Text by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2022
“Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.” – Senator Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader, R-KY, August 18th, 2022
Good ‘ol Mitch is oh so right. The quality of the men and women running for elected office in the November 2022 midterm race on the Republican slate was what American voters had to contend with.
Hmm, would it be to give a blessing to the handpicked candidates of former President Donald J. Trump, who by happenstance on his Dis-Truth anti-social media entity fiddled with terms of ‘death wish’, ‘broken down hack’, ‘crazy’ and a racist smearing towards Mitch McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chao and wasn’t rebuked by the Senate minority leader from Kentucky?
“He has a DEATH WISH” – former President Donald J. Trump, September 30th, 2022
Or, would it be the voters deciding to go a different way all together?
Door number two has been chosen by a majority of the voters. Now, it is that white flag which the Republicans predicted to be waved in surrender by the Democrats which they shall hold onto for themselves. Maybe it’s no longer a flag, but a remedy for fainting to revive them from the shock of having fallen way, way short of taking a majority in the Senate and an even wider swath of seats in the House.
Could it be because the Republicans thought they could just coast on previous outcomes of mid-term history for the party of the sitting President losing seats? Oh, yeah, Mitch and Kevin McCarthy in the House thought it would be just a snap to get any candidate with an R next to their name elected without an agenda being placed forward for the voters to decide upon.
Just say ‘Biden bad, Republican good’ and all will work out fine was their plan. But, like the best laid plans of mice and men, things have a way of not going so smoothly.
When Mitch McConnell mused about candidate quality of the Republicans who were running in the mid-terms, it was obvious he was taking a swipe at the man behind the choosing of that less than stellar group whose only shine was to a former occupant of the White House.
Technology is such a miraculous thing. With the audio and video technology that is out there in today’s world, there are few things that would seem unlikely to get hidden away from anyone who wants to know the truth.
Maybe, it’s just me. I’m a curious human being who just doesn’t automatically believe or disbelieve something just because it is told to me by word of mouth. I want to see it for myself, hear it for myself, and then judge it for myself. We all have biases. I’ll admit I have mine when it comes to politics. I’m a liberal and I don’t apologize for it.
And, I have no doubt that many of you who are reading this article will have your own feelings about politics. With that being so, I could hope that there are certain things that are uncontested as being reality.
Yet, when there is an attempt at bending truth into a pretzel and then calling it a doughnut, that’s where I gotta’ throw an error flag onto the field.
If there were no audio recording of someone asking for 11,780 votes to be found in Georgia, or no plethora of video of a mob of hellions egged on to enter the capitol with anger, Confederate flag waved, adorned in a Camp Auschwitz t-shirt, a gallows erected in the distance, and walls desecrated with feces; then I guess it could be debated or denied of what was seen before our eyes or heard by our ears.
If nobody ever had anything recorded as proof of what they were witness to, where would this country really be in beating back the tide of gas-lighting?
Would we all be zombies under the spell of Republican anesthesia and amnesia?
Say something over and over again and it seeps into a person’s psyche. Forget what you see, forget what you heard. Don’t let the truth stand before you, as the lies are constructed as the seconds tick away.
Anesthesia and amnesia seems to be how one of the two major political parties in the United States is running on in this year’s election.
The Republican establishment has caressed the myth of lies in the 2020 election over their followers and constituents as if it were a paralyzing balm of suspended animation. Say it once, say it twice, say it a thousand times and it just seeps under the skin and into the psyche. Do it almost as if it were a throwback of orthodoxy over tax policy and mortgage rates.
Yet, it would be logical to have a debate on the merits of tax policy and other fiscal matters. Okay, I even might agree at some points with Republicans on that.
But, in this present moment in time they are sure as anything are not focusing on the merits of monetary policy.
This moment is all about the undermining of the underpinnings of American democracy. As Americans go to vote; be it through early voting or on November 8th, an insidious tide of election denying is creeping into that space which once was seen or known as being sacrosanct.
Okay, most of the time, we as citizens in this country don’t really pay that much attention to campaigns until around the final weeks of an election.
