How Has It Come To This?

One of the Republican Congressmen who voted for the extremely popular infrastructure bill has reported getting death threats.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) — a moderate who voted for the infrastructure package — said during an interview Monday evening on CNN that a caller left a message with his office that was filled with expletives and called him a traitor. “I hope you die,” the caller said, adding that he hoped everybody in his family died as well.

Paul Gosar–one of several GOP Representatives who are clearly and demonstrably mentally ill– posted a “cartoon” video of himself killing Democratic Congresswoman AOC. (In Gosar’s case, it’s notable that all six of his siblings ran an ad opposing him in the last election cycle; you really need to be “out there” for your family to publicly warn that you pose a danger…)

If these and similar examples were equally “out there”–that is, if the party leadership was distancing itself from its racists, anti-Semites and other assorted nut cases– it would be troubling enough. But the party not only isn’t distancing itself, it has arguably stopped behaving like a political party that needs to appeal to as many voters as possible, and has stopped even the pretense of caring about governing or policy or the future of the country.

This recent headline from the Washington Post would have been unthinkable not that long ago: “Tensions rise among Republicans over infrastructure bill and whether any agreement with Biden should be tolerated.”

Republicans are increasingly divided over the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will soon become law, with tensions rising among GOP members over whether the party should remain united against all aspects of President Biden’s agenda or strike deals in the rare instances when there is common ground.

Former president Donald Trump has led the call to trash the bill while deriding Republicans who voted for the measure, saying they should be “ashamed of themselves” for “helping the Democrats.”

Politicians have always played partisan hardball, but until recently, they have done their best to portray that game-playing as zeal to protect a policy goal –to prevent excessive spending, or government over-reach, or to protect “state’s rights.” (Dissident Democrats with personal agendas still maintain that public posture–Manchin comes to mind.) Incredibly, however, today’s GOP no longer even pretends that concerns for the common good or responsible governance are involved. As the article notes, the “divisions and hard feelings over the bill reflect the degree to which Republicans have defined themselves heading into the 2022 midterms as being against whatever Biden and the Democrats are for.”

We now know why the Republicans didn’t bother to craft a platform for the 2020 election: the party is simply against whatever the President of the United States is for. No matter whether a Presidential proposal is good for the country, no matter if it is popular even among the rabid base of their own party, if the President wants it, they oppose it.

Publicly. Unashamedly.Incomprehensibly.

Several media outlets have reported that allies of Trump are advocating for more than criticizism of party members who voted to repair the nation’s decaying infrastructure. They are proposing to punish them, particularly those who hold senior committee positions.

Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said in interview on Stephen K. Bannon’s “War Room”podcast Tuesday that all 13 members should “absolutely” be stripped of their committee assignments by House leadership in the coming days.

This isn’t traditional politics, and the pathetic remnants of what used to be a normal political party can no longer be viewed as political actors.  They are consigliere and henchmen to the aptly-named Don.

I have to believe that there is a limit to just how long Republican gerrymandering and vote suppression can protect people who lack even enough shame to impel pretense; these  corrupt and clueless empty suits don’t care about governing, and they are uninterested in  feigning concern for the people they are supposed to be serving.

They are willing to be exactly who and what they are.


  1. And, when one party puts aside the ideas and goals expressed in the Preamble to the Constitution and turns to simply the accumulation of power until they have it absolutely, we do need to fear for the future.

  2. Both Pelosi and Biden have insisted that “We need a strong Republican Party.” as a result of them dragging out the 1/6 insurrection. LOL

    None of them can be taken seriously. Hell, even the progressives waited till enough Republicans voted for the Infrastructure bill before they cast their Nay votes. It’s a charade for the phony media.

    All smoke, mirrors, and the occasional props.

    I know it’s fun to poke at the GOP buffoonery, but the Democrats aren’t much better. They are going to send sleepy Joe on a road carnival to hype his major victory on passing the infrastructure bill after it got raped on Capitol Hill by his own party and where is his social agenda?

    Hey, I’ve done a piece of journalism here in my backyard and working on another that has connections to Mike Delph and the CarDon business. I’ve heard Delph is a character. If you know anything, send me an email to:

    One last note, Biden just lost progressives so I don’t expect they’ll be back anytime soon. I’ve heard a Buttigieg/Harris ticket might be a thing. From those in the know, Pete is a CIA tool of the establishment. Harris is a clown. Might want to brace yourself for a Trump/Pence runoff as the USA slides off the cliff.

