Another Failed Republican Revolution

A Republican revolution can be defined as a time when Republicans gained control of both Houses of Congress and therefore were in a position to severely limit the federal government.

There have been five Republican revolutions in modern times, and they have all ended in failure.

The first Republican revolution occurred in 1946 when Republicans regained control of both Houses of Congress after four elections of FDR to the presidency and years of Democratic rule. With a Democrat in the White House (Harry Truman), their hands were somewhat tied, and they lost control of the Congress in the next election. Unfortunately, however, the Republicans joined with Truman in passing the National Security Act of 1947 which created the CIA and began the national security state. The Republicans failed.

The second Republican revolution occurred in 1952 when Republicans regained control of both Houses of Congress and a Republican was elected president. The Republicans only controlled both Houses of Congress during the first two years of Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency (1953-1955). But if ever Roosevelt’s New Deal could have been repealed in its entirety this was the time. It wasn’t, and now we live in a full-blown welfare state. The Republicans failed.

The third Republican revolution occurred in 1994 when Republicans—for the first time in fifty years—regained control of both Houses of Congress. (Republicans did control the Senate for the first six years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency [1981-1987], but that was a Reagan revolution, not a Republican revolution.) The Republicans managed to hang on to control of the Congress for the last six years of Bill Clinton’s presidency. But once again, because a Democrat was in the White House, their hands were somewhat tied. But this is no excuse for spending more money every year and increasing the national debt by $1.4 trillion by the end of Clinton’s second term. (See here on the myth of the Clinton surplus.) The Republicans also expanded the welfare state by increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit every year and instituting the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that provides federally-funded health insurance to children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid. The Republicans failed.

The fourth Republican revolution occurred in 2000 when Republicans held on to their majorities in the House and Senate and a Republican, George W. Bush, was elected president. Republicans had absolute control of the government for over four years during Bush’s presidency. They held their initial majority until May 24, 2001, when Republican senator Jim Jeffords switched from Republican to Independent. Republicans regained control of the Senate in the 2002 midterm elections, and then remained in control of both Houses of Congress until their defeat in the 2006 midterm elections. This was the first time that

Republicans had absolute control of the government since the first two years of Eisenhower’s presidency. And what did they do? They destroyed what was left of the country by almost doubling the budget and the national debt, creating the Department of Homeland Security and the TSA, greatly expanding the Department of Education, instituting Bushcare (the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act), passing the Patriot Act, began letting the NSA spy on all Americans, and starting two senseless wars. Needless to say, the Republicans failed.

The fifth Republican revolution occurred in 2016 when Republicans held on to their majorities in the House and Senate and a Republican, Donald Trump, was elected president. This was the third time a Republican revolution included a Republican president in the White House. Although Trump only recently completed his first 100 days, it is apparent already that the latest Republican revolution is also a failure, and for three reasons.

First, the failure to repeal Obamacare. House Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare many times when Obama was still in office. Once the Republicans regained control of the Senate in the 2014 midterm election, it was a year before the House and Senate passed a bill to repeal Obamacare. This was all symbolic since there was absolutely no chance that Obama would sign off on a bill to repeal his signature health care law. But once Trump was elected president, Republicans could have passed and put on Trump’s desk his first day in office a one-sentence bill to completely repeal Obamacare. The Republicans failed.

Second, the failure to cut back the warfare state. Despite the few promising things that Trump said on the campaign trail concerning U.S. foreign policy, his authorization of drone strikes in Yemen right after he took office showed that there was to be no change in U.S. foreign policy. Drone strikes have gone up 432 percent since Trump took office. The Republicans could have cut back the warfare state but instead are salivating over Trump’s call for a higher defense budget. The Republicans failed.

And third, the failure to cut back the welfare state. On May 4 Republicans passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R.244) to fund the monstrosity known as the federal government until the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2017). Trump signed it into law the next day. This $1.1 trillion spending bill fully funds the welfare state, including funding for Planned Parenthood and an increase in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The Republicans could have cut back the welfare state but instead have continued it as is. The Republicans failed.

Are there still conservatives and libertarians left in America who are gullible enough to believe that Republicans are any better than Democrats? The Republicans are welfare/warfare statists. The only difference between them and the Democrats is that the Republicans talk about the Constitution, the free market, and limited government while they ignore the Constitution, the free market, and limited government. At least the Democrats are honest statists.


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