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Opinion: Look at everything the GOP wants to cancel

Republican lawmakers have tried to cancel everything from the 81 million people who voted for Joe Biden to now trying even to cancel free pizza for people on line waiting to vote in Georgia.
The truth — as the GOP must know — is that neither the decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to stop printing six titles that the company deemed were “hurtful and wrong” in the depiction of certain minority communities nor Hasbro’s decision to drop the “Mr.” from its “Mr. Potato Head” toy involved President Biden or Democratic members of Congress. But facts don’t matter when it comes to Republicans trying to distract from their lack of policies to help Americans in need or score political points.
Republicans spun these stories, especially Dr. Seuss, like it was an official decision by the Democratic Party. Sen. Ted Cruz, who truly has earned Donald Trump’s nickname of “Lyin’ Ted,” tweeted, “Joe Biden trying to cancel Dr. Seuss.” While House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy openly lied on the floor of the House, declaring, “First, they outlaw Dr. Seuss and now they want to tell us what to say.”
Over on GOP TV, aka Fox News, there was a lot of time spent discussing Mr. Potato Head being “canceled.” While channels such as CNN and MSNBC carried live Tuesday’s testimony by FBI Director Christopher Wray about the details of the January 6 insurrection incited by Trump, Fox News did not. Instead, it mentioned Wray only nine times — compared to more than 60 references to Dr. Seuss being “canceled.” Cancel culture was even a theme at the recent CPAC conference.

This is not by happenstance. As of now, “cancel culture” is the GOP’s issue for the 2022 midterms. Indeed, former Trump White House aide Mercedes Schlapp told Politico this about how important the “cancel culture” issue is for the GOP’s 2022 strategy: “At the end of the day I think it unifies the party but expands it into the area we need to — the suburban moms, the college educated men that we struggled with in 2020, there’s common ground with these constituencies.”

To date, Democratic leaders have met this issue with a shrug. That’s a mistake. I’m not suggesting Democrats need to engage in every culture war issue the GOP fabricates. But this issue is a winner for Democrats because it enables them to remind voters both how Republicans have failed to help people currently struggling from the fallout of the Trump recession and how GOP elected officials are leading the way to “cancel” everything they oppose.
Just last Sunday, Trump announced to cheers of the right-wing audience at CPAC his plan to “get rid of” (aka “cancel”) the 17 GOP members of Congress who voted to hold him accountable for his role in the January 6 attack on our Capitol. Saturday, Trump announced he would personally travel to Alaska to campaign against GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the 2022 election for voting to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial.
Harry, Meghan and the power of their story
Then there are the Republicans across the country trying to cancel access to the ballot box. In Pennsylvania, a battleground state Biden won, GOP lawmakers have announced proposals to “cancel” no-excuse mail-in ballots. The reason is obvious as Pennsylvania Democrats used mail-in ballots at three times the rate of Republicans in 2020.
In Arizona, a state Biden won by around 10,500 votes, GOP officials have alarmingly introduced a bill that would allow the GOP-controlled state legislature to “cancel” everyone’s vote and award the state’s electoral votes to the person of their choosing. Wow, talk about cancel culture!
In Georgia, Republicans recently passed a bill in the GOP-controlled state House that would “cancel” some early voting days on Sundays — a measure slammed as a racist attack on the “Souls to the Polls” get-out-the-vote campaign led by Black churches. This GOP bill would even cancel (prohibit) allowing volunteers to hand out free food and drink to people waiting for hours to vote, again affecting predominately Black precincts in the Atlanta area.

You get it: Whatever the GOP doesn’t like, their elected officials try to cancel. That’s why the Democrats should use this issue to hammer Republicans on everything from their efforts to “cancel” the popular Covid-19 relief bill to canceling our democracy. By using this issue effectively, Democrats should be able to “cancel” a bunch of Republican candidates come the 2022 election.

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