Joe Biden shouldn’t rest on his laurels
I woke from a needed nap the other day to pick up my phone and read an article from The Atlantic, generally an activity I enjoy. My eyes were drawn to an article by Peter Wehner titled “The Road to Political Violence.” It was a bad choice. I got out of bed afterward, totally depressed, with all the good work of my nap undone.
Unfortunately, the media is replete with pessimistic articles about the pending demise of American democracy. Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times about the “Banality of Democratic Collapse,” arguing that the careerism of Republican politicians allowed that party to turn into a modern authoritarian pesonality cult. Luke Savage wrote in The Atlantic that Democrats appear awfully complacent in an era when democracy is nearing collapse.
The concern is as follows. With Republicans controlling the levers of power in a number of states, what happens now when a Democratic candidate wins that state’s presidential electors? Can we be so sure that the few Republicans who stood up to Trump’s big lie will do so again? After all, many of the heroes of the 2020 election, people like Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Michigan State Board of Canvassers Vice-Chair Aaron Van Langevelde, and of course Congresswoman Liz Cheney are being removed from office by their fellow Republicans. How dare these people stand up for the truth and democracy over the party line?
With these somewhat honest Republican officials being replaced by partisan hacks who will follow the party line no matter what, who can stop Republican legislatures from appointing “faithless” slates of electors, who vote for a different presidential candidate than the voters of their state?
This fear is not without basis. If you weren’t shocked by the Republicans’ jettisoning Liz Cheney from the leadership in the House of Representatives, how about the multiple bills moving through gerrymandered state legislatures making it harder for people to vote. If you aren’t worried about the future of American democracy, you aren’t paying attention.
The good news is that we have control of the federal government, right? The passage of the $1.9 trillion covid relief bill was greeted with widespread applause…