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Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump Has Radically Transformed the GOP

The party has already given up on five of its core issues.

There have been two schools of thought about what Donald Trump's victory will do to the GOP. The "spooked" suggest that Trump's unprincipled, self-serving Turban TrumpHeartsMindsEars @Foterpopulism will erode the GOP's core conservative commitments and hollow out the party's soul. The "blasé" maintain that cooler heads among party stalwarts, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, will change and temper Trump and make him appreciate the GOP's commitments — or at least induce him to let them run the party's policy shop from Capitol Hill while Trump basks in the warm glow of the White House.

But the verdict is in, and the spooked are right. Look no further than the hundreds of Republican lawmakers who lustily applauded as Trump uttered one conservative apostasy after another during his joint address to Congress.

Already, with dizzying speed, Trump has transformed the GOP in his own image. Sure, there is some overlap between Trump's and the GOP's pet issues, such as tax cuts, school choice, regulatory reform, and ObamaCare repeal (which, if the recently released House GOP plan that Trump favors is any indication, is turning out to be a mess that is heavy on more entitlement spending and light on actual market-based reforms). But these are no longer embedded in any high-minded fidelity to limited government — just a vulgar populism.

To fully appreciate how far the GOP has drifted, consider five areas — in ascending order of importance to its own priorities — where the Republican Party has radically changed course in just a few short weeks. And this is before Trump even begins in earnest on his ominous promise to make the GOP, which has spent the last two decades fighting labor union power by passing right-to-work laws in states, a Worker's Party – a la Europe's big government nationalistic labor parties such as France's National Front.

Immigration

Under Trump, the GOP has become the party of unrepentant restrictionism, even when this clashes with the free market and competition — things the party allegedly believes in.

Pre-Trump, even the most extreme anti-immigration wing of the Republican Party (represented by Rush Limbaugh and his listeners) made a distinction between legal and illegal immigration, claiming that they were only against the second. Indeed, Mitt Romney, who took this distinction at face value, wanted to make life so miserable for the undocumented that they'd "self deport," but also wanted to staple green cards to the diplomas of foreign techies graduating from American universities.

Thanks to Trump, the GOP now sees all immigrants as a potential threat to American jobs and wages, even legal immigrants, or those working in the tech industry. There are now three Republican bills in Congress to clamp down on the H-1B visa program foreign techies have typically used to live and work in the country.

Trade

For the last several decades, free trade has been the veritable sine qua non of the capitalistic right — whereas "fair trade" has defined the anti-capitalistic left. Indeed, when America was negotiating its entry into the World Trade Organization in 1995 to promote global free trade, the anti-globalization movement consisting of labor unions, greens, campus radicals, and other sundry lefty groups was holding mass demonstrations demanding fair trade. These folks argued that free trade with countries that lacked the West's tough labor and environmental regulations would trigger a race to the bottom, decimating workers and the environment. They demanded an equalization of these standards — or fair trade — before any reductions in trade barriers. The right (correctly!) argued that a free movement of goods would generate wealth, lifting billions out of poverty, while boosting living standards and the environment. Indeed, if the right hadn't gone to bat for free trade, President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, would never have succeeded in signing either the WTO or NAFTA.

Yet Trump has now embraced the mantra of fair trade — just with a different twist. To Trump, fair trade means good deals for America. He rejects the conservative claim that trade is a win-win for both sides. He's already killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and wants to back out of the WTO and renegotiate NAFTA. He quoted Abraham Lincoln (who, despite all his other virtues, did not understand trade, bless his heart) and declared: "The abandonment of the protective policy by American government will produce want and ruin among our people."

And what is the Republican response? Hearty applause. Worse, the former free trade champion, Paul Ryan, whom everyone was hoping would stand athwart Trump's protectionist march yelling stop, is actually pushing a border-adjustment tax bill to tax imports by 20 percent. (Senate Republicans are resisting but it remains to be seen for how long.

