Yesterday, I wrote about the Lt. Governor of Georgia, Casey Cagle, threatening to abuse his power to punish Delta Airlines, a private corporation, because it chose to end its affiliation with the NRA. But while Cagle was exposing his penchant for big government overreach on Twitter, his fellow Republicans in the Georgia State Senate were busy giving in to their inner fascist:
THE GEORGIA SENATE ON Monday moved to strip a generous tax benefit from Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines after the carrier cut ties with the National Rifle Association over the weekend.
Republicans who control the state Senate voted to remove a $50 million jet fuel tax sale exemption out of a larger tax package that has already passed the state legislature, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
I'm not tossing around the word "fascist" for effect, I'm using it because this is the actual definition of it: "a political philosophy, movement, or regime ... that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition."
By attempting to use the power of the government to coerce businesses into accepting a political ideology they do not agree with, Georgia Republicans are, in fact, operating as de facto fascists.
This is very different than forcing a cake shop to not discriminate against LGBT couples or integrating the lunch counter at Woolworth's. No matter how loudly the right tries to scream about "religious freedom", it's actually a matter of constitutionally protected equality. On the other hand, the NRA is a political lobbying group and they are not entitled to a discount from an airline, a credit card from a bank, or a membership at a car rental agency.
Yet, because the NRA is a deeply right wing organization, Republicans have decided that they are, in fact, entitled to anything they want and are now willing to use the power of the government to extort private businesses to get it for them. This goes beyond the crony capitalism that Republicans live for and deeply into the kind of fascism that is the end of democracies. When the state dictates what political causes must be adhered to, that country is no longer free.
If this abuse of power goes unchecked, it won't be long before corporations are openly threatened and punished for associating with "liberal" organizations that Republicans deem a threat to their agenda. And after that, their attention will shift to private individuals because "societal regimentation and forcible suppression of opposition" is all part of the package.
It's important to remember in our disgust and outrage that this is more than just a panicked reaction to the #NeverAgain movement that continues to pick up steam; this is who Republicans are underneath all of their bullshit rhetoric about how much they hate "big government". When they feel threatened, they revert to type and we've seen their type before...