It almost feels as if the people of Iowa were strung along in a little show of political theater around school funding. Republicans can now go back to their districts and claim that they were all about not spending money based on their sticking to the meager 1.25% rise in school spending. They can also claim they really cared about schools when they agreed to a one time extra funding of $55 million. All the while they knew that Branstad would have their backs and use that tool known as line item veto to give Republicans just what they want.
Now they can smile to themselves knowing that they will look good politically to all sides, Branstad covered their butts and the chances of a special session with an override vote are probably nil. Now onto the business of strangling schools again next year.
So with revenue dwindling from all sides that leaves schools in Iowa to fund quality education with the old standbys of bake sales supplemented by the new revenue producing selling of old beater cars for junk. Always thought Branstad wanted to make Iowa into the Mississippi of the north. Looks like we are on our way.
Thus we have one example of the strange twists and turns the Republican party (aka Tea Party) is taking these days. Their policies are so internally inconsistent that it seems half of their day is spent trying to explain away what they did the other half of the day. At least try to explain them in a way that may be acceptable to their base. Actually their base really doesn’t care about policy. It has been a long accepted tenet of Republicans don’t say what they mean and they never mean what they say. When all is sorted out, their electeds do what they are told by those whose dollars fund the machine and those whose companies grease the talking point machine.
Over in Marion County last Saturday we had the spectacle of a Republican float in a couple of parades displaying the finally disgraced Confederate flag of treason. Even though that flag has always meant treason it was only a couple weeks ago that it became toxic. Sometimes news travels slowly when a person watches Fox. Explanations and negative reactions abounded through the Republican party a day later, but why did no one stop it beforehand?
It is hard to read the news or turn on a TV or radio without hearing the bleatings of Donald Trump. The more he speaks and the uglier his rants get, the bigger his following gets. Iowans are fairly use to this kind of talk. Much of it sounds like a Steve King speech. That may be OK for Northwest Iowa – obviously it gets him reelected every 2 years – but saying the things Trump says about people from other countries on a national stage is verboten. But Trump is the Republican Party’s owner’s worst nightmare. Someone they can’t control with their money. Trump is also someone who actually is saying what he means. Having thoughts like his being expressed publicly can be hard on the Republican Party. To see his popularity grow the uglier his statements becomes even worse.
Jeb Bush says Americans need to work longer hours. He didn’t mention whether they would get paid more or if the revenue produced from working longer would go to the folks at the top, like it has been since Reagan.
Don’t forget that Jeb has never really worked a job in his life. So Jeb must spend his days imagining how workers screw their bosses over at every turn. No doubt he gets the best data available from his billionaire buddies who must lose millions a year to nefarious worker. Too bad the billionaires never mention how they force their workers to work off the clock or get fired, nor how they keep their wages and benefits so low that workers must depend on the government to assist them.
But all these fumbles and stumbles doesn’t make Republicans less popular where it counts: in the hearts of the wealthy and therefore in the campaign wallet. Despite proving that brother George was not really the dumb sibling in the Bush family, Jeb continues to reel in the millions from the billionaires who are thoroughly convinced that money can buy anything. So far this year the wealthy have bet $114 million that they can buy the presidency for another idiot.
The country is moving forward without Republicans. Even their own hand-picked super conservative Supreme Court justices agree it is time for the country to move on. But the Republican Party will continue to work hard in word and deed to drag our democracy backward into a plutocracy run by their wealthy owners. They are using their old tried and true weapons of hate and fear. They continue to pit citizens against each other through making resources scarce for them. But the country is slowly catching on to the game and they are finally demanding that the quality of life be restored to what it was before Reagan.