The Republican Party has made the exhibition of patriotism a mandatory code of behavior for anyone serving in political office. To be clear, they aren’t interested in actual patriotism, just the brandishing of shallow clichés for public consumption.
To that end, GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Perv) offered an amendment to the rules of the Judiciary Committee – now chaired by pro-insurrectionist Republican Jim Jordan – to mandate the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance before every Committee hearing. This is a puerile proposal that treats adult members of Congress like 2nd graders. It is hardly a demonstration of patriotism, particularly when Republicans and Donald Trump have so severely distorted the meaning of the word.
Furthermore, it’s superficial and redundant considering that all members of Congress have already pledged an oath to “support and defend the Constitution” upon being sworn into office. And whenever a Democrat demonstrates patriotism, Republicans twist it into an outrage, as they did this week when President Biden expressed his optimism for America’s future. That was the day after Trump repeated his enduring trust in Vladimir Putin over American intelligence agencies.
So the GOP patriotism is just a facade, and even that is a moving target. Which was evident in Gaetz’s proposal to force members to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. What Gaetz may not have anticipated is that Democrats would see though his charade and take the opportunity to expose it as the mockery of patriotism that it is. Rep. David Cicilline sought to both clarify Gaetz’s proposal and ridicule Gaetz…
Cicilline: I’d like to offer an amendment to the amendment adding … “Provided, however, the Pledge shall not be led by an individual who has supported an insurrection against the government of the United States in any way.” Because I think if we adopt this amendment then we will be truthful in representing that stating this pledge is an affirmation of your defense of democracy and the Constitution. […]
You want to give someone the right to stand in front of the House Judiciary Committee and lead the Pledge of Allegiance, at a bare minimum, let’s guarantee that person has not participated, supported, or in anyway, helped an overthrow of the government of the United States.
“You want someone… to stand in front of the House Judiciary Committee and lead the Pledge of Allegiance, at a bare minimum, let’s guarantee that person has not participated, supported, or in anyway, helped an overthrow of the government.” pic.twitter.com/OZSQwGrPGo
— Rachel Bitecofer ?????? (@RachelBitecofer) February 1, 2023
Needless to say, Gaetz did not welcome this amendment. And the resulting debate wasted nearly an hour on this blatantly performative nonsense. Republicans then flagrantly lied, saying the Democrats refuse to pledge allegiance to the country. They said that Democrats hate the pledge and, therefore, America. That is, of course, utter, unadulterated bullpucky. Patriotism isn’t proved by parroting elementary school verses.
What’s more, It ignores the oath they took upon swearing in. It also ignores the point made by Rep. Jerry Nadler, who said that members already “pledge allegiance everyday on the floor, and I don’t know why we should pledge allegiance twice in the same day to show how patriotic we are.” Rep. Hank Johnson added that he found it ironic “coming from people who wouldn’t comply with Congressional subpoenas, disrespected the rule of law, and continue to prop up the Big Lie?”
This is indicative of the seriousness with which Republicans are handling their new majority role in the House of Representatives. And it’s why they are so reviled by the public at large. They have abandoned any pretense to governing in the interests of the American people.
They plan to conduct more of this political burlesque for the next two years, obsessing over meritless probes of Biden and other Democrats. And just as everyone who was paying attention already knew, Republicans have no intention of seriously addressing inflation, immigration, healthcare, the economy, national defense, or any of the other issues they campaigned on. It’s all “woke” politics from now on.
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