For some time, Republicans in Congress have given up the pretense of doing anything to improve the lot of most Americans. Raise the minimum wage? They won't even allow a vote. Cleaner air for all? They may partly shut down the government in a coming fight on behalf of major polluters. Add to that the continuing obstruction of student loan relief efforts, and numerous attempts to defund health care, and you have a party actively working to make life miserable for millions.