Russia and American foreign policy

Remember when Republicans were up in arms against President Obama's overseas "apology tour"? His assurances to the Muslim world that America would return to the time when its conduct wasn't "colonial" caused conniptions among conservatives. They were enraged that Obama would even hint — hint — that U.S. foreign policy might have been less than perfect. "The Obama administration's strategy of unconditional engagement with America's enemies combined with a relentless penchant for apology-making is a dangerous recipe for failure," harrumphed The Heritage Foundation, the right's go-to think tank.

So one would think that when President Trump vacuously declared to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that there is no moral difference between American and Russian foreign policy conduct, conservatives would be horrified ... right? ("There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?" Trump blurted when O'Reilly tentatively suggested that America's palling around with a murderous autocrat like Putin wasn't a great idea.) Not even close!

No doubt, if Obama had said anything remotely this heretical, the fumes from Republican nostrils would have blotted out the sun. Trump probably didn't even think before uttering his words — which is perhaps why the GOP let it go. But this silence will come back to haunt Republicans. It undercuts the party's claim to being the "patriotic" party. And should a social justice warrior like Elizabeth Warren ever become president and launch a fuller blown mea culpa to the "victims" of American foreign policy than Obama did, Republicans will be in no position to protest.

Government spending

If anything used to make GOP heads explode, it was spendthrift liberals, especially when they proposed Keynesian infrastructure spending on the pretext of creating jobs. Republicans spent most of the Obama years railing against his profligate ways, especially his $850 billion stimulus spending on bridges to nowhere. Something like a balanced-budget amendment to curb deficit spending and control America's ballooning debt — that is now 100 percent of the GDP without counting America's $85 trillion in unfunded liabilities — has been the GOP's holy grail. They pulled heroic stunts (which I applauded at the time) to shut the government down rather than raise the debt ceiling without tackling exploding entitlements. And they finally relented only after they made a sequester deal in which every time the budget exceeded a capped amount, it would trigger cuts in both defense and non-defense spending.

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  • SIV||

    Reason Foundation Senior Trump TurbanHeartsMindsEars @FoterAnalyst Shikha Dalmia

  • SIV||

    That's quite the title.

  • Diane Merriam||

    Students for a Democratic Society?

  • CooterBrown||

    Go shit in a bucket, Shikha. Or at least go write for Rolling Stone or something.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    A political party adopts popular views to win votes.

    Just more proof that Trump's Hitler and Amerikkka is the fourth Rike.

  • Eric Bana||

    I think it's good to criticize Trump and the Republican Party, especially in the areas of government spending and entitlement reform where they are so disappointing.

  • WakaWaka||

    Sure. But not with regards to Republicans now being too soft on Russia. Because the fact that Shitkha is a waste of humanity and a true disgrace to the concept of liberalism, getting upset because Trump has made the GOP less bellicose with regards to Russia is pure jack-assery. Suddenly cosmos are all for a confrontation with Russia, but not the last eight years because everything was peachy.

    Nothing discredits cosmos more than their selective outrage with regards to foreign policy adventurism.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I understand the MSM repeating DNC talking points about Russia and I guess maybe I shouldn't be too surprised to hear Shikha repeating them either. Question though, should we allow unlimited immigration from Mother Russia? What if they're in military uniform? Would asking them questions be racist?

  • AlmightyJB||

    They deserve all the criticism they get but it's pretty disingenuous at the very least to blame the guy who's been president for 6 weeks for the GOPs hypocrisy concerning limited government stretching back God only knows how many decades.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    What is so ridiculous about Shikha's article is that she pretends that lack of principle and failure to deliver on small government represents a change for the GOP and blames Trump for it. It's obvious Shikha hates Trump because he doesn't fall into line with her faux-libertarian progressive world view, that's all.

