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.

July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
Kim Ives
Haiti’s Popular Uprising Calls for President Jovenel Moïse’s Removal
John Carroll Md
Dispatch From Haiti: Trump and Breastfeeding
Alycee Lane
On Heat Waves and Climate Resistance
Ed Meek
Dershowitz the Sophist
Howard Lisnoff
Liberal Massachusetts and Recreational Marijuana
Ike Nahem
Trump, Trade Wars, and the Class Struggle
Olivia Alperstein
Kavanaugh and the Supremes: It’s About Much More Than Abortion
Manuel E. Yepe
Korea After the Handshake
Robert Kosuth
Militarized Nationalism: Pernicious and Pervasive
Binoy Kampmark
Soft Brexits and Hard Realities: The Tory Revolt
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Localization: a Strategic Alternative to Globalized Authoritarianism
Kevin Zeese - Nils McCune
Correcting The Record: What Is Really Happening In Nicaragua?
Chris Wright
The American Oligarchy: A Review
Kweli Nzito
Imperial Gangster Nations: Peddling “Democracy” and Other Goodies to the Untutored
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail