With Primadonald’s ascendance in the GOP primary race and certainly his staying power (at least up till now), the elite class of political pundits has gone to great lengths to explain this phenomenon. To wit: He’s “anti-establishment”, “speaks his mind”, “hates ‘political correctness’ “, “isn’t your typical politician”, and on and on.
Now, there is no question that the GOP base is mad as Hell at their party. And that is reflected, not only in Trump’s rise, but by the showings of other anti-establishment candidates like Cruz, Fiorina and Carson all of whom are either besting or holding even with more establishment types like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.
It’s simple enough to rely on all the reasons cited above for this backlash. But there is one that has been largely overlooked by all save for one person -Joan Walsh – the Managing Editor of the online magazine Salon.com. What follows is what your blogger picked up from that insightful woman during one of her many appearances on the political talkfest “Hardball”. And, it has the benefit of comporting with the last five years of the behavior evinced by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and congressional Republicans. Boiled down, it comes to this: A long list of broken promises!!!
Turn back the clock to the run-up to the 2010 congressional election. Anyone channel-surfing from one newscast to another couldn’t have missed John Boehner (R-OH) repeatedly vowing “Job, jobs, jobs!” if conservative voters would turn controls of the House over to the GOP which they did. The result? The passage of a flurry of “small-ball” jobs bills loaded with corporate tax breaks were sent to the Senate where then Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) properly let them die. The president’s repeated request for a bill to re-build our nationwide, crumbing infrastructure (bridges, roads) was ignored. As of the date of this blog, none of that has changed. Broken promise #1.
In campaigning for the same 2010 election, conservative candidates promised to repeal Obamacare; to do away with this monstrous government take-over of healthcare (1). At the time, with the Democrats still in control of the Senate, this commitment was worse than a bad joke and smart conservative grassroots voters (2) would have seen that and not allowed themselves to be scammed. Well, give those House Republicans an “E” for “effort” and an “F” for “futility”; i.e. after at least 56 separate votes to repeal the ACA, it remains firmly in place. (3). Broken promise #2.
Now fast-forward to the on-ramp to the 2012 election. The call from the RNC to the conservative base was for control of the Senate. A massive conservative voter turnout made that possible and thus yet another whack at Obamacare as well as President Obama’s Executive Orders, especially the one on immigration. To date, 2.5 years after the election outcome that defined the right’s deepest fantasy, the GOP base is confronting broken promises 3 – 4.
All this considered, put yourself in the shoes of the typical Obama-loathing/federal government-hating conservative: You were repeatedly urged to not just vote, but to actively campaign and donate all to better insure that the Republicans elected would follow through and make good on all their promises. Given what has actually happened, wouldn’t you be pissed?
1. Included in the ACA was a provision that allowed every state to bring in private insurers to set up their own exchanges to do business with prospective buyers of policies. The only states that have turned their back on this opportunity are ones controlled by Republican governors and/or legislatures. Ironically, these pro-private sector individuals turned their backs on the very thing they supposedly espouse, thus leaving citizens no choice but to turn to government-run exchanges. One must really wonder if there is a “bottom” to GOP hypocrisy?
2. Is there an oxymoron embedded in the phrase “smart, conservative grassroots voter”?
3.Separate reports, one from the federal government, and one from the private sector (the Kaiser Foundation), have recently shown that the ACA has gained strength and acceptance as the number of uninsured citizens has dropped sharply since the law’s implementation.