The Party of No


The following was part of Heather Cox Richardson’s most recent newsletter in which she discussed the Senate vote to establish a bipartisan independent commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection. As expected, Republicans voted “No.”

I don’t feel I need to add any additional words to her observation:

Indeed, by refusing to investigate what is arguably the most dangerous attack on our democracy in our history, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has brought out into the open just how radical the Republican Party has become.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

43 thoughts on “The Party of No

  1. Good on you, Nan for sharing her blog/newsletter. She has been in my mailbox for a while. If I had a blog, I would share her, too. I did post it to Facebook. She is well worth following.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. By abdicating their responsibility to the citizens of the US as whole, the Republican party itself is an existential threat. Voting Republican is more than just unpatriotic; it’s seditious. It represents only itself and its member’s best interests only.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. 33 Republican commissions into Benghazi and Clinton’s role in the death of 4. Why not at least 1 Democratic commission into the storming of the Capital and the death of 5?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Hello Nan. I agree that McConnell standing in the way of the commission is horrible, and in fact the bill to establish it would have passed if he had not tried so hard to block it. But that is not the worst he has done. I just posted how he is trying, plotting, and arranging his best to keep any bills helping the average person in the country from passing while at the same time trying to increase the tax breaks of the wealthy and corporations even if it means stopping anything in the Senate from passing. His main goal is to keep the 2017 tax cuts from being touched no matter what. No increase at all. That may be because after that was signed into law some hedge funds on Wall Street changed their cooperation status to greatly benefit from that and they can not undue those changes. So if the rates rise at all those hedge funds stand to lose a shit ton of money. If you want to read how badly McConnell is rigging the system right now I posted about it. Hugs

    McConnell returns as Senate ‘grim reaper’

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nan, as an independent and former Republican and Democrat, I view the now Republican Party as adrift. Its lone currencies are untruthfulness, unlawfulness and fear. To me the failure to seat a commission to look into the January 6 insurrection is malfeasance and a betrayal of their oath to the constitution. It matters not which party dishonored the office, we must hold leaders accountable. Marco Rubio said he did not want to seat the commission because he said Democrats are trying to make Republicans look bad. Too late – Republicans got in bed with a wolf and now have fleas. I would add just as Democrats need to sanction Governor Cuomo for his actions as they did Congressman Weiner and Governor Spitzer, Republicans need to deal with someone whose crimes against his country are far worse than theirs or Richard Nixon’s. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • The thing that stands out to me is the bill clearly laid out that it would be a “bipartisan independent commission.” Last I looked, “bipartisan” means supported by both sides … and “independent” means not controlled by outside forces.

      However, as we have seen time and again, the Republicans unwavering motto is: “My Way or No Way!”

      Liked by 2 people

  6. While this type of behavior has been what Republicans have done for years, at least this was bad enough for some to admit 1/6/21 was a bad thing (but done by Antifa). Some others have tried to make it nothing (rowdy tourists), and maybe (still weird) others see it as a good thing (hooray for our side).

    Although I already knew, I learned more from the blocking of an investigation than I would have from any seated commission, and I continue to see ALL Republicans for what they really are, but I admit they cannot see it.

    The past five years have managed to peel away the last traces of naivety from my view of the USA and roughly half of its citizenry.

    Sorry to be so pessimistic, but Republicans have been openly radical for years. This vote is just another example.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The fuel Republicans must have to continue to justify standing against a Democratic threat to the US is from the ‘progressive’ policies and actions of the far Left… enabled by the vast majority of Democrats. If people want to de-fang the Republican Party’s influence in the public forum, this reclamation MUST start with real liberals standing up and criticizing this ‘progressive’ push to warp society into an anti-liberal force, for administrators in government, education, business, and institutions to insist on liberal principles be maintained and supported in action rather than discarded out of fear and convenience and self-censorship, to stop caving in to radical demands and represent liberal principles in action. This As long as people from the Democratic side give in to these radicals and their totalitarian demands again and again and again, the Republicans will continue to have significant public support in spite of their moral depravity.

    All of us have this burden. Not one of us is exempt from this struggle to defend liberal principles when they are under sustained attack by the ‘progressive’ Left across and then appeased by apologists across the Left, from the dinner table to the work place, from PTA to the boardrooms.

    Citizens of the US want people to stop voting Republican? Stop giving them more reasons to to do so.


    • One tiny example from today how the ‘progressive’ Left fuels the Party of No. Here’s another – originally titled as, “Attacks on Jews Over Israel is a Gift to the Right” but then sanitized later as, “The Crisis of Anti-Semitic Violence.”

