Heckuva Party

We end this week with the specter of governors from the two largest red states waging war with schoolteachers who are trying to prevent students from being sickened during a global pandemic. Each day, 125,000 people are being infected with Covid-19, and in state after state, the GOP has moved to prevent officials from responding.

For anyone who has endured politics in the 21st century, though, it sort of makes sense. The Republican Party, once a sanctimonious force of white men who lectured about patriotism and the sanctity of life, have become an anti-science death cult devoted to upending democratic elections. And they’re still sanctimonious.

As cartoonishly evil as the Republican Party is now, it’s not a recent thing. In fact, Republicans kicked off the century by bending norms and the law to install a president who received a minority of the votes. That was considered anomalous at the time, not a fallen norm that would lead to efforts to undermine elections themselves. Within a few years, the US was lying itself into wars and arguing for torture. Over my morning coffee, I sat down to think of just the actions the GOP has taken — not the bad faith rhetoric it routinely offers voters and the press, but the things they were willing to fight for and implement. It is … quite a picture:

  • 2000: Seized the White House in a dubious claim to the election.
  • 2001: Cut taxes on the rich.
  • 2001: Ignored warnings of a terrorist attack.
  • 2001–2008: Methodically filled the federal and supreme courts with activist conservative judges.
  • 2002: Passed bipartisan No Child Left Behind act.
  • 2002–2003: Started ill-conceived wars, the second sold to the public with lies.
  • 2003: Cut taxes on the rich!
  • 2004: Defended secret torture of war prisoners.
  • 2008: Crashed the US economy.
  • 2009–2017: Tried to prevent Democrats from providing health care to uninsured Americans.
  • 2016: Backed a racist demagogue who bragged about his sexual assault.
  • 2017–2020: Continued stuffing the courts with active conservatives, many undistinguished, including unprecedented shenanigans to score two new Supreme Court justices.
  • 2017: Tax cuts on the rich!
  • 2018: Amid anti-immigrant hysteria, separated children from parents at the US-Mexico border and housed them in pens.
  • 2020: Grossly mishandled an international pandemic.
  • 2021: Sparked (and later excused/defended) a coup to overturn a legal election.
  • 2021: Embarked on a series of measures to prevent Democrats (i.e. candidates backed by majorities of voters) from winning elections.
  • 2021: Opposed all efforts to address global pandemic, including discouraging vaccinations and preventing schools and businesses from requiring masks.

During the Bush years, the Republican Party actually tried to do real stuff. Mostly malignant, harmful stuff, but real stuff. Since 2016, their entire raison d’être is to thwart democratic elections, pack courts, attack immigrants, and cut taxes on the rich. There’s nothing else left to the Party beyond trolling people committed to democracy and actual governance.

Anyway, happy Friday.




Jeff Alworth is the author of several books including The Beer Bible and Cider Made Simple, as well as the co-founder of the political website BlueOregon.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Trump Fears Melting Arctic Ice Making World Less White

Reno Gazette-Journal: RGJ exclusive: Sen. Kamala Harris on her homeownership plan and ‘3AM Agenda’

Will Trump Get Re-Elected in 2020?

Brushing up on his Español


Poor minorities will be most affected by Hurricane Harvey. And Beyoncé can’t fix it.

The Queen is dead. Long live the King.

The Definitive History of Donald Trump vs. the NFL

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jeff Alworth

Jeff Alworth

Jeff Alworth is the author of several books including The Beer Bible and Cider Made Simple, as well as the co-founder of the political website BlueOregon.

More from Medium

Finding Humor In The Slap

Measured Optimism in The Gambia as Stakeholders Consider the TRRC’s Final Report

The Invisible Bolshevik

This Is Not the First Time Russia Has Invaded Ukraine to Overthrow a Jewish Ruler