Politics Becomes Social Media Content for the GOP.
I used to think that the whole point of getting elected to Congress was to go to Washington and vote on laws that we needed in order to fix things, or make things better, or some other good government thing like that.
Which didn’t mean that everyone always had to agree on which laws needed to be changed because the whole point of a democracy is to give everyone an opportunity to shoot their mouths off whether anyone agrees with them or not, right?
Which is why I have no problem, or until this new Congress had no problem with the House majority going from blue to red, because the Blue Team will get another chance to change things within a few years, so I’ll just sit back and wait.
That was how I felt until this morning, when I read the details of a new bill, The Fair Tax Act, that is evidently headed for a House vote thanks to sponsorship by at least a dozen members of the GOP caucus, with certainly more sponsors about to sign up.
Among other things, this measure would eliminate all federal taxes both on individual and corporate income, eliminate payroll taxes and abolish the IRS. The entire federal budget would be funded by what in Europe is called a value-added tax, but what we call a sales tax, which would increase the cost of everything we buy.
This is the kind of bill which is introduced in Congress to get the chief sponsor some free press, or what is now free internet noise. The bill will go nowhere because nobody is going to take seriously the idea of the federal government transacting daily business by just having revenues from a sales tax. And if the jerk who introduced this piece of nonsense, a guy named Buddy Carter doesn’t know it, 45 of the 50 states, including his state of Georgia, already impose sales taxes on most items that consumers buy.
Until the internet and the advent of social media, however, most elected officials were happy if they got their name and their picture on the local TV or radio news maybe once every other week. Now it seems that some of these public servants, as we used to call them, appear on social media outlets more than several times every day.
And the day-trippers who seem most fixated with saying something which is crazy or stupid enough to get them on my daily Google news aggregator at least twice and sometimes three or four times between sunup and sundown happen to all be members of the GOP.
When was the last time you flicked on your internet browser and didn’t see Marjorie Taylor Greene? When was the last time that Lauren Boebert kept her mouth shut for more than a couple of hours at the most? And if you think the current exchange of insults between these two women isn’t as phony and contrived as the educational experiences of George Santos, think again.
Back in the 1990’s, which in terms of media was the Stone Age, I knew a guy who wanted to run for a seat in the State Assembly. He was going to run as a Republican, which ion my state – Massachusetts – is basically a waste of money and time. Which turned out to be the case in this particular campaigned which this guy ended up losing by a 30-poiunt spread.
Anyway, when he first decided to run, he went to the state GOP and they told him that he needed to spend at least $20,000 to give himself any chance of even coming in close, and if he would put up ten grand the state GOP would match it and away he could go. Be advised that the money would be spent primarily on lawn signs.
Now if this guy wanted to run for the State Assembly these days, he could probably get the same degree of public exposure by spending a couple of hundred bucks on designing and hosting a website, or he could get really fancy, spend a hundred bucks and run off a thousand copies of a one-pager at Staples which could be stuck in mailboxes or on front doors. How would he know which houses to choose? The houses that didn’t have a lawn sign for his opponent a week before the vote.
My point is that people like Boebert and Greene aren’t shooting their yaps off to make contact with the folks back home. Make no mistake about it, these people have national ambitions and who knows where they will end up?
To quote Grandpa again, they should all wind up in ‘drerd’ (read: nowhere and I’m being polite.)