As you can see on the chart below, Build Back Better is still very popular, though support among Republicans is not high. The majority of Republicans don't like the programs and they don't like the idea of taxing the super-wealthy to pay for them. See what I mean?
But even among Republicans, there is overwhelming support for two pieces of Build Back Better-- and both are about supporting the elderly. First to underwrite long-term care:
And second, to add hearing coverage to Medicare. (The question remained unasked because conservative Democrats wiped them out of the plan, but I bet Republicans are just as-- if not more-- enthusiastic about dental and eye coverage... not to mention lower drug prices).
What Republicans seem to object to is anything seen to be helping children, students, workers, poor people and, of course, anything that smacks of ameliorating Climate Change. These people need to watch Don't Look Up, although Roland told me the other day that he expects Trump supporters to start wearing Don't Look Up buttons.
Today, everyone is talking about the 1/6 Trump coup attempt and not BBB. I want to go back to an essay I referenced earlier, the one on Republican gullibility by author Rebecca Solnit. She talked about the vested interest by the very wealthy in making sure insane conspiracy theories spread through the working class. "[L]eading lights of the right often portray themselves as embattled outsiders. But they’re not; they’re the status quo gone rogue. They are still powerful, still insiders, but something even more potent is changing-- you could call it the zeitgeist or the arc of justice or historical momentum or just demographic reality. The world is moving on; those who’d rather it stand still are eager to push narratives depicting these shifts as degeneration, and white Christian heterosexual America as profoundly imperiled."
A lot of conspiracy theories are organic or at least emerge from true believers on the margins when it comes to topics like extraterrestrials, but those at the top of conservative America have preached falsehoods that further the interest of elites, and those at the bottom have embraced them devoutly. Though when we talk about cults and conspiracies we usually look to more outlandish beliefs, climate denial and gun obsessions both fit this template.
Both originated as industry agendas that were then embraced by both right-wing politicians and the right-leaning public. For decades, the fossil fuel industry pumped out ads and reports, and supported lobbyists and front groups misleading the public on the science and import of climate change. The current gun cult is likewise the result of the National Rifle Association and the gun industry pushing battlefield-style weapons and a new white male identity-- more paramilitary than rural hunter-- along with fear, rage and racist dog whistles. I think of it as a cult, because guns serve first as totems of identity and belonging, and because the beliefs seem counterfactual about guns as sources of safety rather than danger when roughly 60 percent of gun deaths are suicides and self-defense by gun is a surpassingly rare phenomenon.
...Democracy is premised on the belief that we can trust ordinary people to make consequential decisions. It’s in some ways an Enlightenment ideal premised on another Enlightenment ideal: the triumph of reason and the capacities of ordinary people. To buy into it, you have to believe that people will be more loyal to principles and discernment than to leaders and groups, and in that sense, democracy has always been a risky project. If democracy requires independent-minded people who can reason well, autocracy requires the opposite, people who will obey orders about what to think as well as do.
While Republicans assault voting rights and the integrity of our elections, what fuels their advances is the rise of a gullible sector of the public ready to follow their leaders wherever they go.