Lewis Carroll meet today’s Republicans. Down the rabbit hole they are, as some are all in for the cause. While others are what I would call ‘coup-curious’; you know, half-in, half out. I consider the once grand-old-party as three types of people in the Rabbit Hole Theory.
Firstly, there are the true believers who ran head long down into the rabbit hole. Cock-eyed conspiracies from a single letter group to those of the furthest right to the right in which you can be are those in this group of people. Those events around the big lie and January 6th were a part of their divine trinity.
Secondly, there are the ‘coup-curious’ who peek down into the rabbit hole with keen interest in being part of the in-crowd between the movers, shakers, and various activists. Senators Ron Johnson and Mike Lee flirt with curiosity.
Thirdly, there are those wily opportunists who stand ten feet away from the edge of the rabbit hole with their arms folded and a silent grin, as they are hoping they can make the most out of an unorthodox political situation to stay in leadership or rise to that plateau.
Fist pumping Missouri Senator Josh Hawley proved an allegiance on January 6th 2021, as he walked across the capitol grounds with the hordes of hooligans on the other side of the security fence on the verge of breaking into that complex. Now, after the midterm 2022 election letdowns and meltdowns for the GOP, Senator Hawley pretends his own actions around the big lie didn’t play a part in the defeats of the party.
Florida Senator Rick Scott, who was in charge of getting more Republicans elected to the Senate has his eyes on the prize of becoming leader of his fellow Republicans in the Senate and displace the man Donald Trump called ‘Old Crow’. As to that person dubbed as ‘Old Crow’, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell would be the last person seated in the clown car of conservatives down that rabbit hole. Yet, that wily opportunist would do whatever needs to be done to remain top of his conference, even if it means acquiescence to those who are abhorrent to his sensibilities.
Big Lie, Big Cheese. The Senator from Wisconsin was not just a spectator in the events of that fateful day, as he was a participant. His attempt at gas-lighting history in some sort of act of anesthetizing the public is so weak, as the reckoning with reality might not be so far off in the distance.
From the Fourth Hearing of the House January 6th Committee, an investigative counsel Casey Lucier relayed what Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson had been up during that fraught day of January 6th, 2021:
“Text messages exchanged between Republican Party officials in Wisconsin showed that on January 4th, the Trump campaign asked for someone to fly their fake electors’ documents to Washington. A staffer for Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson texted a staffer for Vice President Pence just minutes before the beginning of the joint session. This staffer stated that Senator Johnson wished to hand-deliver to the Vice President the fake electors’ votes from Michigan and Wisconsin. The Vice President’s aide unambiguously instructed them not to deliver the fake votes to the Vice President.”
So, Ron, now he plays the amnesia game in saying he doesn’t remember. Oh, ye of coup-curiosity you are, Senator Johnson.
Mike Lee must have gotten that anesthetic on himself in some sort of blowback in thinking the tornado of lies about the election of 2020 that he has fallen beneath the tide of amnesia also, in thinking he could just squeal and squawk for Mitt Romney to toss him a lifesaver for re-election and it would be there without question.
Ah, but, Senator Lee, you must be mistaking Senator Mitt Romney for a man who has amnesia also. But, you are so wrong in thinking that, for Senator Romney could never forget what happened on January 6th and how you as his colleague were on the other side of the issue that was the foundation of that insurrection that was ripping apart the capitol.
Unlike Senator Mike Lee, the senior Senator from Utah does not need to grovel before the former President.
Mitt Romney’s financial and political sphere is not based upon any form of interest of alignment with Donald Trump or his ardent strain of voters. Romney has his own lane of influence that is based on several decades in the political realm which goes back to his father, George Romney, who was a former governor of Michigan.
Seems like Mitt don’t need Mike to survive the slings and arrows of re-election, but Mr. Lee surely needs Mr. Romney’s lifting of a finger or a word of endorsement to get him over the finish line in a close race against his opponent Evan McMullen.
I guess there is one finger that Senator Romney is giving his senate colleague – and it’s not the middle one. It’s a thumb placed down.
