Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
Monday, December 4, 2017
They did it. With not a single Democrat voting for it, in the early morning hours Senate Republicans followed their counterparts in the House and passed the massive Trump-GOP tax scam that steals from working families to give to the corporate interests and ultrawealthy who have already been making a killing in this economy.
The Senate bill adds a painful attack on the Affordable Care Act that will cost 13 million people their health care.
Expect an offensively joyous celebration by Republicans in Congress while the rest of the country weeps about the damage that will be wrought by this deeply unpopular tax scam.
For weeks, Republicans in the Senate have claimed that the fate of their party depends on passage of the tax bill. What they meant by that is that their big donors would close their checkbooks to them if they failed — because those special interests, along with Trump and far-right “trickle-down economics” ideologues, are the only ones in the entire country who wanted this travesty of a bill.
But now that they have their single major legislative victory of 2017, we’re going to make sure it’s one of the reasons for their downfall when we do everything in our power to boot them out of office next year.
The 2018 midterm elections are paramount to stopping the far-right Republican agenda and putting a desperately needed check on Donald Trump. But with another year of these Republican congressional majorities before the elections, here are just some of the other epic fights we can expect in 2018:
Republican efforts to cut or kill Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Now that the House and Senate have each passed the GOP’s enormous tax giveaway for corporations and the one percent on the backs of the middle class, shredding the social safety net — especially the New Deal programs despised by the Right Wing — is next. That is the second prong of their destructive tax and budget agenda, and their excuse will be the trillion-dollar shortfall created by their own tax scam!
A potential Supreme Court vacancy.
Justice Kennedy has been hinting at retirement for a long time and several other justices are of very advanced age. Mitch McConnell’s Republican Senate majority has already shown a shocking willingness to bend rules, abandon tradition, and steamroll the minority in its confirmations of even the most unfit and extreme Trump judicial nominees. The next Supreme Court nominee could be as bad as Gorsuch or worse (and that’s truly saying something).
A fight for the survival of American Democracy itself.
We don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like yet, but Republicans’ persistence in looking the other way while Donald Trump does increasing harm to our nation and our democratic institutions is going to come home to roost and they — along with the entire country — will be put to the test. Between Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, escalating tensions internationally, and Trump’s continued penchant for pushing the boundaries of racism, dishonesty, and conspiratorial vindictiveness, the threshold of what the office of president, our entire government, and society at large can tolerate is surely less than another whole year away. And whatever happens, whenever it happens, Trump won’t go quietly and neither will his fervent supporters.