Last week, after Roy Moore lost the race for a Senate seat in Alabama, I wrote “Old-guard Senate Republicans don’t like over-the-top vile. They like guys who are vile but discreet.”
In other words, they prefer colleagues who are like themselves. But there’s always room under their tent for guys like Moore and Donald Trump, faux-populists who convince low-information voters (gotta love the euphemism!) that the GOP is more than just the party of the rich.
But that’s exactly what the GOP is. Congressional Republicans invariably push for legislation like the newly passed tax bill, which is nothing but a huge giveaway to the corporations and individuals that fund their campaigns and set their agendas.
Vile but discreet Republicans — the McConnells and Grassleys and Cornyns and so on — don’t grab pussies or wave pistols or publicly dismiss Mexicans as criminals. They pretend to be appalled by the antics of their overtly vile colleagues. They pretend to serve both rich and poor constituents, and to worry about the federal deficit.
Some of them — the pipsqueak Bob Corker comes to mind — even pretended to doubt the wisdom of the new tax bill before adjustments were made to ensure the bill would benefit them personally.
In the end, all the Republicans in the Senate and all but twelve in the House voted yes to the bill, because it will further enrich their masters and themselves.
Maybe passage of the tax bill will wake Democrats to their great opportunity to retake both houses of Congress next year in the midterms. But don’t bet on it too early — Dems are experts at blowing opportunities.