“Our Brand Is Amnesia” –
From a Republican congressional press conference in June of 2022 with Indiana’s Jim Banks, New York’s Elise Stefanik, Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy standing directly behind him – at the 3:44 minute time, Banks says the following question with a straight face and forthright righteousness in his voice:
“Was Speaker Pelosi involved in the decision to delay National Guard assistance on January 6th? Those are serious and real questions that this committee refuses to even ask. Speaker Pelosi doesn’t want to answer those questions, because she knows that the answers to those questions leave a trail of bread crumbs right back to her office; underscoring her negligence, her lack of leadership as Speaker of the House. Those are serious questions that we will continue to dig into. ” – Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN)
When Banks talks about digging, he should be the person digging his head out of his own posterior in trying to pull one over on the American people.
And, as Banks pondered this question before the microphones with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy standing to his right, the look on good ol’ Kev’s face speaks volumes on the level of his own amnesia or self-delusion.
Maybe McCarthy and Scalise had forgotten those tense moments at Fort McNair where they and Speaker Pelosi were being secreted away for their protection on January 6th 2021, when the rioters were leveling destruction at the capitol.
Kevin McCarthy knew the truth. He always knew the truth. Now, maybe he can try to corral his members to vote for him as their leader when the congress changes hands in January 2023. But, you know something, the video don’t lie of you standing with Nancy Pelosi inside of Fort McNair when all hell was breaking loose via the words and actions propelled by President Donald Trump.
So, just keep on playing the game of acting as if Nancy Pelosi was the Devil and did nothing to right the wrongs of what was going on that day. Oh yeah, the Republican amnesia machine will keep grinding out the lies about what happened. But, the video don’t lie, Kevin. Yet, you do.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was a woman in charge and no matter how many people want to demonize her, it was the lady from San Francisco who kept the wheels of democracy on track.
Daughter of Nancy Pelosi is documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi. If not for the younger Pelosi having her film crew documenting her mother’s overseeing of the historical proceedings of that day, the continued cascade of lies about what Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats did or did not do on that day would be castigated and twisted into a Republican fable.
Hey, Kevin! Hey Jim Banks! Hey Steve Scalise! The camera isn’t a liar, but you definitely are!!
Of course for the Republicans, they want to forget what has happened and sing from the hymnal of everything that is without chaos.
As a citizen out here in America, I am giving the Democrats a piece of advice; please don’t shrink or minimize our values for a cockeyed sense of comity with the Republicans.
I’ve seen the midterm analysis from some elected Democrats on the news programs seeming a bit too eager to give a light sweeping of that which is disagreeable and close the door on yesterday.
Do not bend over backwards to give the GOP an easy way out of not having to truly face the consequences for what they have allowed and encouraged to happen. Now if that means they have to be in the political wilderness for however long that it may make take for their party to be reborn as something recognizable – then so be it.
They have to get their own shit together and no Democrat should even be offering a hand up, hand out or political paddle to save them from drowning in that red river of rancidness they so willingly chose to swim in.
Sometimes Democrats bend over backwards in trying to smooth out every wrinkle to make everything workable and doable in the political sphere. Damn, if your opponent has destroyed themselves, don’t lift a finger to help them. They’re big boys and girls who decided to ride the Big Lie. So, when that has gone poof and backfired in their candidacies to succeed, then they’ll just have to live with it in their own circle of conservatism.
To the Democrats, I say this: DON’T BE CO-OPTED BY THE REPUBLICANS!
Oh yeah, the slow roping in of Democrats into this narrative of not all of us were in allegiance to Donald Trump and that we shouldn’t be given a side-eye or stiff- arm in being held at arms’ length over our actions within the past six years, is just that misting of anesthesia to let everything go back to the way things were before he came to town.
Democrats please don’t fall for Republican’s rouse.
Normalcy vanished the moment in which that downward escalator in New York City on a day in June of 2015, when HE and his missus descended to ascend to the highest office in the land.
