By Ralph Nader
“Mush” barks McConnell and forty-nine Republican Senators, as if tied to a dog sled obey. The malicious McConnell – easily the most powerfully brutish, corporatist, citizen-blocking, lawless, corrupt Senator in modern American history – doesn’t even bother polling his Senators for their yea or nay on a myriad of votes. The Republican Senators are obedient automations obeying McConnell’s demands.
McConnell is a control freak in the most powerful legislature in the world. He relishes stopping everything for the people while bending over for his corporate paymasters from Wall Street to Houston and to the Koch brothers.
Easily re-elected every six years due to the default of an anemic Kentucky State Democratic Party, McConnell is a daily, snarling obstruction of justice. It is not just political. He has psychological problems. As an elderly, pouting dictator he revels in being called “the Grim Reaper” and “the Guardian of Gridlock.”
The lives and livelihoods of the American people are afflicted, harmed, deprived, undervalued, and disrespected by McConnell, a pasty corporation masquerading as a U.S. Senator. He sits on great personal wealth and dutifully represents the wealthy with a cynical disregard for the abuses of outlaw former President Trump and the attack on our nation’s rule of law.
Nothing matters to the forty-nine Senators whose principal concern is to avoid a primary challenge and the unleashing of Internet vitriol against them and their families. The cowardly Senators rationalize their subservience, believing dissent is futile and goes nowhere, so why suffer the aggravation.
A good number of Senators, to be sure, are pathetic mini-McConnell’s or aspire to be. Others have minds of their own, are educated, and have worldly experience. In the past, led by stalwart leaders such as McConnell’s predecessor, Kentucky Senator John Sherman Cooper, they would seek to get some things done for the country and provide some necessities for the people on Main Street. Alas, the citizenry has no opportunity to have such GOP representation. The great majority of GOP Senators have conceded their role and are narcissistic ditto-heads of their evil leader.
Surprisingly many Republican voters, sometimes a majority of them, favor President Biden’s proposals. These include childcare, paid family leave, expanded Medicare, higher taxes on the super-rich and global corporations, raising a frozen federal minimum wage (now at $7.50 per hour), support for better healthcare for the elderly, lowering gouging “pay or die” drug prices, doing something about student loan rip-offs, cleaner air and water, solar energy, and stronger regulation of the Wall Street Barons.
Granted, none of that matters to mad McConnell. But it should matter to Senator Robert Portman (R-OH) (retiring), Richard Shelby (R-AL) (retiring) a former plaintiff tort attorney, Charles Grassley (R-IA) walking easily into his last successful re-election, even Richard Burr (R-NC) (retiring) and wealthy Mitt Romney (R-UT). What do they have to worry about?
It is not as if the House GOP is much better. There, too, there is no dissent, with a couple of easy vote exceptions, from Bakersfield, California tyrant Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, a Trump toady.
Sometimes more is going on within GOP ranks that is not evident. Some GOP Senators lack self-respect and fail to voice support for legislation that a majority of Republican voters want but that is derided and opposed by “the Grim Reaper.”
Some fear losing campaign money. Some vulnerable Senators, who oppose popular bills that would gain them votes, they fear a primary opponent. But others have no concern with raising campaign money; they come from slam-dunk, safe states and could easily overpower any primary challenger. Remember, it only takes three or four out of the forty-nine to secure passage of these bills, taking into account the opposition of Senators Manchin and Sinema. Senate Democrats do have some dissenters or those who threaten to oppose, unlike the goose-stepping Republicans.
Without mind-readers, penetrating psychologists, psychiatrists or somehow overhearing the lawmakers’ private confessions, we may have to wait for the post-retirement regrets, remorse, and forthright remembrances of these non-profiles in courage to explain this wholesale abdication of responsibility by the GOP Senators.
Mush, mush orders the leader to his dog sled!