COLUMN: From Here and Back Again

Jim Coufal

Our Friend, The Republican Party

I was a registered Republican for many years. It was a slow epiphany, but over a year ago I realized I wasn’t leaving the Republican Party, it had left me. So I made the clean break and dropped my registration. Why did I do this?
At the national level, it’s very plain; Bannon and his minion, Trump, are putting forth executive orders at a record-breaking pace, many of them unconstitutional, favoring the rich, allowing environmental degradation and more.
They order media bans, attack the integrity of science and the media, take down websites that don’t agree with their radical views and have alienated former and long-standing allies from Australia and South Korea, to our two greatest trading partners Canada and Mexico, to Nato and the EU.
Unless you confine yourself to FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and their ilk, their actions are like a constant slap in the face, and can’t be missed or mistaken. And the racist/fascist agenda is more

than obvious.

But our friend, the Republican Party operates at all levels of government, where its actions may not be so evident. Below are examples of Republican-sponsored, -introduced or -passed legislation at the state level from around the country, plus other statements from Republicans, and it’s just a small sample. The bills these items are in are often written in obtuse and misleading words, but the historical intent is obvious.

Texas: teachers to out LBG students.
North Dakota: allows motorists to run down—-without liability—protestors blocking the street. License to maim and kill.
Washington: make (Trump) protestors “economic terrorists,” open to felony charges. The hell with the Constitution.
South Dakota: repeal a previously passed statewide anti-corruption bill.
New York: former Republican gubernatorial candidate, Carl Palladino, hoped “Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Hereford,” and that Michelle Obama “…return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.” He denied these were racist comments, comments licensed by Trump’s behaviors.
Florida: Governor Scott fired the commissioner of Florida Department of Law for doing his job. He also approved regulations allowing toxic waste to be dumped into the heart of Florida’s American Heritage River. The Koch brothers and Jeb Bush were apparently involved with this latter decision.
Kentucky: Gov. Matt Bevin supported personhood legislation to give zygotes the same rights as fully born adult citizens; attended a rally in support of cockfighting and then lied about it; then was elected.
The magazine “Business Insider” reported that, in North Carolina, Republican lawmakers sought to declare a state religion; in Wyoming the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to approve a bill that would make it a crime to enforce any federal ban on assault weapons or high-capacity magazines; the Oklahoma House voted to approve a bill declaring the Affordable Care Act “null and void” in the state; and Mississippi went further when Tea Party-backed lawmakers proposed legislation that would create a committee authorized to nullify any federal laws that the state does not want to follow.
In case you want to pull out the false equivalency meme, “they all do it,” one study reported that “final tabulations ended up putting it at a ratio of almost 35-1, leaning to crazy/stupid Republicans being far worse.”
Now we see it happening nightly (government by Twitter) in dictatorial executive actions. You may think these come from places other than where you live, but they reflect the ideology of the Republican party countrywide.
Jim Coufal of Cazenovia is a part-time philosopher and full-time observer of global trends. He can be reached at

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