I love making fun of the current occupant of the White House. I even make fun of him directly on Twitter, it’s so much fun. However, even as we make fun of his sorry ass, as the least-qualified person to ever hold office and someone who probably got where he is through the help of spies from a foreign government and an all-around moron, when it comes to politics, we really have to keep our eye on the end game. And the end game is to make sure that the Republican Party is booted out of office once and for all, never to return. Not just the White House, but at every level.
I know, I know. A lot of the “progressives” who read this blog and who bloviate all over social media about how smart they are like to point to the fecklessness of the Democratic Party as the main reason we’ve had Republican rule for far too long. That would be, as usual, wrong. I mean, unless you can point to something Democrats have said or done that would turn them into pariahs with the majority of voters.
That hasn’t happened, of course, except in the fantasies of some, so you would have zero examples to present. If you would bother to look closely at the reasons Democrats lose, low turnout is at the top of the list. And the low turnout is because our side spends too much time trashing Democrats while we allow the Republican Party to run roughshod over American values.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean.
Ask a Bernie Stan sometime who was responsible for the mortgage meltdown that led to the Great Recession. Most of the time, the answer will be, “Bill Clinton shouldn’t have repealed Glass-Steagall.” Invariably, this will be said by someone with a lot of college education and little or no common sense, since that is not what happened. First of all, the economic crash was barely related to the repeal of Glass-Steagall. The same bill that repealed Glass-Steagall set up a mortgage aftermarket that was intended to give rich people another chance to make tons of money with very little fiscal responsibility. The idea was that banks could write a mortgage and immediately create a mortgage and sell it on the market and not have to worry about it. Then, the market would issue shares and people would buy and sell them and everyone would make more money.
To make a long story short, the mortgage market was destined for failure, for two reasons. First, many of the mortgages that were written shouldn’t have been written in the first place, so the market was stuffed with bad paper. All of these mortgages were thrown into a large pool and the “shares” that were being issued had virtually nothing backing them. They were taking real money out of the banks and replacing it with what was essentially Monopoly money. Oh, right; and the bill that repealed Glass-Steagall also explicitly forbade the federal government from regulating the mortgage market. That bill was Gramm-Leach-Bliley, all of the sponsors were Republicans and it applied Republican standards to economic matters. Yes, Bill Clinton signed it, but it had just passed the Republican majority Senate with 90 votes, so it didn’t matter whether he signed it or not.
In other words, while many people plant the blame solely on the shoulders of Democrat Bill Clinton, political reality is, everything in the Economic Modernization Act of 1999 (the official title) was a Republican idea and it was written, co-sponsored, amended and passed by a Republican majority in the House and the Senate with a veto-proof majority. And while you could make a case that they couldn’t have gotten so many votes without Democrats, that is beside the point. Completely beside the point. If not for Republicans, the bill would never have existed. Without a Republican majority and a Republican Speaker, the bill never would have made it through either chamber. Without a Republican majority on the committee, it would have stalled.
Half of the crap we’re dealing with right now as a nation is due to the wretched excess of the Republican Party. Period. If a handful of Democrats voted on a few things you didn’t like, it really doesn’t matter, really. It certainly doesn’t change a damn thing to point our fingers at the half dozen Democrats who may have voted with Republicans on a bill that was crafted by Republicans based on Republican ideals, sponsored by Republicans and shoved through Congress by Republicans.
We have a menace in our political system and that menace is purely Republican. The Republican Party has been screwing us for a generation and they continue to push a political agenda that is largely un-American in tone and in practice. And it’s high time that everyone who claims they are progressive gets a goddamn clue and starts making that clear to the American people. And just as importantly, people on our side need to make clear that Donald Trump and all of the crazy shit he says and does is a Republican and he represents Republican values.
I’m getting tired of people dismissing Lord Donny as an anomaly, like he’s an outsider in the Republican Party because he’s really not. It’s hard to think of anything he’s said in the last few years as a politician that hasn’t been Republican orthodoxy for quite some time. Think about it…
The border wall isn’t new. Republicans have been talking about walling off the border for years. Hell, when they first took control of congress in 1995, one of their first orders of business was to pass a bill to complete the current border fence. However, the cost turned out to be so prohibitive that they never really finished it. There is already a fence along most of the border, except in some extremely remote areas. The point, though, is that, while some border-state Republicans are braying as if what Trump is asking for is beyond the norm for the GOP, the fact of the matter is, border wall bills have been proposed by Republicans continuously for more than 30 years. Like I said, Trump is a pure Republican, not an outsider at all.
His other views on immigration are also pure Republican orthodoxy. Who in their right mind thinks his desire to prevent Muslims from coming into the country is something we haven’t seen before? While it’s true that George W. Bush softened his stance on Muslims and tried, in his own goofy way, to let Muslims know we weren’t against them, the fact of the matter is, he, being a Republican, had no idea that there were Shia and Sunni and his conduct of the Iraq War made his actual position on Islam quite unclear. And, if we’re being frank here, to listen to a Republican talk about “Sharia Law” right now is to listen to some of the most ignorant shit one can imagine, especially since much of Sharia law actually mirrors the “Christian Values” Republicans tend to espouse.
And look at Trump’s budget. In what way is his tendency to cut the hell out of government support of the poor in favor of building more bombs and planes different from any other Republican out there over the past 36years? No, really, when have we not heard this before since the GOP era took over in 1981? Reagan whined about the budget deficits under Carter and then cut the hell out of job training programs and welfare in order to fund an expansion of the military not seen since World War II. Then, like Trump, Reagan proposed massive tax cuts and promised that the tax cuts would actually reduce the deficits by creating magical investments on the part of rich people. You know, because, throughout world history, whenever the rich received a huge tax cut, they gave the money to the poor.
I will give Trump credit for one thing he talks about that Republicans rarely do, and that s infrastructure. We need a large infusion of infrastructure spending and we needed it 15 years ago. However, while Democrats always propose massive public works, but Republicans kill them, and they will do it again, even if Trump proposes something, which is unlikely, since it’s obvious he’s already running for a second term.
And that points to another similarity between Republicans and Trump. Republicans always campaign and they never govern. Everything they do is in service to their largest voting bloc and rarely to the people in the district they represent. Like Trump, Republican politicians tend to be malignant narcissists who place their egos ahead of their mandate to do public service. Hell; good luck with any Republican even realizing they are public servants. Party is always placed ahead of country and constituency in the Republican playbook and Trump upholds a grand tradition in that regard.
There are two things that all liberals and progressives have to do from now on, at least in the foreseeable future.
First, we have to latch onto the Democratic Party and support all Democrats without qualification. That is because there are two viable parties and one is completely against everything we stand for. There is simply no Democrat who is so bad that a vote for a Republican is a good idea. Obviously, I’ll be more specific in another post, but suffice it to say, the Democratic Party champions rights and the Republican Party walks all over them and denies them altogether if doing so gives them a better chance of winning.
Second, we have to make clear that, of the two viable parties, only the Republicans could have nominated someone as vile as Donald Trump and that Trump’s rhetoric is Republican rhetoric. If we keep talking about Lord Donny as if he’s an outlier, we give the GOP an out in 2018 and beyond for anything he might do while occupying the White House. We can’t allow that. It’s time we started talking about the relative records of the two major parties and playing compare and contrast. That means the actual records, not some fantasy some of you have cooked up to rationalize your continued support for electoral loser Bernie Sanders…