Wednesday, January 20, 2021

This Republican is leaving the federal GOP

by By Rick Maedje
| January 4, 2021 12:00 AM

I can no longer vote GOP at the federal level. It really has come to this.

The federal Republican party has, for all practical purposes, abandoned the working people President Trump represented. As a strongly conservative member of the Montana House (2002-2006), I understand the national GOP has historically been aligned with corporate interests — not small business or workers. That has always been a struggle for Republicans like myself who got into politics to make sure people had jobs and were treated fairly. However, when Trump came along, he tied two greater factions together and created a new deal, if you will.

The arrangement was that working people not necessarily aligned with either party would support the federal GOP so long as the GOP, led by Trump, protected Americans from cheap import labor. In exchange, the federal “country club” Republicans could obtain and keep low corporate and capital gains tax rates. This arrangement worked fine under Trump in that Trump was the backstop against the federal GOP trying to break the agreement. The GOP never gave up trying to stiff American workers, they just went into “remission” because of Trump.

The problem now is that the federal GOP wants its party back. They think they can have both low corporate tax rates AND reduced labor costs through cheap foreign labor if Trump is out of the way.

True to form, the GOP made good on their inclination to abandon the working people before the 2020 election is even finalized. Last week, they passed Utah Senator Mike Lee’s foreign workers bill (SB 386) under an anonymous Senate rule called “unanimous consent.” The bill blatantly increases foreign worker permits.

All it would have taken to stop the bill is for one single U.S. Senator to object on the floor, but not a single Republican did so — not even our own Senator Steve Daines. Democrat Jon Tester did not step up either. Again, all anyone had to do under the Senate rules was simply object to the anonymous vote on Mike Lee’s bill, and the bill would have died. After all, no Senator wants to go on record voting for a bill that allows more foreign workers while massive unemployment exists from Covid. The last time Mike Lee’s bill showed up in August, Florida Senator Rick Scott quickly objected, and the bill was killed.

Adding fuel to the fire, On Dec. 16, Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor that Joe Biden should be congratulated for winning the presidency. McConnell said this despite knowing the election is not only disputed, but state legislators in both Arizona and Michigan have officially begun discussions to recall their electors based on the troubling forensic audits of Dominion voting machines. The Arizona Senate even went so far as to impound every machine in the largest county, and the Michigan House is set to do the same. As well, the forensic examinations done in Nevada turned up the same error rates found in Michigan and Arizona. None of this is conspiracy theory. This is cold, hard evidence of potentially serious fraud.

Mitch McConnell knows not only does this evidence place the election in dispute on a Constitutional basis, there remain five serious lawsuits in the Supreme Court that should have been dismissed on Dec. 14 when the electors met to vote, but the court was silent. It is anybody’s guess what that means, but to plow along as if the court was no longer a player in who becomes president is silly. Mitch McConnell didn’t care. Again, the federal GOP wants to go back to business as usual. They want their party back sans Trump, and they told Biden they can’t wait to give amnesty to illegal aliens.

Later on Dec. 16, McConnell held a meeting with the Republican caucus and told them that no GOP Senator should object to the disputed electoral votes because Senators would have to then go on record as either supporting Trump or throwing Trump under the bus.

If Senators do not want to go on record, they should become librarians. We hired them to make serious decisions, not loiter into the cloak room.

As such, and knowing how floor procedures play out, what has become utterly clear is that the national GOP is no longer interested in the voters who brought them into power. They are interested in the corporations who fund their re-election campaigns. So, many of us have no choice. This is no longer something to be swept under the rug.

I will not vote for any GOP candidate for any federal office. With friends like the federal GOP — what Republican voter needs enemies?

Our only protection against this kind of sell-out by the federal Republicans is to be absolutely certain we elect state legislators and governors who will uphold our actual interests.

I believe it is more imperative than ever we vote a straight Republican ticket at the state and local level where policy meets the real world. Smart state laws can largely circumvent errant federal laws, and now there exists the 2nd Amendment sanctuary movement to protect gun rights.

In the end, hats off to whoever can win over the Trump voters like myself who are now abandoning the federal GOP. My ballot will be blank for federal candidates. They can fight on their own for their low corporate tax rates now that they have abandoned the people who brought them into power.

“Let the little people eat election fraud,” is not a GOP party platform any of us should ever be willing to support. Perhaps the federal GOP might consult the history of the French revolution for a refresher on why that is.

Rick Maedje served two terms as a Republican member of the Montana House. He is a graduate of Harvard University, and a real estate consultant. He lives in Fortine.