  3. True, the GOP is against Biden. That was true for Obama, too. I’d thought the Obama case was entirely about race, but maybe it’s not that simple. Possibly, I suppose, the problem is that being “against” Obama triggered something in some voters and the GOP found they could be successful electorally with that “strategy.”

    But, the corollary may be more interesting; now, they aren’t FOR anything either. That’s why they had no platform for 2020. The best that can be said is they care about seating VERY conservative judges and further enriching the wealthy, all by playing “culture war” games that inflame the passions of the base. They don’t even have to _pretend_ to work at governing anymore. And all those GOP politicians that actually did care about policy, government, and being a public servant have been fleeing politics. I guess it’s tough to face that kind of futile idiocy every day, especially when it’s accompanied by deranged but credible threats of violence.

    I wonder when Romney and Cheney (et al) will quit?

  4. Stephen Smith has it correctly here, but Todd misses the ball. No, the Democrats are NOT “almost” as bad. Their weakness is the lack of counter messaging to the evil the GOP strategists promote. They’re trying to govern, while the GOP gives not a single crap about that. THAT is the big difference.

    Oh, and the GOP weirdos are being financed by corporate America. In other news, wretches like Marjory Greene send out phone numbers to the dark web where the profane can harass those trying to do the right thing. The point that won’t go away is that there have ALWAYS been these crazies in our country – and in just about any country. It’s who and what over-populated communities generate. Remember John Wilkes Booth? Or how about the idiots who assassinated Ghandi?

    As long as humans fail to control their weakest minds and allow these cretins to have guns and the internet, nothing will change… Well, it will change. It will get worse.

  5. “Politicians have always played partisan hardball” But before this, neither party was killing people by the hundred-thousands by disease and on our streets by supporting and protecting the violent protesters and mass killers. Our courts would be laughable if not for the Trump appointees and elected judges turning them back on our streets. Does anyone see Kyle Rittenhouse being convicted of anything with the judge’s obvious support of him and prosecutors now wanting to add lower charges to be handed to the jury. Littering?

    Republican Representatives and Senators sitting mute and idle, are like those “good Germans” who knew nothing about what was going on around them or the Nazi officers who were “just following orders”. They remain united even after speaking against Trump, et al; that is the answer to “How Has It Come To This?”.

    The Democrats, such as Manchin, who maintain the division within the party and in both houses of Congress have forgotten or ignored President Joe Biden’s accomplishment which has caused his poll numbers to drop drastically. Those voters have received his FREE Covid vaccinations against the Pandemic and have spent their stimulus checks and benefited by the post-Pandemic economic support from this government.

    Todd; I will remind you that your insulting “sleepy Joe” comments are maintaining the division among your Muncie and Middletown voters. I will also remind you and others that President Joe Biden, in approximately EIGHT MONTHS, provided millions of Covid vaccines, rejoined the Paris Accord, reengaged with W.H.O., reversed Trump’s Muslim law, introduced immigration reforms, reopened Obamacare enrollment, ended Trump’s transgender military ban, unveiled American Jobs Plan to create thousands of jobs and sent those stimulus checks to millions of Americans. Did he do all of this in his sleep? You, like Gopper before you and others, have helped it “Come To This”. Do I agree with everything he has said and done since his inauguration; of course not, I am a thinking person.

    “This isn’t traditional politics, and the pathetic remnants of what used to be a normal political party can no longer be viewed as political actors. They are consigliere and henchmen to the aptly-named Don.”

    And these are not “traditional” times; traditional solutions will not work today and we will never again return to our “normal” life styles, no matter our economic level or our politics.

  6. How has it come to this? We’ve been asking that question at least since the short-fingered vulgarian won the GOP nomination, and certainly since November 8, 2016. I’m not sure will figure it out before things get much worse.

