So much for the 'law-and-order,' 'back-the-badge' and 'pro-life' party

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

Republicans claim they're the "law-and-order," "back-the-badge" and "pro-life" party.

Last week, President Donald Trump, the top Republican in the country, incited a mob of lawless and violent domestic terrorists to storm and sack the U.S. Capitol. Lives were lost; a pro-Trump rioter or rioters killed a Capitol Police officer.

In Frankfort, state House Republicans have responded to a "citizens' petition" by getting up a committee to ponder impeaching Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat. The four petition pushers--Beshear haters all--claim they're mad because he issued executive orders to slow the spread of Covid-19, thus protecting workers and saving lives. (Of course, state GOP lawmakers would welcome any pretext to get rid of Beshear, if for no other reason than to run the whole table in Frankfort and get even with Washington Democrats for trying to impeach Trump again.

Trump is guilty of treason for egging on those white supremacist Brownshirt/Blackshirt wannabes who attacked the Capitol, terrorizing lawmakers and staffers. But not surprisingly, only a handful of Washington Republicans have joined Democrats in publicly demanding Trump's ouster via impeachment or the 25th Amendment. (Maybe I missed it. But I haven't heard of any Kentucky Republicans insisting on Trump's removal or resignation.)

When President Richard Nixon faced almost certain impeachment and removal for his crimes, influential GOP lawmakers went to the White House and pressured him to resign. Thus far, no Republican bigwigs have paid Trump such a visit. (This just in from The New York Times: "Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.

"At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress, has asked other Republicans whether he should call on Mr. Trump to resign in the aftermath of the riot at the Capitol last week, according to three Republican officials briefed on the conversations.")

Back in the Bluegrass State, the boot-Beshear petitioners want the GOP super-majority legislature to sack him for ruling "by decree" and "acting as a one man legislature." The petitioners are purportedly peeved over Beshear ordering non-essential businesses and houses of worship to close to in-person traffic, imposing a travel ban, changing voting procedures--and more.  

Hogs would have soared heavenward before the Republicans who rule the roost in Frankfort would have done anything meaningful to fight the deadliest disease pandemic in a century. (COVID-19 has killed nearly 3,000 Kentuckians. The national death toll is more than 375,000.) So Beshear took action. 

In Kentucky and everywhere else, GOP ranks include Covid-19 deniers. A slew of Republicans--even elected officials at the local, state and national levels--resist even basic protection for themselves and others: masking, social distancing, hand sanitizing and avoiding crowds.

(During the Capitol lockdown, some GOP lawmakers refused to mask. On Tuesday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said she'd tested positive for Covid-19 after being locked down in the Capitol with Republican legislators, several of whom "not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one," she said on Twitter"In doing so, they endanger everyone around them. Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic — creating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack.") 

Meanwhile, in November, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the governor was on solid constitutional ground when he issued his Covid-19-fighting executive orders. (There's also a petition in opposition to Beshear's impeachment.)

Here's the bottom line: Most Republicans these days are against just about anything--especially government--or anybody that stands between them or their bankrollers in making a fast buck--even a governor whose sole aim is to keep the citizens of his state--regardless of party affiliation--out of the hospital and the cemetery. 

At any rate, we've been here before. During World War II, we had county ration boards whose job was to enforce federal rules that rationed cars, tires, gas and other goods, plus certain foodstuffs.

The rules were designed to ensure that our men and women in uniform had what they needed overseas to defend the homefolks and help our allies win the war.

My mother worked at the Graves County board in Mayfield, the county seat. She told me about local business merchants--some of them Republicans still mad at FDR over the New Deal--"crying crocodile tears" because the rationing rules were crimping their style and their wallets.

Time was, Kentucky had Republicans who understood that during emergencies, we all had to get behind government, pull together and sacrifice personal gain for the common good. Sen. John Sherman Cooper comes to mind. Sadly, Republicans like him have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Today, Trump Republicans in Washington, Frankfort and everyplace else define "sacrifice" as "you suck it up, not me."

PS:

-- I know more than a few pastors and churchgoers who think that in-person worship is a dangerous, and potentially deadly, folly. "You don't have to be in church to worship the Lord on Sunday morning," said a longtime Presbyterian elder.

-- I also know business owners who say selling curbside or online makes sense.

-- I don't get why the petitioners are kicking over the election. Their guys Trump and McConnell coasted from Jordan to Jenkins. All five GOP congressmen were reelected in landslides. The Republicans enhanced their overwhelming state House and Senate majorities.