When ‘America First’ is a ticket to last place

It came and went in a second, in political time, a proposed idea that proved too racist for the politician reportedly behind it. But an “America First” caucus that was disavowed, sort of, by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and several of her Republican colleagues who at first seemed ready to sign up should be treated as more than a ridiculous sideshow.

The notions that fueled a “draft” stating the group’s principles have lingered, becoming part of a conversation that’s becoming a little less shocking and a lot more routine.

That’s one takeaway from Greene’s enormous fundraising haul, despite her lack of House committee assignments and useful endeavors. Even though the Georgia Republican backed away when the caucus’s endorsement of “Anglo-Saxon political traditions” leaked out, the very idea seemed to excite some GOP lawmakers and ignite a constituency that is larger than many “real” Americans would like to admit.

You know, the real American citizens of every race, creed, color, orientation and national origin, who believe in the ideals of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence without reservation, despite the country’s history of both triumphs and failures on that score. They are the Americans not surprised, but still disappointed that too many of their neighbors, co-workers and elected representatives are willing to toss democracy if that’s what it takes to hold on to the power they perceive to be slipping away, and justify it all with a sense of superiority — cultural and otherwise.

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison

Jaime Harrison gained national attention last year when he broke fundraising records running against South Carolina incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham. While Harrison didn’t win the election, his candidacy gave notice that the Old South is now the New South. Mary C. Curtis sits down with the Democratic National Committee chair and talks race, his grandfather’s life lesson and what 2022 — yes 2022 — may hold.

POLITICAL WRAP: Biden Address to Joint Session of Congress Happening Wednesday

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Nearly 100 days after taking office, President Joe Biden is finally set to give his first formal address to a joint session of Congress.

Wednesday’s speech will give the President an opportunity to make the case for his $2 trillion infrastructure plan and other legislative priorities.

Local News Roundup: Pat McCrory Runs For Senate; Barringer Gets A New Name; Update On COVID-19 Vaccinations

On the next Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup:

The list of candidates for Richard Burr’s U.S. Senate seat is growing, now including former mayor and local radio talk show host Pat McCrory. We’ll talk about the field of candidates that has assembled.

This week, City Council provided details about how it plans to fund the arts in Charlotte after it announced earlier this year that it would no longer send money to the Arts & Science Council.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is spending nearly $900,0000 on air quality improvements for several schools in the district. That news came in the same week that it was announced that commencement ceremonies would be in person this year. Also, a new name for Barringer Academic Center, and no more taking temperatures upon entry at CMS schools.

And we’ll have an update on COVID-19 vaccinations in Mecklenburg County.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into the week’s top news on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for RollCall.com, host of the RollCall podcast “Equal Time” and contributor at WCCB-TV

Jonathan Lowe, anchor/ reporter for Spectrum News

Steve Harrison, WFAE’s political reporter

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter

If corporations are people, they just might have an opinion

That Pepsi bottle on the counter looks so out of place. My husband has always been a Diet Coke man. It’s a matter of principle, he tells me, even as he admits he prefers “The Real Thing.” Coca-Cola’s statement disapproving of Georgia’s new voting restrictions was too little, too late, and that’s that, he says. All of that puts the Atlanta-based soft drink giant in a bind, since even its belated critical stand was too much for backers of the bill, who are also banishing Coke from their own fridges, they say.

What’s a company to do?

I can’t feel too sorry for Coca-Cola, Delta and the rest, though, since they’ve been playing the political game forever while pretending to be above it all. And I have to stifle a laugh at the Republican politicians who are admonishing corporations and sports leagues now that the bills the GOP instigated aren’t getting a pass. These are the same pols who eagerly accepted campaign donations and good PR in days past.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is astute enough to recognize why his furrowed brow and outraged words are landing with a thud. It’s why his story is constantly changing. He told companies to stay out of politics, was called on it, then said he meant to only offer advice that business leaders read the fine print before opening their mouths and closing their pocketbooks.

POLITICAL WRAP: President Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The definition of infrastructure in the spotlight.

Critics say much of President Biden’s $2 Trillion plan… funds other things.

So what are the chances the President’s agenda makes it through Congress?

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more in the video above.

Congress Debates Ways To Protect U.S. Capitol, MLB Takes A Stand On Georgia’s New Voting Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of Congress debate how to protect the U.S. Capitol and the people who guard it.  This comes as a memorial grows for Capitol Police Officer Billy Evans who was killed Friday.

And, Major League Baseball announced this season’s All-Star Game and Draft will not be held in Atlanta.  The move is in response to the recently passed election law in Georgia that critics say would make it harder for minorities to vote.

WCCB Charlotte’s Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in.

POLITICAL WRAP: Election Integrity or Voter Suppression? Voting Laws in Spotlight

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Election integrity or voter suppression?

Controversy is growing over the new Georgia election law.

Republicans are also pushing back on legislation that could add federal mandates on how elections are run.

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis gives us her take in the video above.

Mary C. Curtis: Mass Shootings Revive Debate on Gun Control

CHARLOTTE, NC – In a week, mass shootings in Atlanta and in Boulder, Colorado have shaken the nation. While rates for many crimes fell during the pandemic year, gun violence worsened.

Is there an explanation or solution to mass violence in the country?

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses more.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

POLITICAL WRAP: Crisis at Border after Surge in Migrants and Unaccompanied Children

A crisis at the border as a major surge in migrants strains resources.

Nearly 9,300 unaccompanied children were detained last month.

Our political contributor, Mary C. Curtis, gives us her take in the video above.