- By Levi Rickert
Opinion. Soon the coronavirus will have claimed the lives of 300,000 Americans due to the total incompetence of President Donald Trump, who has proven to be both a poor leader and a sore loser. He has done virtually nothing to curb the Covid-19 death rate since losing the presidential election. These tragic deaths will leave 300,000 empty seats around the tables across America this Christmas.
To make matters worse, the United States Senate continues to stall much needed economic relief to the most vulnerable Americans. This is happening despite the House approved its HEROES Act on May 15, 2020 that would provide funds for frontline workers and other Americans who desperately need money to pay for their basic needs in life. The Senate rejected the first HEROES Act version; so, the House passed HEROES 2.0, with lower funding on October 1, 2020. Again, the legislation was “dead on arrival” in the Senate.
Why does the Senate continue to stall essential Covid-19 relief funding?
The answer rests on the shoulders of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has overwhelming support of his fellow Republican senators. McConnell wants Congress to give corporations a free pass to avoid responsibility for maintaining safe workplaces during the worst pandemic in over 100 years. Since April, McConnell has said there would be no more pandemic stimulus unless state governments and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were barred in virtually all cases from penalizing employers for maintaining workplaces that didn’t take effective measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.
This certainly sounds as if McConnell’s allegiance is to the lobbyists representing corporations than to the average American citizen.
A further glimpse that provides a perspective into McConnell’s character can be found in former President Barack Obama’s new memoir, “A Promised Land.” In the book, Obama describes the difficulty in dealing with McConnell. He recounts when President-elect Joe Biden told him of how McConnell had blocked a piece of legislation Biden had authored. When Biden attempted to explain the bill’s merits, McConnell said, “You must be under the mistaken impression that I care,” Obama writes.
Obama said McConnell conducts himself with “shamelessness” and “with dispassionate pursuit of power.” Casual observers understand McConnell operates as a man without compassion and even soulless manner.
McConnell’s condescending comment makes it more understandable how he allowed the Republican Senate to give an impeached president a free pass. Even if one doesn’t agree with his siding with large corporations over average American citizens, one only needs to understand he doesn't care.
A man without care is a soulless man.
The upcoming runoff election in Georgia on January 5, 2021 can determine whether or not the soulless Mitch McConnell remains Senate Majority Leader in the 117th Congress.
After the November general election, Republicans currently hold a 50-48 margin. If they win one of the two seats in the runoff election, they retain control of the 100-seat Senate. Democrats need to win both runoff elections to control the Senate because the U.S. vice president casts a vote in case of a tie. Democrat Kamala Harris will become vice president on January 20.
In one of the two Senate races Republican Sen. David Perdue faces off against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. Perdue narrowly missed reaching the majority threshold in November. The other election has Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock challenging Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
According to Four Directions, the American Indian voting rights group, there are almost 150,000 American Indians in Georgia. Of the estimated 100,000 who are of voting age, only about 15,000 are registered to vote. As with states such as Wisconsin and Arizona where the Native vote helped put President-elect Biden over the top, American Indians could help decide which party will control the Senate.
During his quest for the presidency, Biden said the election was about the soul of America. In his nomination acceptance speech during the Democratic National Convention Biden spoke about four historic crises he needs to deal with upon assuming the presidency in the first month of 2021.
He distinguishes the four crises as follows:
“The worst pandemic in over 100 years. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The most compelling call for racial justice since the '60s. And the undeniable realities and accelerating threats of climate change.”
If Biden was elected to help save the soul of a nation that has suffered through the past four years because of one of the most corrupt administrations in the country’s history, the Georgia Senate election on January 5 is about the soul of the Senate.
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