Friday, December 7, 2018

What is the Republican Party for?

This is a serious question, and I have what seems an answer.  But it diverges pretty sharply from the marketing messages sent out from GOP HQ.  If we look back over the past 8 years at the big picture messaging - why the GOP said that we should vote for them - we see something like this:

2010: We have to repeal Obamacare!  We can't do anything without controlling the House of Representatives!

2014: We have to repeal Obamacare!  We can't do anything without controlling the Senate!

2016: We have to repeal Obamacare!  We can't do anything without controlling the White House!

There's more, of course - run away deficits being one that used to be much discussed.

So what have we seen?  Well, there was a big tax cut.  And Trump has gotten a bunch of Executive Branch regulations killed.  The economy's doing pretty well for a change.  Trump seems to be cutting some trade deals, using tariffs as a big negotiating stick.  And Trump appointed a bunch of judges, at least until GOP Senator Jeff Flake put a stop to confirmations on his way out of the Senate.

Other than the tax cut, it seems like all Trump, all the time.

Other than tax cuts, the GOP seems to be getting in the way: no Obamacare repeal, no immigration rationalization (let alone a wall).  The list seemingly goes on and on.  Flake is putting a hold on new judges to get a bill passed protecting the Muller investigation, for crying out loud.

Remember when the Democrats took over in 2009?  They had an agenda ready to go.  The GOP in 2016?  Err, not so much.

So what's going on?  I believe that the answer lies in Jerry Pournelle's Iron Law Of Bureaucracy:
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people":
First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration. 
Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.
The Iron Law says that the GOP will function to preferentially advance itself, rather than its stated goals.  If you look at the money flowing into its coffers (and more importantly, who is paying that), it becomes clear that the GOP will work towards crony capitalist, big business, globalist goals.

Just like the Democratic Party.

No Obamacare repeal?  Of course not, because Obamacare was only the first step towards European style government provided healthcare.  Big business loved this because it would reduce their bottom line (health insurance benefits are a big annual cost to them).  No wall?  Of course not, because illegal immigrants depress wages, improving their bottom line.

The costs of their policy preferences are somewhat or largely borne by others: if doesn't hurt the big business if 60% of illegals go on welfare.  Sure, taxes go up and government services go down for citizens in these locales, but the company's bottom line improved, didn't it?

You can go on an on with these examples, but it all boils down to how both parties have sold out to global business.  The hypocrisy is as strong on the Democratic Party's side - the idea that they will do anything for the "Little Guy" is a laugh - but that's really a post for another day.  For now, we'll just leave it at this:

Which brings us to Donald Trump who seems more than anything to be a reactionary, trying to roll back the last 30 years by force of will alone.  Looking at how messed up things have become, that's maybe not a bad thing but he's more or less on his own.

None of this looks sustainable to me.  Trump is Trump, but no man lives forever.  He doesn't seem to be remaking the party, and so once he's gone it seems that we'll be back to the march towards immiseration by the Big Government/Crony Capitalist alliance.


Gorges Smythe said...

When Trump is gone, things will go to hell in a hand-basket; even if republicans have all three branches for the next 50 years.

Unknown said...

From across the ocean where I am, I see Trump as an intermediate step. If he fails to push enough reform, the next is burn it all down and let the cards fall where they may.
That is the thing I can't seem to get through to people. They seem permanently stuck in orange man bad, forgetting he was a loved TV star a few years ago.

I see it as something like:
Tea party : please, this is not really working out, can we do something else?
Trump: Still work the system, but we're NOT HAPPY
Next: Death squads, breakup of the USA. Might be some "civil unrest" before then, but ultimately...

Divemedic said...

I've said for years that just because the Democrats are your enemy doesn't mean that the Republicans are your friend.

LSP said...

I 2nd Unknown and thanks for the post, good stuff.

McChuck said...

What Unknown said. Trump is not the solution, he's the room to breathe while we get a solution in place.

Everything falls apart by 2033 if nothing changes.

Ominous Cowherd said...

The GOP establishment is Trump's and Americans' principle oppenent. They are traitors to our nation, a fifth column, and thus a greater threat than the open enemies to the Left.

If Trump can destroy the GOPe he will have done enough. Unfortunately, Trump is an old, civic nationalist boomer who wants to reform the unreformable rather than destroy it. He's willing to work withing the system, but not willing to destroy it from outside. Rather than draining the swamp, he's getting the swamp monsters to lay low.

Trump buys us a little time. We need to use the next two years to get behind a candidate who is really as extreme-Right as the Left imagines Trump to be.