In What Way Are the Two Parties Alike?
In reading and discussing politics, there is nothing more depressing than the complete morons who come at me with their sincere-but-truly asinine belief that both major political parties are basically the same. The reason it’s depressing is because it is the key reason why we on the liberal/progressive side have been sucking wind for the past 50 years or so. Of course, as depressing as it is, I could live with it, if it was true. But it is most certainly not true. The two parties have not only never been farther apart, but the Republicans are downright anti-American these days. They only play to the people who vote for them or give them money, and they don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone else. When Paul Ryan said, “I work hard for the people who put me here,” as he did in an interview last month, you have to wonder if he means the people in his congressional district, or the Koch Brothers, who are promising to waste more than $400 million on Republican races this year.
And yes, I know. Some Democrats raise a shit-ton of money for their races, too. In fact, most years, they out-raise Republicans. However, you should examine where the money comes from. As I pointed out in an article I reposted a week or two ago, Democrats and Republicans do not get campaign money from the same sources at all. The Kochs don’t support Democrats, nor does Sheldon Adelson. The largest donations to Democrats come from Labor, followed by trial lawyers, academics and retired people. Republicans’ biggest donors are billionaires who want to reshape the government in their favor, fossil fuel producers and banks who want to see Dodd-Frank gone.
Economically speaking, there is no doubt that the middle class does better under Democrats. Worse, it’s hard to think of a recession in the last century that didn’t have Republican policies as a cause. We know Republican policies caused the Great Bush Recession in 2008; And while some people blame Bill Clinton for signing it, I would point out that the bill that led to the unregulated mortgage aftermarket that caused the recession was written by Republicans, in concert with lobbyists for most of the GOP’s biggest donors. Also, it passed with a veto-proof margin, in any case. Republicans also were in the White House and ran Congress as the economy started to crash and they did nothing to prevent the massive downturn. We had a tiny recession after 9/11, which happened right after Bush cut taxes at the same time he committed $2–3 trillion to two wars that he and the rest of the GOP proceeded to screw up so badly that we couldn’t extract ourselves from Afghanistan in 8 years of Obama and Republican Bush, Jr. negotiated a withdrawal from Iraq so hastily, it led to the establishment of the Islamic State and ISIL.
Before that, Bush, Sr oversaw a minor recession because he both tried to raise taxes slightly and deal with the deficit in a way that only makes sense to other Republicans. Prior to that was the Reagan recession in 1981–82, which led to higher unemployment than even the Bush 2008 recession. And before that, Nixon took the near-perfect economy left him by Democrats in the 1960s and blew it up. And when the deep recession was met with even more troubling double-digit inflation, Nixon met that head on with a wage-price freeze, which only staved off inflation for 90 days and just led to even greater inflation when the 90 days was up. Ford, for his part, met that inflation with WIN (Whip Inflation Now) buttons. It took Democrat Jimmy Carter to hire Paul Volcker and work to limit the money supply that finally led to the end of the worst inflationary cycle in US history. (And no Reagan acolytes, St. Reagan didn’t hire Volcker, Carter did. CARTER beat inflation, not the Saint of Reaganomics.)
It is impossible to point to more than one recession in the last 100 years that happened when Democrats were stewarding the economy. The recession of 1937 is the only anyone can point to. Of course, that happened 8 years after Republican policies caused the 1929 crash and the Great Depression and it was relatively minor, all told.
Then, there is the deficit spending. When you look at deficits and debt, while Republicans talk a great game, it is they who have run up most of our current $20 trillion debt. It’s because of their stupid reliance on tax cuts for everything. They truly seem to believe tax cuts stimulate the economy and cause the government to collect more taxes, even though what they refer to as “trickle down” economics has never, ever worked. This latest tax scam is absolutely the worst, if for no other reason that it’s not possible to cut enough spending to offset the loss of revenue. According to the CBO, this ridiculous tax cut will add nearly $2 trillion to the debt over 10 years, but that seems to be, pardon the expression, conservative. It’s already pushed the deficit up to $1 trillion for this year alone and the latest projections suggest it will be $2 trillion by fiscal year 2027.
Because they are desperate to not look like complete hypocrites, Republicans have suggested cutting into Social Security and Medicare already, even though those two programs have always been opaid for and have never added a dime to the deficit or the debt.
That’s just one aspect of the difference between Democrats and Republicans. It’s hard to think of a single issue where the two parties are not on opposite sides. Seriously, think about issues and ask yourself how they’re similar. I mean, for chrissakes, folks, Republicans nominated Trump and continue to support him, no matter what he does or says. It’s not possible to even conceive of Democrats nominating someone so horrible.
There are a few Democrats who are anti-choice on abortion, but most of them have the good sense to keep quiet about it. Democrats never embarked on a 30-year career of smears against a president and First Lady that was even close to the level of the campaign against the Clintons. The last stupid war Democrats started was Vietnam and they were also a critical part of ending that war 45 years ago. On foreign policy, Republicans antagonize enemies, while Democrats try to speak to them. The only presidents to cut the absurd defense budget were named Clinton and Obama. Democrats support civil rights for black and brown people, as well as LGBT; Republicans think everything they feel is “wrong” should be illegal and they demonsize immigrants based on a pure technicality. Democrats passed the DREAM Act in 2010 and Republicans killed it. Democratic President Obama created DACA and Republican Lord Donny Dumbass keeps holding it hostage. Republicans allowed the CHIP program, which provided health insurance coverage for poor kids, just so they could use it as a bargaining chip when they shut the government down.
Speaking of which, Republicans used the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip to try to kill the first health insurance reform in our history and not a single Republican voted for the Affordable Care Act when it passed in 2010 and they have since tried to kill it 77 times. And the current occupant of the White House has been trying to screw with it, since his beloved GOP couldn’t kill it outright last year. About 20 states have been refusing federal taxpayer money to pay for Medicaid expansion since the ACA was passed, and all of them are bright red, which means they’re being run by Republicans.
I could go on, but good lord, what else do you need? if you think the two parties are basically the same, there is something seriously wrong with you.
Originally published at PCTC Blog.