Christopherson Column: A toxic mix has our nation on a dangerous course

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives over Memorial Day weekend walked out of the legislative chamber and in doing so left the majority Republicans without a quorum, meaning they couldn’t vote and pass onto the Republican governor for his signature some of the most sweeping, restrictive voting laws in the nation.

    Like-minded people were all over social media and the TV news, lauding the “heroic” efforts of those Texas Democrats. “They stopped them!” was the enthusiastic refrain.

    Until one prominent Democrat rained on the parade.

    “For now,” he said.

    What a Democratic thing to do…get up and leave. You think this bill won’t eventually make it to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk, where he’ll gleefully sign it? This is a state that a couple weeks ago signed into law what is essentially an abortion ban. By the time many women know they’re pregnant, to abort will be illegal, even if they were raped. It’s a state that now also requires women who miscarry to fill out a long form, a death certificate of sorts, and mail it in to the state, for a $20 fee. Fail to do so, and they’re in trouble.

    Yes, Democrats are bringing apple pie to a gun fight again. “Ha HA! We got you now! You don’t have a quorum!” Walking out…sheesh.

    This is where the carnage has been unleashed when Republican presidents have occupied the White House. Our courts from coast to coast are presided over by Republican-appointed judges, and state legislatures from sea to shining sea have Republican majorities.

    While Democrats danced in the streets when Joe Biden was elected and, a few weeks later, two Democratic victories in Georgia put the U.S. Senate in Democratic control – with Vice President Kamala Harris available to break 50-50 tie votes – everyone seemed to forget that our U.S. Congress is a joke, an embarrassment. Little if anything of substance gets accomplished there. All Biden could do was sign a bunch of executive orders in his first days in the Oval Office, orders that can and will be undone by the next Republican president that sits down behind that desk.

    There will be no independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at our U.S. Capitol. Why? Because apple-pie Democrats won’t do what Republicans have done in the past and would do again without a second thought in order to ram their agenda through: End the filibuster in the Senate that requires a 60-vote majority for anything to pass.

   This isn’t your great-grandfather’s filibuster, with Jimmy Stewart in the 1939 “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” collapsing from exhaustion on the Senate floor. Today’s filibuster is little more than a cowardly procedural matter implemented to obstruct the opposition party’s entire legislative agenda.

    Bipartisanship is dead, but Democrats currently running two of the three branches of our federal government didn’t get the memo. Biden still thinks he can offer up legislation, wait for the Republicans’ counteroffer, do some old-school back-room negotiating and emerge with some positive lawmaking that helps people and makes our nation a better place.     

    Our nation is lowering the bar...

    As of last week, less than 39% of Polk County residents were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Why is that? Because the virus is a hoax? Because the vaccine changes your DNA? Because there’s a microchip being implanted in you when that needle goes into your arm? All of the above?

    States across our country are offering cash and prizes in return for people getting vaccinated. That’s what it takes  in America to get people to subscribe to basic common sense.

    The other night, hockey fans in Canada for the first time since March of 2020 got to watch a hockey game in person, in Montreal, where the Canadiens and Toronto Maple leafs played game six of their first-round NHL playoff series. Only 2,500 were allowed to attend, but they stood side-by-side, wearing red Canadiens jerseys and blue Maple Leafs jerseys, and proudly and loudly sang the words of the Canadian national anthem after the arena organist played only the first few notes and then stopped to let the fans take over. It was beautiful. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, before the Golden Knights eliminated the Minnesota Wild in game seven of their first round series, the guy singing our Star Spangled Banner, when he got to the words, “gave proof through the night,” didn’t sing the word “night,” clearing the way for the fans in attendance to scream, “KNIGHTS!” Around these parts, we know that’s reminiscent of UND hockey fans, instead of singing “and the home of the brave,” screaming “SIOUX!”

    We’re in trouble. Ignorance mixed with greed, arrogance, selfishness, meanness and laziness has brought us to this place.

Mike Christopherson