Tony Kendall

This may be a rhetorical question, but I’ll ask it anyway.

What has to happen for Democrats to start playing the same political game that Republican politicians have been playing for some time now?

After four years of acquiescing to and appeasing every whim of President Donald Trump, current members of the Trump Political Party (formerly the Republican Party) have once again become the party of obstruction and “no we aren’t voting for that.”

Case in point, Trump water boys, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy have said that no (former) Republicans will vote to raise the debt ceiling when it comes up for a vote in a couple weeks, although raising it throughout the years has been something routinely done in a bipartisan way, regardless of which party controls the levers of government.

According to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, three times during the Trump era, Congress with overwhelmingly Democratic support passed three spending bills (2017, ’18 and ’19) that suspended the debt limit before raising it when the suspension period ended to cover the amounts borrowed during the suspension.

Two years later, when Democrats are in power, it’s something they can no longer support.

And in typical Trump Party fashion, they have come up with a new narrative about what the debt ceiling is.

According to McConnell and McCarthy, Democrats want the debt ceiling raised so they can spend the money on their and Biden’s socialist agenda.

The truth is that the debt ceiling is a cap on the amount of money the U.S. government can borrow to pay its debts.

The debt this increase would be paying for occurred in the past four years, aided in a large part by the Trump’s tax cut for the rich that was passed in 2017 by a Republican-controlled Congress, many of whom are still there.

Raising it allows the government to borrow money to continue to pay for things that Congress already has done or given the green light to, like Social Security, salaries for federal workers, infrastructure and other government programs.

It blows my mind that Democrats always seem shocked when (former) Republicans behave this way when they should know better.

Rick Wilson, a former Republican operative, gives this explanation for why members of his former party behave the way they do.

Democrats, he says, run for office and come into power with high expectations to govern using lofty ideas and notions.

Republicans just want to win and will use any means necessary to achieve power and keep it as long as they can.

When they do lose, instead of resetting their goals to reach out and expand their base, they look to change to the rules of engagement and operation.

Take the last presidential election in which their leader lost. What did and have party loyalists done?

At the national level, they continue to promote the Big Lie that the election was stolen from him.

At the state level, in states they control, the rules about who gets to vote and when they do have been changed to limit voting access for people who tend not to vote for them.

I hope enough congressional Democrats remember this moment and change their expectations of their political adversaries, instead of playing nice with them and getting nowhere.

Despite being a dyed-in-the-wool liberal who wakes up happy that there is a Democrat in the White House, I knew there would be times when I’d be upset at things President Joe Biden and his administration did.

The bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan tops the list for the moment.

Also, on the list is his continued use of Trump era policies, allowing people Trump to put in place to keep their jobs in government and the way he continues to appease the moderates in the party.

The Trump policy the Biden administration continues to use that makes veins pop out on my neck when I hear or read about it is the racist Title 42 immigration rule that is part of a U.S. health law created by white nationalist Trump adviser Steven Miller.

The law prohibits entry into the country by people coming from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador when the director for disease control believes there is danger of a communicable disease coming into the United States.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided Miller and administration the opportunity to put the law into practice, even as they were downplaying the impact of the virus in the country at the same time.

Another Trump-era thing the Biden administration was doing until recently that severely ticked me off was allowing the border patrol to continue to operate with impunity towards undocumented immigrants.

Things reached a low point two weeks ago when images of border patrol agents on horseback used reins and their mounts to hit and corral Haitian immigrants seeking asylum, like they were cattle.

Immediately, I was reminded of scenes from numerous Western movies in which the calvary rode into Native American villages doing the same thing. Their brutish behavior also reminded me of the gorilla soldiers in the “Planet of the Apes” movies.

Some were surprised when they saw video of the agents doing this, but I wasn’t. When it comes to over-the-top, unabashed law enforcement tactics, there’s not a rogue agency in the nation that can compete with the border patrol.

And it’s the reason why, when the Trump administration wanted to clear city streets around the country of social justice protestors last year, these guys were used. Treating people like this is old hat for them; they have been doing it for years.

To Biden’s credit, he said that nothing like that would ever happen again on his watch, and those responsible would be dealt with in a manner appropriate for their actions. We shall see.

I’m tired of Biden continuing to appease the so-called moderates in the party at the expense of those of us who went to the polls in droves to get the man elected.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kristen Sinema from Arizona draw all the attention for being the Democratic moderates who are holding up Biden’s agenda, but they are not the only ones.

There are a few more like them, especially in the House. If you don’t know them by name right now, you soon will when those bills that are important to most Democrats come up for votes in the coming weeks.

From the Bottom where I see things, these men and women are not moderates, they are closeted Republicans and opportunists. We will see who as it gets closer to election time next year.

And why is a Republican donor with a vested interest in the U.S. Postal Service being dismantled, Louis Dejoy, still postmaster general?

If Biden wants to do something like Trump that I wouldn’t have a problem with, firing this guy would be the place to start.

 

Stay the course, Big Red! Stay focused, nephew, and play with purpose, y’all aren’t done yet.

 

Hi, Momma Lois.

 

TONY KENDALL of Hazel is a writer, teacher, actor, playwright and sports fanatic. He can be reached by email at bottomwriter@yahoo.com.

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