Jan. 2015-Jan. 2017: The Republican Senate imposes an unprecedented embargo on nearly all federal district and appeal judges appointed by President Barack Obama.
2016: Several state and state Republicans openly admit that voter ID requirements and similar voter suppression laws are designed to harm Democrats and enable certain Republican candidates to win.
March 2016: Following Antonin Scalia’s death, Republicans block President Obama’s power to appoint Merrick Garland or a Supreme Court candidate.
September-October 2016: Several Republican senators declare they will not confirm Supreme Court justice if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election.
September 2016: Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocks all bipartisan efforts to expose and condemn Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
April 2017: Republicans eliminate the Supreme Court filibuster to appoint Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
December 2018: After voters in Wisconsin decide to replace their Republican governor with a Democratic one, Republican lawmakers meet in a lame duck meeting to remove the existing powers of the Democratic governor and attorney general and restrict early Democratic voting Reduce vote.
Dec. 21, 2018 – Jan. 25, 2019: Trump enforces longest government shutdown after Congress refused non-partisanly to fund his pet wall project on the southern border.
February 15, 2019: After Congress refused to fund Trump’s wall and its subsequent and unsuccessful extended government shutdown, Trump declares a national emergency and steals funds from the military budget to pay for his pet wall project anyway.
March 14, 2019: Trump threatens his supporters with violence against democratic voters who do not support him.
May 30, 2019: A deceased Republican agent’s computer hard drives are handed over by his daughter. They reveal the efforts of national Republicans to use census data to suppress the voting rights and representation of minorities and Democrats.
September 11, 2019: North Carolina Republican legislators tell their Democratic counterparts that the legislature will not sit in session on September 11, but will meet in secret in a half-empty chamber to override the Democratic governor’s budget veto .
Jan 31, 2020: Republican Senators vote to block hearing of witnesses or evidence in impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.
May 1, 2020: Trump tweets assist hundreds of militiamen invading Michigan State House in protest of COVID-19 measures.
July 21, 2020: Contrary to hundreds of years of constitutional interpretation and practice, the Trump administration announces that it will not include undocumented immigrants in the ten-year census. It is an attempt to reduce the number of house seats for democratic states and eliminate millions of federal payments to such states based on population.
Oct 5, 2020: In the face of a historic pandemic that threatens death and injury to millions, the Trump campaign and compliant Republican lawmakers are launching an amazing campaign to make voting more dangerous and difficult. A brief overview is provided by Mother Jones in “29 Ways Trump and the GOP Make Votes Difficult”.
October 18, 2020: Days after the FBI foiled a conspiracy by militiamen to kidnap and publicly execute Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer over COVID-19 security orders, Trump is inciting a crowd in Michigan and encouraging her to counter further violence exercise them.
October 26, 2020: Republicans reaffirm Amy Coney Barrett in the Supreme Court a week before a presidential election – despite blocking Garland or a Democratic president candidate to fill a seat that opened nine months before the 2016 election.
November 3, 2020: How could the 2020 election ever be summed up in one bullet point? Trump refuses to consent to a peaceful transfer of power. Trump unsuccessfully sued (over and over again) to overthrow the election he lost. Trump publicly lies about the elections, tries to undermine state electoral processes, threatens retaliation against other Republicans and instigates violence. And, crucially, it does so largely with the complicity of the Republican Party.
December 5, 2020: A month after Joe Biden won the presidential election (with more than 7 million votes), only 27 of 249 Republican Senators and House members will publicly admit that Biden won the election.
December 8, 2020: The Arizona GOP sends out a horrific tweet asking if people are “ready to give [their] Life ”in support of Trump’s efforts to overthrow the election.
December 9, 2020: The Pennsylvania Senate Republican majority leader tells a New York Times reporter that she signed a Trump letter declaring 2020 election fraud because “If I told you I would don’t do it. “I would have my house bombed tonight.”
Dec 10, 2020: The Trump administration continues to obstruct transition to the Biden administration as over 100 members of the Republican House and 17 attorneys general sign Texas’s unprecedented and “seditious” lawsuit against four swing states.
Folks, this is crazy. It is an open, ongoing attack on the basic principles of this country that has not been seen since the lead-up to the civil war.
Admittedly, defeating this Republican problem is difficult and complex, and viable solutions will take longer than this one contribution. But let me suggest that we rediscover an essential concept: the scandal.
The first and necessary step back requires our country, politics and media to rediscover how to flag, report and resist scandalous behavior. Do you remember watergate Wild Water? Benghazi? None of them compare to this threat to democracy (yes, not even Watergate).
That means reporting this for what it is and not inviting co-conspirators for polite interviews. It means having a group of historians and heads of state on a regular basis to discuss the scandal, not a D-list of political hacks. This means consistent front page coverage of this crisis. It means not reporting this as a “horse racing” policy. And that means that the democratic leadership must fight against it openly and constantly.
To turn this off, the first step we must all take is to treat this as the five alert fire scandal that it is.
I once called the Republicans’ thirst for power the “dark truth”. Five years later, it is unfortunately an open, proud, and largely unchallenged truth.
We can’t let this go on.