Why Is the GOP terrified of tariffs?
From Lincoln to William McKinley to Theodore Roosevelt, and from Warren Harding through Calvin Coolidge, the Republican Party erected the most awesome manufacturing machine the world had ever seen.
And, as the party of high tariffs through those seven decades, the GOP was rewarded by becoming America's Party.
Thirteen Republican presidents served from 1860 to 1930, and only two Democrats. And Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson were elected only because the Republicans had split.
Why, then, this terror of tariffs that grips the GOP?
Consider. On hearing that President Trump might impose tariffs on aluminum and steel, Sen. Lindsey Graham was beside himself: "Please reconsider," he implored the president, "you're making a huge mistake."
Twenty-four hours earlier, Graham had confidently assured us that war with a nuclear-armed North Korea is "worth it."
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"All the damage that would come from a war would be worth it in terms of long-term stability and national security," said Graham.
A steel tariff terrifies Graham. A new Korean war does not?
"Trade wars are not won, only lost," warns Sen. Jeff Flake.
But this is ahistorical nonsense.