In the past three days, Republican leaders in the Senate scrambled to corral votes for a tax bill that the Joint Committee on Taxation said would add $1 trillion to the deficit — without holding any meaningful committee hearings. Worse, Republican leaders have been blunt about their motivation: to deliver on their promises to wealthy donors, and down the road, to use the leverage of huge deficits to cut and privatize Medicare and Social Security.
Congress no longer works the way it’s supposed to.
. . . If in 2006 one could cast aspersions on both parties, over the past decade it has become clear that it is the Republican Party — as an institution, as a movement, as a collection of politicians — that has done unique, extensive and possibly irreparable damage to the American political system.
. . . Mr. Trump’s election and behavior during his first 10 months in office represent not a break with the past but an extreme acceleration of a process that was long underway in conservative politics. The Republican Party is now rationalizing and enabling Mr. Trump’s autocratic, kleptocratic, dangerous and downright embarrassing behavior in hopes of salvaging key elements of its ideological agenda: cutting taxes for the wealthy (as part of possibly the worst tax bill in American history), hobbling the regulatory regime, gutting core government functions and repealing Obamacare without any reasonable plan to replace it.
This is a far cry from the aspirations of Republican presidential giants like Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, as well as legions of former Republican senators and representatives who identified critical roles for government and worked tirelessly to make them succeed. It’s an agenda bereft of any serious efforts to remedy the problems that trouble vast segments of the American public, including the disaffected voters who flocked to Mr. Trump.
. . .
We have never suggested that Democrats are angels and Republicans devils. Parties exist to win elections and organize government, and they are shaped by the interests, ideas and donors that constitute their coalitions. Neither party is immune from a pull to the extreme.
But the imbalance today is striking, and frightening. Our democracy requires vigorous competition between two serious and ideologically distinct parties, both of which operate in the realm of truth, see governing as an essential and ennobling responsibility, and believe that the acceptance of republican institutions and democratic values define what it is to be an American. The Republican Party must reclaim its purpose.
India looks to save 20 billion rupees on airport taxiing . . . which may not be the most pressing thing on your mind, but now I probably have you wondering how much that is in dollars ($310 million), which I know because I asked Alexa. I had previously asked her, with regard to the Pilgrims, “How long did it take the Mayflower to reach America?” and she said, “You are 234 miles from America [actually, I was in New York, so maybe she meant the real America] but I don’t know how fast you’re traveling so I can’t calculate your travel time.”
Quote of the Day
To be absolutely certain about something, one must know everything or nothing about it.~Henry Kissinger
Request email delivery
- May 25:
The Truth Matters
- May 24:
The Pope: God Made You This Way
- May 23:
Travel Tip: Take Alexa WITH You?
- May 22:
Have You Already Seen This One?
- May 21:
How The Enlightenment Ends . . .
- May 18:
My Classmate Saved Stephen Hawking
- May 17:
Hi-Yo, Silver! (Unless You’re Poor)
- May 16:
Will On Pence
- May 15:
Mitch McConnell Speaks
- May 14:
From Greece To Iran
- May 25: