Bye, Bipartisanship

Must “Country First” be relegated to bumper sticker platitude or political trope? It’s hard not to make that assumption while mired in the rhetoric of party-first priorities.

Even candor comes with caveats. Here’s Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a few days ago underscoring Republicans’ foremost priority. “One hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new Administration.” Call it “America Cursed” if that’s how national leaders lead.

And McConnell’s response to Democratic proposals to counter voting restrictions spoke disturbing volumes about the zero-sum approach to America’s needs. “We all learned early in life if you can write the rules, you can win the game,” noted McConnell through his (much-appreciated) mask.

Although America became more divisive under Trump, the signs and signals predate his cult candidacy and election. Recall that more than a decade ago, McConnell declared with party-first clarity that “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” We know the reasons, and they weren’t all ideological. Back then the issue was America’s first African-American president, a precedent that didn’t sit well with what became the Trump base. If you didn’t like your life, you at least had someone to look down on. Now one of “them” was president.

Trump came along in mid-angst for those who craved a president more like American neo-Nazi George Lincoln Rockwell than American icon Abraham Lincoln.

Now, ironically, it’s the Republican Party that is dividing against itself. The ouster of Liz Cheney, a hard-core conservative, from GOP leadership is all about rallying Trumpublicans for 2022. She drew the impeachable line on insurrection incitement and blatant election-fraud lying as harmful to our democracy. The party draws the line on contending for House and Senate seats sans support from Trumpsters. Country First? How quaint. Wonder what Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill would think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.