Republicans in review
Every party in power spends their political capital to ensure they remain a majority, advancing legislation and the national direction that retains the support of a majority of Americans to insure re-election.
Or do they?
Republicans are this week rejoicing in the passage of a tax revision that has the lowest public support of any major legislation in decades, including the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans reviled from its passage until this year. Only 24 percent (according to an NBC/Wall St. Journal poll) of Americans support the Happy Days New Debt Act (not its real name) designed to enrich Republican donors at the expense of the poor and the middle class.
What is not to like? The new law, gleefully to be enacted in 2018 after President Donald Trump’s signature, will create incredible new deficits and debt according to all analysis by experts. The new debt, when combined with huge increases in defense spending, will undermine the urgent need for infrastructure spending, will threaten Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, children’s health care and food stamps among other popular social network programs.
All of the above programs are popular with most Americans, while tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy Americans, not so much. But donors matter more to Republicans than voters.
So what will Republicans tell voters to win re-election in 2018?
Republicans will tout their tax law as a panacea for the middle class, though 66 percent of the middle class (CNN poll) know the tax cut is for corporations and the rich.
Republicans will remind Americans that they appointed Justice Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, though they may fail to mention that they broke the Constitution by refusing to hold hearings on President Barack Obama’s candidate, Merrick Garland, and blew up Senate history by making Supreme Court appointments the decision of merely a simple majority of senators.
Republicans will remind Americans of the strong economy, but will be unable to name a single law they passed that influenced that economy in 2017.
What won’t Republican tell Americans?
They will not mention the debacle of their attempts to kill the Affordable Care Act and replace it with absolutely nothing, effectively taking healthcare away from 23 million Americans had they succeeded.
Republicans will not mention that they have sat on their hands while the presidency undergoes the serious crisis of foreign interference in our elections and the possibility of collusion by some of their fellow Americans.
Republicans will fail to note that they have ignored the justice of providing a path to citizenship for DACA, the children of immigrants who have known no other home than America, and who have the support of 83 percent (CNN poll) of Americans.
Republicans will avoid that they have allowed CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) to lapse without funding.
Republicans will look away instead of acknowledging that our new president has damaged our foreign relations with all but the most dictatorial leaders, like Putin of Russia, and Erdogan of Turkey.
And without doubt Republicans will be silent about their endless efforts to undermine voting rights and to gerrymander the countries’ districts to win re-election by picking their voters.
So what will help Republicans in 2018? Their support of accused child molester Roy Moore in Alabama? Their support of a president who ravages the free press, a constitutional cornerstone?
No, more likely they will embrace what has become a trademark of this president; when in doubt and the facts are against you, say anything and mean nothing.
After all, aren’t facts fungible in the Age of Trump?
Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.