      Saying ‘No’ to so much anti-liberalism is sometimes the right thing to do. And the ONLY party doing it is the Republicans. We reap what we sow, so blaming only the Republicans forn a dysfunctional political landscape without also condemning the utter moral and ethical and principled capitulation by rank and file Democrats to appease anti-liberalism of the radical ‘progressives’ is a continuation of promoting and maintaining the problem that empowers the Republicans.


    • “Scolding” has never been a good remedy for change …

      From an article on

      The current environment is perfect fuel for left-wing populism. However, today’s progressives haven’t been populist, only left-wing. There are many populist themes and policies that have come out of progressive rhetoric this year, but they have been overshadowed by a explicitly rebellious, overtly hard-left tone that doesn’t resonate with many voter groups that progressives are supposedly aiming for.

      I may be wrong, but I think this person is parroting your thoughts, only in a more subdued tone.


      • There is nothing but criticism and damnation for the Republicans – which is indeed necessary. No one says tone. We hear and see the complaints constantly. And we can see the effect. Almost negligible. Oh, but no concern for tone. No predicted blue wave ever appears even when the Republicans are this atrocious. Yet even that galling political failure raises little if any concern to Democrats. Who cares about tone?

        The absence of the oft-cited, never-appearing, blue wave is fatal to the liberal experiment. And the responsibility lies plainly with the supposed adults in the room: the liberal citizen. But raise that issue, raise the issue of criticizing the individual people, the rank and file, of those who claim to be liberal, claim to be progressive, claim to be against racism, and suddenly tone matters!

        Why is this double standard important to point out? Because the hypocrisy is also a red flag being ignored.

        What is lacking is understanding FROM the typical Left wing person, the typical complainer about the Republicans, is that they are the ones empowering the Republicans by their almost universal silence against the ‘progressives’, silence against reverse racism, silence against student indoctrination, silence against censorship and anti-Semitism. The people who wish to actually fight against illiberalism in the public domain have only one ally: the Republicans, who are using this principled liberalism to get political power.

        That’s the problem.

        Look at the second link and see all the nodding educators. Not one understands their individual role is directly helping and promoting a popular Republican backlash because not one understand that the nodding to such reverse racism is the cause USED by the Republicans to gain voting preference. Sure, many of these ‘educators’ might complain about the Republicans, but their willingness to undermine liberalism right here, right now, is just as nauseatingly seditious. On an individual level.

        So where’s the outcry from the rank and file Democrats?


        Unless and until the rank and file Democrats publicly, loudly, consistently reject ‘progressive’ policies like ‘anti-racism’, like BLM, like anti-Semitism, like defunding police, and so on, by not condemning the ‘progressive’ Left out of concerns of tone, theri willingness to go along to get along IS the problem here because that’s where the solution to addressing the empowering of Republican votes lies.


    • HA!

      Republicans have nothing but lies, and claims of irrational boogeymen that might come to get you. Conservatives live in fear of change and that’s what the Republican party sells very well.

      The Democratic party is the party of the centre right, and has been for years. Even “Comrade” Sander’s is barely on the political left from an international perspective. All of American politics takes place in the authoritarian right, and lives in fear of the “left” that doesn’t exist.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Middle right? Once upon a time. But the progressive movement is extreme Left wing, because it is diametrically opposed to and in conflict with respect for individual autonomy in law. That’s a socialist as it comes and it is taking over the Democratic party. Biden I see as the last of the moderates, the last of the centrists.


        • “But the progressive movement is extreme Left wing…”

          Extreme left wing meaning just slightly left of centre by international standards. The hyperbole around “extreme left” is simply fear mongering, and trying to find a way to bring back the red scare.

          “Biden I see as the last of the moderates, the last of the centrists.”

          Biden isn’t a moderate (or a centrist) either except under the extremely warped political view of the US. He’s a conservative Neo-liberal. Anywhere else in the world he would be considered a fairly typical conservative, and would fit right in with their right wing party.

          The American political spectrum is severely stunted, and Americans are terribly myopic about what actually constitutes “the left.”

          Liked by 2 people

          • I didn’t mean for you to get hung up on the Left-Right spectrum; I meant to use the term ‘extreme Left’ to indicate the intention to replace individual rights (the core tenet of liberalism) with group rights (the core tenet of socialism). The Left-Right terminology was a shortcut. I thought I had made how I was using these terms abundantly clear by calling this supposedly ‘progressive’ movement ‘anti-liberal’ and ‘illiberal’ in this regard.

