Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Dems Keep The Government Open, Republicans Betray American Democracy Once Again
Live Virginia Political Briefing Tuesday 7pm ET - All Hands on Deck Here
Happy Monday all. Thanks to the votes of Democrats, the US government did not shutdown this weekend. 209 of 210 Democrats voted for the continuing resolution. Only 126 of 216 Republicans voted to keep the government open. 90 - 90 Republicans - bucked their party’s House and Senate leadership and voted to shut the government down.
We will be talking about this more in the coming days but we are now in a very tough place in Washington. A Speaker needs 218 votes to run the House. Rep. Jeffries has 213, McCarthy has 200 or so, and Matt Gaetz has about 20. Without 218, the House can’t operate as the House was intended. It’s essentially been disabled by Trump and his extremist allies in Congress, and Leader McCarthy’s ongoing cowardice and weakness in the face of extremism. While Democrats provided the votes for this one, we cannot be expected to keep doing that again and again, essentially rewarding Republicans for their extremism and dysfunction, and providing the ability of vulnerable Rs to distance themselves from MAGA and keep these dangerous people in power. Some kind of grand bi-partisan coalition is very unlikely, and impractical. It’s just not how our system was designed, particularly in the House. Our House of Representatives is likely to be deeply unstable - perhaps even broken - until a new Democratic Congress is sworn in. This MAGA wrecking ball which attacked the Congress two and a half years ago has launched another attack on it this year. The insurrection never ended.
The continuing resolution passed without the Ukraine funding supported by the President, both parties in the Senate and the House Democrats. Remarkably this was the only change McCarthy made in the continuing resolution. He yielded on everything else - the border, draconian cuts to social spending and investments, FAA re-authorization. Where McCarthy drew the line was on Ukraine, aligning the Republican Party once again with the wishes and interests of Russia against the United States and the West. As I wrote in a post a days ago, all this MAGA theater over the past few weeks seem intended to undermine the US, our President, our global alliances, our Congress, our military, our democracy and President Zelenskyy at a critical juncture in history. That they drew the line on Ukraine, and only Ukraine, giving Putin a huge global propaganda victory, confirms that the core priority of McCarthy and House Republicans is to weaken America itself.
What I just cannot get over is that in 2016 the only change that Trump made in the RNC Platform was to weaken America’s military commitment to Ukraine. Seven years later, as if nothing has changed, the only change McCarthy made in this continuing resolution was to weaken America’s military commitment to Ukraine. Why is undermining Ukraine so central to the Trump era Republican Party?
I don’t think it’s an accident that President Biden has chosen this moment to elevate his concerns about MAGA’s ongoing efforts to weaken American democracy. He did so in a powerful speech last week, and in an interview released over the weekend with ProPublica. It is below, as is the now famous defense of democracy from General Milley on Friday and NY AG James’ statement this morning at the beginning of the Trump civil trial. Watch and listen - so much power in their words, so much courage and patriotism on display.
While our community is full of hope and optimism about the future, what’s happened in Washington over the past several weeks is a dark reminder of how high the stakes are right now in American politics. MAGA is an American wrecking ball, intent it seems on taking down our democracy any way it can. It’s why we are here; why we keep fighting and doing the work; why we must blow out the early vote and win in Virgnia; and why we need to get to 55 and run up the score against MAGA next year.
I remain convinced that MAGA’s escalation in recent weeks is a sign of desperation. Joe Biden is a good President. Putin has stumbled in Ukraine, as has Xi in China. The US economy is strong. Inflation has come way down. Gas prices are falling rapidly now. Our far-sighted investments will fuel American prosperity for decades, and once again made America a global leader in the fight against climate change. We keep winning elections all across the US. Their guy Trump screwed up, is in serious legal jeopardy and will be a badly damaged candidate next year. Their next guy, DeSantis, doesn’t have it. They are escalating now because we are strong, America is strong, our President is strong, the Democratic Party is strong, we are winning and they are weak, divided, losing and increasingly desperate.
Sorry for all this - I am pissed, angry, worried. What has happened to the GOP, how far it has fallen, remains shocking. What do we do? We need to blow it out in Virginia. We need to keep beating them. All hands on deck for this one. Come to our event tomorrow night to get a live update from folks on the ground there. And then donate more, make more calls, do more texts, write more postcards, sign up for another canvassing shift and above all if you live in Virginia vote early, today. Don’t wait. Channel all this concern into concrete action.
Virginia Briefing and Call to Action Tomorrow Night at 7pm ET - A reminder that tomorrow night Hopium and Network NOVA are hosting a deep dive on the all-important Virginia elections with Delegate Dan Helmer and others. RSVP here, learn about ways to get involved and donate here. All hands on deck here for the good people of Virginia. A new poll has us up there 40-37. Encouraging, but there are clearly a lot of undecideds right now which is why our work is so important in the coming days. Let’s do this people!!!!!!!
Keep working hard all. Our work matters.