Bette Davis was right

Author: admin

Despite some not wanting to believe it, the Republican Party has been morphing into something dangerous and, at times, violent. Still, most of us have given it the benefit of the doubt.

But, dangerous it is. And, at times, violent.

You need to look no further than last week’s very dangerous public ouster of two Black Tennessee Democrats from their House seats. Some reports called the GOP action “ruthless” and a “denial of the rights” of the pair. “Racist” as well.

Their “crime?” Exercising rights of citizenship by attending an anti-gun demonstration ahead of a House vote on gun bills. The demonstration in which they participated was triggered in Tennessee by the massacre of six people in a Nashville grade school.

That’s it. And, for that they were ushered – and at times – angrily pushed out through the House doors.

For me, “benefit of the doubt” is gone. The Republican Party is, indeed, becoming more dangerous and extreme in its conduct. Some of its most agitating members are appearing at far-right rallies and demonstrations. Their language has become more harsh – more heated. Their conduct more aggressive.

Some Republican-dominated legislatures have gerrymandered election districts into contorted shapes where – in some instances – Democrats can get more votes and still lose. Just shoved it through.

In such states, the GOP is enacting harmful and often questionable legislation. In some instances, legislation designed to deny someone’s rights or threaten their way of life because of sexual orientation or some other personal lifestyle.

Some Republican-dominated legislatures have been stripping lesser levels of government of some of their rightful authority. Others are laying on unnecessary new social requirements to receive state funding.

In the Tennessee case, Republicans catapulted three previously unknown legislators onto the national stage and laid bare the Party’s outright racist actions. Those actions serve to authenticate our deepening national political and social divides.

Much of the issue in Tennessee – and elsewhere – has been a bubbling over of people’s anger at the failure of office-holders to create new gun safety laws. There’s a recognizable frustration which is added to every time a new massacre occurs.

Many recent incidents of violence have been in Republican dominated states. States where there is the most resistance to any new laws regarding firearms.

We’re seeing people moving from one state to another they believe more representative of their political outlook – one they see as more welcoming – more closely in line with their social “beliefs.”

North Idaho is an excellent example of vivid divisions within the GOP. Kootenai County has at least four Republican central committees. Each claims it is the “official” one. Bonner and Boundary County Republicans are similarly divided politically.

Up there, you’ll hear some of the most discordant voices in Idaho. Several militia groups regularly – and openly – hold their drills on public lands. GOP meetings are often attended by men and women shouldering long guns with a pistol in their waistbands.

It may be an over-simplification to say Idaho is home to such groups because of its long history of Republicanism. May be. But, their certainly is a correlation between the emergence of a more strident state Party and the militance now openly displayed.

Our long history of two-party government is being replaced by a single, dominant party in some places. For better or worse. The long control of GOP state government in Idaho is but one example.

The Republican Party of Dole, Rockefeller, Powell and “Ike” is becoming a haven for the far-right, for extremists of every stripe with a more militant persona.

How far this development is allowed to grow is an open question. But, it appears to foretell – as Bette Davis famously said – “It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

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