    I don't particularly like Trump, but gosh, for him to expose hypocrites, haters, and bigots like Shikha simply by existing is certainly a valuable service to the country, no matter what Trump may do in his presidency.

  • MSimon||

    +1E27

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Whether Shikha has to wear brown or red today, she is going to be part of the propaganda ministry of the elite!

  • Jerryskids||

    And then there's those of us who thought Trump would once and for all expose the GOP for what it really is and aren't a damn bit surprised at the speed with which the Stupid Party has morphed into the Blowhard Unprincipled Lying Liars Shitweasel Heil-Imperator-Trump Party. Some of us knew since Bush the Elder that the squishy Rockefeller Republicans hated the Goldwater/Reagan/TEA Party Republicans worse than they hated Communists.

  • Karen24||

    There is an acronym used on lefty blogs: IOIYAAR -- It's Okay If You Are A Republican. Used whenever a Republican does something that the party has been hammering Dems over forever.

  • mnarayan||

    I don't see Free Speech in this list? I've heard some people think it should be violently suppressed in this Age of Trump.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Nor the new pro-rape policy. What gives? Shikha is trying to sugarcoat the Trump agenda again.

  • WakaWaka||

    No mention on his new executive order allowing baby sacrifices either.

  • Free Society||

    Trump Abruptly Orders 46 Obama-Era Prosecutors to Resign

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration moved on Friday to sweep away most of the remaining vestiges of Obama administration prosecutors at the Justice Department, ordering 46 holdover United States attorneys to tender their resignations immediately — including Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan.

    ALL HAIL TRUMP, GOD EMPEROR, GRABBER OF PUSSIES, SLAYER OF PROSECUTORS

  • VG Zaytsev||

    "Trump firing an overreaching douchebag prosecutor like Prert is just more proof that he's a proto dictator. Because a real liberty minded democratic leader would leave an out of control prosecutor in place".

    - Cosmotarian Editorial Staff

  • Jerryskids||

    I'd guess not all the resignations will be accepted, some will be retained on a case-by-case basis. Preet would be one Trump is familiar with and likely approves of his tough-on-crime bona fides.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Except I have seen no evidence that he does not traffic in goat sex for Cuk Schumer.

  • Carlos Inconvenience||

    Didn't Reason have an article just the other day that said Preet was selectively (and overly) prosecuting people?

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Didn't Reason have an article the other year that Preet was overly fucking with them?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I was really hoping the Immigration section would be longer. Shikha, could you please elaborate on this?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Concerning the last two points about government spending and entitlement reform. Except for the tea party candidates (ie dirty racist teabaggers) the GOP abandoned those principals a long time ago if they ever had them. I think is actually a good thing that they're being honest about it now (wait for the next election though). Too many (especially younger) people still fall for their limited government con job.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    I don't know how Trump could transform a party that hasn't existed for at least 50 years. I seem to remember one of their guys by the name of Nixon left us with a totally unrestrained fiat currency. And that other one, Reagan, who proved that "deficits don't matter". And didn't that GHW fellow raise taxes and bailout the S? Then there was GW junior who created a brand new entitlement, expanded the bureaucracy, spent trillions on wars of choice and presided over a global economic meltdown. Fiscal restraint really isn't a GOP principle.

  • BigT||

    "Fiscal restraint really isn't a GOP principle..."

    ...except in comparison to the Donkeys.

  • Diane Merriam||

    Doesn't make a lot of difference between heading for the cliff at 55mph or just 50 mph.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    I have the reflexes of a cat (Garfield). It could be just the edge I need.

  • pan fried wylie||

    It's like ole Jack always says, It's all in the lasagne.

  • Robert||

    Maybe not a lot, but some. I'd like to live that little bit longer. That's what a lot of medicine is about. We know you're going to die, but postponing it is considered a benefit.

  • ||

    It IS strange where 'fiscal conservatism' is concerned. Up here in Canada, Harper's conservatives were spenders too

  • Brian||

    Damn: Teump flushed the GOP's limited government principles down the drain.

