Monday, May 3, 2021

While President Biden Proposes Big Government, Conservative Republicans Respond With Culture War Issues

In his address last week, President Joe Biden proposed the largest expansion of government since the New Deal.  Since then, I have been on Twitter logging what my fellow conservatives were talking about:

  • Possible ban on menthol cigarettes
  • Biden trying to ban beef
  • Freedom to not wear a mask during a pandemic
  • Do not get vaccinated
  • Vaccine passports are bad
  • Ban critical race theory from schools
  • Stop the 1619 project
  • Ban transgender athletes from women's sports
  • Trump lost because of election fraud 
  • January 6th insurrection was instigated by "leftists"
  • Twitter is too liberal
  • Academy Awards program is too liberal

Republicans during the era of Donald Trump decided to stop at least pretending to be fiscal conservatives.  They embraced huge federal deficits, during a booming economy no less, and related massive spending.  Now that there is a Democratic President in office proposing the largest expansion of government since FDR, Republicans have no credibility to push fiscal responsibility.  Worse yet, they are bogged down on the aforementioned cultural war issues.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY)

Over the weekend, Senator Mitt Romney faced boos (and some cheers) at a political convention in Utah.  Also, this weekend came more stories that Rep. Liz Cheney's No. 3 position in House leadership once again might be in jeopardy.  Cheney has already won one vote to retain her position.  So what's her new offense?  She did a fist bump (the pandemic version of a handshake) with Biden as he walked in to give his speech.  Oh my. How outrageous!

It was hoped that the Republican Party would start rebuilding its image after Trump left office.  Instead the GOP has become much more radicalized.  The extremists are taking an even bigger role in the party, eschewing traditional conservative polices in favor of nutty conspiracy theories and culture war battles. Not sure where this ends.  My guess is the Republican Party is going to start losing its grip on more marginal red states as the GOP continues to shrink.  While it will be next to impossible for the Republicans to lose the House in 2022 due to redistricting and historic voting patterns, I could see the Republicans losing several Senate seats, including in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.  Democrats may also have a shot in Florida, Iowa and Ohio.  Democrats could even pick up a seat in Alaska if Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski does not win the GOP primary and in Missouri if scandal-plagued former governor Eric Greitens is nominated to replace Sen. Roy Blount.

A Republican Party, unencumbered by craziness, would have a solid shot at picking up Senate seats in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire.  It doesn't look like any of those states are going to nominate a non-Trump Republican who could win the votes of independents and Democrats living in those purple states.

President Herbert Hoover lost both the House, the Senate and the Presidency during his four years in office.  No Republican President had been able to duplicate that feat until Donald Trump came along.  Trump is a stone cold loser...certainly not someone who should be considered the leader of the Republican Party.

OOP's short takes:

  • Regarding Saturday's special election in Texas' sixth congressional district, the media outlets portray the first place finish of Trump-endorsed Susan Wright as proof of the former President's influence on the nominating process.  But wait...Wright only received 19% of the vote.  As the wife of the late Rep. Ron Wright, who died earlier this year of complications due to Covid-19, Susan Wright should have gotten 19% of the vote on her own, even without the Trump endorsement.  Far from Trump's endorsement being persuasive, the numbers suggest it may not have moved many voters.
  • Meanwhile the media have also portrayed the results as a loss for President Biden because  Democratic candidate Jana Lynne Sanchez finished third behind Republican Jake Ellzey and, thus, won't be in the run-off with Wright.  But there were 23 candidates in the field, many winning 1,000 plus votes, skewing the results.  Ellzey only beat out Sanchez by 400 votes so deriving any great meaning from Sanchez's third place finish is probably misplaced.  
  • I disagree with the notion that politicians should do whatever the scientists suggest during a  pandemic.  Scientists, especially those dealing with communicable diseases, are by their very nature going to take a very conservative approach on such things such as to whether to open an economy. Their focus, after all, is to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.  By contrast, economic experts are going to take the opposite approach, downplaying disease spread in favor of economic development.  It is the job of politicians, especially those serving as President, Governors and Mayors, to balance the advice of all the experts and reach a conclusion as to what is the best policy.  
  • That brings me to the CDC.  I really think the agency is dropping the ball.  The message should be - get vaccinated and you get your life back.  Instead it is, get vaccinated and, well, afterwards your life is pretty much the same as it was before getting the shot.  It shouldn't be surprising that the CDC takes this approach given its cautious nature, but politicians should be stepping in to offer a better message.  
  • Now an airing of my latest grievance.  For the first time in my life, a light bulb in my refrigerator has burned out and I need to get a replacement.  I went to buy a bulb and found they only sell them in packs of 2 or 4.  Now I'm on the far side of 50, so I'm thinking I might not need another light bulb until I'm 100. Should I live that long, where do I store the bulb so I have it ready to go 50 years from now?  God forbid I buy the four pack - I'd have to live to 200 to use them all.  Why can't I buy just one refrigerator light bulb?


leon said...

Btownmoon said...

Senator Braun is certainly criticizing Biden's infrastructure plan. I guess he just realized that he's a fiscal conservative after ignoring it during the Trump years.