Now that Republicans control all the major branches of government as well as a majority of statehouses, their governing priorities are becoming clear. Here’s what we know so far:
CORPORATIONS AND BUSINESS INTERESTS TAKE PRIORITY OVER THE ENVIRONMENT AND PROTECTION OF OUR HUMAN HABITAT. One of the very first pieces of legislation passed by the Republican Congress abolishes the Office of Surface Mining Streams Protection Rule — reversing an Obama era regulation to protect waterways from coal mining waste. Republicans are in favor of more toxic coal ash in our streams! Brilliant! Profits are now more important than pollution. Republicans are willing to sacrifice the quality of our water, air and soil in order to supposedly “create jobs” which, if it happens at all, will likely be temporary. Corporations may see a short term increase in profits, but again, for how long? And at what long term cost to all of us?
This is a coal waste pond. I’d like to fill the water coolers at the House of Representatives and the White House with this sludge. Would they reverse their decision then?
MAKE AMERICA HATE AGAIN/MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN. Unlimited money pouring into political campaigns and their surrogate organizations have made elections infinitely more divisive and given them a nastier and uglier tone. This alone spells danger for American greatness. But the U.S. has never seen an election like this last one. The Republican candidate for President ran a campaign of open and naked contempt for people of color, women, minority religions, the poor, the disabled, our judicial system, our free press, and voices of dissent in general. As disgusting and embarrassing as that was, he also tragically won. Trump’s first executive order was a poorly thought out, completely unconstitutional ban on people coming to the U.S. based solely on their religious affiliation. He has since ordered mass deportations of Latino/Hispanic immigrants, many whose only crime is being here without full documentation — even children brought here by their parents. Trump is an admitted sexual predator who views women purely as objects for his manipulation and pleasure. As President he has moved to block reproductive health care for American women who need it the most. He has signed an executive order making it easier for businesses and “Christians” (my choice of word) to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation. His Attorney General, a previously avowed racist, wants to bring back the failed “law and order” tactics of the Reagan/Bush/Clinton era, such as abandoning consent decrees already in place with numerous metropolitan police forces who have a long, sordid history of abusing, intimidating and persecuting citizens, especially citizens of color. And the Republican party has largely supported and encouraged these barbaric and primitive practices. They have spawned a new level of hate in this country unseen since the Civil Rights victories in the 60’s and 70’s. Hate crimes, hate speech, intolerance, discrimination, politically motivated violence are rising to the highest levels in decades. This is life under the Republican Regime.
White Supremacists overwhelmingly endorse Republican candidates. But never before have they endorsed a candidate so openly, so loudly and with such vigor as they have Trump. Steve Bannon is Trump’s Chief Strategist. Vote Republican and help enable the extreme right wing agenda.
THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF THE WEALTHIEST, MOST FORTUNATE AMERICANS VASTLY EXCEEDS THOSE OF THE REST OF US AND REPUBLICANS ARE INTENT TO SEE THOSE ADVANTAGES EXPAND. On the political front Republicans have pushed an aggressive campaign of voter suppression targeting people who typically vote Democratic (minorities, college students, elderly). They have supported unlimited campaign donations and worse, dark (anonymous) contributions to Political Action Committees (PAC’s) and “527” groups (the tax code ID) enabling rich Americans to have an oversized and unequal voice in elections. Republicans have quickly moved to roll back citizen protections against Corporate market manipulation, production of unsafe or dangerous products, predatory lending and sales practices, high-risk security trading, and capping monetary compensation for corporate malfeasance. See my post The Successful Republican Election Strategy…..Divide and Conquer! Part 2: Voter Suppression. for the full indictment.
The recent Trump tax code proposal spells out the Republican priorities in black and white — a “Trickle Down” tax cut where billionaires like Trump (if he actually is one) will save $10’s of millions on their taxes while the other 90% of us get a pittance. Read my recent post, The American Pluto-Kleptocracy (dated 4/17) for an in-depth report. Republican tax cuts have been the greatest driving force in creating income inequality in this country. Mad about stagnating wages? Pissed off that CEO’s and Financial company VIP’s make more money in a day that you make in a year? Feel like you can’t get ahead? Keep voting Republican and you are insuring it will get worse.
The only problem with this cartoon is that the “90%” don’t disappear, they just get angry and desperate. That leads to civil unrest and possibly revolt. If our path to a comfortable life is blocked or unattainable then one day, we’ll rise and overthrow the wealth hoarders. Not a good thing if you want a stable society.