  • Bubba Jones||

    That was W.

  • Diane Merriam||

    That was Hoover

  • MSimon||

    J. Edgar?

  • livelikearefugee||

    Monica Lewinsky

  • AlmightyJB||

    "So one would think that when President Trump vacuously declared to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that there is no moral difference between American and Russian foreign policy conduct, conservatives would be horrified ... right?"

    I'm outraged by Trumps statement. How dare he forget to include Adam Lanza in this equivacation.

  • WakaWaka||

    If during the course of these four years, Shitkha will have been committed to a mental institution ranting and raving about Trump, then it all would have been worth it.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    The "spooked" suggest that Trump's unprincipled, self-serving populism will erode the GOP's core conservative commitments and hollow out the party's soul

    The GOP never had any soul to begin with: for decades it was dominated by petty, right wing social conservatives, war mongers, crony capitalists, and a small smattering of actual racists. (That's in sharp contrast to the Democrats, who have always had a soul, albeit a black one.)

    One thing Trump has definitely done, however, is to expose the hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and hatefulness of faux libertarians like Shikha. For that alone, I'm grateful.

  • Damned||

    No, this is what the GOP has been since the Southern Strategy worked. The great revolts of 1994 and 2010 show this. Drumpf is the effect, not the cause.

    It is laughable to paint the GOP as being against spending. Reagan's policies tripled the debt, and even as the deficits were getting to be manageable Bush Jr. and his policies busted it.
    Obama did stem the rot with a huge stimulus, but the rest of his policies were exactly Bush leftovers that the House did not allow a change.

    It's a myth that deficits or the debt matters to the GOP. They are perfectly happy spending as long as they borrow and not tax especially the rich.

    An unscored healthcare bill being rammed through is no different than the Medicare Part D expansion
    A military build up today is different than Reagan's?
    Who created the huge Homeland Security, and that too during a lame duck session?

    Of course, reason.com has to revise history, how else would they maintain their laughable libertarian credentials?

    Trump is simply the front.

  • wareagle||

    Reagan's policies tripled the debt
    I seem to recall a concurrent spike in revenues to the Treasury and an economic boom that continued through the 90s. That Congress kept right on spending is also true.

    Obama did stem the rot with a huge stimulus
    This not shovel-ready comment requires a citation.
    the rest of his policies were exactly Bush leftovers that the House did not allow a change.
    When Obama was elected, the House had a Dem-majority. So did the Senate. Your argument is that Dems loved Bush's ideas after blaming him for everything imaginable?

  • pan fried wylie||

    Your argument is that Dems loved Bush's ideas after blaming him for everything imaginable?

    If by that you meant their argument is "BOOOOOOSH", then, yes.

  • Robert||

    "Bouche? He wasn't even running!" - Gary Shandling

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Reagan's policies tripled the debt

    Whether he tripled it is irrelevant; what matters is absolute increases in federal debt in constant dollars.

    Reagan added $1.8 trillion, Obama added $7.9 trillion, in constant dollars.

    And Reagan actually delivered, as opposed to Obama's failed attempts at presidential community organizing.

    Obama did stem the rot with a huge stimulus,

    Obama's stimulus did not work at all. It was just a gigantic crony capitalist handout to Democratic donors..

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "Who would have thought that the party would have caved on its core issues without even a fight."

    Gee, Shikha, I don't know. All of us Democrats, perchance? Who knew that Republican opposition to President Obama's agenda was entirely fucking political? Because they had done the same fucking thing to Clinton? Maybe! Maybe!

  • BigT||

    You are the resident anus these days since Venalman is so rarely here.

  • pan fried wylie||

    *Analvann

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Who knew that Republican opposition to President Obama's agenda was entirely fucking political?

    Well, it is supposed to be: they are politicians.

    Because they had done the same fucking thing to Clinton?

