CUTTING TAXES CREATES JOBS AND OTHER CONSERVATIVES MYTHS MEET REALITY
AND THAT REALITY AIN'T PRETTY!
One of the essential sights of any election year is the ritual distancing of Republican candidates from the actual, ongoing actions of Republicanism. I don't know that I'd call this "discomfort," though; it's been the party strategy for as long as I can remember, only made sillier as the party ratchets itself rightward in every state, on every issue.
In a hint of the discomfort inherent in this issue for the Republicans, the GOP presidential hopefuls have been silent on the North Carolina [anti-LGBT] legislation as well as a measure signed into law this week in Mississippi that allows church-affiliated groups and private businesses to decline providing services if doing so would violate their religious beliefs.
I've also never heard them opine on the financial clusterfuck that has been unleashed in states like Kansas and Louisiana, who followed the Republican economic prescription for success to the letter and have found the only result to be an economic fiasco of historic proportions. Most of these issues are, in fact, spoken about directly or indirectly in the Republican Party platform; it is not exactly a surprise that Republicans act with open hostility toward LGBTQ Americans, or toward non-white Americans, or consider tax cuts at the expense of even essential state services like schools and roads to be the highest and best use of conservative principles, but nevertheless each Republican candidate has to act stumped, very stumped, when you point out all the places where Republican legislators are indeed acting upon the same rhetoric as espoused by that candidate in their own states and offices, and the results are conspicuously Not Good.
We already know where Ted Cruz stands on denying (sigh) bathroom visitation rights to transgender Americans; support for state-sponsored bigotries are already baked into his theocratic stump speeches. It would be interesting to hear him opine on whether American businesses have the perfect right to distance themselves from such bigotries, as matter of free marketism, but we can guess he would probably dodge the question by talking about how put-upon Good Christians are and how the only true bigotries in America are bigotries against them.
It's how elections work. Candidates promise that if we all follow their prescription the nation can be "great again"; taking a cursory look at the states and locales that have followed their prescription and what the results of that might have been is considered terribly rude.
But what's especially interesting about this year is that the leading Republican candidates are unusually perfect mirrors of the party factions competing viciously throughout the various states. Ted Cruz is the candidate for theocrats who wish to elevate certain conservative Christian beliefs above all others, and to dismantle whatever federal laws or agencies might stand in the way. Donald Trump is the face of bitter, resentful white men who have internalized the Fox News theory that they are being screwed by brown people but can rely on corporate America to be their wealthy trickle-down saviors. John Kasich is the candidate of the steady establishment, the one who stands for most the same things as the other two but who still holds to the old-school formula that you shouldn't say those things in public if you can somehow dodge doing it—and the 2016 Republican base has absolutely no interest in it. Why should they?
All three approaches have their adherents in the states, but it's rampant Ted Cruzism, aka Tea Partyism, that's been shredding budgets and sending companies running. This more than anything may be why national Republicans hate him so very, very much; by bringing Republican extremism national, he's stripped them of plausible deniability of all those bizarre and hostile and really not-working-out-all-that-great ideas. Ideas which are in the party platform, to be sure, but ones that cause "discomfort" when you point them out.
NOTE: One significant omission in this piece is the Republican War on Abortion, aka “De-Funding Planned Parenthood,” legislation that is spreading like wildfire across the Red State Nation. This, don’t forget, by those terribly damaging videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress where it was proven that Planned Parenthood sells baby parts for profit. Of course, this claim by David Daleiden and his minons, has been debunked, disproven and put to lie time and time again. Yet, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana and a host of other states have merrily ignored the facts of the matter and gone ahead and stripped funds for reproductive services from their budgets resulting in the closing of 27 Planned Parenthood clinics around the country in 2015 alone. Planned Parenthood maintains that only 3% of its $900 million annual budget is spent on abortions. I've not seen a single article that disproves this.
Oh, and then there are the 8 times Congress has proposed Federal Planned Parenthood de-funding even though the organization spends no Federal funds for abortions – it’s illegal based on the Hyde Amendment adopted by Congress in 1976.
What's truly appalling, is that after the economic disasters that are Kansas and Louisiana where Brownback and Jindal loudly proclaimed that they were going to show the world that true, unfettered conservative economics really works spectacularly, every single candidate for the Republican nomination for President (all 12 or 16 or how ever many there were at one time) are STILL pushing the very same policies that have brought the citizens of Kansas and Louisiana disaster.
But, of course, Republicans don't talk about this. It's too uncomfortable. They do seem to have a lot to say about gay and transgender men and women though.