Here we go, again. Another reckless Republican Supermajority push in the Alabama Legislature to enact highly controversial bills to address imaginary problems, serving no other purpose but to fan the flames of their conservative culture war dumpster fire. It was on full display last week as Alabama House Republicans jammed through legislation to prevent transgender kids from playing sports in school, banning curbside voting, and, of course, another unnecessary abortion law destined to cost the state a fortune in legal fees. Lately, Republicans have made it clear that they have no interest in doing what’s best for all Alabamians, opting instead to only work for the most extreme and radical elements of their base.
Everyone knows that there was no curbside voting fraud. Everyone understands the real reason they appeared to be terrified of transgender kids.
It’s rather sad and pathetic when you stop and think about it for a minute. Let’s put aside the fact that we’re all still struggling through a deadly pandemic and that we have a myriad of critical, urgent issues facing our state.
Oh, but it’s possible, they say, that this curbside voting thing- ya see, it’s possible no matter how unbelievably unlikely, that a certified, trained, and heavily monitored election official would replace grandma’s ballot with one, um maybe even two, secretly paid for by, um, well, yeah- Black Lives Matter.
Vowing to repair that which is not broken has become the new tactic for conservatives to advance their agenda of voter suppression, thereby denying equality and opportunity to people they don’t particularly care for.
Even they know how ludicrous their arguments sound, but they simply don’t care because it’s all about maintaining political control at whatever cost. You may be inclined to dismiss this observation as just another liberal partisan rant, but seriously ask yourself, “What are Alabama Republicans actually accomplishing that would improve the lives of all Alabamians?”
Or, more specifically, does fighting to keep confederate monuments that glorify racism make Alabama a better place to live? Unbelievably, Republicans keep doubling down on this one by pretending as if the removal of these traitorous statues would suddenly erase all historical memory of the systemic racism, blood, horror, and generational consequences of the Civil War.
Abortion. Low hanging red-meat for their rabid base. When they run out of ways to try to eviscerate or overturn Roe v. Wade, they’ll probably introduce legislation to spell or pronounce the very word differently just to keep their frenzied base writing campaign contribution checks. Abortion, by the way, for those unclear, happens prior to birth, not after. Yet, they’re trying to convince folks that there’s tons of babies being born alive after botched abortions that are subsequently being murdered by evil doctors. Seriously, they really believe that another law to outlaw that which is already illegal will eradicate imaginary widespread infanticide.
Maybe, we’re just missing that integral, yet persistently non-existent, part of their agenda where they discuss fixing Alabama’s criminal justice system and how that would require much more than just filling up new, expensive prisons. Yeah, it’s probably in the back of the ol’ file cabinet next to the folder with their super-duper top-secret plan to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for all Alabamians.
Don’t let these antics fool you as they continue to devise bad solutions to solve imaginary problems. Especially as our nation and our state face unprecedented challenges, we need legislators who can identify priorities and achieve positive, measurable results that affect all of us.
Arguing that banning curbside voting might somehow prevent fraud that hasn’t occurred at the expense of disenfranchising thousands of the elderly and disabled, seems a bridge too far even for them, but sadly, they’re moving ahead at full speed.
Republicans’ fast and furious flurry of bad solutions for imaginary problems won’t do a thing to fix the real problems we face together or make Alabama a better place to live. Exclamation point!
Clete Wetli is former Chair of the Madison County Democrats and a liberal political activist.
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