    You mean Bill Clinton? Your history is way off.

    But, yeah, hopefully Repulicans will continue to obstruct Democrats any way they can, because Democrats have become the party of racists, socialists, and totalitarians over the last couple of decades.

  • MHaber||

    Reason allows Ms. Dalmia to claim that government-controlled trade is "free-trade." Sad!

  • GILMORE™||

    In that case it would simply be factually-inaccurate rather than blatantly-dishonest

  • redfish||

    If "free trade" means "tariff-free trade" then it makes sense.

    However, its absurd for her to say that free trade was a solid principle of conservativism. It was a solid principle of neo-conservativism, which has only existed since the Cold War, and which always has had its paleo-con critics. The base of the party always leaned towards paleo-con views, though, and Trump's victory just represents a victory of the base over the establishment as far as this goes.

  • Dodge Fascism||

    RECALL what Ron Paul said about Trump when asked if Ron would vote Trump? "Well, 1st he'd have to take the Libertarian Oath, but that still doesn't mean I'd vote for an authoritarian".. SO again, Ron Paul was spot on, on so many levels. If Trump had half a brain, he would instantly FIRE dumpkin Jeff Sessions, & REPLACE that goon with Judge Andrew Napolitano!! READ IT TRUMP!, Americans are beyond disgusted with ALL neocons like Lindsay/Pansy Graham, Lyin-Paul Ryan, Stupid-Sessions, John-warmonger-McCain, Mitch-the-dumbmoose-McConnell, & the rest of the sellouts who R no different than the lying Demonrats! The only decent repub is Rand Paul, yet how dare Rand threaten social security by calling it an entitlement, after the American Born Citizens who have paid into social security all thier lives deserve it, while "immigrants" get a chomp at it without any pay-ins! Drug war is a total DISASTER, supporting murderers at Big Pharma & thier MANY poisons, the laws which prop up confiscation & private prison industry are an out right ATROCITY to EVERYTHING American! Equal to Slavery! Trump tickled alot of Libertarian ears in the beginning, but look at the goons he hired for govt positions!! Drain the swamp? OH, NOTHING MORE ON CROOKED HILLARY, THE DC PEDO RING THAT BOTH PARTIES ARE INVOLVED IN.. WHAT ABOUT IT TRUMP? OH THATS RIGHTS YOU SAID "SHES A GOOD PERSON, DONT WANNA PROSECUTE HER", YOU FOOLED NO ONE!! HOW ABOUT YOUR BOY JEFF EPSTIEN? WE ARE GONNA HOLD YOUR FEET TO THE FIRE!

  • BigT||

    B-

  • American Memer||

    If the caps-lock commenter people are coming here, we've truly fallen so far in the past few months.

  • Bubba Jones||

    How is this different from W and compassionate conservatism?

  • Diane Merriam||

    Or his father's thousand points of light?

  • GILMORE™||

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Or the ridiculous price of a side order of guac?

  • American Memer||

    Hitler?

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Goddamn vegans.

  • Sevo||

    I'm certainly glad the press is now focusing on the important issues and keeping us informed of the serious matters concerning Trump and his cabinet. In a section headlined "The 45th PRESIDENT", we find:

    "Sean Spicer began his briefing with his lapel pin upside down, and Twitter lost it"
    http://www.sfgate.com/technolo.....993283.php

    No wonder the population now looks with great confidence to the press for valuable information!

  • Damned||

    Yes, because if they have time to note such small details on Twitter, then the press can laugh at the blatant hypocrisy of the Drumpfsucker Spicer who "joked" that the previous 76 months of job numbers were phony.

  • chemjeff||

    Yeah I don't think that the GOP "reversed course" due to Trump. Instead I think Trump revealed what Republican voters' true preferences are. They are more concerned with stopping the "wrong people" from getting the gubmint bennies, rather than getting rid of the bennies themselves. For the most part they are completely fine with the welfare state as long as it goes to "real Muricans".

