Watch out! The GOP ‘clown car’ is coming to a neighborhood near you.

Commentary

It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t yield. It runs red lights (especially deep red ones). It’s a hazard to your well-being. It’s a menace to truth, justice and the American way.

Note: I started writing this story a week ago. I had held off posting it so it could be edited for better comprehension and for length. I realized today, however, that since the FBI legal search at Mar-A-Lago, almost everything I wrote when I started this, only a week ago, is old news; news on the back burner; news no one is talking about. So I decided to post it anyway, lest we forget, that before Mar-A-Lago, the attack on “truth, justice and the American way” was in full swing.

Over the last several weeks the Republican Party, the Grand Old Party, the Party of Lincoln, has reached what many believe, is their nadir. It is legitimate to ask, when talking about the actions of the GOP and its leaders, can it go any lower? Can they do any more to undermine the American democracy and the rule of law?

If you haven’t been following the news as closely as I have, allow me to list some examples of what the GOP has been up to lately:

  • The featured speaker at the recent Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) was, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. As Max Boot, a conservative columnist for The Washington Post wrote:

“All you need to know about the state of the Republican Party today is what happened at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on Thursday. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been destroying his country’s democracy, received a standing ovation less than two weeks after he gave a speech in Romania in which he endorsed the white supremacist ‘replacement theory’ and denounced a ‘mixed-race world.’

“One of Orban’s longtime advisers quit over what she described as a speech ‘worthy of Goebbels’ before backtracking a bit. But Orban hasn’t recanted his repugnant views, and right-wingers in Dallas thrilled to his denunciations of immigration, abortion, LGBTQ rights and ‘the Woke Globalist Goliath.’ He even excoriated Jewish financier George Soros, a Hungarian native, as someone who ‘hated Christianity.’ The racist and anti-Semitic signaling was not subtle.”

  • Keeping up with “Goebbels/Nazi theme, it was revealed recently that when he was President, Donald Trump asked his advisors why his generals couldn’t be more like the WWII German generals, only to be reminded that those same generals attempted to assassinate their Führer, a fact that our Ivy League educated former president was apparently unaware of.
  • Following up on what an Ivy League education can lead to, in a recent vote in the Senate confirming the U.S.’ agreement that Sweden and Finland should be admitted to Nato, the bill passed 96-1. The only “No” vote was cast by Stanford (BA)/Yale (JD), fist-pumping, insurrectionist-congratulating junior senator from Missouri, Republican, Josh Hawley.
  • A little closer to home Florida’s double Ivy League Republican governor, Ron DeSantis (Yale (BA/Harvard (JD) recently signed a bill which would allow military veterans and their spouses without a college degree to serve as teachers in Florida public schools. In defense of the move, Florida Republicans noted that there were some caveats: “Prospective veteran-teachers must have completed at least 60 hours of college credit [note: general requirements call for 120 credits to graduate] while maintaining a 2.5 GPA. [For those who’ve forgotten, that’s like a C+] Candidates must also pass a Florida Department of Education subject exam to teach certain, [but not all] subjects. For his part, in a statement after the bill was passed, Ivy League Ron said, “You give me somebody who has four years of experience as a Devil Dog over somebody who has four years of experience at Shoehorn U and I will take the Marine every day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
  • Recent Republican primaries in several states resulted in most Trump-endorsed candidates making it to the ballot in November to face Democratic opponents. In Arizona, the entire slate of state-wide offices, governor, attorney general and secretary of state, were won by Trump-backed election deniers. As Rachel Leingang, co-founder of the politics and government newsletter, the Arizona Agenda, wrote in an Op-ed following the election, “[Arizona] GOP primaries went full MAGA.” The gubernatorial candidate, election denier and former TV news anchor, Kari Lake, spent days fuming over unfounded voter-fraud allegations…stopping only when she was declared the winner. Mark Finchem, a fringe state lawmaker who has built a national reputation while trying to overturn the 2020 election, will be the GOP’s nominee for secretary of state, the office that oversees elections, while Abe Hamadeh, who said he wouldn’t have signed off on the 2020 election and shared claims that it could still be overturned, won the primary for attorney general. In other words, if they win in November, the chances of a free and fair election in Arizona, and more specifically, a Democratic candidate running for any office, winning, are slim and none!
  • And how about Michigan, where Ryan Kelley, a Michigan gubernatorial candidate who was hit with federal misdemeanor charges related to the Capitol riot (Kelley has pleaded not guilty), rejected his campaign’s loss this week, despite finishing the primary in fourth place. Kelley condemned the results as a “predetermined outcome.” And, where Michigan’s Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office has requested the appointment of a special prosecutor to consider criminal charges against nine people it alleges were involved in a conspiracy to improperly obtain access to voting machines used in the 2020 election — including the presumptive GOP nominee for attorney general set to challenge Nessel in the November election! Nessel’s office asked the state’s Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council for the appointment of a special prosecuting attorney in part to avoid a conflict of interest given that allegedly “one of the prime instigators of the conspiracy” is now Trump-backed Republican candidate Matthew DePerno.
  • And how about this: In a major triumph for the Biden Administration, the Senate passed the “Inflation Reduction Act” which calls for (update, the bill passed the House and will be signed by Biden today):
    • +$300 billion in climate investments;
    • $35 cap on insulin for many Medicare users;
    • Allows Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies
    • Imposes a 15% minimum tax on large corporations
      • But didn’t call for eliminating a tax loophole shielding private equity managers from the minimum tax because Arizona Democratic(?!?!?!) senator, Kyrsten Sinema would have blocked the entire bill otherwise. Sinema of course has been the recent recipient of over $1MM in political donations from…wait for it…the private equity industry.

