Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Voters deliver more good news

Voters in Ohio have just handed Republicans yet another huge defeat and stood up for the right of the people to decide for themselves what they want, and not be dictated to by overreaching authoritarians. One would think Republican politicans would learn from their ongoing string of defeats, but apparently not. Fortunately for them, voters are willing to school them again and again.

The Associated Press correctly headlined their story, “Voters in Ohio reject GOP-backed proposal that would have made it tougher to protect abortion rights”, because even though the vote wasn’t about abortions rights (technically), what it was REALLY about was abortion rights, and absolutely everyone knew it. The referendum was the Republicans’ plan to make it nearly impossible to amend the Ohio state constitution to protect abortion rights by raising the number of votes to approves such measures to 60% from the simple majority it’s been for more than a century.

Republicans claimed the measure was to prevent “outside groups” from meddling with Ohio’s constitution, which was the only partially honest thing they said about it—but they were still being completely dishonest: They really meant they wanted to prevent a measure to protect abortion rights from passing by referendum, something that would’ve drawn support from outside the state. They knew that such measures can struggle to get to 60% approval, especially in a mostly Republican state like Ohio, so they moved with their idiotic power play.

The Republicans also decided to put their thumb on the scales by holding the referendum in the middle of summer because, they were cocksure, only the most rightwing Republicans would vote at that time of year. The Republicans vastly underestimated the determination of pissed-off voters.

For decades, and even as recently as only a few years ago, Republicans kept claiming that they wanted Roe v. Wade overturned not to ban all abortions, silly voter, but merely so it could be returned to the states to decide. They threw in, “let the people decide” for extra emphasis.

Of course we now know that Republican politicians have been lying for decades, because as soon as the Supreme Court’s far-right Republican majority overturned Roe, Republican-controlled states went at breakneck speed to ban all abortions in their states, and finally started speaking honestly and admitting that their goal was a nationwide ban on all abortions, with no exceptions. Voters responded with, “Oh yeah? WATCH THIS!!! and have handed Republicans loss after loss whenever they get the chance to vote—which is precisely what Ohio Republicans were trying to make impossible for the people of Ohio.

Here’s the obvious lesson in this and similar results in Republican-controlled places like Kansas and Kentucky: Trying to ban all abortions without exception is a losing idea. Republicans’ insistence on going ahead with their radical agenda on abortion—in defiance of the will of the people—along with their ongoing wars against books, education, women, people who aren’t white, and LGBT+ people (among many, many, many other idiotic crusades) are costing them elections. The Republican “Party” is now a far-right cult with absolutely nothing to attract the majority of voters.

This is why Democrats did so well in the elections of 2018, 2020, and 2024—and the latter was supposed to be a “Red Wave” year in which the Republicans would take full control of Congress. Instead, Democrats held the Senate, barely lost the House to a caucus under the total control of its most lunatic and irrational members, folks who care only about waging unhinged Republican Party ideological wars, folks couldn’t possibly care less about delivering for the people who elected them. But hey, at least they managed to elect a lickspittle coward to become the weakest Speaker ever.

Because of Republican extremism, in 2022 Democrats took power in states, such as, gaining full control of Michigan’s state government for the first time in decades. In 2022, they also defeated every single one of the party’s candidates who set out to be just like the party’s Dear Leader, the unemployed orange Florida man who’s currently facing multiple criminal indictments with more to come.

The fact is, everyone who believes in democracy, the rule of law, and the right of voters to decide issues for themselves, should be glad that Republican politicians seem to be so universally myopic—or even outright stupid. Every time they move to advance their christofascist agenda, they piss-off more voters and end up being humiliated by them. That’s why we know for certain that between now and the 2024 US elections, Republicans will do everything they can think of to prevent people from voting, because, as a party that wants to do the exact opposite of what the people actually want, all they have left is trying to stop democracy itself. The voters of Ohio have shown that when voters have the opportunity, they’ll show the Republicans the door. Long may it continue nationwide.


Roger Owen Green said...

thx. For my 8/15 linkage.

Arthur Schenck said...

Glad to be of service. Thanks in advance for inadvertently setting the stage for linkage that will be in one of my upcoming posts.