Op-ed by Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. (Ret.)
Although I am loath to refer to it, I am sure that many of you remember the series of films entitled “Girls Gone Wild” and the media craze it created in the 1990s. For those who don’t remember, GGW was a series of near-pornographic videos direct-marketed to the public as “socially relevant.”
They were, however, misogynistic, exploitative, predatory, and abusive to the young women who were either duped or voluntarily participated in the videos. Gratefully, the excesses of the videos and the legal and financial excesses of its founder, Joe Francis, led to the demise of GGW – and not a moment too soon!
The lesson I take from this despicable activity, and others like it, is that arrogant, exploitative, self-serving, or other actions designed to benefit a select few usually leave a path of personal or social destruction in their wake. It is also clear that however reprehensible and objectionable information may be, there is always an audience that is eager to consume whatever garbage is tossed their way.
Given the actions and behavioral motivations already demonstrated by the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives, this is the type of future for destructive excesses I envision for the 118th Congress.
The first insult to the American people was the 15-ballot debacle that finally led to the selection of a new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy. Although he initially had insufficient votes to secure that position, those who would not support him held the business of the People hostage from the inevitable for five days. They squeezed every conceivable concession from McCarthy with him agreeing to the appointment to positions of authority and influence for the most reactionary MAGAgots!
Even after admitting on national television that every conceivable concession had been extracted from McCarthy, they squeezed him one last time to demonstrate their power for denying him his coveted position of House Speaker.
One of the first resolutions passed by the Republican House was a repeal of funding for additional IRS examiners approved by the 117th Congress under the Inflation Reduction Act.
If passed, this resolution would cripple the IRS’s ability to enforce the current tax codes and promote the potential for wealthy tax cheats to evade their fair share in tax payments. The lack of qualified and experienced tax examiners is one of the reasons given for the IRS’s failure to perform a required audit of the former president. This is evidence of Republicans’ continuing efforts to provide advantages to the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of the average citizen.
Since most of McCarthy’s concessions were backroom deals, the scope of his giveaway is known by only a few. We have been made aware of McCarthy giving MAGA-Conservatives more influence, authority, and involvement in determining what bills come to the floor.
This suggests a flow of resolutions extreme in their nature and designed to exacerbate division among the populace. We also know that McCarthy is advocating the establishment of a select committee to investigate the weaponization of government agencies (e.g. IRS, FBI, and DOJ). It seems that the only legitimate investigation is one that does not target Republicans or supporters of the former president.
Also among their to-do list is the design to end all COVID mandates and funding, a ‘southern’ border plan (read: stop the colored hordes instead of a comprehensive immigration plan), a commitment to balance the budget in 10 years (threatening Social Security and Medicare/aid), and a single member motion-to-vacate authority (if McCarthy doesn’t follow the guidance of the far-right he can be removed as Speaker).
Hopefully, this madness will never see the light of day. A responsible Senate and a Presidential veto pen will ensure that.
~ Dr. E. Faye Williams is President of The Dick Gregory Society (thedickgregorysociety.org; email@example.com) and President Emerita of the National Congress of Black Women.