Updated: Mar 13
So what, Dr. Seuss! Republicans have their own version of "cancel culture," opposing pandemic relief, labor and election reform.
While the Democratic-led Congress has been working to deliver Covid-19 relief to the American people, make it easier for people to vote, and expand protections for organized labor, Republicans throw up roadblocks and whine about Dr. Seuss.
It's all illustrative of the GOP's own version of "cancel culture."
Listen to the podcast:
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) brought all of that into focus Tuesday during debate about the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or Pro Act, as he blasted Republicans for blaming “cancel culture” for a publisher’s decision to stop producing several Seuss books with racist imagery, even as they refused to consider the Pro Act.
“Heaven forbid we pass something that’s going to help the damn workers in the United States of America!” Ryan shouted. “Heaven forbid we tilt the balance that’s been going in the wrong direction for 50 years. We talk about pensions, you complain. We talk about the minimum wage increase, you complain. We talk about giving them the right to organize, you complain. But if we were passing a tax cut here, you’d be all getting in line to vote yes for it. Now stop talking about Dr. Seuss and start working with us on behalf of the American workers!”
The Pro Act would expand collective bargaining rights, add penalties for employers who violate labor laws and weaken “right-to-work” laws in 27 states that do not require workers to join or pay dues to unions. Although Biden has expressed support for the bill, it is unlikely it will be passed by an evenly divided Senate as the support by at least 10 GOP senators would be needed to break a likely filibuster.
Cancel that, the Republicans say. We're here to protect big business. The hell with the workers.
The Pandemic Relief Bill
A day after Ryan's fiery speech the Democratic-led House of Representatives, with zero support from Republicans, passed and sent to President Biden his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package, providing $1,400 checks to low and middle-income Americans, billions to help schools and colleges reopen, and funding for vaccine distribution.
"This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation – the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going – a fighting chance," Biden said following the vote. He has since signed it, and checks are already starting to flow.
But all of that was done without a single Republican vote, despite overwhelming support for the package among the American people. According to the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of U.S. adults support the package. However, the GOP's opposition to providing this badly needed assistance to the average American just illustrates the party's version of "cancel culture."
Provide help for people losing their jobs, their homes, their healthcare because of the pandemic? Cancel that said the Republicans.
Meanwhile, the newest "star" of the GOP, Q-Anon loving Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), tried to prevent the pandemic relief bill from being considered by submitting a motion to adjourn. After the vote, she complained that it was racist in its fine print. Here's what she said in a video to her constituents:
"It does everything to help illegals," she said. "It pays reparations! Farmers -- white farmers don't get any help with their loan forgiveness but the other races do. They get help."
Greene is now part of the "cancel culture" of the GOP. She is one of those new right-wing wacko Trump-loving politicians who are helping the defeated president hijack what once was a legitimate, honorable political party focused on conservative, budget-focused values.
Voting and Ethics Legislation
Last week, House Democrats passed sweeping voting and ethics legislation over unanimous Republican opposition, sending the Senate what would be the largest overhaul of the U.S. election law in years.
HR 1, approved last Wednesday night on a near party-line 220-210 vote, would restrict partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, strike down hurdles to voting and bring transparency to a campaign finance system that makes it possible for big money contributors to anonymously bankroll political causes.
As the Associated Press reported, the bill is a powerful counterweight to voting rights restrictions advancing in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country in the wake of Donald Trump’s repeated false claims of a stolen 2020 election. Yet it faces an uncertain fate in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it has little chance of passing without changes to procedural rules that currently allow Republicans to block it -- once again, the filibuster.
So, say the Republicans, "free and fair elections? Make it possible for more people to participate in the democratic process? Clean up campaign financing?
Clearly, Republican politicians in opposing the Covid 19 relief package hope voters will forget about their "no" votes when Election 2022 comes around. They probably believe their anti-labor vote will play well among their base, so no worries there. And as far as the voting rights bill is concerned? The fewer people who vote, the better off they will be.
After all, Donald Trump, their fearful leader, has flatly said that voting by mail will kill Republican chances in future national elections. And, of course, since Trump said it, it must be true.
I say, cancel that.