Listening to conservative talk radio is an echo chamber of entertainment. The themes are the same on all the shows. One person they haven’t stopped talking about is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), the young Democrat from Queens who is the gift that keeps on giving. She is the new punching bag of the right having replaced Teddy Kennedy, Harry Reid, and Hillary Clinton among the more recent ones.
According to these radio pundits, Trump is a shoo-in in November 2020 because of AOC, her socialism, and the socialism they want their listeners to believe is the heart and soul of the Democratic Party’s platform. Actually, this attempt at branding Democrats as the party of Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Josef Stalin of the former USSR, sounds more like whistling past the graveyard.
One of the Republican themes of the 2016 election was voter fraud. Trump even commented during one of the debates that if he lost it was because of it. But when he won he wasn’t satisfied because he lost the popular vote by such a significant number. It had to be the result of all the illegals who voted along with the vast conspiracy of those who figured out a way to vote multiple times. Remember when Trump talked about the symbolic guy who voted, then returned to his car, put on a hat and voted again?
Yet there was real, documented election fraud committed in North Carolina where a Republican minister won a congressional race by 900 votes until it was determined that he didn’t. In fact one of the candidate’s campaign workers has been indicted for committing fraud. Yet Republican leaders and the radio talkmeisters have remained silent about it. Surely it can’t be because it was one of their own who did it in a failed attempt to hold on to their majority in the House.
Prominent Republicans railed against Trump’s threat, now law, to declare a national emergency when both Houses refused to fund his wall. Lot of pablum and patter was offered up about separation of powers, about the Congress deciding appropriations. But in the Senate, when the vote was taken, some of the tough talkers reversed course and went with Trump desperately trying to claim that they now saw the light and now see the wall as necessary.
Our own senator, Johnnie Isakson (R-Ga), at the last minute went with Trump. My guess, and I don’t think it’s unfair barring evidence to the contrary, is that Trump held Isakson and a number of Republican senators hostage. Isakson has worked hard to get some $12 billion for the farmers of south Georgia who were hurt badly by Hurricane Michael, and Trump could hold that up along with money for the Savannah River dredging project, one of Isakon’s pet projects. Watch and observe as the Republicans attempt to backfill the money being diverted from military bases---several in Georgia---to the wall. But not a peep from our Republican statesmen about holding Trump’s feet to the fire over his promise that the Mexicans would pay for the wall.
As the legendary Democratic congressman Ozzie Myers from Philadelphia once said, “Money talks, bulls… walks.” Myers went to prison for bribery. I am not suggesting criminal corruption occurred with these votes, only that the power of money can politically corrupt even good people.
The radio talkmeisters and Republicans on the stump brag about all of Trump’s accomplishments. Among them include appointing conservative judges and two appointments to the Supreme Court; reducing regulations; record low unemployment; low interest rates; a roaring stock market. These and other claims, though, do not include any meaningful legislative accomplishments, unless you count the tax reform bill that is digging a deeper deficit hole. We still await an infrastructure bill, which would likely have bipartisan support. The promise to repeal and replace Obamacare never happened, but the promise to keep the preexisting conditions provision has been broken. But for a federal court holding the dismantling of this last promise in abeyance, Republicans could be on the run in 2020 for this alone.
The report from special prosecutor Robert Mueller is anticipated to be released anytime. Since there have been no leaks associated with the investigation, I have no opinion concerning the findings. What I do know, because it’s public information, is that there was a factual basis to probe whether the Russians interfered with the 2016 election. James Comey, the FBI director who Trump fired, should have been honored instead. It was Comey who reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails less than two weeks before the election and only cleared her a couple of days beforehand.
Yet Republicans and the talkmeisters continue to proclaim that FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strozk tried to throw the election to Hillary. One has to ask if that was so, why were there no leaks about the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia?
Get ready for a nasty campaign in 2020. The Republicans will use the words socialist and socialism in every sentence. There will be photos of empty food shelves in Venezuela and KGB firing squads in Russia. And according to Republicans, all this is coming your way courtesy of AOC and Democrats.