One of the more gleefully repulsive enforcers of our Great American Oligarchy is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. His latest act of villainy is nixing a floor vote to give modest, one-time $2,000 relief checks to people struggling to survive during the worst biologic and economic catastrophe in modern history.
Well, he is willing, but there are strings attached. Actually, there are reinforced steel chains attached. People will only get the extra money, McConnell smarmily insinuates, if the Democratic Party-aligned social media companies are made bereft of their legal protections. Some of them - namely Facebook and probably Google - already face antitrust lawsuits because they own and control the entire world, and censor content that their "deep state" Establishment partners don't like. Republicans also want them stripped of their legal protections against also getting sued for third party defamation contained in public commentary.
McConnell is further demanding that people lose more of their voting rights through a crackdown on alleged electoral fraud. In other words, he wants the power to thwart the public will and to nullify electoral results he doesn't like by expanding voter disenfranchisement into a redefinition of American citizens as real or incipient fraudsters.
As far as the fortunes of the coddled Silicon Valley billionaires are concerned, I say why not take them all to court at every opportunity? The liability shield protecting them was enacted way back in the 90s, long before they morphed into the monstrous undemocratic and unaccountable sovereign surveillance and data extraction states that they are today. Solve the problem by simply breaking them up.
But McConnell's disenfranchisement gambit is a whole different story. It is not only a poison pill, it is a million-gallon cocktail of arsenic, strychnine and ricin spelling absolute and speedy doom for the body politic.
If McConnell has his way (and when hasn't he gotten his way?), then the only stimulus we'll get, on top of those seductive $600 love-taps, will be a hard, resounding and very contemptuous bitch-slap in the face.
As far as President-elect Joe Biden is concerned, he already has pre-emptively vowed never, ever to "embarrass" McConnell and his other Republican friends in public. “My leverage is, every senior Republican knows I’ve never once, ever, misled them,” he bragged to a select group of establishment journalists recently.
His leverage with the American people is, he doesn't need the American people. He has never cared whether or not we know that we are being misled because a majority of us elected him as our newest misleader.
Rarely, in fact, do the interests of the predatory pathocrats and the interests of dispossessed people align. It's about as rare an event as Jupiter and Saturn aligning in the night sky every 600 years or so. But, as spectacular a sight as Republicans and Democrats, and Wall Street and Main Street, all joining together in the common humane purpose of meaningful pandemic relief may be, it is largely an illusion. Just as to the naked eye Saturn and Jupiter seemed to be embracing in a blaze of light while 456 million miles apart, so too is the comity between politicians and their constituents, the Haves and the Have-Nots a matter of highly skewed perspective. It's hardly the dawning of a New Age of Aquarius.
But it could be a glimmer. Senator Bernie Sanders is doing his theatrical utmost to, as David Sirota describes it, not only embarrass McConnell, but "out-McConnell McConnell." He is putting a hold on the veto override vote for the defense appropriations bill (the death industry's corporate welfare package) and his bravura performance at least is forcing the Senate to stay in town for the New Year's holiday. Come 2021, the wars and the weapons profiteering will seamlessly continue as though Bernie's filibuster never even happened.
It all comes down to the pair of Senate runoffs in the state of Georgia, culminating next Tuesday. Two plutocratic GOP grifters, who each got even richer on insider trading deals after secret Covid-19 briefings early this year, are struggling in the polls against two centrist Democrats being bankrolled by corporate interests. For purposes of winning power, the whole quartet is championing those $2,000 relief checks. The outcome will determine whether McConnell continues to rule the Senate.
Original Check Champion Donald Trump, who these days more resembles a mutilated turkey on the golf course than a lame duck in the White House, is said by the corporate media to have "blindsided" the Duopoly with his sudden demand for the added money, after Congress had worked so hard giving ordinary people the equivalent of half a month's rent and wealthy bosses a tax break on their three-martini business lunches. The media are no longer reporting the original story, which had Trump figuratively bound and gagged by his White House minions after he called for $2,000 checks long before the midnight compromise between Republicans and Democrats was finally reached.
Despite the questionable motivations behind his sudden concern for the masses of people as he exits the White House, Trump's words are having their beneficent effect, in that they expose the political perfidy in his various bipartisan enablers. He also just shockingly ousted Barack Obama from his 12-year reign as the Gallup Poll's Most Admired Man In America.
Miracles do happen. Illusions replace illusions. The Emperor always does have new clothes. But there will also always be outsiders to point out the naked truth to anyone who's interested in seeing or hearing it, not to mention acting upon it.