Prof. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit likes to say that all the Democrats had to do to regain power was not to act crazy, and they can’t even do that. That may be the understatement of the year.
Democrats regained the majority in the House as of last Thursday, on promises to lower health care costs, rebuild infrastructure and return civility to politics. But in just their first four days, they managed to set a new land speed record for careening from “reasonable impersonation of a rational human being” to “full-on, bat-poop loonies.” By this time next Thursday, I half expect them to be climbing to the top of the Capitol dome while screaming gibberish and waving flaming torches.
Here’s a recap of their MAGA (Make America Groan Again) agenda:
Within the first couple of hours, Democrats filed articles of impeachment against the President with no grounds, moved to abolish the Electoral College, and put out notices that they would be hiring lots and lots of lawyers for investigations of Trump, his businesses, family members, friends, acquaintances, chamber maids, dogs, cats and Chia Pets.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib stood in front of a crowd and said she was quoting what she told her young son when she declared that they were going to impeach the “BLEEP,” using possibly the most vile profanity in the language. The Washington Post ran an op-ed defending her, and Nancy Pelosi refused to criticize her. I’m so old, I can remember when Pelosi said that only if the Democrats won would civility return to politics. That was a few months ago. But then, she was also on Stephen Colbert’s show a week before the election, promising that when Democrats won, they would lower the temperature of political discourse and “we will honor the vows of our founders. E Pluribus Unum. From many, one.” So far, all we’ve gotten from many Democrats is one big childish, partisan clown show. It’s like watching a gaggle of first-graders who were left unsupervised in a candy store and are now tearing up the place on a sugar rush.
Speaker Pelosi seems to be having her own mental short circuit, having declared walls to be "immoral" and claiming that the Constitution makes her the equal of the President, since the Executive and Legislative are equal branches. Yes, except that Trump is the sole leader of the Executive branch and the nation in general, being the only official elected by the entire country and having garnered nearly 63 million votes nationwide. She got just over 275,000 voters in one of the most far-left districts in America, and is the leader of one-half of Congress and one of 435 Representatives. I'm not surprised that she’s fuzzy on the Constitution, since I get the feeling it’s been a long time since she’s read it (if she ever has.) But you’d think she’d at least know the difference between a President and a Representative, having lived through 20 Presidential elections.
Democrats also announced a bill demanding that the President hand over 10 years’ worth of his personal tax returns. John Hinderaker at the Powerline blog noted that if Pelosi thinks she’s the equal to the President, then shouldn’t she have to turn over 10 years’ worth of her own personal income tax records?
Of course, any discussion of wack-a-doodle Democratic antics isn’t complete without Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She hadn't held her first job in politics for more than 48 hours before calling for a radical “Green New Deal” and other massive programs that would vastly bloat the government, crush individual freedom, blow tens of trillions of dollars and remake America into a socialist Utopia. She also made her debut on “Sixty Minutes,” where she called the President a racist and proudly accepted the title of "radical," saying that only “radicals” like Lincoln and FDR have altered the course of history and made progress in America. Of course, in far more cases, from Russia to Cuba to Venezuela, it’s been radicals who have destroyed entire economies and oppressed and killed tens of millions of people, but let’s not split hairs.
She still tends to bristle when anyone brings up the fact- and math-challenged aspects of her statements or asks how she would pay for her radical socialist agenda. But I’m happy to report that at least she’s moved beyond saying that we “just pay for it,” and now is being honest enough to admit that she wants to raise the top income tax rate to 70%.
Of course, even that wouldn’t pay for her grandiose visions, so the New York Times’ economics columnist and failed stock prognosticator Paul Krugman helped her out by calling for raising the top tax bracket to 80%. Economist Bill Anderson wrote on Facebook, “At the 2004 Southern Economic Association meetings in New Orleans, I asked Krugman in a room full of economists if he believed we should go back to the 1980 top rates [of 70%]. His answer: ‘Oh, no! Those rates were insane!’ His exact words. So, it is official; Krugman now endorses insanity. How appropriate.”
Okay, we have 80%, do I hear…90%? Even an 80% tax rate isn’t insane enough to pay for the Democrats’ insane vision of a border-free, everything free, socialist America. So former Obama HUD Secretary and Democratic President hopeful Julian Castro came to AOC’s defense by calling for a 90% top rate. (Bonus: he also cited the old saw about making corporations “pay their fair share,” which means they’ll raise the prices of their products and pass the cost on to consumers. You, that is.)
But hey, why stop at 90%? Back during the ‘60s and ‘70s, British rock stars such as the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart complained that they paid 90% in income taxes, then when you added in the annual property taxes and other taxes, they were being billed for more than 100% of their incomes. Many owed debts from their early years of struggle and found it impossible to repay them when the government was taking all their money and then some once they became successful.
Their response, along with that of other high earners in all fields, was to hightail it out of the UK, so the government got 0% of their money, along with none of the economic benefits of having them live, work and hire in Great Britain. As Keith Richards said, “We left, and they lost out. No taxes at all.” This is why George Harrison wrote “Tax Man.”
This wave of tax exile by high achievers in Britain became known as the great “Brain Drain.” Judging from their first four days in office, I assume that a loss of brains is something few Democratic members of the new Congress are worried about.
I will note, though, if they keep up their current levels of disconnect from their constituents’ lives and concerns, and from reality in general, that there are 33 House seats currently held by Democrats from districts Trump won in 2016 that will be up for grabs in 2020. By then, Republicans will be itching to have Representatives who don’t need straitjackets. And they now know not only to vote like the future of America depends on it, but to be on high alert for fake news campaigns, ballot harvesting and “uncounted” votes discovered in various car trunks.