Much clucking and chirping is afoot in the GOP Twittersphere over surprisingly good House election outcomes for the 2020 election. Republicans won a handful of seats, and may end up forcing the Dems as low as 220 representatives, a weak majority over next year’s Congress. Though this might seem exciting to politicos and their ilk, the result simply outlines yet again the haplessness of belief in resistance-style politics championed by both the Right and Left.
If we cycle back to 2010, the conservative party used Tea Party anger against Obamacare and “wasteful spending” to power its 63-seat swing against Democrats, leading to a majority of 242. They fell short in the Senate, but nevertheless gained seats. Now, did America see historic cuts or entitlement reform? Absolutely not, because GOP resistance amounted to simply opposing tax increases on the wealthy, whilst blocking serious spending reductions at every turn. Such bumbling proceeded on to the 2012 presidential election, which rewarded the dedicated TP activists with a campaign platform sworn to protect Mitt Romney from tax penalties and back a budget plan with net cuts of only $155 billion. Why? Because the Tea Party quickly became a subsidiary of Koch Brothers interests, not the average American.
In late 2011, Occupy Wall Street protests exploded across the country, determined to draw attention to corporate greed. Despite their fierce tenacity, and the relative pro-corporate leanings of Barack Obama, the protestors ultimately ended up serving as a political and financial cow to help Democrats retain the presidency. The people insistent on getting money out of politics helped return a figure who raised more from Wall Street corporations than his “pro-business” Republican opponent. Once more, an allegedly populist movement got co-opted by the financial mainstream, and with scarcely a cry issued.
More recently, the Black Lives Matter riots have shown a similar nature. Although presuming to oppose a tyrannical police state praying on minorities, the street advocates and their “La Resistance” friends have no conflict with blindly obeying the dictums of CDC officials to “mask up,” or translating their movement into a train of endorsement for Biden, perhaps the vilest plutocrat to attain office in short memory. The very idea that committed protestors happily obey the medical industry complex as they pretend to stand for justice, or submissively quiet down to help a Democrat attain power; said actions demonstrate a brilliant lack of autonomy and agency which undercut the primary themes. Nothing is really being disrupted, only the comfort of political opponents.
So it’s all well and good that Republicans are excited about their prospects, but these remain meaningless without action. Until legislation is on the desk—signed—their fist-waving and proclamations about being “loyal opposition” will stay as mere words. For opposition is futile, and resistance an illusion.
One thought on “The Illusion of Resistance”
It seems to me that Republicans need to realize that it was Trump’s populist message that won him the election in 2016, and that the efforts to “broaden the conservative coalition” this election generally were a failure. Meager gains among minorities and White women did not make up for the loss in support among White men. Pro American manufacturing and pro working class messaging from Biden, though of course his immigration policy is decidedly pro Corporate, dwarfed continual efforts from Republicans trying to show they aren’t racist. Fraud proven, or not proven, the Republican party has a lesson to learn from this election.