- Republican Herbert Hoover slashed federal spending in a wrong-headed and disastrous attempt to temper the Great Depression, thereby contributing to a 25 percent unemployment rate. Democrat Franklin Roosevelt dramatically boosted spending in order to arrest the downturn and put people back to work so they and their families could survive.
- Republican Richard Nixon turned government into a corrupt den of iniquity. Democrat Jimmy Carter restored integrity to the White House.
- Republican Ronald Reagan ballooned the federal deficit, followed by Republican George H.W. Bush’s deficit-financed wars in the Middle East and Panama. It behooved Democrat Bill Clinton to balance the budget that his two Republican predecessors allowed to go out of control.
- Republican George W. Bush twice slashed taxes on his wealthy benefactors, launched two wars he refused to pay for, botched the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, and midwifed the Great Recession, leaving it to Democrat Barack Obama to clean up his multiple messes.
- Republican Donald Trump’s reckless tax and spending policies spiraled the deficit and debt to unimaginable levels. His utter incompetence, ego-driven meanness, odiousness and psycho-sociopathic behavior allowed a pandemic to run wild and kill more than half a million Americans. He capped the worst-ever presidency with an attempted coup d’etat in order to cling to power despite losing an election by 7 million votes. It will take more than just one successor Democratic administration to clean up his manifold disasters. This is assuming our suddenly delicate democracy survives the continuing Trump onslaught. There are no guarantees.
- It is also incumbent on the current administration and its congressional allies to attempt to clean up the existential mess and dystopian chaos Republicans have wrought over the last 40 years. Their coddle-the-rich/impoverish-the-middle-class/destroy-the-poor policies require a massive correction.
The trickle-down effect of Republican callousness and ineptitude, to which they have added concerted attempts to subvert the republic, is now causing the same phenomenon to happen at the state level.
With few exceptions (Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker; Ohio’s Mike DeWine), Republican governors nationwide have made a complete hash of dealing with the pandemic. They are personally responsible for thousands of avoidable deaths. The latest example: Brad Little, Idaho’s stunningly hopeless Republican governor, has even had to call on neighboring, Democratic-run Washington State to step in and try to help stave off Armageddon. Idaho’s 40 percent vaccination rate, one of the lowest in the country, has swamped its hospitals with Covid patients. The crisis is so bad that Idaho hospitals have resorted to rationing healthcare. Sarah Palin’s fantastical, misplaced death panel hysteria about Obamacare has come home to roost in disease-ravaged Idaho.
Note. If hospitals are forced to ration healthcare, unvaccinated Covid patients should be at the bottom of the list, not the top.
These same state-level GOP unworthies spend most of their time destabilizing democracy through bills intended to suppress Democratic votes and, should Democrats prevail regardless, designing schemes to steal future elections from the winners. Despite this revival of the Nazi Nuremberg Laws playbook (where the Nazi-dominated Reichstag legislatively enacted a spate of anti-Semitic edicts that conferred a veneer of legality on blatantly unethical and unconscionable laws), congressional Democrats are not taking this existential threat seriously enough. They need to enact federal legislation to preserve democracy and stop the impending steal. Saving the nation from this scourge is the most important matter on the table. Nothing else comes close.
October 1, 2021