The title of this column will likely piss a lot of people off, but that’s too bad. If you support the current incarnation of the Republican Party, you no longer support a political party that serves a “loyal opposition” to the Democratic party. This is no longer the Party of Barry Goldwater, but the Party of Donald Trump. Don’t deny it; in the last four years, they have supported Donald Trump, no matter what. He has told more than 20,000 documented lies just since he took his oft-violated oath of office at his poorly-attended inauguration. They have stood behind him and gave him a major assist during his impeachment trial, and then voted, en masse, for his acquittal. Then, when one Republican, Willard Romney, voted to convict him, other Republicans attacked him in the press and on social media.
Their incessant lying has become Republican orthodoxy. They so strongly believe that negative campaigning works (it doesn’t, really), they will make up anything negative against their Democratic opponent, regardless of the absurdity of the claim. And it’s not just the candidates themselves; their PACs also make shit up and swear by it.
Right now, we in Arizona are inundated with campaign ads, not just from the presidential race, but also from the contentious race for Senator, between former astronaut Mark Kelly and current Senator Martha McSally, who is an incumbent only because the Republican Governor, Doug Ducey, appointed her immediately after she lost the Senate race in 2018. Despite the fact that whoever wins will only serve until the first week in January, 2023 because they are only running to finish John McCain’s last term, which he won in 2016. That two-year Senate term must fee really important to McSally because she’s lying her ass off about Kelly as a way to get people to vote for her, instead.
First, they actually attack Kelly for having a net worth of (up to) $27 million, which is a joke, when compared to the current Republican standard-bearer, who (probably wrongly) claims to be a billionaire. They claim he “sold himself” to China, but most of his wealth comes from speaking fees, sometimes from the same companies he won’t allow to fund his campaign. Between 10% to about 30% if the wealth claimed on his Senate Disclosure forms actually belongs to his wife, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head more than a decade ago, at the hand of someone who most would agree should not have been able to get a gun.
The ads promoting McSally also claim Kelly was the founder of a company that received $15 million from Pima County, in return for a promise that the company would create “hundreds of jobs.” They insinuate that Kelly was running the company to the ground, and led the layoffs that resulted fro=m his actions. The truth is, Kelly has not been that active with the company, and the layoffs were the result of Lord Donny’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. In another misstatement, they fault Kelly for being on the Board of Directors of an Air Ambulance company that engaged in “surprise billing” and who sent one bill for “about a half million dollars” to one couple. The company was, in fact, sued for such a thing, but the culprit was the couple’s insurance company, who promised to cover the bill and then reneged on that. The bill didn’t some from the air transport company, but their insurance carrier.
Then, there is the lie about Mark Kelly’s hypocrisy about the Paycheck Protection Program. According to McSally supporters who put up one of these ads, Kelly was “critical” of the PPP, but then turned around and took $2 million from it. In the real world, Kelly was somewhat critical of how the PPP was administered, not the concept of the program itself. Plus – and this is important, he doesn’t deal in the day-to-day functioning of the company and had no part in the PPP application process. (Source)
Then, of course, are the pro-Trump ads, one of which claims he has “delivered on the impossible” in his first term. Really? Like what? I’d like anyone – even the biggest Trump fan – to point out one major accomplishment of his presidency. And I mean something verifiable, not just your sense that he’s been a “breath of fresh air” or some such nonsense. In his ads, he claims he “rescued the economy once” and that he plans to do it again. However, he was handed an economy on a seven-year winning streak. And while he dismissed the unemployment numbers when he was campaigning and said they were “Fake News,” the fact is, the economy was pretty good when he started, and his only real accomplishment was to not screw things up, at least until he messed up the pandemic response. The truly “impossible” task would be to cite anything positive that he was responsible for. The fact that he plans to “do the same in his second term” is in no way comforting.
Republicans just can’t tell the truth because all they care about is holding on to power and facts are not helpful for them in that quest. The truth is, everything bad that one can point to as wrong with the United States right now can be traced to Republican policy. ALL OF THEM.