As the Democrats retain majority control of the United States Senate with the re-election wins of Catherine Cortez-Mastro in Nevada and Mark Kelly in Arizona bringing the seat total to fifty with Vice-President Kamala Harris as a tie-breaker for any passage of legislation; there is a single race that is left to be decided in a run-off.
Georgia! Georgia! Georgia! Since neither candidate from Georgia amassed more than fifty percent in their race, both men will have to endure a run-off in December of this year.
Oh yes, Senator Raphael Warnock will have to deal with the fumble-mumble of his opponent Herschel Walker for one more month to go through this extended election process.
Senators Ted “Cancun” Cruz and Lindsey “Clutch My Pearls’ Graham can hold Herschel’s hand and lead him around the peach state and onto the Fox News love-fest, but that might not even be enough to get him over the finish line of victory.
“A Ray of Light” –
For older voters, prescribing amnesia is simpler and done with greater ease by the right-wing crowd. Just tell them it was nothing that happened on a certain day at a certain time. And, even if they think they saw it or the whiff of remembrance fills their minds, just tell them it is not so.
Well, for the voters who are younger, they are not fooled or transfixed under the aura of anesthesia that authority may attempt to wash over them.
With that level of ignorance, back-handedness and just plain out false assurance that the status quo will always roll on, the right-wing never saw what was coming in this election season.
In the midterm elections of November 2022 as reported by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (C.I.R.C.L.E.), it was 27% of voters aged 18 to 29 who came to put the Democratic candidates over the top.
Some may wonder what it could be that would lead to such a surge by the young voters across America. Well, of course it probably was the overturning of abortion rights by the Supreme Court. But, that’s only a part of why the young voters took destiny into their own hands and power to the polling booths.
Looking at a segment of whom some of these younger voters are I focus on three events which occurred in the past.
As of this year of 2022, it has been 23 years since Columbine, 9 years since Sandy Hook, and 4 years since Marjory Stoneman Douglas. From the month of May 2022, there have been 554 school shooting victims since the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado in 1999.
Of these three which are listed, the one which has had a most profound political impact is the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I cite that event because those students and staff that were affected in the first-person status galvanized their own pathway into a multi-pronged arena of activism.
Unlike Littleton, Colorado in 1999 and Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, the victims never were the ones with the voice to go forth and advocate directly for how they wanted the gun laws, control and procedures to be tightened in the wake of their tragedies. In the aftermath of each of those events, it was the family members who were the majority speaking for the departed.
Yet, in the vein of persuasion, persistence and power in politics, it is the generation who came of age from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that took their rage and ran towards chipping away at the wall of obstruction that the Republicans cherish oh so much.
It is this “Parkland” generation that has lived through decades of active shooter drills in their schools, unlike older generations such as mine, who only had to worry about fire drills and a few fist fights in cafeterias and hallways over the years.
Even to my parents’ generation, they dealt with black and white films flickering from movie projectors showing how to get under their desks for nuclear drills or assemble in a hallway as not to get shattered glass from a sheering blast upon them, which now seems so quaint.
In those four years since 2018, the students from Parkland have not gone quietly on with their lives in anonymity or vanished from the drive and debate over the issue of America being awash in guns. They have bravely done just the opposite.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s students David Hogg, X Gonzalez (born as Emma Gonzalez), and so many other awesome young people have gathered courage and persisted in the political space to get their issues pushed forward with the formation of the “March For Our Lives” movement. Along with those former students, are the dedicated parents such as Fred Guttenberg, whose beloved daughter Jaime, and the father of deeply cherished Joaquin Oliver, Manuel Oliver, who were both befallen by a heartless murderer who have taken fight against the gun lobby across the United States.
To show just how much progress has been made by the vision of younger voters, former March for Our Lives and ACLU organizer 25 year-old Maxwell Alejandro Frost was elected to a congressional seat from Florida.
Issues for this generation go beyond abortion, gun safety and proliferation; as the economy, inflation and climate change are what we all are grappling with also.
For me, my level of admiration for this group of voters has risen, because they flipped the script and proved many mainstream political analysts wrong in stepping up, coming out, showing out and damn straight – voting out the old for something better and new.
