Have you ever noticed that Republicans at least since the days of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” and probably long before that always seem to take the wrong lesson from major events?
Based on previous experience one could expect that Republicans will view Tuesday night’s defeat in Alabama was not because of their policies, nor was it totally due to their horrible candidate. No, I believe they will double down on a couple of themes they developed to help control the election process.
They will say they felt their policies were on track, but the media – the fake and perpetually lying media – once again went after them and their candidate, Roy Moore, thus causing his defeat. While they can’t shut the media down, they have been taking steps to control it. Expect more steps to attempt to control media in the near future as another election approaches.
One might say that Thursday’s vote by the FCC to hand control of the internet to corporations is one huge step in that direction. As it is now the internet represents those backroom printing presses that were so vital to Americans during their revolution. The British did all they could to stop those presses just as Republicans are doing what they can to control the news today. Yet somehow Thomas Paine was able to get a whole lot of “Common Sense” published anyway.
Note that the rush to drastically change the internet is most likely spurred by the upcoming election and the role the internet has played in organizing and spreading the truth about conservative politicians. So make access to left wing websites more difficult and more costly while keeping conservative websites easy to access. Cable TV all over again!
The other major problem Republicans will see is that too many of the wrong people were able to vote. This has been at the top of their issues list for a long time. Expect harsher control measures known commonly as voter suppression laws to be put in place and more disappearing places to vote in Democratic areas. They see this not as cheating but as control.
It isn’t hard to look in the rear view mirror to see many places where Republicans drew the wrong message from events. Protests against the Vietnam War? They could have examined their policies and wound down the war. Instead they attacked protesters in what became an almost civil war at home as the Vietnam war waged abroad.
Nixon’s coverup of the Watergate break in and subsequent resignation. The best scenario would have been to let the law take its course to prove that in America no person is above the law. Instead Jerry Ford short-circuited the process and thereby sent a signal to future generations that Republicans would keep each other out of legal trouble for grand misdeeds.
Thus the lesson learned from Watergate for Republicans was that the rich and powerful are above the law and who is going to stop them? This precedent was used again to pardon those convicted in the Iran-Contra Affair with little fanfare. Honestly, how many CEOs and Wall Street traders have you seen behind bars? Few if any. You can be sure Trump and his lawyers and the administration as a whole are well schooled in the workings of pardons.
Another lesson not learned was about foreign adventures such as Vietnam. One of the problems that pushed Vietnam into such a heated issue at home was the drafting of soldiers from American families. As draftees were killed and maimed in Vietnam, parents, families and friends turned against the war. The lesson should have been to not enter into such foreign adventures without thorough study and planning and for good reasoning.
Instead the Republicans saw the problem of the wrong kids getting killed. They reasoned that a professional army rather than one of conscripts would keep the heat off the government in future wars. Thus we have been in Afghanistan and Iraq for 15 years more or less and we hear little news about either place.
We will soon see Republicans once again demonstrating that they learned nothing from the recent recession or the experiments on trickle down economics that took place in Kansas especially. The real lesson in both of these huge failures is that inequality and money concentrated in too few hands will lead to crashes because money stops flowing through the system when it is concentrated.
Unfortunately Republicans see the problem as too much spending by government. State senate leader Bill Dix stated he will be looking to cut spending to the bone. This will lead to fewer jobs and an economy where people will be afraid to spend. In short cutting spending will eventually lead to a slowing economy.
It happened in Kansas, it will happen in Iowa, and it will happen across the country as Republicans pursue a tax policy that will concentrate more and more money at the top. Those that really drive the economy – the middle classes and poor who spend nearly every penny will have much less to spend. The economy will falter and this time it may be nearly impossible to pull it back from the edge as Barack Obama did in 2009.
Cats, dogs and other critters seem to possess better reasoning skills.