When you've sworn 100% fealty to your leader, no questions asked, you're bound to get caught on the wrong side of things once in awhile. Or a lot.
It was all fun and games for North Dakota U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer for the last couple of years under Donald Trump's presidency. Owning the libs was easy when unemployment was low and the stock market high. Cramer could smirk his way through Trump's incompetence and bigotry with a shrug and a dismissive one-liner.
Cramer still tries to do that, but when the losses pile up it's hard to fake it.
A botched response to a pandemic, an economic collapse and the bungling of nationwide protests against police brutality has taken some of the shine off Trump's star. All that winning, if that's what you can call the first three years of Trump's chaotic and disastrous presidency, came to a screeching stop.
Combine that with the closing of a huge coal-fired power plant in North Dakota, despite the Trump/Cramer pledge to save coal jobs, and the defeat of a Trump- and Cramer-backed candidate in the North Dakota treasuer's Republican primary and, well, it's been a tough few months for the president and his No. 1 fanboy in Congress.
It continued this week.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, June 15, ruled that the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination. It was a historic ruling protecting millions of Americans from being fired simply because of their sexual orientation or identity.
- Supreme Court extends federal civil rights protection in workplace to all LGBTQ employees
- Supreme Court refuses to reconsider immunity that shields police accused of brutality
- McFeely: Cramer supports Trump's plan to make it legal to fire someone based on sexual orientation
It was a massive and stunning defeat for the Trump administration's intolerance and Cramer's support of it. That it was rendered by a conservative Supreme Court makes it doubly crushing for the Republicans.
Last August, Trump's Justice Department filed an amicus brief that sought to limit the reading of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination "because of sex." The purpose of the administration's filing was strictly to prevent protections for Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
It was purposely singling out LGBTQ Americans for discrimination based on who they are and who they love.
Cramer willingly signed on in support of the brief, one of only eight senators (all Republican) to do so.
There was no reason for Cramer, or any other member of Congress, to do this. Except, of course, to support bigotry. Oh, and to pledge 100% loyalty to Trump. But mostly bigotry, of the religious conservative variety.
What else could explain wanting to take away civil rights from American citizens? Why purposely single out one group for discrimination?
Trump's presidency, we are seeing these last three months, will go down as one of the ugliest chapters in our nation's history, whether it lasts four or eight years. Cruelty isn't a byproduct of his policies, it's often the point of them.
Cramer signed on for this dose of cruelty, 100%. He knew exactly what he was doing.
Fortunately for our relatives, friends and neighbors who are LGBTQ, Cramer was on the losing side. Again. It's getting to be commonplace for those who back this president.