  7. Again we see the existence of extremism from callers talking to Representatives. I can feel their frustration but don’t get their tactics. It doesn’t help when people get fired up over rhetoric in the news.
    The facts are not being debated about the bill or who is going to gain from it. Thats why I wouldnt be opposed to bills needing 60% of votes, obamacare would not have been the political juggernaut that it is today. Although policies my be advanced more slowly than what we want, there would be less extremism as bills would go under more scrutiny from either side.
    A Republican doctor recently made claims as a doctor that Biden shouldn’t be Prresident and received a lengthy email from President Obama saying he was disloyal, etc.
    whether its Obama, Trump or Biden pushing legislation that receives razor thin margins of support fir their bills, the more the people are going to be polarized.

  8. There are very serious reasons to believe that we may end up in a new Civil War. Not the cold Civil War that we are in right now but one that actually results in blood being spilled. Everyday I hold my breath that something horrible doesn’t happen. I fully expect that someone such as AOC, Nancy Pelosi, Obama, Biden, Liz Cheney (the list goes on….) could lose their lives by these entrenched Trump lovers. I am a Democrat but I have a lot of friends who are Republican and have favored Trump in the past. I’m at the point where I want to say to them that a vote for the GOP is a vote to accept their authoritarianism and violence to achieve their goals. Their support also represents the suppression of women in our society as well as viewing equality among the races and genders and gender identities as totally unacceptable. I wonder how many of my GOP friends actually want to see that happen.

  9. If 45 becomes 47, will there be anyone to speak out? The level of permission to take out enemies will lead to increasingly terroristic acts on his behalf.

  10. this reminds me of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. I believe I’ve mentioned this before. The immense image.

    “whereas you beheld the feet and the toes to be partly of molded clay of a Potter and partly of iron, the kingdom itself will prove to be divided, but somewhat of the hardness of iron will prove to be in it, forasmuch as as you beheld the iron mixed with moist clay. and as for the toes of the feet being partly of iron and partly of molded clay the kingdom will partly prove to be strong and will probably prove to be fragile. Whereas you beheld iron mixed with moist clay, they will come to be mixed with The Offspring of mankind; but they will not prove to be sticking together, this one to that one, just as iron is not mixing with molded clay. Daniel 2:41-43

    So, Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:11-13 that many false prophets will arise and mislead many and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will grow cold.

    In 2nd Thessalonians 2: 1-12, the Apostle Paul referred to a composite man, also known as the man of lawlessness. They will quietly spread misinformation, and disruptive organizations. This composite man is a collective group of individuals, not one person. The group hides behind religion to mislead many. They seek power but will be responsible for the fall of organized Civil Society and the start of Anarchy. All the while hiding behind religion which they have hijacked!

    This however will bring about a backlash that will definitely bring this composite man and his organization’s to ruin, and it will also definitely change the way Society is, it will change for the worse.

  11. be i work in road construction,(trucking side)may i remind everyone,there hasnt been a decent road bill in decades. the games played, keep the working class from easing into a living wage,and decent jobs keeps hitting the goal post and get dropped,end of game. this keeps literally generations of people marginalized,and the repair bill ongoing whereas,the redesign and new ideas only get more expensive and dropped. like a gun bill,it gets so overloaded with wants,instead of needs and the game is dropped.since only X amount of capital is available due the hording of the rich,which i see want the profit over the living wage,keep this status quo alive and well, until they,get thier way. but weve dug the people into a deep ditch again,and another gen gets a sideline. ive been in and around trucking since 1975, the so called driver shortage doesnt exist, its a wage issue. many of the big trucking co, like england,swift,USE and other,investor owned companies have sucked up all the big accounts,locked them in with cheap rates,and now, look at that semi next time,that person gets paid by the mile,no compensation for,hey,he had to unload and reload his truck today,he got 50 miles logged, now being his logging time is used up,for,the day, he sits for another 10 hours (with no pay, compensation)to reinstate his,on duty time. he couldnt find A place to park, he got nothing for waiting to unload,and reload,not one minute,of pay. no hotel, and best of all, in 2017,that big tax cut,for the rich,took away the daily per diem,he could have wrote off at the end of the year. instead, he gets a few days on the road,at X (ill be frank, adjusted for inflation and money value,) hes paid today what is equal in value in 1986. those big ads they con people into driving, are a lie from every word. and today,we again as the working class watch the game played by mainly one party to shit on us,again. the progressives and some demos wanted to have 3.5 billion set aside to build and expand parking for trucks. its a major issue,its a security issue,and we get killed for parking wherever we can when,well we cant find a place and our electronic clocks run out, maytimes its in a less than desirable place,but,who cares,it came out because the republicans who slatthered us with glory when the pandemic was shutting down your needs,we stayed out there, gee even agent orange anoited our heads and blessed us for keeping the profits coming in. but,heres the very same party screwing us out of much needed relief. next time your around,town,take a look at where we get to park,and why,and of course,every little place we can,,has a tow away sign in it..merry christmas all..

