By David Glenn Cox
There is a reason the Republican Party is the Party of extremism outside of Donald Trumpy. Trumpy can be explained by the extremism, because he was created by it. He’s only riding the wave; he didn’t create the wave, and he isn’t the wave himself. Think of living in Alabama as a sort of red test tube, a sort of “what if” scenario. One Republican Attorney General candidate campaigns for a mandatory 25-year sentence for narcotics trafficking. He is immediately set upon by his Republican opponent for being soft on crime. His opponent was pushing mandatory life sentences! Both men Conservatives wanting to lower taxes and shrink the size of government have just cost the state twelve million dollars a year, plus the cost of a new geriatric prison. A prison needed to keep all the old men in jail forever, for no other constructive purpose other than to get elected.
The Republican solution gins up the crowd but only exacerbates the problem. A problem that the Republicans caused themselves. Creating larger expenditures that they point to when running for reelection, railing against the cost of big government. Then the Department of Justice steps in with a Federal Injunction ordering the state to do something about its horribly overcrowded and barbaric prison system. Brewbaker overcrowded and Papillon hard prisons. Prison with comparable mortality statistics to a Ranger assault battalion. They struggle to staff because the jobs pay peanuts (small government you know) and every once in a while, just to break the monotony of the long, long days the inmates will beat up a staff member at random. So, it is important to make nice. Sargent Schultz nice.
In John Steinbeck’s novel, “The Grapes of Wrath” Tom Joad got seven years for stabbing a man in a bar fight and killing him and they let him out after three. Today, it’s ten years for stealing gasoline! “What are you in for?” Gas. I read about a man in Maine arrested nine times in two days. All petty crimes like stealing cigarettes and candy bars. Law enforcement threw up their hands in frustration. The news media ran with, “Ha, ha, ha, can you believe that! A man arrested and jailed nine times in just two days! Now back to you Monica.” Hello McFly? If you compare your National Geographic map of Maine to the calendar on the wall you will see it is January in the far, far north. If you’d watched any Andy Griffith at all, you’d know Ernest T. Bass was only breaking windows trying to get arrested to get out of the weather.
For the price of arresting the man nine times, you could have got him a deluxe Junior suite at the Holiday Inn near the by pass for a week. Policemen do what policeman are paid to do, “You steal they arrest,” it’s like a linebacker, it’s a non-thinking position. The Republicans never want to solve the problem they always want to add a patch or a band aid. “I purpose a two-million-dollar study for the causes of homelessness!” We know why! The jobs don’t pay enough. The minimum wage is too low! Let’s spend the two million on the schools and raise the minimum wage! Have you seen any Republicans advocating for raising the minimum wage? “I’m all-in favor of putting the fire out, but I’m not prepared at the point in time to recklessly support throwing water at it.”
“Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home–but not for housing. They are strong for labor–but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. They favor minimum wage–the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all–but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine–for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing–but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing–so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.”
― Harry S. Truman
That was 1948, has anything changed one iota in the Republican mind, did you see anything new? Trumpy destroyed the farmers markets and made Socialists of them all. He loved to brag about the great economy while the American crisis of homelessness grew. Blaming states and municipalities and most of all blaming the victims of their policies for their poverty. “You know, if all those people hadn’t lived in Berlin the Eighth air force probably wouldn’t have bombed them, they kind of brought it on themselves.”
A ridiculously low minimum wage takes the power out of having a minimum wage in the first place. What if the minimum wage was a dime? Ten cents per hour worked, it would be pointless and meaningless. In a world where a hamburger is six bucks back when it was one buck, the minimum wage was three dollars per hour. Any economist in the world of your choosing is going to tell you we need to raise the minimum wage, but in the environment of partisan extremism you couldn’t vote to give Republicans a raise. “Mister Speaker, I rise today to purpose an increase in pay for my Republican brethren.”
“Mister speaker, I rise in objection. I will not stand still idly while this big government, liberal program is aimed at sullying the good name of my party and destroying our basic God given freedoms. I want unity and even if I believe the Democrats are pedophiles and cannibals. I’m ready to work with them and with the Deep State as well, despite they’re stealing of the most recent Presidential election my trusty six shooter by my side. To win the Republican primary, you must make the most noise and out extreme the most extreme. How far would a Republican candidate get suggesting sentencing reform? He’d be clobbered by the “Bring back public hangings” crowd.
So, the Biden Administration proposes a $1.9 trillion stimulus spending package and out of the blue come ten Republicans with an alternate $600 billion dollar plan. A retooled plan that looks a lot like the Mitch McConnell plan already voted on and tossed away in the house, now argued by Senate Republicans as a good starting point. “Come on, I know we talked about this for months, but let’s take a few more months and discuss this some more. What’s your hurry?” Let’s see, they are asking for $19.00 offer them six dollars. That way they’ll know we’re sincere in our negotiations. Who knows, by June maybe the Democrats could have us up to ten bucks!
Pay them no mind Joe Biden, heed not the horned head dressed idiot or the painted faces of the duped and replicated. Theirs is but a dying spasm of a corrupt boy scout troop gotten out of hand, each trying to gross the other out by spitting louggies or having farting contests. They can only succeed by making you fail, by making us fail. Every Covid death is a success of Republican policy, and every struggling unemployed American worker improves Republican chances in 2022, so the Republicans will put their pistols away…for now.
Americans did not elect Joe Biden to work with Republicans. They elected him to fix the mess the Republicans put us in. Harry Truman had a seriously low opinion of Bi partisanship. The Republicans are not going to help Joe Biden polish Democratic shoes, so that they look nice when interviewing for their Republican jobs in 2022.