Today John Bolton came onboard at the White House and Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill. This was not a good day for anyone in this country outside of Washington DC.
The proximate cause for Schumer’s enthusiasm was Trump’s announcement this afternoon that the U.S. would be slapping tariffs on as many as 1,300 Chinese products, while limiting China-based companies from purchasing American technology companies. The White House claims concurrently that the duties will impact $60 billion worth of goods yet have a “minimal impact” on American consumers. (As always, check out the Twitter feed of trade lawyer and Cato Institute adjunct Scott Lincicome for the ins and outs of the new rule.)
In fact, given how much Trump is helping transform the ideologies of both the GOP grassroots and its spineless elite (today’s money Trumpism from the formerly free-trading vice president: “The era of economic surrender is over”), it’s long since past time to recognize a glaring truth about two-party politics in 2018: In both effective practice and, increasingly, aspirational rhetoric, there are no significant Republican or Democratic voting blocs on Capitol Hill in favor of reducing deficits, restraining government growth, tackling entitlements, protecting privacy, defending free speech, practicing transparency, challenging prohibition, conducting legislative-branch oversight, passing damn budgets, reducing war, or extending the post–World War II America-led system of reducing global tariffs in the name of both prosperity and peace.
And that is a damn shame.