If the late Al Smith were still alive, I would be on the phone apologizing to him for quoting him so often. I loved to quote the one-time presidential candidate and governor who stated, “I am a Democrat, I don’t belong to any organized political party.”
That label no longer belongs to the Democrats; it fits squarely on the brand of the Republican Party. And as each day goes by, the Republicans prove that they are much more lost and rudderless than my party.
It isn’t just my opinion as the facts speak for themselves. To date, five respected Republican U.S. senators have announced that they want to “spend more time with their families” and are leaving that august body.
Veteran senators Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Bob Portman, Richard Shelby and Pat Toomey are heading for the door, because they are disgusted with the party of Lincoln that no longer looks like the party of Lincoln.
Those five who will soon be joined by a few others who have spent years in the Senate, making laws and finding solutions to people’s problems.
But now that the party has been hijacked by former President Donald Trump, they don’t want to hang around with seatmates Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio, Josh Hawley and Rand Paul.
They have witnessed the hollowing out of a once-great party and are packing it in.
Apparently, there are quite a few more people who have already quit the party, and you just didn’t notice it.
At the end of January, 100,000 registered Republicans bailed out on the party, many because of the Jan. 6 attempt to overthrow the government.
The breakdown is 12,000 in Pennsylvania, 33,000 in California, 10,000 in Arizona and scattered more throughout the country. Juan Nunez, a 56-year-old veteran from Mechanicsburg, Penn., told the New York Times that the insurrection “broke his heart and was directly responsible for him fleeing the Republican Party.”
The just-passed COVID relief is a good example of a drifting group of politicians. No Republican voted for the bill in either the Senate or the House.
They claim that President Biden broke his promise to be a bi-partisan leader and didn’t cut a deal that would have reduced the aid package by less than half.
At least eight of the senators who were moaning about bipartisanship voted to not certify the results of the November 2020 election. They were joined by 140 House members who failed to vote for the certification.
They have now followed in the footsteps of their leader Mr. Trump, who is still claiming the election was “stolen” from him.
If you check the history books, on Jan. 20, 2009, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell vowed that he would “do all in his power to make Barack Obama a one-term president.” He failed on the one-term promise but succeeded in blocking any meaningful legislation over most of Obama’s time in office.
Once upon a time, the Republican leaders of the House and the Senate actually made some laws. They passed bills that helped rich people followed by more rich people. Occasionally they helped out after some major hurricane or disaster that needed federal help.
But in the four years leading up to the current Democratic takeover, they passed one significant bill. It was the massive tax cut that again favored the wealthy and took away the tax deductions helping residents of the Northeast.
In the months ahead, President Biden will attempt to pass a major bill helping rebuild our roads and bridges. To the best of my knowledge, there are no Republican bridges or Democratic bridges, just a lot of structures that may fall down someday and kill innocent people from both parties. It’s possible that there will be some sweeteners in that bill that will attract a few Republican votes but don’t bet your paycheck on it.
If you wonder what is occupying the time of the Republicans in Washington, D.C. these days it’s the cancellation of Dr. Seuss books, something to do with Potato Head and they have just taken a stand on Megan Markle’s television interview. They are supporting the royals, because aren’t they Washington royalty?
So Al Smith, I apologize. The Republican Party can now claim that they don’t belong to an organized party.