Republicans Are Utterly Devoid of Ideas (Except the Ones They Take from Democrats)

This one ends with a twist, one I'll admit I didn't see coming until I did like 15 seconds of research.

The Republican response to President Biden's quite sane and unexpectedly lively State of the Union speech was honestly just fucking odd, and not just because it was delivered by Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a tone best described as "a Little Rock barista's worst nightmare." What was legit fucking strange is how utterly devoid of ideas it was. I mean, sure, yeah, all these speeches, the State of the Union and the response, are at best fantasies where the speakers list a bunch of shit that will almost surely never happen. But, at the bare minimum, we can say that they are aspirational. There were almost no aspirations to do a goddamned thing in Sanders' 14-minute whine about shit that, truly, has nothing to do with making people's lives better.

Half the response was basically a Libs of TikTok reply thread on Twitter: "The dividing line in America is no longer between right or left, the choice is between normal or crazy. It is time for a new generation of Republican leadership. Upon taking office just a few weeks ago, I signed executive orders to ban CRT, racism and indoctrination in our schools. Eliminate the use of derogatory term Latinx in our government, repealed COVID orders and said never again to authoritarian mandates and shutdowns." Somehow, banning critical race theory (which she never says is "CRT," thus demonstrating that she's only speaking to right-wing fucknuts) never put food on someone's table or helped children out of poverty.

The other half was another blow job for Donald Trump, who was Sanders' boss for a couple of years. Apparently, everything was just chocolate and orgasms before Joe Biden came along: "President Biden inherited the fastest economic recovery on record. The most secured border in history, cheap abundant homegrown energy, fast rising wages, a rebuilt military and a world that was stable and at peace. But over the last two years, Democrats destroyed it all." I mean, I'm not sure what the measures of any of these things are, but, you know, shit was fucked up when Trump left office. And Trump inherited Obama's economy, which was doing just fine. That's how this shit works. 

You will not be surprised that Sanders ended with a version of a Trump "Dear Sir" story, with a trip where members of the military in Iraq lost their shit and cheered when Trump walked in on a surprise visit. And then a soldier gave her one of his patches because "you have a tough job."  By the way, Biden recently signed the biggest military budget in U.S. history, and while that's ridiculous and harmful to other needs in this country, it sure as fuck doesn't seem to indicate that Democrats are "destroying" the military.

In every facet of their alleged leadership, Republicans fail to offer anything in the way of ideas or bills to actually help Americans. This void of an agenda continued last week with the utterly buffoonish hearings on the "weaponization of government" and on the Twitter files. No, really, they had hearings about this dumb shit that no one outside of Tucker Carlson's fever-brained hatemongers and Elon Musk's taint cleaners gives the remotest fuck about. Seriously, it's like complaining that someone has taken their dick out on the top of Mt. Everest and we better pass laws against dicks and mountains because of it. Actually, that would have more of a purpose than these hearings did.

Of course, Democrats spanked Republicans' voluminous asses red. Of course, none of it mattered. Sure, you can look at Rep. Jimmy Gomez, a Democrat from California, absolutely incinerate Republican goat eater Marjorie Taylor Greene, and get a little cream in your jeans from it. But that's all it's good for. No one in the conservative fascist bubble will hear about it on Newsmax or Fox. They'll hear that Hunter Biden was accused of evil shit. They'll hear that Twitter execs who were fired by Weird Elon are pedophiles. Nothing pierces the dome of fucknuttery.

But I promised you a twist, so lemme give it to you. It means we gotta go back to Sarah Sanders. 

Yeah, her speech was basically Truth Social posts strung together into another American Carnage rant. But there was one policy proposal in it. Sanders huckabeed, "Tomorrow, I will unveil an education package that will be the most far reaching, bold, conservative education reform in the country. My plan empowers parents with real choices, improves literacy and career readiness, and helps put a good teacher in every classroom by increasing their starting salary from one of the lowest to one of the highest in the nation."

When Sanders did reveal her plan for education, it included the usual harmful bullshit on what teachers can teach and an expansion of funding vouchers for students to use state funds to pay for private schools (or, you know, "school choice"). But Sanders is also proposing to raise the starting salary for public school teachers by around a third, to $50,000 a year. What's fascinating about this is that just last year, Republicans in the Arkansas legislature refused to even allow a vote on a raise to $42,000, which Democrats were trying to get passed. Then, even more recently, a Democratic legislator tried to get a pay hike to $50k passed as a stand alone bill, but Sanders wanted it as part of a bigger education package. So Sanders' big idea comes from Democrats in her state.

And Sanders' plan goes even further: there's student loan forgiveness and 12 weeks paid maternity leave in there for teachers, as well as performance bonuses. It includes an expansion of literacy programs and a grant to parents to hire tutors for their kids. I'm not totally praising Sanders here - Republican governors have been pushing for higher pay for teachers as a way to get educators to stop protesting and to triangulate on a popular issue and take it away from Democrats (even if their Republican legislatures refuse to go along). Teachers aren't stupid: they know their silence is being bought, but, goddamn, it might be nice not to have to sell plasma to get by. And, certainly, it's kind of ludicrous that Sanders wants to pour money into public education while allowing for money to be taken away from the same schools through the bullshit "school choice" vouchers. 

Actual governing requires more than simply making sure you get that next Tucker hit or praise from Ben fuckin' Shapiro. Letting the lies flow freely keeps the rubes donating. But the real work of improving the lives of your constituents? That shit take effort. Sanders could have filled her speech with stuff from her education plan. Instead, it was easier just to call Democrats anti-American indoctrinators and pretend that's leadership. It's certainly all House Republicans have to offer.