Pat Toomey Is the Quiet Face of Republican Radicalism


Pat Toomey is the Milford Man of the U.S. Senate. (He even hails, coincidentally, from Upper Milford Township.) Senator Toomey has all the vigor of a can of beige paint. If the Koch brothers had ever discovered an ideologically sympathetic sea cucumber, that sea cucumber could easily have followed the same career path as Pat Toomey.


Unlike many of his pals in the G.O.P., Pat Toomey knows how to keeps his head down. He doesn’t showboat on the Senate floor. He hides from his constituents. He only goes on the Sunday talk shows when need be. And all the while, he continues to quietly wage class war on behalf of his party and its corporate benefactors.

It wasn’t Donald Trump or Paul Ryan who carried the Republicans’ loathsome tax bill into the end zone, but Pat Toomey:

The final tax bill signed by President Trump lowers the top individual rate to 37 percent from 39.6 percent, reflecting one of many triumphs for the “supply-side” economic doctrine Toomey has relentlessly promoted through more than two decades in politics over the more populist ideology of Trump’s campaign.

Behind the scenes, according to aides, lobbyists and fellow lawmakers, Toomey played a major role in shaping the Republican tax overhaul — pushing not only for a cut in the top individual rate but also helping slash rates for corporations and repeal a key provision of the Affordable Care Act.


Because of the simple fact that he is a total bore, Toomey sometimes passes for a Moderate Republican. The beltway press has branded Toomey a “fiscal hawk,” because apparently “investment banker-turned-Club For Growth stooge who looks like one of the anti-mutant senators in a 2000s X-Men movie” is too long an honorific. Of course, as a fiscal hawk, whose purported main concern is getting the federal deficit in line, Toomey was instrumental in crafting a tax reform bill that explodes the deficit through massive tax breaks aimed squarely at rich people and corporations.

In a way, you have to admire Toomey. While his showboating colleagues were reading Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor, Toomey was lying in wait, biding his time until the next Republican president took office. He never took his eye off the prize: quietly, politely stripping away social protections for vulnerable Americans while further enriching himself, his peers and the donor class.

And let’s give him some credit. He knows exactly what the result of his tax policy will be:


It’s easy to get outraged at the Donald Trumps and the Ted Cruzes of the Republican Party, because people like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have a desperate, unfillable pit in their souls that makes them seek out negative attention at every turn. They are cartoonish villains, who use intentionally inflammatory and at times radically authoritarian rhetoric. But the real face of Republican policy radicalism is Pat Toomey. Quiet, polite Pat Toomey.

Voters aren’t outraged by Toomey, and his radicalism isn’t labeled as such by most of the press, because at the surface level, he is an utterly inoffensive human being. And if Pat Toomey has his way, he’ll keep his nose down, hiding from his constituents, not making any waves, not offending anyone. He doesn’t want you to get angry at him because he wants to keep his job. He wants to keep helping his friends, and he certainly doesn’t want you to notice him doing it.


Hey Pat Toomey: retire bitch.

Senior politics reporter at Splinter.

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