The only thing you say that I’d quibble with is this: “The Republicans would never pass this stuff if they thought it didn’t have a lot of support from voters.” I’ve been thinking about the bills that have been passed for the last couple of years, from Obamacare (when the majority of people wanted universal healthcare) to the latest “tax reform” scam that passed a couple of months ago, to the gutting of environmental laws and Medicare, etc. and wondering why these sorts of things - things that are not just antagonistic to public wishes, but that actively harm the people - are getting passed into law. The conclusion I have come to is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans much care about public opinion any longer. They just serve the wealthy, the coporatocracy, and the Pentagon - and damn the public. Aside from collecting the tax money from us, I really see no indication that either party gives a shit about “the voters”. And why should they? The two parties have a lock on the elections, they can suppress protestation easily, and short of revolting, what the hell are we going to do about it?
Notice how many Congress people have announced they are not running for re-election? They get a few steps further down the road to Ayn Rand feudalism with each congressional session, and having served their masters, one group steps off the stage to let the next wrecking crew come in to take it up another notch. And the group heading out the door is guaranteed lucrative jobs in Wall Street or with some big multinational company.