Paul Krugman marvels at the number of crooks seeking office as Republicans. A snippet:
I don’t think it’s an accident that the modern GOP contains so many crooks and that these crooks seem to thrive in intraparty politics. On the contrary, the success of people like Blankenship — or Trump — was an inevitable consequence of the political strategy Republicans have followed for decades. For the simple truth is that ever since Reagan, Republicans have basically played a con game on American voters.
Their sustained, invariant agenda has been upward redistribution of income: cutting taxes on the rich while weakening the social safety net. This agenda is unpopular: Only a small minority of Americans wants to see tax cuts for the wealthy, and an even smaller minority wants cuts to major social programs. Yet Republicans have won elections partly by denying the reality of their policy agenda, but mainly by posing as defenders of traditional social values — above all, that greatest of American traditions, racism.