OPINION

Obstruction and Hyperboles

Al Guenther, guest columnist

I can offer a differing discourse, identify hypocrisy or debunk lies or claims in a state where many are conjoined at the hip to the old Republican party.  Sadly, that malady usurps any attempts to use critical thinking to challenge those now conjoined to the new divisive, far right Republican party  who arrogantly will not listen to anyone attempting to debunk or refute them with the facts or the “truth”.

Nebraska’s Progressives should be ashamed of themselves for remaining silent while watching President Donald Trump and  U.S. Senator Ben Sasse both being sent to Washington to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act.   Or that, without massive farm subsidies at taxpayer expense, Trump almost bankrupted Nebraska’s farmers with his “easy to win trade wars”.

Nebraska Progressives said, “Oh, well, that is just Donald Trump being Donald Trump” after his shocking comments that the neo-Nazis who marched on Charlottesville, Va. In August 2017, included “some very fine people”.   Or He perpetuated “corporate socialism” with a self-serving Reagan era “trickle down” tax cut.  Or his $7,733T over three years increase in the national debt.  Or his offering no legitimate defense for the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Thankfully, enough brave American people did finally quit sitting on their hands and took a stand to elect a new president.  The election results motivated Republicans to scream “less government”, “government overreach”, “land grabs”, “ high taxes” or “election fraud”.    

So, to challenge, let us begin with “less government”.   Republican Jim Pillen stated, “We will see about that after I’m elected governor” after his proposition to forbid the teaching of Critical Race Theory failed in a vote of the University of Nebraska’s Regent members.  Hum! So much for “less government”!

When Republican Governor Pete Ricketts addresses President Bidens agenda, he screams “government overreach”.  He then attempts to use “government overreach” to control the narrative on “academic freedom” and the right of students to research the “Critical Race Theory to find the “truth”.

I guess Republican gubernatorial candidates Jim Pillen, Charles Herbster and now Governor Ricketts are all frightened by the “white genocide” conspiracy theory.  Or is it State Senator Steve Erdman’s, August 23, 2018, statement, “life expectancy of a white, conservative, Christian male”?  Or perhaps these, as State Senator Carol Blood in her August 24, 2021, Midlands Voices: “Reject these poor ideas for state tax reform” referenced, “older, wealthy, white guys” are scared to death that the “Truth” will expose them for who they truly are and what they truly represent.

Governor Pete Ricketts uses his position as Governor to travel to Nebraska’s rural communities where  his loyal and unsuspecting base expects to hear the “truth” relating to Presidents Bidens 30 – by – 30 conservation project and a possible alternative use of their land.  Instead, he “stiffs” them with lies and fearmongering screaming it is nothing but a “land grab”.

But, Governor Pete Ricketts, you supported TransCanada’s use of “eminent domain” or “land grabbing”!

On September 13th Governor Ricketts will host a steak fry to entertain and cozy up to three of the Republican leading 2024 presidential candidates.  They all tout “Freedom and Liberty” in refusing to accept the CDC’s guidelines in controlling the COVID pandemic.  But “abusive power” or “government overreach” by threatening school districts who impose mask mandates with funding cuts with no court order is no problem.  What the hell ever happened to the Republicans party’s old commandment of “Local Control”.  I guess that went out the window, too, with the new Republican party.

President Joe Biden, of which 62% of Americans agree with,  withdrew our U. S. troops in accordance with a February 29, 2020, BBC News statement titled, “Afghan conflict: Trump hails deal with Taliban to end 18 – year war” where President Donald J. Trump gave the Taliban legitimacy by negotiating a withdrawal settlement which included a demand, with no input from the Afghanistan government, that the Afghanistan government release 5000 Taliban fighters.

Then why are Nebraska’s Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse,  Representatives Adrian Smith, Jeff Fortenberry and Don Bacon all decrying President Joe Bidens withdrawal from Afghanistan?

It is enormously painful to lose 13 American service members in a Kabul suicide bomber incident.   But ex-President Donald Trump’s ignorant denial of an over 20-year scientifically researched prediction of a COVID pandemic resulting in as of August 27th, 645,886 premature American deaths is inexcusable.  But I guess to some Republicans that is not a as bad as loosing 13 in the “Biden” Afghanistan withdrawal.

Of course, Nebraska’s all-around expert on “foreign policy” spoke out in an August 17, LJS article, “Gov. Pete Ricketts criticizes ‘botched’ Afghanistan withdrawal”.

The hypocrisy of these six self-anointed “experts” is that not one damn one of them exhibited any remorse for potentially creating a homeland humanitarian crisis with their unwavering support of President Donald Trump seeking the end of  the Affordable Care Act.  Ripping health care insurance from tens of millions of Americans could have driven them into life-or-death decisions and/or medical bankruptcy.   But, who cares, we didn’t like Obama, or a black man, running our government!   

With Nebraska’s correctional system in deadly shambles, public schools grossly underfunded, property taxes through the roof and now after Saint Francis Ministries purchased $80,000 of Chicago Cubs tickets and falsifying 165 records, they are requesting an additional $15m.  Plus, on Sept. 17, 2020, Nebraska’s Auditor of Public Accounts Charles Jansen sent a letter noting certain internal control or compliance matters, the existence of a toxic partisan environment in Nebraska’s unique non-partisan Unicameral and Nebraska is now the national leader in not reporting new COVID and COVID variant cases.   

I ask, should Governor Pete Ricketts, prior to arrogantly spouting off about President Bidens withdrawal from Afghanistan, first clean his own tin can, broken glass littered and rodent infested back yard!

Whoa, here we go again!  Since Ricketts blames President Bidens $300 COVID relief package for Nebraskans not wanting to re-enter the workforce and given the unemployment rate only considers those waiting to return to work or are actively seeking a job, I guess then Governor Ricketts is giving President Joe Biden credit for Nebraska’s low unemployment rate which on June 28, 2021, second in the nation at 2.6%.   So much for Ricketts continued self-aggrandization for creating a reinvigorated economy and low unemployment rate with his continued corporate and individual tax cuts .

Isn’t it fun debunking or refuting politicians who aren’t as smart as they think they are and because of that continually fall into a trap!