    Right: Welfare State for Muricans Only!
    Left: Welfare State for Everyone!

  • Damned||

    Muricans being white males, of European ancestry and net worth over $3 million.

  • call your mom||

    Nation's Liberals Announce 'Day Without A Protest' Protest'

    U.S.—America's progressives have arranged yet another nationwide demonstration dubbed the "Day Without A Protest" demonstration, in which participants will stay home and not angrily protest anything and everything that provokes their ire, a liberal spokesperson announced Wednesday.

    "The country will be forced to see exactly what it looks like to enjoy a whole day without people protesting in their towns and cities," the representative for the protest told reporters.

    "Soon, the nation will realize just how terrible it is to suffer through 24 hours of peace and civility in our cities' streets."

    At publishing time, the "Day Without A Protest" announcement had turned violent, igniting riots and lootings throughout the nation.

  • pan fried wylie||

    The Onion changed its name?

  • Carlos Inconvenience||

    Could this site start running the authors' bylines under the article titles on the main page? That way I could know which articles are written by progressives instead of libertarians and more easily skip them.

  • Drave Robber||

    Well, if the byline is 'Reason Staff', the author's name is somewhere in the first two paragraphs.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Besides, most regular readers can spot the author by the logical fallacy chosen to open the article.

  • Damned||

    Is it "False dichotomy of two completely made up options"?

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    "There have been two schools of thought about what Donald Trump's victory will do to the GOP. The "spooked" suggest that Trump's unprincipled, self-serving Turban TrumpHeartsMindsEars @Foterpopulism will erode the GOP's core conservative commitments and hollow out the party's soul. The "blasé" maintain that cooler heads among party stalwarts, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, will change and temper Trump and make him appreciate the GOP's commitments — or at least induce him to let them run the party's policy shop from Capitol Hill while Trump basks in the warm glow of the White House."

    Only a Senior Analyst is permitted to create the dreaded double-strawman.

  • American Memer||

    I, too, can post a caricature of Trump followed by an article decrying everything he's ever claimed he might possibly do. Hire me, Reason.

    All joking aside: look, Ms. Dalmia. I don't like him either. However, your tone bespeaks someone who has this powerful, visceral negative fixation on Trump and is lashing out from a place of anger. This makes you harder to take seriously on the subject.

    I think you might become a happier person if you let someone else take the Trump beat for a while and focus on other things. (I'm sure Mr. Chapman is chomping at the bit for that role anyway.) To be honest, when you're *not* putting Trump in your crosshairs, you've written some great articles. The one on Modi's demonetization scheme a few months back comes to mind. Your talents are wasted on stuff like this.

  • Hillman321||

    "Reason" has become another propaganda are of the left. Trump has not lumped all immigrants with the ILLEGAL ALIENS. He had given the Border Patrol the green light to enforce all the "removals" on the books for YEARS under King Barry. He is rightfully looking at the H1/H2 visas that discriminates against American students in the STEM disciplines.

    Sad state of affairs when no one can be trusted to simply state facts when writing artivcles.

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    I find your hysterical musings and paranoid diatribes mildly amusing.

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    He is rightfully looking at the H1/H2 visas that discriminates against American students in the STEM disciplines.


    Liar.

  • afk05||

  • Damned||

    ^^^THIS

    So objective, so precise. Could have been better though had it been linked to the comment at Breitbart

  • Eman||

    I'll take no principles over bad principles. I'm sure it was accidental, but he's already done some stuff I like, which beats the average "nothing" by a little bit.

  • Damned||

    I like how you enumerated these things. It is very clear now

  • Tony||

    I bet it's the kicking out all the Muslims and Mexicans. Because a guy who does that can also do some freedomy things too!

  • Luke Lea||

    And those who don't cave will be replaced. They and the Democratic Party better hope Trump fails. Otherwise they both will be in the wilderness for a long time to come.