            The teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) that mirrors Marxism – by the elimination of individual rights and freedoms in law in favour of group rights – in all but a few terms (replacing bourgeoisie with white and proletariat with black) – seeks to indoctrinate the younger generation to view liberalism – the heart and soul of the Constitution – as institutional racism. This is not ‘hyperbole’ nor intended to bring back the Red Scare known as McCarthyism. It is pointing out real world teaching that is going on right now in public and private classrooms across the country, in subjects across the curriculum, and throughout post secondary institutions. It has been absorbed in part by certain federal polices under Biden like federal money granted for the teaching of history and civics that specifically cites the writings of Ibram X. Kendi as well as the 1619 Project, both of which are stellar examples of CRT in action. That’s not hyperbole, HN. That’s actual use of public funds to promote CRT in the public classroom today by a government headed by someone not widely viewed by Americans as a radical socialist but more of a middle-of-the-road kind of American politician.


  8. “Unless and until the rank and file Democrats publicly, loudly, consistently reject ‘progressive’ policies like ‘anti-racism’, like BLM, like anti-Semitism, like defunding police, and so on, by not condemning the ‘progressive’ Left out of concerns of tone, theri willingness to go along to get along IS the problem here because that’s where the solution to addressing the empowering of Republican votes lies.”

    As always, tiledb, you bring up a mix of stuff I can agree with and stuff that I find dangerous in itself.

    BLM is a very necessary reaction. Even if some of the rhetoric is overheated and there are opportunistic “we riot for giggles and free televisions” clowns that SHOULD be heavily policed.

    In 1960, I would venture you would have been counseling “moderation” and “patience” to the leaders of the budding Civil Rights movement…and we would have gained even less than our current position. And while I share your skepticism about “defund the police” (I have little to no faith in “social workers” and “mental health professionals” in solving many of the problems in American communities) the reality is policing in the United States is deeply problematical.

    “Anti Semitism” I read as “I support the State of Israel and whatever said state chooses to do no matter how many people they kill”. We will agree to disagree. And no, I do not like Hamas. But just like the ANC had nasty elements but was somewhat justified, one can understand why Hamas exists and why it promulgates some of the wild and toxic ideas it does. The reality is EUROPE created the situation in Palestine, and I have no answers.

    As for rejecting “progressive” policies, you don’t really define them in your post. There are progressive policies and sacred cows that I find risible. The idea that a 35 year old, 6’3″ guy can “decide” they are “deep down inside” a “womxn” and compete in Olympic powerlifting is questionable to me. Other policies I say “bring on the progress.”

    Liked by 5 people

    • The point is that the Democratic Left is becoming an anti-liberal political entity and this is the fuel used by Republicans to gain power. Complaining about what the Republicans do with that power is meaningless and an absolute waste of time and effort because it changes absolutely nothing. The Democrats by going along with anti-liberal ‘progressive’ policies from its side of the aisle is the root cause of Republican power. So to defang the Republicans political power MEANS the Democrats have to PUBLICLY reject every anti-liberal policy the ‘progressives’ favour. What we are seeing, instead, is a doubling down by progressives and insisting all of it anti-liberal policies are the ONLY moral path to follow. Those liberals who do not agree, who do not go along, who argue and criticize and dare to stand against this rising tide are treated generally as the immoral blasphemers, the enemy within, so to speak, and are often the target of Left wing practices of intolerance. We see this played out in all kinds of arenas – from the White House and board rooms and institutions and laws. Just look at the stats of those who drastically self-censor. Criticism of tone to wave away legitimate criticism is straight out of the religious apologist’s handbook, which is why I am truly amazed that more atheists don’t draw the obvious comparison between the ‘progressive’ wing and the religious fundamentalists and accommodationists and apologetics tactics they use against non believers in the anti-liberal ‘progressive’ movement.

      To identify the what is and isn’t ‘progressive’, simply ask yourself if this, that, or the other thing respects the primary liberal principle of individual autonomy. If the answer is ‘No’ then you know you’re encountering either the extreme right wing or the widespread ‘progressivism’ of the anti-liberal movement swallowing up the Democratic Left.


      • “There are some on the left who are too extreme for my liking. Therefore liberals must all go hard right to avoid the problem.”

        That’s what you seem to be saying. That’s what you often seem to be saying. And it is absurd.

        Yes, there are some who are too extreme. And yes, they say outrageous things which gets them press attention. But they are a small minority within the left. There is no need to panic about them. It’s the nature of diversity, that some folk will be more extreme than we like.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Good points, Neil. Cancel culture is not only or even primarily a left wing thing. And I still am fundamentally more sympathetic to those who identity involves “punching up” or demanding rights to those whose identity involves suppressing other people or punching down, often in the name of religion (or racism).

