New Republic Writer Likens GOP To A ‘Juvenile Delinquent In A Souped-Up Truck’

Posted on Thu 06/08/2017 by


By Tom Johnson ~

Deliberately polluting the air with high-volume diesel exhaust isn’t just a pastime for nihilists — it’s an expression of “the key animating ethos in the decision-making process” of the Republican Party, claimed The New Republic’s Brian Beutler on Monday.

The activity is known as “rolling coal,” and, as Beutler sees it, three years ago it resembled “many Obama-era protest trends” in that it was “a kind of obnoxious primal scream, indulged by an increasingly powerless subset of the population.” He commented that “there is no punchline to the joke, beyond imagining environmentalists getting mad.”

Nowadays, asserted Beutler, it’s clear that “the impulse behind rolling coal, if not rolling coal per se, had become the intellectual bedrock of conservatism as practiced in America,” and that “the question of whether a policy or personnel choice would piss off liberals has become a disturbingly reliable indicator of what President Donald Trump is likely to do and how Republicans in Congress are likely to defend it.”

For Beutler, pulling out of the Paris climate accord “reflects the rolling-coal mindset of [the Trump] administration perfectly,” and there’s further high-profile proof of “this tendency to refract key decisions through the lens of who would be most annoyed”:

The faltering efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare are animated more by lust for revenge than by policy need. The Affordable Care Act could be easily stabilized with marginal changes to [the] law…

The GOP’s determination to replace the ACA with a radioactively unpopular alternative is one indication that a different kind of politics has taken hold of the party…Republicans simply stapled together whatever set of measures they needed to pass a bill in the House, because the claim to having dismantled something important to Obama and liberals matters more to them than the underlying state of the U.S. health care system.

…Liberals dislike Republican policies in general, whether the policies were devised in good faith, for above-board ideological reasons, or not. But there is something novel about the fact that the governing party in America is building its agenda extemporaneously, with all the civic mindedness of a juvenile delinquent in a souped-up truck.

Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters.

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