FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Republicans on the Horns of a Self-Inflicted Dilemma

Republicans have continually claimed to be the party of fiscal responsibility and smaller government while labeling Democrats as “tax and spend.” But Donald Trump hoisted Republicans on their own petard last week when he not only struck a deal with Democrat congressional leaders for a three-month extension of the debt ceiling, but suggested eliminating the debt limit altogether. In the meantime, he’s pushing for massive tax cuts and vastly increased military spending which will make paying those debts even more difficult, if not impossible, for future generations.

Trump’s actions left Republican congressional leaders in shock and gasping for air like fish out of water since, as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan had said only hours before Trump stabbed him in the back, such a short-term debt extension was “ridiculous.”

Indeed, the smug smiles on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke volumes about how they thought they outfoxed the politically naïve president and their Republican congressional foes. But that’s only because both major political parties see governance as a clash of two sports teams rather than an extremely complex task to bring long-term stability and security to the 325 million Americans whose interests they’re actually supposed to be serving.

The reason Demo leaders are dancing in the streets is because they will now be able to tie in the proposed tax cuts — that largely benefit the wealthy and corporations — with the need to either raise the debt limit again in December or face default. That bumps the conflicting issues to 2018 and the mid-term elections, which Republicans face with increasing fear since Trump’s approval ratings area at all-time lows for a first-year president and the party’s inability to enact the changes they promised voters due to savage infighting.

In the meantime, the “natural” disasters continue to pound the nation. Right on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, which has already pulled $15 billion in relief funds out of the Treasury, comes Hurricane Irma, the most potent hurricane ever recorded, which has already devastated the Caribbean and is predicted to inflict incredible damage on Florida and the East Coast.

Cutting government and taxes at the very time they are most needed by the citizens obviously makes no sense. Then again, nor does it make sense to continue to deny the effect global warming is having on the disasters wracking the nation.

Here in Montana, our science-challenged Congressional Republicans continue to blame environmentalists for the wildfires that have scorched a million acres so far. But of course it was the environmentalists who have long been warning of catastrophic effects of continuing to pollute the atmosphere with ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. Nor should one ignore the fact that both U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte continue to press not only for burning more coal, but for cutting down more forests — and our forests are by far the most efficient means of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. How dumb is doing the exactly wrong thing not once, but twice?

Make no mistake, the GOP is now firmly hooked on the horns of its logic-free ideology with no apparent way out. Throw in a backstabbing president, who is supposed to be leading their party, and their dilemma becomes even more severe. If the Republican Party was only hurting itself it wouldn’t much matter — we can get by without Republicans. But that’s simply not the case. Our nation and planet are now at stake thanks to the Republicans’ utter chaos.

 

More articles by:

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.

September 25, 2018
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail