“Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter.” So tweeted citizen Donald Trump in 2014. According to NBC News, of President Trump’s first 790 days in office, he has spent 402 at Trump properties, almost half of them at his golf courses. Each trip to Mar-a-Lago in Florida costs taxpayers about $3 million, and Secret Service members are charged for their rooms there, so businessman Trump is actually making money on us.
The leader of the historically fiscally conservative party, who promised to eliminate the national debt in 8 years, has now added over $2 trillion to that debt in just two years, despite a strong economy he argued would pay down debt. Wall Street says we are heading for a recession again.
In the last 53 years, from the administration of Johnson (1963) through Obama (2016), Republicans held the Oval Office for 28 years; Democrats, for 25. In that time, there were 120 criminal indictments of executive branch officials, 89 criminal convictions, and 34 prison sentences handed down—for Republicans. During the Democrats’ whole tenure, the totals were 3, 1, and 1. This does not include the Trump administration, which has already become a gold standard for corruption. Mueller March Madness indeed.
Beyond hypocrisy and corruption, what does one really remember about Republican administrations? The Iraq Wars? The Great Recession? Tax cuts for the wealthy? The eviction of millions from Obamacare? The incarceration of thousands of children at the border? The repudiation of climate science?
What do Republicans stand for—at the national level—that makes this history and abominable behavior acceptable, justifiable, and even praiseworthy, as 75 percent of Republicans approve of the current administration? That is the $64,000 question.