The failure to elect a House Speaker on Jan. 3 was further proof that Republicans are no longer capable of governing. They haven’t been for some time.
This failure is an embarrassment — to the party and to America. It well should be. Today’s Republican officials are just too far gone, too extreme, too disagreeable and too nutty.
Think about this: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the man who kissed former President Trump’s ring even after Trump sent a mob after him — didn’t win the vote because he’s not extreme enough for the hold-out extremists.
Republican legislators cannot govern effectively. They can’t get anything done. President Biden has accomplished more in two years than these people did in the previous four years and they’re not going to accomplish anything these next two years. I won’t be surprised if we now go months or even longer without a House speaker.
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I also strongly doubt they’re going to do anything to bring down inflation, solve the border crisis or lower the price of gas. They don’t know how! All they know how to do is put on a show.
Don’t need dandelions
I was feeling pretty good about the new year until your Jan. 1 assessment, “A busy year,” reminded me that the Winston-Salem City Council is wasting $1 million of our hard-earned tax money on a 40-foot-tall dandelion sculpture that is somehow supposed to beautify our city. I suppose it’s inevitable at this point, but I think it will backfire on council members as city residents have a constant reminder of how wasteful they are.
Most of us try to eliminate dandelions from our yards because we don’t think they’re pretty. People who work for “the City of Arts and Innovation” apparently have a different take.
I’m not opposed to public art, but there are plenty of private developers who are better suited to putting it up than government. Private businesses are more likely to install art that appeals to a majority of people rather than some artistic elite.
Let citizens decide how to decorate their houses and businesses. If people like it, they’ll respond accordingly. Government should concentrate on providing what we need at discount prices, not trying to determine everyone else’s tastes.
When former President Trump dismissed the COVID virus with a wave of his hand, saying it would soon disappear, like magic, it seemed a dangerously irresponsible act. COVID didn’t disappear, but tens of thousands of his people are no longer with us.
And now Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s main rival, is also playing the COVID card. Rather than encouraging followers to get vaccinated, he has become an anti-vaxxer, calling for a grand-jury investigation of the drug companies that provided the vaccines that almost certainly saved millions of American lives.
A recent study in Florida and Ohio matched people who had died of COVID with their political affiliations. As it turns out, “excess death rates” (the number above what historical trends would suggest) have been 76% higher among Republicans than among Democrats from March 2020 to December 2021.
Yale researchers behind a working paper say vaccine hesitancy among Republicans may be the biggest culprit. The partisan gap in the deaths widened from April to December 2021, after all adults became eligible for COVID vaccines. Excess death rates in Florida and Ohio were 153% higher among Republicans than Democrats during that time.
No, the studies don’t provide positive proof, but they sure make a strong case that people are being killed off by misinformation and outright lies. If so, the people who are peddling it for political gain are, in my opinion, murderers.