It’s an entirely standard attack line of the Left that their Right-wing opponents are stupid: lacking in IQ points, ignorant, religious, inclined to conspiracy theories – like the one that Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election.
Oh wait, that was Hillary Clinton and the Democrats circa 2016-2018, with some still bitterly clinging to their Steele dossier and their windmills.
Nevertheless, the thing that the US Left in particular might be amused to know is that Republican voters actually do often refer to their own party as “The Stupid Party”.
The rationale behind their epithet is entirely different of course. It refers to the fact that the GOP, once they have gained power in the House, Senate or Presidency, promptly ignore the reasons they were elected and worse, start implementing Democrat ideas.
- John McCain regularly talked of terrible border control policies in his border state of Arizona and how tough he was going to be on strengthening the border, up to and including things like walls and fences. But once re-elected he always got guilted and shamed by the Democrats about The Wretched Of The Earth and stayed with the status quo.
- The Tea Party effectively got the GOP re-elected in 2010 to the House when all had seemed lost in 2008, based on the demand for a serious approach to fiscal spending, especially after the 2008 insanity around GFC measures such as the TARP legislation and eight years of Bush gleefully pushing general spending. But once elected the GOP House merely kept the status quo chugging along with spending extensions – the wonderfully named Continuing Appropriations process. The excuse was that without holding the Senate and Presidency nothing more could be done.
- When all that power miraculously fell into the hands of the GOP with the 2016 elections, almost the first thing they did was pass gigantic spending bills stuffed with Democratic goodies. It was so bad that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer gloated about it in public, rubbing the face of the gormless “policy wonk” Paul Ryan in the muck and making him look like anything but Speaker of the House, the third most powerful political position in the US government. Ryan’s pathetic excuse was that all that stuff needed to be cleaned out of the way so the GOP and Democrats could get down to fighting over truly meaty fiscal issues. Having got almost everything they wanted Pelosi was still laughing weeks later.
- They did not repeal Obamacare, although to be fair that was down to one Senator, John McCain again, who went back on all his previous votes just because he was in a personal war with Trump and wished to snub him.
- As a result of all this, the US budget, deficits and debt continued to relentlessly rise, almost as if the Democrats had never lost power.
- The GOP did hold back on spending for a few things – like refusing to appropriate money towards Trump initiatives like the Southern Border Wall because the “Free Trade” (Cheap Labour) wing of the party still refused to admit that most Trump voters (and more than a few Democrat voters) hated the idea of a border open to illegal immigrants.
Sure, they did pass some serious tax cuts, and curbed (temporarily) the growth in spending, at least compared to the avalanches of the 2007-2011 Democrat Congresses, but that was it.
It thus came as no surprise that they got turfed in 2018, as GOP voters reached their “what’s the point” threshold. Naturally the GOP is relying on the “But-the-Other-SIde-is-Worse” argument to get back into power in 2022.
They better be careful though, because recent events show that it’s happening again, this time with the godforsaken “infrastructure” bill.
The Act is a $1.2 trillion, 2702 page spend up that, upon close inspection, has little to do with the real infrastructure of roads, bridges and such, but everything to do with pork barrel politics, as the WSJ helpfully details. As well as that the damned thing extends Federal, centralised control to yet more government actions that are supposed to stay with local government at the state and city level, as per the original vision of the USA.
No Lindsey! Increasingly large portions of the Republican base and even many independent voters do not need to see the Senate do “big” things because big legislation invariably leads to a bigger, more intrusive government, as well as…
But seventeen GOP Senators voted for it.
Even more stupid was the fact that no sooner had they done this than Joe Biden very publically threw them under the bus:
President Biden’s big gaffe was not his threat to veto a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal he had just reached with Republicans. It was accidentally saying out loud what everyone in Washington knows, but most Americans do not: that he has not compromised on infrastructure at all — and does not intend to do so.
In other words he would get all the stuff the Democrats “compromised” on in the infrastructure bill, instead placed in the $3.5 trillion dollar Democrats-only reconciliation bill, and he would only sign the former if he knew the latter would pass, which it can with just 50 Senate votes. At that point, none other than Graham declared that Biden had made him look like “a fucking idiot.”
No, no! Joe Biden – Joe “Bivalve” Biden – had made all seventeen GOP Senators look like fucking idiots.
Yet, after some toing and froing and yakking and sort-of-apologies for making them look stupid in public, the Democrats kept the seventeen on board.
This is very much a pattern with centre-right parties across the Western world; their idea of bipartisanship and compromise in the name of avoiding the dreaded polarisation of the nation, is to merely stop the Left from doing all the things they want right now. Then the Right-Wing party toddles back to its voters to say, “didn’t we do well, vote hard for us again”.
Undoubtedly they’ll be the usual bribery reasons; the Senators thinking they’ll be able to return to their states with all that juicy, “free” government money for their voters. But that strategy has diminishing returns in the face of ordinary voters increasingly wondering about robbing their kid’s futures:
Last September, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted the federal debt wouldn’t hit $29 trillion until 2028. Just short of a year later, the national debt stands at $28.6 trillion and is set to surpass $29 trillion within weeks.
That does not include these spending bills. Every time I think the US debt is bad it just gets worse – now aided by these profligate idiots in the GOP. As that article points out, $50 trillion by 2030 is now not out of the question. As you can see it’s basically falling off a cliff.
Then there’s the fact that an economy recovering from a government-imposed recession, unlike a normal recession, merely needs the brakes to be let off. A government that thinks it’s Keynesian time again (for the Left it’s always Keynesian time) and wants to blow trillions of dollars into an already recovering economy, especially one with all sorts of supply problems arising from the Covid-19 response, is going to discover inflation sooner or later. And wadda ya know.
There’s also the slowly rising political power of the Millennial and Gen-Z voters, who understand that they’ll be on the hook for all this shit at the very same time that government institutions like Social Security and Medicare may not be there for them as it was for their Boomer parents, or at least not as sumptuously.
Whether they’ll vote for The Stupid Party to fix it is questionable.
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