Emboldened with the freedom on knowing there is not a moment to waste in sheltering themselves into cocoons of making others feel comfortable in the person that they are and what they want to become, these young souls have met their rendezvous with destiny and surpassed it.
It is one thing which I have observed about those who are younger. They are fearless. I don’t know what it is about them. But, they just seem to come off with that lust for life that is magnificently breathtaking to me.
They are the ones that are not going to be invisible anymore. No matter what anyone says about how they should live or who or what they should be, the young are here – right now and in the present! They are LGBTQIA+ and any other binary or non-binary they are born to be. Just deal with it. Or, if you don’t, they are going to be like their souls – Forever Free!!
And, in this election, along with the rest of American voters who are far from sleeping our way through a fog of fallacies. I guess you could say being awake and woke is better than being culturally comatose and intellectually broke. Yeah, Ron DeSantis, that one’s for you! Ugh!!
Fetishistic fervency of Christian holy warriors is how some of the Republicans who ran for election and re-election have spewed forth before and after that Tuesday in November 2022.
“Now this great exodus of Americans, for those folks, Florida, for so many of them, has served as the promised land.” – Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida
Alas, this ‘Godly’ Governor from Florida is the same man who had orchestrated a shady endeavor of transporting a group of Venezuelan migrants from Texas onto a plane like they were sacks of potatoes and had them hustled up to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts just to score a few political points in his craven quest for a potential higher office.
Yep, one word to describe the right-wingers is definitely craven. But, another is crass.
“Quality Control ONE”
“Quality Control” – The Footnotes:
1.- McConnell Discusses Importance Of ‘Candidate Quality’ In Senate Races – NBC News
2.- Trump Intensifies Attacks on McConnell With ‘death wish’ Remark – CNBC
3.- McConnell Complains About ‘Candidate Quality’ – FOX News Channel
4.- 2022 elections were “the funeral for the Republican Party – CBS News
5.- Transcript: The fourth Jan. 6 committee hearing on its Investigation – NPR
6.- Sen. Mitt Romney Says He Thanked Officer Eugene Goodman – Business Insider
7.- Trump Ally Mike Lee Begs For Mitt Romney’s Endorsement On TV – New York Magazine
8.- GOP Congressman EXPOSES Pelosi, Jan 6 Committee – Newsmax TV
9.- CNN Exclusive: New Footage Shows Congressional Leadership at Fort McNair on January 6 – CNN
10.- Millions of Youth Cast Ballots to Decide Key 2022 Races – CIRCLE
11.- There Have Been At Least 554 School Shooting Victims In US Since Columbine – Business Insider
12.- Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Gen Z’s First Congressman – Vogue
13.- God Wants Ron DeSantis to be Governor -FactPointVideo
14.- Here Are 4 Takeaways From DeSantis’ Victory Speech – Miami Herald
15.- Documents Show Top DeSantis Officials Were Personally Involved – Politico
16.- Andy Biggs Jokes About Nancy Pelosi – Forbes Breaking News
17.- Arizona Governor Candidate Kari Lake Jokes About Paul Pelosi Attack – The Hill
18.- U.S. Supreme Court’s Thomas Temporarily Blocks Graham Election Case Testimony – Reuters
19.- Herschel Walker Slips Up, Humiliates Entire Party On Fox News – The Damage Report
20.- ‘We Fired Nancy Pelosi Today!’: Lindsey Graham Celebrates GOP House Takeover – Forbes Breaking News
21.- Lindsey Graham Chokes Up Talking About Joe Biden – HuffPost
22.- Lindsey Graham Says Herschel Walker Would Inspire Black Children to Be Republican – Roland Martin
23.- How Will Trump’s Dinner With Kanye West, Nick Fuentes Impact His Presidential Ambitions? – Global News Channel
24.- Donald Trump dined with white nationalist, Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes – Politico
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A.H. Scott is a poet and essayist based in New York City. Miss Scott is a veteran contributor to this blog. To access part two to this article by A.H. Scott, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/quality-control-two/