  • eyeroller||

    Government spending

    Republicans and conservatives have been big-big-government for a long, long time. The difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals are honest with themselves about it, and conservatives are self-deceiving.

  • Intn'l House of Badass||

    I'll make it simple, KMW: Fire this hack or lose a reader for good.

  • Ragoftag||

    Is this Reason or the Nation? Can't tell. Wild accusations and baseless charges? Must be the Nation.

  • buybuydandavis||

    I was thinking "Must be Reason".

    A Shikha article on Trump? Turn the pants shitting hysteria to 11!

  • buybuydandavis||

    Party hasn't changed much. People in charge have. The Peasants finally have their ideas at the top.

  • ConnarchyInTheUSA||

    Why is everybody so terrified of Russia? Did McCarthyism pull a Blues Brothers and somehow make a Trump-umphant return?
    Of all the things he's done so far, reaching out to Putin & Co. is probably one of the few I'm actually happy he is doing. The GOP? Hell, they went the way of responsible fiscal spending DECADES ago. Now, they're just beholden to a different set of lobbyist corporate masters (well, except for GE, Goldman-Sachs, and a few others -- those cats pretty much own DC) than the Democrats, who at least try to pretend they give two shits about the proletariat and the precariat (a brilliant little Guy Standing word, that!).
    Anyways, Trump hasn't really done anything to the GOP that they haven't been doing to themselves for a while now. What you are witnessing is simply the veil drooping slightly because they don't have to stay in character quite so much as when the Ds were the big dogs on the block.

  • redfish||

    Most of the editorial only makes sense if you pretend paleo-cons never existed. Paleo-cons always criticized American foreign policy, always were against free trade, always were restrictionist on immigration, always supported infrastructure spending. The main concern regarding Trump from that perspective is his lack of interest in entitlements reform (which is the main source of future deficits and debt). But the editorial undermines itself on this argument, by pointing out how Ryan is pushing the issue, proving that Trump hasn't "radically transformed" the party.

    Aside from that, we get ridiculous statements like this,
    "The right (correctly!) argued that a free movement of goods would generate wealth, lifting billions out of poverty, while boosting living standards and the environment..."

    Oh yes, because people like Pat Buchanan never existed ! As for Democratic support, you just need to look at the history of support for free trade among Democrats... Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama; all supported free trade. The Democratic Party has an unbroken history of supporting free trade. At the time that NAFTA was passed, both parties were split. There was a caucus within the Democratic Party that was pro-union and opposed, and a caucus that supported it. There was a caucus within the Republican party that was opposed, and a caucus that supported it. Its not something that was ever neatly divided on partisan lines.

  • redfish||

    Nothing confused me. The point is that it wasn't a position monolithically held by the right. Part of the right argued it, part of the right argued against it. Part of the left argued for it, part of the left argued against it. The OP is wrong in portraying it as a left-right issue.

    At any rate... no reputable economist shares your view on Smoot-Hawley. Here's Milton Friedman when asked if it caused the Great Depression:
    "No. I think the Smoot-Hawley Tariff was a bad law. I think it did harm. But the Smoot-Hawley Tariff by itself would not have made one-quarter of the labor force unemployed."

  • Lowen||

    Look a bit more deeply into Shikha Dalmia and you will see how, if the information was make public, well lets just say self implode comes to mind!!!

  • Joseph C. Moore (USN Ret.||

    What a pile of crap by a misunderstanding of what the Constitution or the Republican plank states. The a**holes in the houses of congress who lie on their oath of office, yet place an "r" after their names are NOT Republicans. The Grand Old Party has been usurped by these Neo-con menaces, so don't call those miss produced sperm/egg idiots "Republican" or denigrate the law of the land with your stupid rantings.

  • NinaBastiat||

    Im just trying to understand why statists come to a libertarian media to complain that libertarians are complaining about the state. This comment section is a joke.

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