My homepage for commentary is The Duncan Banner. Usually on Tuesdays, I share the Opinion Page with Steve Fair, vice chairman of CD-4 Republicans.  As might be expected, I seldom agree with his pronouncements. But, a couple weeks ago he made a salient point.

          Commenting on what was then the beginning of the debacle of selecting a new speaker of the House, he observed, “Republicans can win elections, but regularly fail at governing.”

          His was a call for GOP party unity. But, it actually reflects a basic goal of many Republicans. They “fail at governing” because they do not want to govern. They want no governance.

          No, they are not champions of individual liberties. Their continued assault on personal freedoms verifies that.

          What they want is to bring government to a halt in order to turn their corporate donor/owners  loose – with no government to regulate them – so they can price gouge the American middle class into oblivion.

          Kevin McCarthy became the first speaker of the House to be ousted by his own party because he worked with Democrats to keep the government working with a continuing resolution.

          Eight members of his own party favored a total shutdown and retaliated against him with a no-confidence vote on Oct. 10.  This created chaos in the House that, while somewhat amusing at first, certainly heartens enemies abroad.

          While the shutdown was still threatened – as it will be again soon – McCarthy pointed out an obvious result, “If people want to close the government, it only makes it weaker. Why would they want to stop paying the troops or stop paying the border agents or the Coast Guard? I don’t understand how that makes you stronger, I don’t understand what point you’re trying to make. Why would you want to stop paying those individuals? I couldn’t understand somebody that would want to do that.”

          One reason why Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz and other want to weaken the republic is their loyalty to would-be dictator Donald Trump, whose pro-shutdown rhetoric included the telling goal of defunding the Justice Department, which, along with some states has him in court for his grift, his theft of top secret documents and his effort to steal the election he lost – where a steady stream of co-defendants have been pleading guilty.

          It is the same monkey-wrenching tactic Republicans have been following since Newt “Gridlock” Gingrich’s contract against Americans. If the Justice Department is shuttered by a lack of funds, Trump’s perfidy cannot be pursued. If all government regulators are closed, the multi-nationals, whose only loyalty is to their bottom lines, can continue their price gouging –  while their GOP lackeys blame the Democrats for higher prices.

          Republicans “regularly fail at governing” because they are not interested in governing. They win elections because they campaign year-round. Trump held rallies throughout his presidency. His minions produce a continual political theater of the absurd.

          It wasn’t always that way, of course. The trust busters who reined in the robber barons of the 19th century were Republicans, most famously Theodore Roosevelt and, even more successfully, William Howard Taft.

          Touching on one of his catch phrases, Roosevelt said, “We demand that big business give the people a square deal; in return we must insist that when anyone engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right he shall himself be given a square deal.”

          Mr. Fair engaged in some unkind name-calling concerning Rep. Gaetz and his allies, repeatedly branding them “the CRAZY EIGHT.”

          He erred. They are not crazy; they are committed to Donald Trump’s vision of oligarchic fascism as practiced by Trump’s hero Vladimir Putin.

          As Do-Nothing Republicans sent us into a third week without a speaker, and with at least nine candidates vying for the spot, the Trumpistas, with the power their tiny presence yields, seemed ready to oppose anyone who believes in the peaceful transfer of power from a defeated president to his successor. They want the person in line behind the vice president for presidential succession to be as anti-Constitution and anti-American, as they are.

          Not “CRAZY,” but “EVIL.”

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party)

          (Former Item Managing Editor Gary Edmondson is a featured columnist for The Oklahoma Observer.)

GOP serves robber barons

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