Over the past year, many have accused the republiclowns of pandering to the white trash racist fanboys of the confereacy. Lloyd Green of the Guardian went one further, saying that Cheetolini, Cruz, De Santis and all the others ARE the confederacy. It’s a hard argument to refute.
On Wednesday, the Republicans’ transition to the party of the Confederacy will be complete. A day after Georgia’s runoff elections, at least a dozen lawmakers in the Senate and more than half of the party’s House membership will seek to overturn the results of the 2020 election and disenfranchise the majority of US voters. A coup attempt in all but name, this is how democracy dies.
Sadly, a statement issued on Saturday by seven sitting senators and four senators-elect dispelled any doubts about the nexus between the end of the US civil war, more than 150 years ago, and Donald Trump’s desperate attempt to cling to power. Predictably, America’s racial divide again stands front and center.
On Sunday, as the new Congress was being sworn in, a recording emerged of Trump unsuccessfully browbeating Georgia’s secretary of state into finding “11,780 votes, which is one more than we have”. From the sound of things, Trump’s fear of prosecutors and creditors, waiting for him to leave the White House, takes precedence over electoral integrity.
Back in May, after Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, predicted 240,000 deaths from Covid, and as armed protests to public health measures grew, an administration insider conveyed that Trump’s America was becoming a “bit” like the “late” Weimar Republic. Eight months later, the death toll is past 350,000 and climbing unabated.
Come nightfall on 6 January, the party of Abraham Lincoln will be no more. Instead, the specters of Jim Crow and autocracy will flicker. Messrs Trump, Cruz and Hawley can take a collective bow.
Green’s talk about the Weimar Republic is à propos. Replace the actors involved (US for Weimar Germany, China’s creditors for the US’s creditors, the new confederacy for the national socialist party), and it still fits. The only difference is, rigging the election didn’t work. But Biden still has to deal with hyperinflation.
Printing money and giving it away (the $2000 cheques) for a prolonged period could have that effect. Taxing the rich to fund the government may be the only way to prevent it. And the democrats won’t have the spine to do it, even if they get both Georgia senate seats (Harris is the tiebreaker) and control all three houses. Even if it’s the only way to prevent the economic collapse of the country.
History.com: Weimar Republic
Updated: May 13, 2020; Original: Dec 4, 2017
Much of the Weimar Republic’s recovery was due to a steady flow of American dollars into its economy. But unbeknownst to Germany, America had positioned itself for an economic disaster of its own as it struggled with increased unemployment, low wages, declining stock values and massive, unliquidated bank loans.
On October 29, 1929, the U.S. stock market crashed, sending America into a devastating economic meltdown and ushering in the Great Depression.
The stock market crash had a global ripple effect. It was especially devastating for the newly recovered Weimar Republic. As the flow of American money dried up, Germany could no longer meet their financial responsibilities. Businesses failed, unemployment plummeted again, and Germany faced another devastating economic crisis.
Another Guardian item from August accurately predicted the current situation, the attempts to deny the will of the voters in 1876.
The campaign of 1876 ended with the electoral college in the balance as three states were disputed. Out of deadlock, eventually, came a political deal, giving the Republican Rutherford Hayes the presidency at the expense of Samuel Tilden, who like Gore, and indeed Hillary Clinton in 2016, won the popular vote.
Tilden’s compensation was that his party, the Democrats, were allowed to put an end to Reconstruction, the process by which the victors in the civil war abolished slavery and sought to ensure the rights of black Americans, via the 13th, 14th and 15th constitutional amendments.
The awful result was Jim Crow, the system of white supremacy and segregation which lasted well into the 20th century and whose legacy remains crushingly strong in a country now gripped by protests against police brutality and for systemic reform.
Eric Foner, now retired from Columbia University, is America’s pre-eminent historian of the civil war, slavery and Reconstruction, a prize-winner many times over. He told the Guardian the US of 2020 is not prepared for what may be around the corner.
“In 1877 there were three states, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, where two different sets of returns were sent up, one by the Democrats, one by the Republicans, each claiming to have carried the state.
“There was no established mechanism and in fact, in the end, we went around the constitution, or beyond the constitution, or ignored the constitution. It was settled by an extralegal body called the Electoral Commission, which was established by Congress to decide who won.”
It reminds me of the Max Headroom episode, “Grossberg’s Return”, where Network 23’s presidential candidate Simon Peller says of the tele-election, “My rival and I negotiated the election results weeks ago.”