Republicans embrace strategy of trying to gaslight the nation instead of legislating

Republicans embrace strategy of trying to gaslight the nation instead of legislating
Image via Gage Skidmore.
News & Politics

Republicans are trying out the old idea that if you repeat a lie enough times, it becomes conventional wisdom. From Donald Trump down to Moscow Mitch McConnell, the story they're running with is the "do nothing" House.


As The Washington Post notes, Trump has used the phrase six times on Twitter since Monday. McConnell has played along, complaining that in her "rushed & partisan impeachment process," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said "Not one word on the outstanding legislation the American people actually need. Nothing on the USMCA, or the NDAA, or funding for our armed forces." That's blatantly not true, as Pelosi has been involved in negotiations with the White House for weeks on the USMCA trade proposal. And the House appropriators—who have already completed 10 of 12 appropriations bills—have been working for weeks with Senate appropriators to complete the spending bills that will keep government running past the next deadline of Dec. 20.

Not to mention the literally hundreds of bills the House has passed that McConnell has refused to bring to the Senate floor. That includes gun safety legislation. It includes legislation to protect the next election from malign foreign interference. It includes legislation to protect insurance coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions. It includes legislation to try to stem the acceleration of climate change. The House has been passing literally life-and-death issue bills. The Post counted up: The House has passed 542 total measures, 389 of which are bills as opposed to resolutions (such as naming post offices). The Senate in total has only passed 384 measures—bills and resolutions—and just 91 bills.

What McConnell has been doing is pushing through judges, including a record number of judges deemed not qualified by the American Bar Association. Trump has nominated eight unqualified judges in three years, and six of them have been confirmed by McConnell's Republicans. One of them, who is so extreme in her anti-abortion zeal that she opposes surrogacy and in vitro fertilization, was confirmed this week, along with seven others.

That's dozens upon dozens of judges, mostly in their 40s and 50s, and many of whom are far-right ideologues, and some of whom don't have the experience or the temperament to be making law, all of whom were chosen for their commitment to roll back every progressive achievement the nation has accomplished. While Pelosi and House Democrats are trying to do the work of the people and keep the nation moving forward into the 21st century, Trump and McConnell's Republicans are trying to rocket us back to the 19th.

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