Thursday, September 05, 2019


Today offers an extraordinary opportunity to witness the wide range of contemporary Republican thought. There's short-term resentment:
In the Oval Office at lunchtime on Wednesday, Donald Trump held a briefing on Hurricane Dorian. At one point, the president held up a National Hurricane Center (NHC) map from 29 August, displaying the hurricane’s track and intensity.

Bizarrely, someone had apparently used a Sharpie ... to add a black loop falsely extending the hurricane’s path from Florida to Alabama. It was apparently a belated effort to justify Trump’s previous baseless claim that the latter state could be affected.
(Trump was criticized for the Alabama claim, and contradicted by the National Weather Service. He's been seething ever since.)

There's also near-term resentment:
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said Wednesday that during a recent visit to a migrant detention facility he drank from a toilet that also served as a water fountain and that the water was "actually pretty good."

"I actually went into that cell where it was reported that they were advised they had to drink out of the toilet,” King told a crowd of about 80 people at a town hall in Eagle Grove, Iowa. "I took a drink out of there. And actually pretty good."

King’s story was in reference to conditions inside immigration detention facilities in Texas that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and others have described as abysmal.
King is responding to assertions Ocasio-Cortez made two months ago:

And then there's long-term resentment:
The Trump administration is rolling back requirements for new, energy-efficient lightbulbs....

The new standards ... were set to go into effect in January 2020 and gradually phase out incandescent and halogen bulbs used for items such as bathroom vanities, recessed lighting and candle-shape lights, to be replaced with energy-efficient, LED versions, which are illuminated by light-emitting diodes.
Republicans have been upset about energy-efficient lightbulbs for years. When Michele Bachmann ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, anger about energy-efficient lightbulbs was a centerpiece of her campaign.
Few issues get Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) going quite like lightbulbs. At campaign stops across the country, she has repeatedly denounced a 2007 law that required manufacturers to develop energy-efficient lightbulb varieties. Bachmann sees the law as an affront to American values. “I think Thomas Edison did a pretty patriotic thing for this country by inventing the lightbulb,” she told a New Hampshire audience in March. “And I think darn well, you New Hampshirites, if you want to buy Thomas Edison’s wonderful invention, you should be able to!”
At times it seemed as if Republican anger on this issue was fading -- in 2014, Politico ran a story titled "Lights Out for the Light Bulb Battle?" -- but no grievance ever dies on the right.

I would be unfair to say that the Republican Party has run out of ideas. It has plenty of ideas, such as ... um ... cutting taxes on the rich, and ... er ... cutting regulations on rich corporations, as well as ... oh ... stirring up anger about guns, gays, and abortion so voters will keep reelecting Republicans who'll cut taxes and regulations on the rich and big corporations.

But apart from that, there are just resentments -- new, not so new, and old. That's Republican thought.

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