Corrupting the Spirit of the Republic: Recent Moves by the GOP

There are political changes.

We expect this. We may not like it, but we expect it.

The “other” party will pass laws we don’t like. They’ll veto ones we do. And we vow that we’ll change things come the next election. And when we do, in an election or two, the “other” side says the same thing.

This is the pendulum of American politics. And while we’ve all – all – been upset about the election of one or another political figures over the course of the last two decades, the rules have stayed the same.

For better or worse, we have fundamentally the same system that we’ve had for over two hundred years. This system of built-in checks and balances is exactly the kind of innovation that has kept our republic going. Whether they – or we – like it or not, no one party or group has been able to cheat.

The kind of honor that preserves the republic, even if it isn’t what the people in power want, seems to be lacking after the election.

In North Carolina, the GOP decided to try to abolish the state’s Election Commission (!) after their candidate for governor lost. The only reason it’s not in place now is due to a lone judge.

At the federal level, the House GOP voted to strip the independence from and weaken the non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics, and bring it under the oversight of some of the very people it’s supposed to watch over.

These moves are not small, though they’re cloaked in all sorts of legal and political misdirection.

These moves change and corrupt the rules of the game

Imagine, for a second, that you’re playing a board game with a friend. They’re ahead for the moment, but there’s still a good bit of the game left to play.

Then they say: “Hey, since I’m in the lead, I’m going to change the rules so I can…”

Does it really matter at all what follows? They’ve corrupted the game from what you agreed to into something other.

These changes are just the beginning – and tellingly, they’re aimed at limiting power of political opponents and of nonpartisan organizations meant to ensure that everyone’s following the same rules.

Regardless of which candidate I supported, I can understand the desire to “drain the swamp”. 

When the GOP moves to weaken ethics committees, even before the President-elect takes power, I have got to wonder whether they’re planning to drain the swamp, or are just going to change the color of the water.

This is an issue that Republicans must take to their leaders. The political machine is contaminating political discourse with a greedy desire to win, corrupting our government from its system of checks and balances into something awful that the Founding Fathers literally fought to free themselves from.