Tomorrow marks the start of Trump’s impeachment trial. We also just passed a budget resolution through the U.S. House and Senate, which will enable Democrats to pass a real COVID relief package without having to wait on Republican votes.
Because we’re moving forward with necessary work for the American people and for our democracy, Republicans have been criticizing our party and President Biden for a lack of “bipartisanship.”
First of all, what a bunch of hypocrisy.
Republicans didn’t care about bipartisanship for the past 6 years when they held a Senate majority, with Mitch McConnell blocking former President Obama’s agenda and judicial nominees, and for the past 2 years blocking almost all bills passed by the Democratic majority in the U.S. House—including legislation to address the pandemic.
Republicans regularly passed legislation without a single Democratic vote, including when they gave away trillions of dollars of tax cuts to the one percent and big corporations in 2017. Now that we want to invest trillions of dollars in struggling people and families instead, they’re putting up a fight.
Republicans keep abandoning the American people in order to maintain or worsen the unjust status quo. People are starving and struggling and we need to act NOW: Bold relief for people in need is long-overdue.
So if Republicans keep getting in our way, we’re not going to let that stop us from doing our jobs to serve our constituents.
We can’t measure legislation’s success based on whether it was bipartisan, but on whether or not it made a difference in the lives of the people we represent.
Republicans in office have been morally bankrupt throughout the pandemic, needlessly contributing to the deaths of over 450,000 residents of this country. Most congressional Republicans sided with Trump and against the American people last month by voting to overturn the results of our November 2020 presidential election. Fortunately, they did not succeed.
Now they’re telling Democrats and the American people to “get over” January 6th’s attack on our lives and our democracy, to “move on” and not hold them or Trump accountable for a deadly attempted coup where people came close to kidnapping and assassinating elected officials.
As my sister AOC pointed out, “tell[ing] us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened, or even telling us to apologize, these are the same tactics of abusers.”
Now, the very same congressional Republicans who’ve threatened Democrats’ lives, incited an attack on our Capitol, and tore this country apart are fighting new Capitol building security measures like metal detectors, boasting about bringing guns to Congress, and failing to wear masks around us. They don’t get to talk about “healing and unity” in their attempt to escape accountability.
For months, congressional Republicans went along with and enabled Trump’s massive lies about voter fraud and his attempts to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Black voters.
By refusing to hold Trump accountable through impeachment or conviction, most congressional Republicans are continuing to support him and back up his dangerous conspiracy theories.
Unfortunately, Republicans across the country are continuing to prop up baseless, harmful rhetoric about voter fraud—in order to take away our voting rights.
By the beginning of this Black History Month, 28 state legislatures had already introduced 106 voter suppression bills. It’s no surprise this series of attacks is coming after the biggest election turnout we’ve ever had.
Voter suppression is a common tactic of the right-wing, since they can’t win without it. But now even the few GOP leaders who criticized Trump’s conspiracy theories about voter fraud in the election (like Georgia’s Governor and Secretary of State), are supporting new laws that make it harder for people to vote.
Let’s be clear: This latest push to restrict voting rights is intentionally to protect white political power. It’s a continuation of centuries of white conservatives’ attempts to disenfranchise Black people and other people of color in order to stay in power.
We must understand that white nationalism is deeply embedded in conspiracy theories like QAnon, and in the lie that this election involved widespread voter fraud—which more than 75% of Republicans still believe despite clear evidence to the contrary.
We must confront these conspiracy theories head-on, or they’ll metastasize like a cancer. Last week, for example, the Oregon state Republican Party falsely claimed that January 6th’s attack was a “false flag” operation designed by leftists to discredit Trump.
Unless we actively address growing disinformation, we’ll watch as people get less connected to reality and further harden into anti-democratic, authoritarian extremists.
Trump’s impeachment trial is a good place to start.
And Democrats can also start to cross this divide by making the bold changes that we need, which most Americans actually agree on. For example, 80% of all voters (including 75% of Republicans!) support another round of $2,000 stimulus checks. A majority of people also support making direct cash payments retroactive and recurring until the end of the pandemic, which is what we truly need.
That’s why the Republican call for “bipartisanship,” by which they mean continuing to fail to serve the American people, is a disingenuous call on their part. The majority of voters from both parties support the bold changes that we need—changes that Democrats are pushing for.
It’s time for Democrats to act on this mandate—not only because it’s morally right and it’s badly needed, but also because it will demonstrate that the Democratic Party is the party of the people.
Thank you for being part of this fight for our neighbors and our democracy. We’ve got work to do.