Republicans In Congress: Help Business, Not People; Republicans in MN Legislature: Our Mask Snit More Important Than Economic Recovery
At Any Level of Government, Voting for Republicans In 2020 Is Not a Good Idea
Contributor: Wy Spano
We started this blog to be just about the awfulness of Donald Trump and the desperate need not to reelect him. Recent polls show the public is agreeing that Trump has to go, though a lot of people are writing about Trump's plans to not leave, even if he does lose the election.
But two stories that made the news this week, one about the U.S. Congress, and the other about the Minnesota Legislature, make it clear that our country and our state can't get fixed unless we vote against Trump AND Republicans in Congress and the Legislature.
In Congress, Republicans can't seem to get over their anti-government, anti-poor people bias. In fashioning a second relief bill, Republicans want to make sure they don't repeat the good things they did in the first virus bill, like giving the unemployed an extra $600-a-week federal pandemic unemployment benefit. That benefit ends this weekend. Republicans seem especially horrified that the $600 a week federal benefit when combined with the existing state benefit, meant some people made more money on unemployment than they did on the job they lost. Resentment against individuals who receive "unnecessary" help from the government is woven into the Republican DNA, unless the recipient is a business. At the national level, then, Republicans are proving they are unable to really help the economy by handing out money that gets spent and put immediately into the economy, like the extra money to unemployed workers. And that means that, for now at least, getting rid of Trump isn't enough; the Senate also has to be under firm Democratic control before Congress can begin to authorize the kind of funds needed to fix our current dilemma.
In Minnesota, Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature refused to pass a state construction bill, an item that in normal times passes every two years and keeps maintenance and emergency projects at least sort of up to date. Despite the considerable economic benefits the work brings to the state, Republicans traditionally cut the size of the bill, but usually end up supporting it. The last construction bill (called the "bonding" bill because the state sells bonds to finance the construction work) the last bonding bill passed in Minnesota in 2015. Since then Republicans have refused to help pass a bonding bill despite historically low borrowing costs and infrastructure deterioration.
The usual Republican excuse for not passing a bonding bill: don't want to spend the money. This time they brought up a new excuse. According to Republicans, Minnesota's governor, a Democrat, Tim Walz, is being dictatorial by continuing the emergency order that the state has in place to prevent coronavirus spread. Despite Minnesota having one of the best coronavirus records of the 50 states, Republicans got spooked by an impending order to wear masks in all indoor public places--retail shops, malls, government buildings, etc. So the Republicans demanded that Walz give up doing a good job on his own, and demanded that they be allowed to participate in any rule setting.
The clinching argument for Republicans: in the lower populated areas of Minnesota that they tend to represent, there haven't been many COVID-19 cases yet, so why should their poor, put-upon constituents be asked to bear the indignity of masks? (That public health people all say it's the way to go doesn't seem to influence Republican thinking very much.)
For this election, then, we recommend voting against Republicans up and down the line. If Republicans are soundly beaten, perhaps they can build a new party, with the many evils of Trumpism weeded out of it.
*We're outraged at this
*Restoring American Democracy