Yesterday House Republicans voted to protect anti-LGBT discrimination, and they broke House Rules to do it. Also, Robert Reich supported Hillary Clinton, and some experts insist Trumpism is not quite fascism. (More)
“Bigots and cowards”
House Republicans really, really like discrimination. Back in 2014, President Obama signed an executive order that prohibited federal contractors from discriminating against LGBTs. So on Wednesday, House Republicans passed a defense appropriations bill with a provision that overturned President Obama’s order. Yesterday, Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) offered an amendment to restore the president’s order, and it seemed to pass … until House GOP leaders ignored House rules:
At the end of the two minutes allotted to members for casting votes, there were 217 votes in favor of the amendment, with 206 votes against.
But Republicans held the vote open for about another five minutes, and slowly a handful of the “yea” votes from Republicans switched to “nea.”
As the vote remained open, shouts of “Regular order!” could be heard on the House floor. And as Republicans came closer to defeating the bill, people began chanting, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”
Shortly after there were enough votes to defeat the amendment, the voting was closed, and the amendment ultimately failed 213-212.
Representative Maloney was among many who condemned both the tactics and the result:
“In the past day, House Republicans have gone out of their way to rig votes and block bills that prevent discrimination against LGBT people,” Maloney said in a statement after his amendment failed. “When they break their our own rules to make sure taxpayer dollars can go to folks who discriminate, they showed who they truly are – bigots and cowards.”
Republicans insist this is about protecting “religious liberty” … by which they mean business owners’ God-given right to take taxpayer dollars while claiming their religion entitles them to discriminate against LGBT taxpayers. I wonder if they would accept 96 cents on each taxpayer dollar … to offset for the roughly 4% of taxpayers they condemn.
“I urge you to work like hell for her”
Also, vocal Bernie Sanders supporter Robert Reich encouraged other Sanders backers to work for Hillary Clinton if she wins the nomination:
Don’t demonize or denigrate Hillary Clinton. If she wins the Democratic nomination, I urge you to work like hell for her. She’ll be the only person standing between Donald Trump and the presidency of the United States. Besides, as I’ve said before, she’ll be an excellent president for the system we now have, even though Bernie would be the best president for the system we need.
Needless to say, Sanders stalwarts disagreed:
“No to fighting for Hillary. She’s never fought for me, so she has no right to expect me to fight for her,” wrote one reader in a Facebook comment that received more than 1,700 likes. “If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination, I’ll be writing him in anyway come November.”
Added another: “I think if Clinton supporters force her nomination they deserve a Trump Presidency!”
And a third: “No. Hillary is a monster, and the souls of the millions dead in Iraq, Libya, and Honduras because of us require us to say so loudly.”
Of course, those are words written and likes given in the heat of a primary race. And I have no idea how many positive responses Reich received, so those comments are only anecdotes.
And speaking of anecdotes….
“He’s not technically a fascist”
Every expert I spoke to identified support for the revolutionary overthrow – ideally through violence – of the state’s entire system of government as a necessary characteristic of fascism. [British history professor Roger] Griffin’s preferred definition of fascism is:
Fascism is a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism.
The word “palingenetic” means rebirth, reflecting Griffin’s view that fascism must involve calling for the “rebirth” of the nation. That might at first glance sound like Trump’s promise to “make America great again,” but Griffin insists on a distinction. Rebirth, in his theory, actually requires the dramatic abandonment of the existing political order. “There has to be a longing for a new order, a new nation, not just a reformed old nation,” he told me. “As long as Trump does not advocate the abolition of America’s democratic institutions, and their replacement by some sort of post-liberal new order, he’s not technically a fascist.”
Maybe, but Adolf Hitler did not overturn the Weimar Republic in a violent coup. In 1933 his Nazi Party won enough seats in the Reichtag to elect him Chancellor. He then pushed the Reichstag to pass the Enabling Act that let him legislate by fiat, and a year later claimed the title of Führer und Reichskanzler (“Leader and Chancellor”) upon the death of President Paul von Hindenberg.
Given that Trump has said he’ll narrow the First Amendment and turn federal agencies against his critics, and said military officers wouldn’t dare disobey his orders even if the orders were illegal, that he would disregard the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution in favor of a rent-seeking, arm-twisting form of ‘deal’ based fiscal policy … I don’t think Trump wants to “keep the current system.”
In short, I think those experts are wrong. Trumpism meets their definition of fascism, and we ought to call it what it is.
Photo Credit: CSPAN
Good day and good nuts