This is bordering on ridiculous. Granted, the word “soul” doesn’t appear in the story’s body, but the headline of this Washington Post story proclaims: “Mitch McConnell vs. Roy Moore Is Now A Battle For The Soul Of The GOP”.
The story is framed as if Mitch McConnell is the good guy, defending the Republican National Committee against interloper Roy Moore.
Well, good for McConnell. Let’s give him a trophy. Or a cookie. No wait. A trophy and a cookie. Because he’s protecting the United States from an accused child diddler — who was once banned from an Alabama shopping mall for “repeatedly attempt[ing] to pick up teenage girls” — according to former mall employees and local police.
But back to that headline and the phrase “soul of the GOP”…
The Washington Post knows better than to insinuate McConnell is the good guy, or that the Republican party’s “soul” is a good thing. Disregarding the common usage of “soul” and the argument over whether people or animals actually have such immaterial things, every literate person knows this is a metaphorical use, to mean “vital or essential part, quality, or principle” (source).
What exactly IS the vital or essential part, quality, or principle of the GOP?
Starting with McConnell himself: In 2016, he led the Senate in ignoring President Barack Obama’s lawful appointment to the Supreme Court. Earlier this year, he masterminded the GOP’s failed attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act — one of the most significant healthcare bills in U.S. history. He did so by proposing removing funding where funding was needed, refusing to talk to women legislators on issues that primarily affect women, ignoring loud voices from the nation’s most prominent professional medical associations, and going against the vast majority of surveyed Americans’ opinions.
During Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, McConnell (lovingly referred to by some as “Turtleman”) repeatedly criticized the eventual president but never withdrew his support once he’d pledged it. He claimed to not like Trump’s lewd comments about women, but continued to support Trump. He claimed to oppose Trump’s criticism of Khizr and Ghazala Khan, but wouldn’t withdraw support. He claimed to be against Trump’s racist tirade about federal judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, but continued to support the candidate. When Trump hesitated to disavow the support of the Ku Klux Klan, McConnell fired back but continued to support Trump. McConnell said “no” to Trump’s proposal of a Muslim ban, but kept right on endorsing Trump. When 16 different women accused Trump of sexual harassment and Trump said all of them are “lying”, McConnell didn’t say a word (that I could find).
When President Trump nominated lying weasels and Confederate sympathizers like Jeff Sessions to some of the highest positions in the United States government, McConnell shuddered with glee and traded high-fives with the rest of the Republican Party, voting “yes” for every one of them (except his wife, who was approved without his vote). When Sen. Elizabeth Warren tried to do her job in preventing Sessions’ appointment, it was McConnell who uttered the now infamous words: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” It was an attempt to shut her up, but turned into a rallying cry for feminism.
And McConnell continues to shrug off Trump’s mountain of lies: 1,628 false or misleading claims in 298 days.
As for the party itself, we can go in three directions: (1) the published platform, (2) actual votes, or (3) public statements. Making it easy on us, the three seem to mesh pretty closely in most cases. In almost cases, the GOP votes in the interests of corporations over employees, consumers, and the environment. Despite many public speeches proclaiming support for military veterans, it is the GOP that regularly votes to hurt veterans. In just one example, the GOP’s current tax plan repeals the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which creates an incentive for hiring veterans. Despite years of public speeches railing against the rising national debt, the current Republican tax plan will overwhelmingly add to the debt (because it cuts very little spending yet massively reduces taxes for the wealthy). Many of their bills remove support and protections of low-income workers — a large proportion of which are veterans. The U.S. Republican party is the only major political party in the world that en masse denies climate change.
On a separate webpage — which is difficult to maintain due to so much scariness coming from the GOP — I’ve attempted to list other anti-good positions of the Republican party: anti-women, anti-education, anti-science, anti-peace, anti-consumer, anti-sex education, and so on. And every day they’re not calling for the removal of Trump, they’re anti-common sense.
To be clear, McConnell and Moore are on the same side.
Just like a quarterback and wide receiver might argue about which pass route is best in this stage of the game, or a husband and wife might disagree on which expense to cut to save the household budget, McConnell and Moore are not on opposing teams; they simply disagree about this one thing. They are BOTH representative of the evil, brimstone filled “soul” that hides somewhere inside the rotting, cankerous flesh of the Republican party.