Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The GOP makes a Faustian bargain and sells its soul

Version of this published in the Sky Hi News December 13, 2017
Update: April 2018: Evangelical Christians are doubling down in their support of Trump in spite of his
high profile immoral behavior from Access Hollywood to Stormy Daniels because he supports their long list of political agenda that advances their religious convictions.

Revised December 8, 2017
You may have heard the term , " a Faustian bargain". It means when someone sell one’s soul to the devil to get what they lust after.  The GOP sold its soul for tax reform, setting precedents for years to come. In  Alabama’s Senate race regardless if Judge Roy Moore wins or loses ( election results are unknown as this is being written), Faust’s bargain lives on. With their support of Moore and their tax reform bill, Donald Trump, the Republican National committee and almost all of the GOP lost any credibility as the guardian of fiscal responsibility and with caring about the safety and credibility of women in the workplace.

Why Faust? The greatest work in German literature, Faust, a play in prose and poetry, was authored  in the late 1700’ and revised through the early 1800’s by  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  He tackled a basic human dilemma,  a conflicted man  frustrated with failures in life
making a choice between doing what he knows is  moral or losing  out on other personal goals after which he lusted.  In Goethe’s play,  Faust   makes an arrangement with the devil: the devil will do everything that Faust wants while he is here on Earth, and in exchange Faust will serve the devil in Hell.  Faust , with help of the devil, pursued his seduction of his love, Margaret/Gretchen, who in turn killed her mother who opposed their affair . That tragedy is just for starters.  Faust's themes have resonated in opera and drama and have become an icon for the kind of dilemma humans have faced in life and in politics. It is that kind of Faustian bargain that will haunt the GOP for years.

The Republican National Committee  and Donald Trump reversed their  prior opposition to Moore. The RNC  put a million dollars into his campaign and  lost any holy than thou  moral authority in endorsing Judge Roy Moore in Alabama. Moore had been credibly accused of sexual violation of teenagers. Even the GOP Senatorial leadership caved, pontificating that it was up to the good people of Alabama, but, playing both sides, they would have an elected/seated Moore face their ethics committee, of course while or after the tax "reform" bill votes.  The exception: Colorado's Sen. Cory Gardner, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, who said the NRSC would never support Moore .Gardner voted for the Senate tax "reform" bill version. Most of the GOP still gave the public  rationalization of the party’s continued support of Moore as his vote was needed on tax "reform". The "reform" bill is highly unpopular, polling with 35% approval.

The GOP has forever weakened their ability to use debt and deficits as an argument against supporting or expanding the social safety nets. They have forever wounded their reputation as budget/deficit hawks by approving a tax "reform" that would add one trillion dollars to the national debt. Nearly all independent experts agreed, including Congress' own experts.

Expect the GOP  to make the deficit hawk argument again when the service on the debt eats up so much of the federal budget, they have no choice but to cut medicare, medicaid, and social security and force it to be privatized or cut benefits, House Majority Leader Paul Ryan's goal all along.    Democrats will then be able to throw back in the GOP’s  face the GOP does not care about the debt so why should they?

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