Congress, democratic socialists, Donald Trump, gop, income inequality, Joseph Stiglitz, Mitch McConnell, partisan politics, People, political disempowerment, political power, Power and Politics, republicans, Senate
Don’t mistake the GOP leadership’s desire to replace their more controversial politicians for an ethical desire to change the GOP’s direction. It’s nothing more than a face-lift, a cynical effort to replace those whose public comments, and behavior exposed their ideology for what it is. If you need more proof of this, add in their decision to cancel the GOP presidential primary, thus making President Donald Trump the nominee by fiat.
It’s more important to grasp the context though. They acknowledge through this that the presidency is just icing on the cake, because the real power in government is control of Congress, specifically control of the Senate—as the framers of the Constitution intended.
Cynical partisan politics on the part of Republicans has however defeated the intent of the framers solely for the sake of partisan advantage. Virtually everything the Republicans in Congress have done—and most notably the Senate—over the last decade has been done to secure their grasp on power. Mitch McConnell said as much in his speech to the Heritage Foundation on the eve of the 2010 midterm elections.
President Barack Obama succeeded in winning a second term, and managed to shepherd the affairs of the United States, and its economic recovery from the Great Recession despite Republican congressional hegemony through most of his two terms. What can only be imagined is how much might have been accomplished if the country had a Congress that was willing to work with “the executive”—as the framers of the Constitution would have referred to the office of President in the debates.
Nor has the evidence of possible criminality, and blatant unsuitability for office Trump exhibits daily moved the Senate leadership to accept that impeachment and removal from office is called for. The most revealing aspect of GOP cynicism is the fact that the party leadership is seeking only to replace incumbent candidates whose political missteps are paltry when compared to Trump’s.
Even if we can get past the cynical trope of money as the sole motive, and accept that Republicans just believe themselves to have a superior vision of what is best for the nation, their imperious motive for manipulating the body politic becomes no less insidious. This characterization becomes more than an abstract context in view of the failures of their ideologically driven policy in every aspect of American life from economic policy to social issues.
The GOP seeks to limit so many individual rights, from denying voting rights to minorities, dictating life choices for women, and the LGBTQ community to insulating corporations from accountability for the injury they cause. Their economic policies have never produced what they claimed they would. Despite ages old conservative opposition to tariffs—and liberals for that matter—congressional Republicans have failed to come out against Trump’s disastrous trade wars. Need the on-going GOP push to deny millions of people the health care they enjoy under the Affordable Care Act without so much as a proposed substitute even being mentioned.
Then there’s the all but inexplicable adulation and political support of the Christian right for someone whose life, and conduct as President proves itself daily to be the antithesis of their claim of faith—support that can only rest in Trump’s promise to pack the Courts and Supreme Court of the United States with judges that will overturn Roe v. Wade.
When addressing the failure of Republican ideology, mention should also include the obstacles they create to policy that addresses climate change, despite public recognition of the urgency in addressing the threats it poses.
At best, the accomplishment of conservative ideology is summed up as a phalanx of limits placed on individuals that resulted in income inequality, and political disempowerment. This observation is outlined in advance of a vision of what progressive policy could attain in Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz’ new book, People, Power and Profits. While this book dispels the trope of a fundamental moral failure of capitalism—instead of its malleability in the hands of unscrupulous barons—the left has yet accepted that understanding, and its companion political implications.
This is the political right’s agenda, political dominance. It’s dominance that empowers the pursuit of the vision they allude to be for the public good—through the pursuit of policy that has succeeded only in income inequality, and loss of political power since before the Industrial Revolution. Only the titles of the barons have changed. Dominance remains the motive.