country — is lost for generations.
Email Sid Schwab at email@example.com.