TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — GOP Needs To Change Mascots

Gov. Doug Burgum joined 30 other governors last week in support of Brett Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court justice, which is — if you’re a Republican — about as shocking as going to a midsummer tent revival and proclaiming your love for Jesus. Even if you’re only there to pick up sweaty Baptist chicks.

Burgum, Sen. John Hoeven and Senate candidate Kevin Cramer dutifully followed the followers with their endorsements of Kavanaugh. The Party of Trump isn’t exactly overloaded with independent thinkers these days. They all choose the chicken at the Group Think Banquet.

There are just two Mavericks left in this world. One is fading in Arizona; the other believes in Xenu and will be on the big screen again soon in a fighter jet dueling someone other than the Russians.

Despite the fact that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee doesn’t even know how to spell his own name, which according to my sources is spelled M-E-R-R-I-C-K  G-A-R-L-A-N-D, I’m willing to reserve judgment until the confirmation process is actually under way. Wacky, leftist thinking, I know.

I hesitate to toss under the bus every politician who has blindly pledged allegiance to a president so bereft of ethics. For one thing, there aren’t enough buses. For another, it’s difficult to lift the spineless. It’s like trying to throw soup.

I do have empathy for Republicans in this obvious hostage situation, however. How pathetic to live in fear of something called a tweet. It ranks up there with althaiophobia — the fear of marshmallows. It’s a real thing but probably not covered under any Republican health care proposal.

Most Republicans remained silent as their very stable genius sold out the American intelligence community and the Department of Justice in Helsinki, and it is obvious that his campaign at the very least attempted to collude with Russia. (The NRA sure did.) They’ve ignored payoffs to porn stars. They’ve accepted lies that fall from his lips faster than North Dakota hail stones. They’ve denied that Trump’s trade war has anything to do with soybeans being at a 10-year-low, but if there’s no self-induced crisis, why champion a $12 billion bailout? We don’t want to be drama queens. I guess subsidies are fine as long as they aren’t for something as frivolous as health care.

Higher steel costs are killing manufacturers. Will they get handouts, too? Newsprint, imported from our mortal enemy, Canada, is up 30 to 40 percent and has newspapers reeling, but you know we’re not getting a bail out. We couldn’t pass the mandatory drug test, anyway. The good news is, less fake news. There’s more than one way to skin a First Amendment.

While everyone was cheering a solid 4.1 bump in GDP and good second quarter employment numbers, few were discussing the looming $1 trillion deficit and a national debt that has quickly ballooned to $21 trillion. After priming a pump that was already pumping, the prerecession tax cut has given us a 75-year-low in corporate tax receipts as a share of the economy. When reality hits the fan, you can expect Republicans to point the finger of blame for their fiscal malfeasance at Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security beneficiaries. Why don’t you old sick people get a job?

Yes, there are still a few (silent) conservatives who still care about American families. Trumpians call them RINOS. But at some point, Patty Hearst stopped being a hostage and became an accomplice. What is the going rate for one’s soul these days? In Bismarck, it’s chicken wings and a beer.

The Democratic Party is not particularly focused or always coherent these days, but every lasting benefit working families and farmers have ever received, from FDR to LBJ, has come from Democrats. Look it up on the Google. Al Gore invented that, too. And while you’re at it, fact check Benghazi, would you? Spoiler alert: Vince Foster did it.

Perhaps Republicans should change their mascot from an elephant to a cowardly lion or possibly a fainting goat. In November, do what Republicans are doing now, look out for your own self interest. Vote for someone who doesn’t slither.

© Tony Bender, 2018

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