CAN’T AFFORD HEALTH CARE? HAVE PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS? WORRIED ABOUT A LIFETIME CAP ON BENEFITS? REPUBLICANS DON’T GIVE A SHIT. They proved it this week by passing what could only be described as the cruelest, most draconian, and worst health care bill that the House of Representatives has ever dreamed up. They passed this nightmare bill so quickly, most of the Republicans that voted for it NEVER READ IT AND HAVE NO CLUE what the real consequences are. They purposely chose not to allow time for an in-depth review or to wait until the Congressional Budget Office “scored” the bill (the non-partisan CBO evaluates a projected cost and effect of each major piece of legislation). The previous Republican failed attempt at a health care bill was “scored” by the CBO to increase deficits by $337 billion and 24 million people would lose health care by 2026. This recent bill will, by most estimates, be WORSE. Are these legislators human? Do they have any compassion or empathy for people? Didn’t Candidate Trump promise “Everybody’s going to be covered….and it’s going to be GREAT!” Well that’s more Trump bullshit. Fewer people will be covered, more people will go bankrupt, Americans will be sicker and it’s going to cost us all more money. That’s not great. That plain sucks. How do these people get elected?
My, my, aren’t all of those states above RED states??
ANTI-SCIENCE, ANTI-INTELLECTUAL, ANTI-FACT, ANTI-EDUCATION IS THE WAY TO AMERICAN GREATNESS. Republicans scoff at book-learning, science and intelligent people. They call them “Elites” who are not to be trusted. If you don’t read books, you couldn’t know that this is EXACTLY the strategy used when Fascists take over a government. Authoritarians perceive that educated, critical-thinking people are their biggest threat. Same with a free press. It starts with the press being vilified and labeled as enemies of the state because they are criticizing the government. That’s where we are now. Only selected and sympathetic media outlets are given full access to the White House. Republicans are slashing higher education funding in many red states. They are proposing school voucher programs that will defund public schools in favor of private, less regulated and often for-profit schools. They are breaking up teacher’s unions and freezing teacher’s pay. Republicans know they will perform better if the electorate is less educated, more ideological and fearful. They deny the very real, measurable, observable facts about Climate Change . Trump has called Climate Change a “Chinese hoax” and threatened to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement ratified by 197 countries in a rare moment of global unity. Instead, he wants to ramp up production of coal and oil. This could lead to the U.S. becoming the “Energy Pariah” of the world, not unlike N. Korea is the “Nuclear Pariah”. Trump has filled his lower Cabinet positions with completely unqualified appointees: Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (for which he has zero qualifications); Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy (he had no idea what the Energy Department did); Scott Pruitt as Director of the EPA (because as OK Attorney General he literally tried to sue the EPA out of existence). Scott, like his boss, is a Climate Change denier. Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education — despite the fact that she had never stepped foot in a public school in her life and she and her husband donated large sums of money to the Trump campaign. And most dangerously, Jeff Sessions as Attorney General – an evil and bigoted little elf who is a throwback to the “Stop & Frisk” days of the 80’s and who has chosen as one of his first law & order campaigns to prosecute, intimidate, harass and threaten states that allow legal recreational and medical marijuana. What about States Rights you fucking hypocrites! 29 states currently have legal medical marijuana, 8 states have legal recreational marijuana. These programs are heavily regulated and taxed by the State and as such become a rare win-win opportunity: increasing tax revenues (Colorado generated $200 million in tax dollars in ’16 on $1 billion in sales) and reducing law enforcement, judicial and incarceration expenses at the same time. Hard to see the rationale here — could it be that marijuana is legal in mostly blue states that didn’t vote for Trump? Trump promised that he would hire the best and the brightest. If this is the best the Republicans have, we’re all in deep shit. And these bozos shouldn’t be governing this country.
If that is so, then nothing is more dangerous than Donald Trump and the Republican agenda.
Let’s recap, these are the principles of our new Republican Regime:
Corporations over Individuals.
Profits over Habitat.
Hate, Fear, Bigotry and Divisiveness over Unity, Compassion and Tolerance.
Wealthy Privilege and Income Inequality over Middle Class Opportunity.
Sickness and Suffering over Health and Vitality
Ignorance and Ideology over Education, Critical Thinking and Innovation.
Over 90% of Americans should be disgusted and embarrassed by these unfair, discriminatory, suppressive practices. So why is Trump’s approval rating still around 40%? (Historically one of the lowest ratings for a new President after 100 days, but still 30% too high!). Wake up Republican voters — You’re Being Conned and Manipulated!
I can’t see how any of these policies keep America great. Not a one. In fact, the longer Republicans control our government and pursue this ideology, the more damage they will do. Divisive, ignorant, fearful and delusional is not a path to greatness.
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