Republicans, the time is now.
So, Republicans. This is it. Yes, you control most of the federal government. Yes, you control a majority of state governments. But it’s not a moment of celebration. It’s not the time to stand around rubbing your hands together and saying, “Mwahahahaha!” It’s a moment of truth. Of revelation. This. Now.
There’s no escape. You’re going to have to show everyone who you really are. What you really stand for. Not the slogans and culture war chatter, but actions that have consequences. When people can do whatever they want, when there’s no one who can easily stop them, you clearly see their character, their true nature, what they really care about.
This is about intentions and priorities. Not everything is possible and not everything works out, but two questions are always relevant:
“What are your priorities?” and “What are your intentions?”
When Democrats had the White House and Congress in 2009, they weren’t perfect. They made mistakes. But one of the first things they did was begin working on the Affordable Care Act, which — for all its flaws — was an attempt to provide health coverage for millions more Americans. That’s a noble intention, and it was one of the Democrats’ priorities — a priority that, in political terms, has cost them dearly since.
What does that priority, that intention, say about the Democrats in general? That’s for you to decide, but Republicans, let’s look at your actions since gaining the White House. Your very first action was to try to gut congressional ethics oversight. You’ve introduced a bill to end the Environmental Protection Agency. You’ve backed up a dump truck of legislation attacking abortion rights. You’ve voted to terminate the Election Assistance Commission. You’ve run cover for the Muslim ban.
Throughout the country, you’ve attacked unions and proposed measures that would turn people exercising their First Amendment right to protest into criminals. In North Carolina, you passed emergency legislation stripping the newly elected Democratic governor of numerous powers — a secretive, cynical, “If we can’t have it, we’ll burn it down!” power play. You’ve looked the other way while evidence of a deep, disturbing, dangerous conspiracy between the Trump administration and Russian intelligence piles up like snowdrifts in New England…but you have time to investigate “Sid the Science Kid.”
That’s all in just the last month or so.
Republicans, what do those actions say about your intentions and your priorities? Do they tell Americans that you really, honestly care about keeping people safe, creating jobs, taking care of the working class, and — to borrow a phrase being thrown around a lot these days — making America great again?
Here’s a hint: that’s not what they say. And more and more Americans — even the ones who voted for you, even the ones who voted for Donald Trump — are starting to notice.
So, Republicans, this is the time. This is the moment in history when you’ll show the country who and what you really are. Do you care about the well-being of people who aren’t rich? About opportunity, reason, keeping your promises, equality, justice and the rule of law, as you claim and we hope you do? Or do you care more about partisan power games, revenge, the culture war, suppressing the right to vote, fake news, greed, payback, and covering for your own hypocrisy?
Don’t tell us. Show us. Talk is cheap. Actions matter. And we will be watching.