Republicans want payback for what?

Susan K. Smith.2 1
Susan K. Smith



Crazy Faith Ministries


During the debacle of the impeachment hearings, I heard more than once that Republicans, when asked why they were so willing to ignore the need for witnesses and documents in order to hold the president accountable for his actions respond, “This is payback.”

The answer stunned me and I asked a couple of “friends” on Twitter who had shared this sentiment what the payback was for? And nobody bothered to answer.

Perhaps the closest I came to an answer came from Newt Gingrich, the man who many point to as the catalyst in pushing tribalism in politics, according to The Atlantic. In a Sunday morning interview, I heard Gingrich say that what was going on was pushback against the “big government” policies put in place by Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. Their programs, which resulted in paying attention to the needs of the masses of people, sparked resentment among Republicans when they were put in place; the cry against “big government” has been a protest against what they consider to be a waste of taxpayer money to help people who are simply not willing to help themselves.

It is said that the wealthy were furious with President Roosevelt as he crafted and implemented the New Deal. H.W. Branch, in his book Traitor to his Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt details Roosevelt’s actions and why he took the positions he did, even as his class despised what was going on.

The wealthy, including those who crave and covet political power even as they fashion policies that negatively impact the masses of Americans, believe that they are entitled to govern. Even the Founding Fathers believed that it was the wealthy who were fit to govern, not the masses, who were “prone to be turbulent” and not easily controlled.

So, the wealthy have been pouting for some time, and I understand that their angry based on the way they believe government should be run. But I get the sense that there is something else working. The Tea Party erupted and evolved because they were angry about the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Could it be that much of the anger, the need for “payback,” is because people are still angry about that law, a law which made it possible for literally millions to receive health care? In light of the fact that there is still a move to repeal the ACA, is it that the anger of the rich and powerful will not assuaged until that act is dismantled and people will again be thrown into the despair that comes with not having health care? Is the greed of insurance companies that insatiable that they will not be happy until they get rid of a law which they believe is hurting their bottom line? Some reports say that that assumption is incorrect, that insurance companies are doing just fine, noted, but is there a bubbling myth that says the ACA is cutting into corporate profits that makes the ACA wrong for business?

Could it be that the business class, the wealthy, is as insensitive to the needs of the masses who have worked and continue to work to make them wealthy is that insensitive? An article in The Nation magazine revealed that the Super Bowl is a giant party for the “one percent.” Taxpayer dollars are used to pay for the needs and excesses of the NFL, including the tab for hotel rooms, extra police and security, while the poor are whisked away, out of sight, so as not to offend the privileged who converge on their city for “the big game,” according to

I am not sure about the “payback” of which the GOP is speaking, but whatever it is, it is major, as it has permitted them to ignore all semblance of respect of the law and of the Constitution. My mother used to say that what goes around comes around. Clearly, if the GOP is reacting out of a sense of having been slighted, paving the way for a lawless president to dismantle the government of this country, to be replaced with an autocracy or monarchy, as some are saying, then the payback to them will be massive.

Truth, crushed to the ground will rise. The GOP is crushing truth to the ground in order to make their souls sing. The singing will not be forever; the truth will rise up and cause more problems than anyone might care to consider.

Mark my words.


Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. Her latest book, Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul, is now available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon. She is available for speaking. Contact her at


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