Anyone who's been following the drama over Biden's social and climate package would think that the major roadblocks have been two Democratic senators, Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Totally absent from media coverage is the fact that no Republican senator -- not a single one out of 50 -- has been willing to support these proposals.
This isn't because of Republicans' aversion to government. Lower prescription drug prices, for example, would reduce the need for government spending on drugs. No, the Republican Party has morphed into a highly-disciplined advocate of intrusive government intrusive, that is, where it seeks control over American society.
I'm old enough to remember when the Republican Party really did -- stand for limited government -- when Ronald Reagan thundered "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." The Republican politicians I once knew had a coherent view about preserving individual liberties and limiting the role of government. That's not to say I agreed with it -- far from it. I remember long arguments with Republican lawmakers, behind closed doors, about whether a smaller government was genuinely in the interest of Americans. We disagreed, but their view was at least coherent and they were committed to it.
By contrast, today's Republican Party is intruding everywhere:
Republican governors ban masks in schools.
Republican legislatorsoutlaw abortio n.
Republican lawmakers prohibit teachers from teaching about America's racist past.
Republican officials force transgender students to play sports and use bathrooms according to their assigned gender at birth.
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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.
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