  12. Steve Smith:
    thanks,ill be headed to,the shirt shop to have that printed on back,of a blue t shirt.for
    when standing in line at a truck stop.

  13. This diatribe against the GOP is repetetive my friends. How is this diatribe any less divisive than the comments of someone who is a Trump supporter?

    I would like to know what those who have left 45’s GOP are doing to counter their threat to our democracy. I would like to know how those of us who are democrats could support their efforts. We need a sane GOP. After all, neither progressives nor conservatives have all the answers, nor should either political party have a strong monopoly on the policies that are created.

    I would suggest that if the Democrats wish to maintain their majority in Congress in 22, that they will have to appeal more to independent voters and suburbanites. It’s going to be a steep uphill climb for them if they wish to maintain their majority. It seems to me that the POTUS consistently loses his/her majority after 2 years in office.

    In the meantime, gas prices and the continued inflation are hitting hard against Biden’s approval ratings. I’ve always known that the only way to get Americans to conserve gas is to raise prices. And yet, I am concerned for the working poor who will have trouble paying for groceries and getting to work because of those prices. It really is tragic for many workers that we do not have a public transit infrastructure that levels the playing field in transportation. That, of course, could reduce our carbon output. Individual cars have contributed to the fossil fuel industry. We are addicted to what is convenient and our highly individualistic attitudes enable that addiction.

    Democrats must learn to compromise with each other(moderates and progressives) if they are to be effective with governing. They are really 2 parties within a party. That makes it more difficult to get things done because they are less “united” than the GOP which has swung much too far to the right.

    I miss the days when the leaders of both parties valued servant leadership and believed in the inherent worth and dignity of each person. I wonder if our country will ever create policies based on a reverence for all sentient creatures, for all of life.

  14. Both parties have to live with those who choose the party. In some cases that’s who chooses to vote for the party, in some cases it’s those who choose to be represented by the party for a political career, and those ambitions range from local politics to the Presidency.

    Mostly all of those people speak for themselves and we amalgamate that into the voice of the party.

    Given all of that, what is the future for each of our two parties? In other words, what sums up our country over the range of our diversity? How do the majority of us want to be represented to the rest of the human race?

    I think that it boils down to exclusive for Republicans and inclusive for Democrats.

    To the degree that that’s true, and given our changing demographics plus the changing climatological reality of earth, Democrats have the future and Republicans the past.

    Over the very long term, the biggest unknown will be the direction of environmental disaster avoidance migration from the climate our current actions will have created. Everything else will become noise in our history.

  15. If Republicans want to clean up the mess we are in they could start with Mike Braun, the latest of Republican senators who have been caught in violation of FEC rules, but, oh, I forgot. The FEC is toothless by design, Republican design, which facilitates breaking the law(s) it was supposed to enforce, like insider trading, all which reinforces the current Republican view that we in the name of personal freedom need not do what the gummint tells us to do or not to do, liking taking shots or buying stock on insider information, for instance.

    So what’s next? Republican wholesale removals of state criminal codes (along with any last vestiges of gun carrying limitations) so as to make murder legal (since there are no common law crimes)? Think that’s too far out? Then consider that Trump recently announced the new test for killing somebody, like killing Mike Pence. He announced that the test is “common sense.” If you don’t like what someone is doing or not doing, it is O.K. to kill them, and since Pence would not refuse to count the elector vote in view of the obvious fraud in the 2020 election it was only “common sense” that those freedom-loving insurrectionists would want to correct this wanton abuse of power by Pence and those socialist Democrats such as Speaker Pelosi who supported the constitutionally-required count from all fifty states.

