Winning-at-all-cost politics: Why Republicans use scorched-earth tactics to consolidate power 2023

Nashville’s April events are a terrifying reminder of the vulnerability of American democracy when Republicans have supermajorities and don’t need Democratic members.

Two Tennessee House Democrats were ousted without criminal or immoral charges. After a Nashville Christian school massacre killed three 9-year-olds and three adults, they protested Tennessee’s gun laws.

They broke House rules, but the state legislature has never punished rules violators so severely. Several Tennessee politicians have retained their seats after being accused with severe sexual misconduct in recent years. Two Black legislators were dismissed last week, whereas a white legislator who demonstrated, in the same manner, was not.

We are witnessing the inevitable conclusion of win-at-all-cost Trump Republican ism, scorched-earth techniques employed by Republicans to cement their power just because they can.

Democratic means. It allows residents to differ on abortion, health care, guns, and other issues as long as they agree on democratic mechanisms of resolving them.

Trump Republicans believe that removing politicians, gerrymandering elections, refusing to raise the debt ceiling, and rejecting a genuine presidential election are justified measures.

Republican democracy is dead. The US fascist party is emerging.

Wisconsin may provide a more terrifying example. While liberals celebrated Janet Protasiewicz’s election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court because she will tip the court against the state’s extreme gerrymandering, the worst in the nation, and its strict abortion laws, among the strictest in America, something else happened in Wisconsin on election day that may negate her victory. Republican Dan Knodl won Wisconsin’s 8th senate district by a narrow margin.

The Wisconsin Republican Party has a supermajority and may impeach state officials, including judges. Knodl recently indicated he would “certainly consider” impeaching Protasiewicz. Since she can tilt the state’s highest court, his interest in impeaching her may have intensified.

As in Tennessee, no public reason is needed. Republican authoritarianism justifies power. After Wisconsin voters elected a Democratic governor and attorney general in 2018, the Republican legislature and lame duck Republican governor drastically reduced their power.

After Democrats gained those jobs, a GOP supermajority in North Carolina has severely weakened the executive branch. Republicans now have veto-proof majorities in both legislative houses, allowing them to impose conservative policies despite Governor Roy Cooper’s objections, including even more draconian gerrymandering. Republicans aim to redistrict mid-decade in North Carolina without a court ruling, even though the constitution forbids it.

The theme park behemoth he fought over his anti-LGBTQ+ views

Meanwhile, a newly installed Republican supermajority in Florida has given Ron DeSantis unbridled control over the state—granting him total authority of the board governing Disney, the theme park giant he has fought over his anti-LGBTQ+

“don’t say gay” law; permission to fly migrants from anywhere in the U.S. to destinations of his own choosing, for political purposes, and then send the bill to Florida’s taxpayers; and unprecedented prosecutorial power in the form of h.

Florida has successfully silenced even Florida people from opposing Republican initiatives. Statehouse rallies are now banned. Republican bill opponents usually get 30 seconds to speak.

Without two democratic parties to settle disputes in purposes, the one remaining (small-d) democratic party is at a disadvantage in pursuing desirable objectives. It will eventually forsake democratic methods for its own aims.

Partisanship becomes animosity and political disagreements become hatred when a political party compromises democratic methods to its own aims. War has no principles—only wins and defeats. Southern states denied Black people’s equality 160 years ago, destroying our system of self-government. Last week’s Tennessee events recall that awful era.

Trump did not create modern Republican fascism, but he legitimized and promoted the nasty rancor that has pushed much of the GOP into election-denying dictatorship.

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