Five Things You Need to Read Today
1. The Death of the Tea Party
The Tea Party movement of ten years ago is now comprehensively dead. How do we know that? Because Republicans and Democrats in Congress just got together on a budget deal that approves deficits in excess of $1 trillion forever—at a time of relative peace and prosperity. So we aren’t borrowing money because of some unforeseen emergency or crisis. We’re doing it because this is just how we run things now.
It’s a story so absurd only a satirical newspaper could report it straight, so here is the headline in the Babylon Bee: “Democrats, Republicans Stop Fighting Just Long Enough To Approve Even More Crushing Debt.”
That’s the theme of a good commentary from Chris Stirewalt, who concludes that “the great breakthrough of bipartisan consensus of our lifetimes is here: Nobody really cares about spending anymore. After a 75-year struggle over how much money the federal government ought to spend, members of both parties have realized that the politically expedient answer for everyone involved is simple: All of it, plus another $1.3 trillion.”
He also makes a trenchant observation about what our partisan divide actually consists of now.
The practical difference between the socialists and the nationalists in Washington is which groups they seek to punish and which groups they seek to reward in their pursuits of permanent majority and ever-greater control…. To talk of a cut in spending that is not politically motivated to target a despised group or to imagine a tax increase not designed as a punishment for a disfavored sector of society is unimaginable.
This is what’s happening while the nationalists and the socialists keep themselves busy and you distracted by calling each other racists who hate America…. The next time you’re tempted to care too deeply about who said what about whom, just remember that when it comes to the central responsibility of our government, they’re all in it together.
That’s a pretty cynical conclusion, and it is entirely justified.
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