It turns out electing President Trump was not the apex of Republicans’ political insanity. Since last November, consider the Trump GOP’s track record:
- The GOP’s idea of health-care reform was trying to remove millions of people from health-care coverage while giving tax cuts to the super rich. Having learned nothing, Senate Republicans now support a tax bill that will remove millions of people from health-care coverage while giving tax cuts to the super rich — and to big corporations. Its tax plan contains permanent, huge tax breaks for corporations (e.g. reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent) and a 25 percent rate for pass-throughs but only temporary breaks for the middle class.
- The GOP’s environmental agenda includes climate-change denial (despite the government’s own confirmation that climate change is real and man-made), lifting the ban on importing elephant trophies (the first sons are avid big-game hunters and Christmas is around the corner) and trying in vain to save the coal industry. Trump’s GOP has made China look like a leader in global environmental issues.
- The GOP president now embraces autocrats like the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, applauds autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a stolen election, barely if at all brings up human rights in China and Saudi Arabia and has not a bad word to say about Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The GOP now opposes multilateral trade deals (the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trans-Pacific Partnership) while China makes trade deals and the TPP countries forge deals among themselves without the United States.
- The GOP’s constitutional conservatism amounts to giving a totally unqualified nominee who hid a conflict of interest a lifetime federal court appointment. (The Post reports: “Brett J. Talley, the young lawyer nominated by President Trump for a lifetime federal judgeship in Alabama, was asked by a Senate committee to disclose family members who are likely to present potential conflicts of interest if he is confirmed. . . . He did not, however, identify any family members — including his wife, who is one of President Trump’s attorneys. Annie Donaldson is White House Counsel Donald McGahn’s chief of staff.”) He’s one of
- judicial nominees rated “unqualified” by the American Bar Association.
- The Trump GOP does not believe in fiscal responsibility nor in federalism (as evidenced by attack on localities that don’t do feds’ bidding on immigration enforcement) nor in legal immigration. It does believe in deportation of “Dreamers,” who came here illegally as children.
- The GOP president believes 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally based on no evidence whatsoever but doesn’t think the Russians meddled in our election despite the unanimous findings of our many intelligence services.
- The GOP president does not believe the media should be able to write whatever it wants nor that a sheriff found in contempt of court for abusing the rights of suspected illegal immigrants should be convicted and punished.
This is not a party that can be described as coherent, sensible, respectful of the rule of law, dedicated to equal protection or grounded in reality — let alone conservative. Today’s GOP stands for a set of crackpot ideas, unworkable and unpopular policies and a president not remotely fit to remain in office. Some optimists think the GOP can be saved. But is it worth saving?