The Essential Contradiction of Today’s Republicanism


As the New York Times notes, for the first time in decades Republican Senators who support Senator Mitch McConnell’s alleged health care bill did not participate in 4th of July parades. While they are nominally on break there are precious few constituent meetings, town halls or other public events scheduled.

You’d almost think they don’t want to have to face their constituents. You’d almost think they don’t want to try to explain big tax breaks for the very rich financed by shafting the middle class health care. You’d almost think that Republican U.S. Senators aren’t representing the voters who elected them.

And that’s the essential contradiction of today’s Republicans. All of the “reforms” they are zealously pursuing come at the expense of the voters who elected them. And there are indications those voters are waking up to the fact they’ve been betrayed.

Health care? 23 million folks would be uninsured in ten years. Medicaid changes would come at the expense of health care coverage for a substantial chunk of white, older Republicans. It’s one thing to demonize Obamacare. It’s quite another to make health care coverage out of reach. And if you are doing it to subsidize a big tax cut for the rich; well, poorly informed moral outrage about Obamacare is one thing but getting screwed is something else.

Trickle down economics? The idea that still more tax cuts for the rich will magically create jobs for everyone else? Tom Chitty nailed it:

Tom Chitty, New Yorker, March 27, 2017, p. 48

Tom Chitty, New Yorker, March 27, 2017, p. 48

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann described how a “state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” If the 50 states are indeed laboratories for new ideas, the experiment in trickle down economics has been conducted in Nebraska. It failed. Last month, the Kansas Legislature voted to repeal Governor Sam Brownback’s tax breaks, which were supposed to boost the economy of Kansas. They nearly destroyed the state’s economy instead. Governor Brownback vetoed the law; the Kansas Legislature overrode his veto. The results are in. Trickle down failed.

Jobs creation? he average monthly gain for Obama’s final full year — January 2016 to December 2016 — was 187,000. The average monthly gain under Trump has been 158,500. Slightly lower, then; Trump is doing worse, not better.

WC freely admits that the average intelligence among Trump supporters isn’t high. Case in point: National Public Radio tweeted the entire Declaration of Independence on th 4th of July. An amazing number of Trump supporters took it as an attack on the President. A sample:

When you’re dealing with that depth of ignorance, it’s going to take a while for the truth to even start to sink in. But it’s beginning to. And the first sign is the increasing reluctance of Republican Congressmen and women to meet their constituents, even in a parade.

It’s the fundamental contradiction in Republicanism today: the political party’s primary goals are contrary to the best interests of their voter base. Waving red flags like “Obamacare” and trickle down economics are beginning to be revealed as what they are: thinly disguised benefits for all those rich campaign contributors that hurt and endanger the average guy.

Call it a hopeful sign.

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