As it’s Monday, first day of a new month, and after just six weeks at work Joe Biden is way-popular and the T-Rump is still the biggest asshole on earth — Republican, GOP, conservatives/conservatism, how/whatever you call it, according to Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post this morning, ‘has no principles at all‘ — and only one avenue of action:
Their top political goal — voter suppression — is the only means by which they seek to capture power in an increasingly diverse America.
In dozens of states, Republicans are frantic to enact voting restrictions — justified by the myth of the stolen election.
It is arguably the only public cause that truly excites them.
Omg the ending ? https://t.co/1bnzNsbTqJ
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 1, 2021
And it’s really no joke: ‘According to a new analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice, 253 bills to restrict voting access have been introduced in 43 states already this year.‘
And today, Georgia took the lead (NPR):
HB 531, which passed 97-72 Monday, would also strip the secretary of state of his role as chair of the State Election Board, prevent county elections offices from receiving direct grant funding, shorten Georgia’s runoff election period, and require counties to add more staff, equipment or polling places in large precincts with long voter lines.
And tomorrow SCOTUS will jump in the voter-supression fray in a Republican attempt to quash Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (Mother Jones):
But now, in two Supreme Court cases from Arizona that will be heard on March 2,
Republicans are trying to kill what remains of the VRA.
Influential Republicans at the state and federal level (including Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell in an amicus brief) have asked the court’s conservative majority to weaken Section 2 or strike it down all together.
If SCOTUS does what it does, people of color will have an even bigger obstacle to voting with all those suppression laws waiting in the wings: ‘That would give Republicans a free pass to enact new voting restrictions like voter ID laws, cuts to early voting, and voter roll purges that do not explicitly mention race but in practice disenfranchise voters of color more than white people.‘
Anyone with walking-around sense can see the GOP has not real point in itself, no plans for governing, no agenda for the country, nothing but bitter bullshit. Since they can’t compete at the polls with reality of real people’s lives, then the only recourse of course is to keep people away from the ballot box. A horrible state the country is in right now with a pandemic playing havoc in everday life, and a huge chunk of Americans want more of the insurrection/riot playtime.
The just adjourned CPAC pow-wow is witness to how perilous the situation, even beyond the T-Rump.
Amanda Marcotte at Salon this evening:
Much was written, both on social and plain old regular media, about how CPAC this year was cementing Trump’s power over the GOP and turning the party into a cult of personality for their orange-hued buffoon of a leader.
Indeed, it’s both alarming and darkly funny, from the rapturous reception of his predictably whiny stemwinder to the ridiculous gold statue of Trump that was on display, which drew thousands of jokes about golden calves.
But really, the Trump worship is only part of what is the bigger and much scarier story of CPAC.
The conference was geared around the task of completing the transformation of the Republican party into an overtly authoritarian — even fascist — party that is focused on seizing and holding power against the will of the American people.
The Trump idolatry is part of that — what’s a fascist party without a cult around a narcissistic leader? — but ultimately, Trump still functions as he always has, which is as a tool for his followers to get what they want, and not an ends in himself.
And what they want, as CPAC made quite clear, is to make the U.S. a white nationalist country, which is always what the “MAGA” slogan stood for.
The CPAC straw poll showed only 55-percent of attendees endorsed Trump as their favorite for the Republican presidential nominee.
However, a full 97-percent approved of Trump’s performance in office, despite him ending his presidency by launching a coup that ended in a bloody attack on the Capitol.
Trump himself they can leave or take. But the insurrection and the violent assault on American democracy?
That is what the CPAC crowd is all about.
We maybe be fucked.
In a wild pitch from left field, a new study supposedly has found the wonderment of nature, or even of art or music can somehow tame the divide between MAGA hatters and regular people. Although I don’t see a Trump follower being in appreciattion of nature and allowing it to smooth the lying, nasty and vile bullshit spewing forth, yet a smidgen of hope there.
Particulars via PsyPost last Saturday:
“My interest in this topic was twofold. Firstly, I have a strong interest in the psychology of political polarization; specifically understanding the ways in which the emotions we experience can shift the conviction and extremism with which we hold our own beliefs and the extent to which we experience hostility towards those with opposing beliefs,” said study author Daniel M. Stancato, a doctoral candidate at the University of California and member of the Berkeley Social Interaction Laboratory.
“This probably isn’t news to most, but the divide between Democrats and Republicans in the United States is at its highest level in more than 30 years (perhaps ever). Both the actual and perceived divide along political party lines exacerbate political gridlock, pose barriers to civil dialogue, and contribute to a political environment filled with vitriol and mutual distrust.”
“The key takeaway is that experiencing awe — for example through experiences with nature, art, or music — can reduce the level of conviction or intensity with which one holds their beliefs and attitudes towards social and political issues,”
“Now, this may seem inconsequential or even maybe not a good thing; our beliefs about issues facing humanity represent a key part of our identities, and no one would want to (or should) be deprived of that. But the reduced conviction resulting from awe doesn’t seem to make people not care about or change their beliefs (in fact, we see no shift in one’s actual beliefs whatsoever) so much as perceive less distance from and hostility towards those with differing beliefs, thus potentially giving rise to more civil dialogue and regarding contentious issues.”
Big take-away here is beliefs aren’t changed, just softened. The study, “Awe, ideological conviction, and perceptions of ideological opponents,“ was published in the journal Emotion.
Reality of the future:
“I’m flying…” — but shit, girl, it’s the fuckin’ Titanic…
(Illustration: Salvador Dalí’s 1958 painting, “Meditative Rose,” found here)