Why the mad rush? Three fatal GOP flaws

Today’s Republicans are apparatchiks who have spent their whole lives inside an intellectual bubble in which cutting taxes on corporations and the rich is always objective No. 1.

So, it seems that Republicans are responding to the devastating defeat in Alabama — which is part of a sustained pattern of underperformance in special elections, demonstrating that bad polls reflect reality, not bad polling, by … doubling down on a massively unpopular tax plan, whose main focus is on cutting corporate taxes.

In fact, they’re rushing to jam the thing through before Doug Jones can be certified, in a stunning act of hypocrisy from the same people who demanded that Obamacare wait until Scott Brown was seated and held up a Supreme Court seat for a year. It’s outrageous. But it also looks like really bad politics, especially given what we know is coming: calls next year for cuts in popular social programs, because of a deficit Republicans just voted to explode. So what are they thinking?

I don’t know for sure, but I’d suggest three possible factors in this mad rush.

First, Republicans may be suffering from an officeholder’s version of the Pundit’s Fallacy: “belief that what a politician needs to do to improve his or her political standing is do what the pundit wants substantively.” For example, “Obama can win the midterms by endorsing Bowles-Simpson,” which the vast majority of voters never heard of.

Today’s Republicans are apparatchiks who have spent their whole lives inside an intellectual bubble in which cutting taxes on corporations and the rich is always objective No. 1. Their party used to know that it won elections despite its economic program, not because of it — that the whole game was to win by playing on social issues, national security and above all on racial antagonism, then use the win to push fundamentally unpopular economic policies. But over the years the party has seemed increasingly…

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