Ignoring the will of the voters won’t end well for GOP

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By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

“Voters? We don’t need no stinkin’ voters.”

As it self-immolates into the dustbin of history, the Republican Party in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. seems to really only stand for one thing: ignoring the will of the voters.

Sure, it’s bad politics and bad policy, but ignoring the will of the people seems to be just about that trick left to the GOP these days, as intraparty brawling consumes the few remaining brain cells left in the heads of party leadership.

D.C. Republicans in the U.S. House are more interested in putting on a show than doing the things most voters — in both parties and independents — want to see. Help stabilize inflation, get something done about the border and immigration and keep working to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion. This isn’t rocket science — and enough Democrats would be willing to work with the GOP to make these things happen, even if the final legislation is not exactly what Democrats would prefer.

But, nope. Instead, we’re going to get endless hearings on Hunter Biden’s laptop — sure, if the President’s son broke the law, he should be charged, but after multiple investigations the only issue seems to be that he underpaid his taxes, which he has since corrected. In short, there’s no there there, just like the 1990s Whitewater investigation.

But Republicans are willing to overlook much worse family looting under the Trump Administration: Ivanka made more than $600 million while working in the West Wing, much from foreign countries such as China, while her husband Jared Kushner was given some $2 billion to manage by the Saudis, despite no history or expertise in funds management — and that doesn’t get us to Donald Trump’s Chinese bank account and loads of foreign money that flowed to him during his administration.

Hey, I actually support a real investigation into foreign money in our politics — it’s becoming a cancer to democracy and one of the direct results of the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. That ruling has basically left our politics and government for sale to the highest bidder in a way we have not seen since the Gilded Age.

Add in plans to cut Social Security and Medicare — which we’ve all been paying into — and wanting to blow up the deficit (again) by slashing staff at the Internal Revenue Service and calling the GOP tone deaf would be kind.

Things aren’t much better in Harrisburg, where Republicans are losing their minds after voting for Democrat Mark Rozzi to be the Speaker of the House. Rozzi — who said he would work as an independent (but not necessarily change his voter registration) has slammed the brakes on GOP efforts to put horrific amendments on the May primary ballot — ones that would end mail in voting, expand voter ID requirements without insuring anyone who needs an ID can get one for free easily and an anti-abortion amendment.

The Republicans, in theory, could control the house until mid-February, when three very safe Democrat seats will have special elections, which would flip the Democrats to majority.

But Rozzi said that nothing would pass until there was an amendment extending the statute of limitations for those sexually abused as minors, and now, as adults wish to file charges. Rozzi, himself a victim of such abuse, has long been a proponent of such measures. The GOP Senate attempted a “poison pill” bill, combining the victim’s amendment with the others covering abortion, voting rights and other topics — essentially killing the bill.

Even in the unlikely event the Senate bill passes the House before the end of January (when all of the amendment votes become null and void and the process has to start over), the courts will likely reject it for violating the state Constitutions requirement that bills cover just one subject and the fact that the other amendments passed the Senate and House as single bills in the last session.

As it moves into what seems like a death spiral, Republicans have become the party of chaos and disfunction. The next couple of years are going to be a challenge as this plays out in D.C. and Harrisburg.

It’s hard to see this ending well for the GOP in 2023 or 2024 at this point.

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