          Liked by 2 people

        • My liking has nothing to do with it. And liberalism is not, you may be surprised to learn, a ‘right wing’ element. It is the CORE value to not just the Constitution but every single advance made for real and lasting social justice. What we’re supposed to call ‘social justice’ today is NOT liberal but anti-liberal and it is not just. So, yes, the Left is badly infected by anti-liberalism and that is what the Republicans are cashing in on. That’s why I keep saying there is no political home for the vast majority of citizens.


        • And it’s not ‘some’; it is growing throughout all of academia, all of our systemic institutions, all our Democratic policies, the military, all business and board rooms, and all law. It is a cancer to the liberal experiment because it is undermining in every way legal autonomy and equality. That’s not rhetoric; that what the evidence shows.

          It IS anti-liberal because the progressive ideology being enacted it is group based. This factual. And its advancement threatens to undo the social fabric of liberal democracy – our shared values based on the legal respect for the individual, for the quality of their character rather than the (‘progressive’) colour of their skin – because it is toxic to the central core value that define liberalism. It’s not ME saying this our of some personal opinion; just read Kendi. Just read DeAngelo. Just attend an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion seminar. Just READ the BLM manifesto. Just read what Hamas says in its manifesto. Just read the crime stats.

          According to this ‘progressive’ movement in all phases, all manifestations, you ARE your skin colour. You ARE your group identity. You ARE a representative only, a replaceable cog. And the Republicans will win this battle by taking and holding power because their populist version – even under a Trump, in case you forgot – is the BETTER alternative to nearly a majority of Americans than the ‘progressive’ ideology empowered and enforced by the State controlled by the Democrats. If this were not the case, there should have been a blue wave. So tell me, Neil, where did it go? Why didn’t it colour the country blue from coast to coast? Where is your explanation why the blue wave NEVER appears?

          Are there really nearly 80 million American voters who, according to basenjibrian, are batshit crazy racists, religious fruitcakes, and people full to the brim with corporate greed? Does that jive with a greater slice of votes from women, black men, and gays in 2020 than 2016? That proposition certainly does not jive with the Americans I know who preferred what Trump represented to them, namely an alternative to a creeping totalitarian version called ‘progressive’ liberalism, a woke movement just like the Red Guard from China’s cultural revolution if you talk with Chinese immigrants who lived through it and now vote Republican out of a very real fear, a movement called ‘progressive’ that is neither progressive nor liberal but its antithesis, a legal attack on individual autonomy.

          I say this because the Republican Party is a demonstrated threat to the United States of America and I don’t want them to regain controlling power. That’s a problem. My concern is what is causing support for them across a wide swath of voters. Sure, we can pretend the problem is out there somewhere belonging to others, others who are immoral, warped, very bad people. How’s that worked out so far?

          I think today’s ‘progressive’ movement is actually a pernicious religious movement and it needs to be removed from the public domain where it causes nothing but division and harm based as it is not on what’s true but what is believed to be true in spite of evidence to the contrary. (Again, that’s not me; that’s Coleman Hughs, Valerie Terico, Andrew Sullivan, and many others. In find their arguments persuasive because evidence, because facts, because I recognize the same defensive tactics used by ‘progressive’ apologists.)

          If the Democrats can clean its own house of this toxic ideology, then and only then will the Republican Party stop being empowered by reasonable liberals, stop being an existential threat to the democratic portion of the liberal democracy moniker because its larger power base – the concerned liberals beyond the 15% tea party idiocy that infects its base – will evaporate. But first we have to correctly identify what the problem that sustains the Republican liberal voters is, and there is growing evidence it lies with those who believe in the very real threat this version of ‘progressivism’ is.


      • Sorry, tiledb. I again agree and disagree. The root cause of Republican power is racism, religious mania, and corporate greed. The Democrats and their playing to “Victimhood Olympics” don’t HELP things, but your position seriously underestimates the basis for the Republican program. It can often be an excuse for Republican excess, but the cause? I don’t think so.

        That being said, I actually agree that we (old school liberals) do need to push back at illiberal left. To me, so many progressive “places” on the left seem to be in thrall to crazy ideas. It is too easy to poo poo cancel culture, and we can never lose site of the reality that cancel culture is not historically or primarily a left “thing” at all. But the eager group identity thing is a problem.

        I also think you over-emphasize individual autonomy to some extent. No man is an island. We exist in societies, in communities, and yes, interest groups. It is matter of balance.

        Liked by 2 people

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