    In days gone by I have both prosecuted and defended criminal defendants and I have yet to hear counsel for or against such defendants announce to the court that the defendant was not guilty since his killing of the victim(s) was in the exercise of “common sense,” but if that novel defense should somehow become acceptable via judicial interpretation, then Tombstone here we come, since if as in the case of innoculation the gummint can’t tell us what to do it’s only one more step up the ladder to the gummint can’t tell us we can’t kill my neighbor because we disagree with him or her over a property line, loud music, a barking dog etc. It’s just “common sense.”

    Present day Republicans have no interest in governing or helping govern as shown by their lack of a platform or set of governing principles beyond tax cuts for the rich and acquisition of power for power’s sake. They are not a political party as thus defined and have no respect for either our Constitution or our blood-soaked democracy from Yorktown through Normandy, and unless they quickly reform their ways they are headed back to the oblivion of Whigdom from which they arose in 1854.

    I like the idea of a two-party system for its provisions of the “checks and balances” Madison and Jefferson rightly installed in the Constitution, but right now we don’t have such a system, and may have to wait for either the Republican (so-called) Party to reform itself or disappear into the mists of history and a new opposition party emerges. Till then and indeed forever, our task is to protect and defend the greatest asset we hold in common – our democracy.

  16. One simplistic view…only about 25% of potential voters (at best) are the current GOP “base”. Roughly the same is true of the DEMS hardline “progressives”. What if the majority of the rest decided to vote for “servant leader” candidates who want “country over party”/”country over ideology”?

    Dream on, Lester. the rest are too busy being scared, having fun, trying to survive…i.e. “me” v/s “us” (especially, young people, who will inherit….”the wind”?

  17. As a former mental health professional I know that substantial homicidal ideation and threats are criteria for committal, at least for 72 hours for observation. We have kids that are expelled from school for doing this and if any of us did this at our place of work, we would be terminated. Why is it tolerated at the Congressional level?

  18. “I have to believe that there is a limit to just how long Republican gerrymandering and vote suppression can protect people who lack even enough shame to impel pretense….”
    I think it is, unfortunately, a generation before the actions are seen for what they are….wrong. 

  19. Most of those so-called “voter suppression” measures won’t make one thin dime’s difference on turnout. I remember, gasp, when you had to go to your precinct’s polling location on Election Day to vote. That was the only way to vote. It’s easier to vote than it has ever been in American history. If people aren’t voting, it’s because they’ve chosen not to vote.

    And both parties gerrymander. I haven’t seen a state where Democrats in a position to gerrymander have decided not to do it. When Democrats not too long ago controlled the Indiana House, they gerrymandered House districts so much that the Republican Party was locked into being the minority party in that body despite having substantial majorities statewide.

    Sheila is 100% correct on picking up on the notion that the opposition to the infrastructure bill is based entirely on the fact it’s Biden’s bill. If then President Trump had been behind the bill, most of those Republicans would have been all for it. There is some opposition in Congress based on policy, but almost all of it is couched is based on tribal politics. Trump makes that clear from his comments. He doesn’t complain about anything in the bill…only that it was Joe Biden’s bill and, thus, Republicans shouldn’t have backed it, giving Biden a win.

  20. Beau, of the fifth column, in a recent posting, explaining how he has been so good at predicting what the Republicans will do, “next,” said that
    he does not ask himself what Republicans will do, in response to whatever; he asks himself “What would fascists do?” And fascists would
    do just what these crazies are doing: threatening lives, seek to strip anyone who does not toe the (Very Sick) Trump line out of power, work to
    create a monolithic a-political structure (because when you are the only party in the game- as when Hitler declared all other parties illegal-) there
    are no politics.
    Clearly the party is in the thrall of their Don, who has never had any interest but his own, and he, or his rancid perspective, is running the show!
    I expect, am afraid that, even if he is indicted, on any of the multitude of potential, and very valid, charges against him, and subsequently found guilty,
    that his insane supporters will only see that as further “proof” of the effect of the “deep state,” of Hillary’s Pizza Parlor Basement machinations.
    Their song-to the tune of “When You’re a Jet- “When you’re a cult, you’re a cult all the way, from your first waking breath, to your last dying day!”

  21. These activities are illegal. Why isn’t there a huge law enforcement effort to deal with it? Track them down and indict them.

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