Two disgraceful incidents last week make one wonder how Fox News and the GOP define Patriotism.
A set of economic data called GDP growth was released last week. The number showed that the US economy for the 2nd Quarter (April-June) had shrunk by 0.9%. This is the 2nd quarter that has happened. One simple definition of the term recession is two quarters of negative growth (there is a long litany of reasons to say we are not in recession, but we’ll leave that to the economists to argue over).
At Fox News this was greeted with positive elation. The news anchors were all smiles. America is in recession! We love it! Now we get to hammer the Biden Administration. Hooray! They were as happy as if they were announcing National Cute Puppy week!
Over in the Senate the Republicans were busy voting down the PACT Act, a bill aimed at providing desperately needed help for veterans. For many years the military used burn pits to incinerate trash and waste in temporary camps and bases. The toxic brew of smoke was very carcinogenic with the result that too many veterans of recent conflicts going back decades were exposed and have developed some very nasty cancers. The bill was to create added resources for the Veterans Administration to provide treatment and assistance.
BUT, because the Democrats had reached agreement on a bill with wide ranging climate change initiatives, it was important to Republicans to hand them a loss. So, Senate Republicans voted down the burn pit bill, denying aid to veterans struggling to get treatment for cancers developed as a result of their service to our country.
Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Steve Daines were witnessed fist bumping their victory. Hooray we kept resources from veterans! What a success! It took significant intervention by comedian Jon Stewart and an array of veterans organizations to finally move enough Republican Senators to pass the bill. And still, 11 Republican Senators voted No.
There are a lot of ways to define patriotism, but, celebrating weakness in the American economy and celebrating the denial of benefits to veterans with cancer should not be included.