Another COVID-19 stimulus is finally sending some relief to Americans who've desperately needed it since last fall. It's a plan that former President Donald Trump supported; 77 percent of Americans supported it too, according to a Morning Consult poll. But the Republican party was a "no." At the same time, Democrats have been at work to raise the minimum wage to keep somewhat on track with inflation. The Republicans said "no" again. Restoring The Voting Rights Act has drawn opposition from Republicans too.
It all promoted Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle to ask if they have any ideas at all.
"But the conservative movement doesn't deserve what this kind of discourse is doing. Because arguments and indignation are starting to define the limits of conservative ideas — and defiant gestures are increasingly what the party has in place of policy," McArdle wrote Sunday.
She argued that there are legitimate arguments to have over issues before the House and Senate. There are even arguments that can be had over reopening, vaccines and when schools should reopen. But instead of having debates or discussing the issues, the GOP has gone to the extreme.
"Complain all you want that the COVID-19 relief bill has been packed with all sorts of unrelated stuff from the Democratic wish list — at least the Democrats have a wish list," McArdle said. "What's the Republican equivalent? Often it seems to be literally a bunch of wishes — that the media wouldn't be so liberal or so mean, that corporations wouldn't go Full Woke in their diversity trainings, that social media platforms would stop wielding the ban-hammer so enthusiastically against conservatives. The closest thing this has produced to a real, live governing agenda is 'Repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act,' which wouldn't really fix the problems with social media that Republicans want to address and might do a bunch of things they don't want, and at any rate is not, by itself, enough to run a country."
These aren't legislative issues. This isn't a party agenda and it isn't something that would help the voters in their districts. However, it is something that their base is talking about on social media. They're also issues that raise a lot of money in fundraising for Republican officials, said a former GOP official.
"A once-proud movement risks turning into one perpetual, primal scream: "'I'm not gonna, and you can't make me,'" she closed. "That is not a movement; it is a second adolescence. And whatever the merits of masks or reopening, that reflexively oppositional impulse is unhealthy — for conservatives, and for America."