CNN host John Avlon made an observation Wednesday that the post-Donald Trump Republican Party has thrown caution to the wind and is whipping out as much hypocrisy as they can muster.
Doing a commentary for the morning show, Avlon recalled the different sects of the former GOP like libertarians, evangelicals and the business community: they all wanted smaller top-down government. Meanwhile, Republican governors are running their states with the same top-down bureaucracy they once repelled.
"This summer we saw Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas trying to ban local mask mandates," he explained. "Threatening to withhold school salaries if local school boards bucked their state's bureaucratic dictates. Not only that, these Republican governors signed executive orders banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccination for customers during a pandemic and in return for their efforts, Florida and Texas saw the most COVID deaths and cases in this country this summer by far. That's a steep price to pay for presidential ambitions."
He moved on to the recent debate over Roe v. Wade and the Texas law that critics say puts a bounty on womens' heads. That comes while many of the same conservatives are touting "my body, my choice" when it comes to vaccines and mask mandates.
"Now, Republicans being anti-choice when it comes to abortion is no surprise," said Avlon. "The surprise comes when you tell people it wasn't always this way. After all, a Republican Supreme Court justice penned the opinion in Roe v. Wade while the wife of Libertarian icon in 1964 nominee Barry Goldwater co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona. Speaking of you know what's the opposite of Libertarian, having the government encourage people to turn in their neighbors — that's essentially what the Texas law's so-called 'bounty hunter provision' does — and incentivize citizens to sue any person who helps a woman longer than six weeks pregnant seek an abortion from doctors and nurses to neighbors and even drivers."
He said that it seemed "more East German Stasi than Walker Texas Ranger."
"Republicans the party of lawsuits, at least where women are concerned, but these eye-popping hypocrisies are part of a post-Trump trend, where claims of fighting for free speech turn into speech codes, banning teachers from talking about structural racism in classrooms. Claims of individual freedom turns into anti-trans laws. Claims of supporting free markets lead to threats against private companies for not toeing their partisan line and claims for fighting for election integrity lead to the kneecapping of local election officials make election administrations more susceptible to partisan pressure."
He noted that Republicans are all about mandating morality, but not when it comes to civil rights. They love telling local businesses what to do, but only if it benefits them, "the base death toll be damned."
Avlon then recalled the "fig leaf for a lot of this small government talk" while another argument over the debt ceiling looms. They are the same "small government" advocates that agreed to let Trump raise the debt by nearly $8 trillion without saying a word.
"But don't be fooled," he closed. "Republicans are still under the sway of Donald Trump, it's not about small-government principles. It's about the pursuit of power, pure and simple."
See the full commentary below:
Republican hypocrisy in the post-trump era www.youtube.com