The Republicans claim they have a deal on their tax bill. And they're rushing to get it done -- before Doug Jones takes his seat. Why? Paul Krugman thinks that the main reason for their behaviour is that they've been living in a bubble:
Today’s Republicans are apparatchiks, who have spent their whole lives inside an intellectual bubble in which cutting taxes on corporations and the rich is always objective #1. Their party used to know that it won elections despite its economic program, not because of it – that the whole game was to win by playing on social issues, national security, and above all on racial antagonism, then use the win to push fundamentally unpopular economic policies. But over the years the party has seemed increasingly out of touch with that reality, imagining that if only it preaches the gospel of supply-side economics loudly enough voters will be won over.
More than anything else, however, they want to put points on the board. Barack Obama tried the same strategy:
I’m taking the phrase from Rahm Emanuel, who believed that Obama could gain electoral capital simply by racking up legislative victories. The idea is that voters are impressed by your record of wins, or conversely that they’ll turn away if you don’t win enough.
The truth is that this strategy didn’t work at all for Obama, who won a lot of stuff in his first two years then got shellacked in the midterms. And think about the things that have been going wrong for Republicans in special elections: desertions by highly educated suburban voters, massive African-American turnout, weak turnout by rural whites. Which of these is likely to be improved by a massive, unpopular corporate tax cut? Still, the idea that you have to win something seems to have a grip on the GOP, and of course especially on our childlike president.
The stuff this bill does will hit the fan in time for the mid term elections. And the coalition which organized in opposition to Roy Moore will enter the polling booths of the nation.
The reckoning is underway.
Image: Scream Magazine