By Rosetta Miller-Perry
Sometimes things which seem like progress instead turn out to be huge steps backwards. As editor/publisher of the Tennessee Tribune, one of the causes that we have championed over the last three decades is equality and opportunity for women. But just as there are some Black folks whose ascension to power actually represents a negative rather than positive event (Clarence Thomas, my former boss, for example), so there are also some women whose behavior, actions and stances on public policy are no better, and in some cases worse, than the men they replaced.
A prime example of this is Rep. Lauren Boebert, who is not the only nutcase in the current Republican-driven House of Representatives, where it seems sanity is in short supply. But she’s arguably the worst, and certainly among the biggest offenders whose actions reflect the open and ugly racism at the core of Republican public strategy. With an impotent House Speaker in Kevin McCarthy, who’s totally afraid to even confront the right-wing hardliners in his party, the House has become a ideological rubber stamp for bigotry and backwardness.
There was a time when it was Democrats who were accused of sabotaging the military. But that charge can not longer be placed at their doorstep. Congress is trying to push through a funding bill for the military. Much of the billions appropriated through this bill goes to defense contractors. Enter Boebert, taking time off from her usual tactics of election denial and Donald Trump rear-end kissing, to file four salary-slashing Holman rule amendments to the Department of Defense appropriations bill.
These amendments were intended to be checks for officials who weren’t doing their jobs, but that’s not the reason for Boebert’s actions. A look at exactly whom she has targeted makes it crystal clear what she’s doing and why. The people she’s selected are Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness Shawn Skelly, the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director Cyrus Salazar, Director of DOD Diversity and Inclusion Novel Dillard, and Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gil Cisneros.
Her amendments would slash all their salaries to $1. Setting aside that’s $1 more than she’s worth, what she’s doing is claiming that top Black and Latino defense officials, as well as people responsible for making the military look more like 21st century America than the 17th or 18th century version where her beliefs are anchored, Boebert is also using the Holman rule to impede and cripple the Biden Administration. That’s all this current crop of right-wing legislators are interested in doing. They’re not proposing anything to move the nation ahead. They’re certainly not interested in proposing legislation to curb inflation or provide more jobs. No, all they are interested in is pushing their agenda of social stagnation and retreat, trying to return America to an era when Jim Crow was the rule of law in a significant part of the land, most women didn’t work, and no one except white men were in positions of authority, both inside and outside government.
Boebert is far from alone in this quest. In July another female nutcase, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, introduced the District of Columbia Voter Identification Act, According to her illegal immigrants are voting in Washington D.C. “Only American citizens should be voting in American elections. That’s why I introduced the District of Columbia Voter Identification Act to safeguard election integrity by implementing mandatory photo voter ID and ensuring only American citizens are casting ballots by instituting a citizenship requirement for voter registration,” stated Greene. “Not only will this force the DC Board of Elections to ensure only American citizens vote in our nation’s capital, this will set a standard and precedent for the rest of the country to follow.” This bill is set to be incorporated into the American Confidence in Elections Act, a comprehensive election integrity package proposed by House Republicans. Congresswoman Greene, House Administration Committee Chairman Brian Steil, and their Republican colleagues recognize the urgency of protecting the sanctity of our elections and are committed to passing this vital legislation. Under the current system in the District of Columbia, voters are only required to provide proof of residence the first time they vote. Once registered, D.C. election officials cross-reference names in the district’s poll books, without the necessity of presenting a voter photo ID. It doesn’t matter that Greene has produced zero evidence of any illegal immigrants voting in any election in DC or anywhere else for that matter. It’s just important to her to introduce worthless and ridiculous symbolic legislation on behalf of her nutty agenda.
Now the sector of the American electorate that put these crazy white women in power is also responsible for this nightmare situation. Neither Boebert or Greene ARE fit to serve, and both are only emblematic of the continuing lunacy and hatred that have gripped the USA ever since Donald Trump managed to win the presidency despite losing the popular vote. His four years in office will go down as some of the worst in history, and it’s only because he didn’t preside over a civil war (yet) or a major depression that he won’t be viewed as a worse leader than James Buchanan and Herbert Hoover.
But the same symptomatic madness and cult behavior that put him in office is responsible for the election of women like Boebert, Greene and in this state Marsha Blackburn, another nutty Trump sycophant and follower. Until this type of ignorance can be excised from power, it must be opposed by any and all people who want the nation to keep progressing, rather than return to its ugly racist past eras.