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The Republican Long Game


The Republican Long Game

Neal Gabler

Republicans have long dreamed of destroying the social safety net once and for all; this bill finally threatens to accomplish that


And once more someone willfully sees only one party as part of the larger assault on the New Deal, as if 16 years of Clintonian politics attacking the foundations of that moment were entirely produced by the GOP.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

This isn’t the long game of the GOP. It’s the long game of the oligarchy itself.


Stockholm syndrome [def] see Republican loyalty


I completely agree with your statement, drone 1066.


The underlying philosophy of the Republicans would seem to be social Darwinism, the survival of the fittest. The underlying Democratic philosophy is basically we are all in this together. These two views are incompatible. Many Republcans in Congress have been forced to move further and further to the right because of gerrymandering. In their safe districts the only threat to re-election is a challenger in the primary who is on their right. So to combat this they move further right while in Congress. So right now we have a White House dominated by fascism and Congress dominated by a survival of the fittest view.


Neal, thank you for explaining so clearly to people what I have been saying for months, and more recently, every day, about this tax legislation. This is precisely how the KOCHS, the ALEC operate:
"The object of tax reform is to create a gigantic deficit to justify ending the New Deal.

The time will come, and it is not far off, when every New Deal and Great Society program will be on the chopping block. And when they are, Republicans will start their deficit hawk mating call again. And because the deficit will have swelled so much, programs will be slashed. They won’t just nibble away at the edges. They will try to kill the whole thing.

Democrats will protest. They may even be in power. But if they are, they will be handed an untenable situation, having to choose between deficits and programs. **In effect, Democrats are being set up. You can already hear Republicans saying we can’t afford Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps or even Social Security. It is government as cruelty.**"


Great post and I agree. My grandparents had been saying this too. It has been a political battle that never stopped. More than just the “new deal” has been destroyed, the basic structure of families and society have broken down. I find it odd that many of the people are only recently noticing it. I guess until it starts knocking on your door it is hard to imagine. Well, it is knocking on your door. You need to not just resist but object.


I think that is an appropriate term, “The Long Con”. It is just a matter of sorting the details.


You are aware of Obama’s Grand Bargain, right?

His proposal to win tax increases in exchange for cutting the safety net through chained CPI?

And you’re aware of his bi-partisan catfood commission who concluded that cutting the safety net was necessary to balance the budget?

Because Democrats aren’t being set up. They’re setting you up.


“The time will come…”

…when We the People will have had enough of the Bullshitting politicians lying through their teeth about why we need a new war, enough of the theft of our ‘entitlements’ being stolen from us by Greedy Old Pricks in government, enough of our children’s futures being flushed down the toilet so that corporations can make even more massive profits, and then, quietly at first, everyone will begin to arm themselves.

In the United States where everyone has the right to bear arms, it will go unnoticed. And the gun industry will be happy as “Pigs in Shit” that they’re having a banner year.

“…and it is not far off…”


While GOP tax cuts “threaten the safety net”, the tax cuts combined with stacking all levels of US Courts with right wing “judges” more than “threatens the safety net” it destroys the safety net AND the US middle class.



That was stupid on Obama’s part, but you are aware of how conservatives made the deficit the be-all-end-all attack against the Stimulus, ACA, and basically everything he was doing, right? All the media could go on about was the deficit, and to Paul Krugman’s chagrin, that conartist Paul Ryan was fawned over as some kind of budget intellectual. He wrote about it repeatedly in real-time, and just wrote about it last week.

Meanwhile, on the other side, the Left was shitting on him for a bill that expanded public health insurance via Medicaid in 50 states, funded the expansion of nonprofit health cooperatives, and publicly subsidized the purchase of private insurance (the Supreme Court wrecked the first, and Paul Ryan gutted the second). Yeah, Obama wasn’t perfect, but we on the Left aren’t clean either.


Exactly, who says the Dem’s, if they were in control, would have to cut the New Deal programs ?
The giant elephant in the room, that no one is talking about, Repug’s or Dems is our beyond bloated WAR BUDGET.


A minor quibble with the above, or perhaps a clarification:  IMHO ‘New Dealism’ is about We The People using OUR government to help one another, while RePooplicanism (Ayn Rand-ism) is about denying that we humans are social animals and that we should therefor behave as solitary predators.  And Gabler is correct – there’s not a shred of empathy in the latter view, of which Tweetle-Dumb is a near-perfect personification.


The Democrats eagerly jumped on the balanced budget bandwagon early in the game.

Who sponsored the original PAYGO legislation in 1990 (Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act)? Leon Panetta. It passed with Dem majorities in both chambers.

Why did they do that? Because they play the game of reacting to Republican talking points, even when, in this case, it’s obvious the Repubs add to the debt whenever they have power. And your party still plays on terms set by the Repubs.

I think it’s because they serve the same corporate agenda, but that’s just me observing events on the ground…


That sounds like a “the Devil made me do it” argument for the GOP representatives moving steadily to the far right after Carter. And, for the record Lyx, what is the Dems explanation for steadily following them and frequently assisting them in their their efforts to dismantle the New Deal reforms?


Based on voting patterns it would seem that a person’s political view is shaped quite a bit depending on whether they live in an urban or rural area. Or perhaps where they choose to live may depend on their political views. The Democratic view that at of assistance is needed for a lot of people is very obvious in cities and densely populated suburbs. On the other hand, ir rural areas where there are a lot farms it seems that there is not that much need for assistance. In any case the country is largely politically divided into metropolitan and rural areas. More people live in metropolitan areas but because of the electoral college, gerrymandering, voter ID laws, etc, the majority in this country is not able to assert its will. Rather a minority of this country is forcing its will on the majority.


I oppose the wars. If they somehow reduced the deficit I still oppose them.


Absolutely spot on.

Does “A plan to end welfare as we know it.” ring any bells?


The explanation is political anger. The welfare program created the most anger. Much of that was due to racism as many whites thought the main beneficiaries were blacks. Also, people were very angry as seeing families that went from one generation to the next living on welfare and not working. It makes many people who work hard to make a living seeing people who are able-bodied but not working and collecting welfare checks. I think Democrats thought that it would be worth to reform welfare to reduce this anger against them for supporting welfare and perhaps also break the cycle of welfare dependency. Food stamps I think has remained more or less intact as has social security, Medicaid, and Medicare. Actually the Democrats have not tried to dismantle New Deal reforms other than perhaps welfare.