The Problem With “No”

The Republicans have had full control of all three branches of the federal government for the past two years and so far as I can determine, they managed only five things: (1) To keep the government staggering along (until the past few days); (2) to pass a massive tax cut largely benefitting the wealthiest Americans; (3) to pass a criminal justice reform bill; (4) to alienate to some degree almost every other nation on earth except Russia; and (5) to attempt to dismantle as much environmental protection as possible. 

Out of that more than mixed bag, only the criminal justice reform could be considered as positive for most Americans. And now, over the issue of building a wall, they’ve shut down a significant fraction of the federal government.

So why didn’t the Republicans accomplish more?  Because their agenda is almost entirely negative.  Democrats largely want to grant women more control over their bodies; Republicans say no to that, and want to take away the existing control that women have over their bodies. Democrats want to use laws and regulations to improve the environment; Republicans not only say no to that, but also want to remove existing environmental protections.  Democrats want to make it easier for all eligible citizens to register and to vote; Republicans want to restrict the right to vote and have taken active steps to make it harder for minorities and young people to vote.  Democrats are for a single-payer national health care program;  Republicans oppose that and have worked to weaken the existing system, while passing legislation that prohibits Medicare or Medicaid from negotiating lower drug prices, a key factor in making U.S. prescription drug prices the highest of all fully developed nations.

And what changes Republicans do push for are not beneficial for the majority of Americans, because they appear to be for, by their actions:  (1) unlimited rights to bear arms, regardless of the dangers to others;  (2) government control of women’s reproductive rights: (3) incorporating their religious beliefs in law; (4) greatly restricting immigration except to Caucasians and wealthy or highly educated minorities; (5) tax benefits for the wealthy and corporations;  and (6)  reduction of federal benefits to the poor and minorities.

Not only do Republicans fail to have a positive agenda for the country, but they can’t even agree on much of anything, except one thing – to oppose whatever the Democrats propose.

Regardless of the rhetoric, the tax cuts didn’t bring back manufacturing jobs, because many of those jobs didn’t migrate overseas;  instead the jobs were automated/computerized, and the others were so labor-intensive that no U.S. company could remain competitive paying U.S. wages. Since most U.S. consumers won’t pay more for U.S.- produced goods, especially if foreign goods are considerably cheaper, increasing tariffs to stop such imports would choke the U.S. economy as well as increasing the prices Americans would have to pay.

Regardless of Trump’s rhetoric, a wall won’t stop immigration.  The U.S. Gulf Coast alone stretches almost 1,700 miles, and for technical, economic, and practical reasons, that can’t be walled off.

So the Republicans have become the party of “no,” except when they most should say no, and that’s to their own President.

9 thoughts on “The Problem With “No””

  1. Billy Thompson says:

    You sum up today’s political situation better than any I have read. Thank you

    I am a little bias as I have read every book you have published except the Green Progression and Timegod’s World (for some reason haven’t been able to get far in either one)

    1. Tom says:

      Green Progression was written with someone else and, in my opinion, doesn’t show LEM as he is in later books. The nuances become more obvious as the story progresses.

      Timegods’ World series seems to me to be a worthwhile philosophical triology. I suggest you persist because I found it worthwhile.

      LEM’s SF novels are more complex (to me) than the more popular fantasy series. I have not had the same problem as you indicate with any of his books other than the start of “The Lord-Protector’s Daughter”. Once I changed my mind set from the male point of view it became somewhat intriguing. So that was my problem rather than the author’s writing.

      If you read the other stories in the short story compendia LEM writes in, he seems superior in use of language than most of the other authors. That is why I recommend persistence.

  2. Wine Guy says:

    The religious right – the so called ‘Moral Majority’ of Jerry Falwell – effectively hijacked the Republican party in the the late 70s and early 80s.

    It has all been downhill from there. The GOP went from being fiscal and social conservatives to being fiscal fools and religiously (I daresay WASP-ly) narrow-minded.

    There is no party that represent moderates such as me who are somewhat socially liberal (women control their bodies, love and marry who you wish, strict but fair guidelines on immigration) and fiscally conservative (taxes for defense, infrastructure, needful things, line-item veto for pork-belly projects). If these minimal things don’t strike you as moderate, that’s fine: I don’t expect you to be like me and have my exact set of values… and that makes me different from both Dems and Reps.

    1. Wine Guy says:

      I will stipulate that Falwell wasn’t the only one, merely one of the most vocal.

      1. Tom says:

        Sounds OK to me. As you know the devil is in the detail.

        Name a good Italian Rose’?

        1. Wine Guy says:

          I like Rose’ done in the Saigne’e styles: they do a ‘bleeding’ of the must of grape juice with the skins. The flavors and nuances are reminiscent of the varietal of the grape but are definitely their own wines.

          The following website has a good discussion and several palatable (and occ. expensive) suggestions:

          1. Wine Guy says:

            The US winery Clos Pegace does a good Sagine’e..

            As for an actual Italian wine, I prefer the more dry rosato style. Etna Rosato from Sicily and Aglianico from the Campania regions are the ones I like the most (though for full disclosure, Rose/rosato style is not my usual libation).

          2. Tom says:


            My apology LEM. It won’t happen again.

  3. Hannabel says:

    The article about sums up everything the GOP represents in modern times.

    A true party of ‘no, no & no’ as well as a willing adjunct to the insidious tRumpverse.

    Thanks, Mr. Modesitt.

    To Billy, Tom & W.G, you guys totally rocked it.

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