These are all good things people (except, obviously, Sinema’s hostage holding). But guess what? Even with Sinema’s blackmailed vote, the bill passed the Senate only because Vice President Harris broke the 50-50 tie to send it to the House. That’s right, not one Republican senator, not even the so-called moderates, not Mitt Romney, not Lisa Murkowski, not Susan Collins, not one could see fit to vote for these good things.

Has the GOP reached bottom. And I ask that without even mentioning Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, the Pillow Guy or Ted Cruz, among plenty of others.

Despite all this, despite the bogus election fraud claims, despite that he encouraged and substantially led an insurrection against the United States of America, the country in which he was, at the time, the Commander in Chief, his cult stands by him, evidenced in the CPAC 2024 Presidential straw poll taken last week showing Donald Trump in the lead at 69%, followed by Ron DeSantis with 24% and Ted Cruz with 2%.

The other night I went to dinner with a long-time friend. My friend is a narrow-minded unworldly, Trump follower who gets all his news from Fox. When we get together the ground rule is that all political discussion is off-limits. At this dinner, we had a great evening with lots of laughs and lots of reminiscing. But as we were leaving this friend said that he had to get home to watch some of the shows he had been recording. I didn’t have to ask…the shows were Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. The only words I said, to remain polite, were, “Great night, drive carefully and see you soon.”

The next day, on “Morning Joe,” Mika Brzezinski, in discussing the CPAC Straw Poll as well as the degradation of the Republican Party, talked about her own friends who seemed to have the same views as my friend. The best she could muster in addressing those friends is the same one I could have asked my friend:

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?”

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

6 thoughts on “Watch out! The GOP ‘clown car’ is coming to a neighborhood near you.

    1. Sometimes, I have a real hard time putting into words an intellectual reply to your postings. This week is especially hard. I can’t respond because Donald Trump’s name is in the News 24 hours a day. When is this going to stop? Once again he sucks the air out of this democracy. Your friend and others like him breathe and thrive on that air. I have so much anger aimed at them.

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      1. No reply, intellectual or other, is necessary. We, of like minds, are all in a state of, if not shock, then disbelief, that all this is happening. When will it stop? Not soon, at least as long as people like the friend I wrote about, are still, not only around, but around as a significant portion of the American populace. But as long as you, and people like you are fighting the good fight, this will end. And maybe, given the recent news, the 2022 mid-terms will not be the bloodbath we expected a few months ago. Fingers crosse d and wallet open.

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