Tuesday, June 12, 2012

On And On

I'm getting so tired of this: some people so easily get what's so obvious, and yet so many don't. I know it's repetitive of me to keep saying it, and yet it's the most important truth there is, politically, at the moment. The current iteration of the Republican party -- and where is any reason to think it'll ever end? -- is destructive, deceptive, dishonest, demagogic, ideologically hidebound, and willing to say and do anything it thinks it takes to gain power. Now led by a liar whose only goal is to become president, while, like the dog who catches the car, seeming to have no idea how to be president, they have abandoned any pretense of commitment to democracy, to any of the political comity that had, until recently, gotten us through crises, made us who we are.

So here's another article pointing out the obvious:

In recent days, Democrats have started coming out and saying publicly what many have been mumbling privately for years – Republicans are so intent on defeating President Obama for re-election that they are purposely sabotaging the country's economic recovery.


Then again, it's a hard accusation to prove: after all, one person's economic sabotage is another person's principled anti-government conservatism.

... [T]here is circumstantial evidence to make the case. Republicans have opposed a lion's share of stimulus measures that once they supported, such as a payroll tax break, which they grudgingly embraced earlier this year. Even unemployment insurance, a relatively uncontroversial tool for helping those in an economic downturn, has been consistently held up by Republicans or used as a bargaining chip for more tax cuts. Ten years ago, prominent conservatives were loudly making the case for fiscal stimulus to get the economy going; today, they treat such ideas like they're the plague.


And then, there is the fact that since the original stimulus bill passed in February of 2009, Republicans have made practically no effort to draft comprehensive job creation legislation. ... In fact, since taking control of the House of Representatives in 2011, Republicans have proposed hardly a single major jobs bill that didn't revolve, in some way, around their one-stop solution for all the nation's economic problems: more tax cuts.


Whether you believe the Republicans are engaging in purposely destructive fiscal behavior or are simply fiscally incompetent, it almost doesn't matter. It most certainly is bad economic policy and that should be part of any national debate not only on who is to blame for the current economic mess, but also what steps should be taken to get out from underneath it.


In the end, that might be the worst part of all – one of two major political parties in America is engaging in scorched-earth economic policies that are undercutting the economic recovery, possibly on purpose, and is forcing job-killing austerity measures on the states. And they have paid absolutely no political price for doing so. ...

Sabotage or not, it's hard to argue with "success" – and it's hard to imagine we've seen the last of it, whoever wins in November.

I just read something else, too; something that says what I've been saying: in order to win, President Obama has to make clear what's at stake. Even against the reality-sucking vacuum that is Fox "news" and right-wing radio and every word that passes The Rominee's lips, it shouldn't be that hard. It does have the advantage of being true, after all. And the writer of this article has a suggestion:

“Framed choice” is Team Obama’s only hope of holding enough white voters to avoid dismissal. The “framed choice” strategy is basically this: Everyone knows that pensions (Social Security) and health care (Medicare, Medicaid, child health programs) are going to bankrupt the nation unless they are “right-sized” to revenue and existing debt. Whoever is elected president in 2012 will have to “right-size” these programs over the course of the next four years.

The framed choice for the white voters who will decide this election is this: Who do you think will better protect the interests of working-class and middle-class families when the inevitable cuts are packaged? Who do you want negotiating for you when it comes down to who gets hurt and who doesn’t? Do you really want Mitt Romney and a bunch of right-wing congressmen making these decisions? Only a Democrat can be trusted to properly right-size the great Democratic social welfare programs.

This is, at least, potentially, a winning argument for the president. More to the point, it’s the only argument, politically speaking, that he has left.

It's another take on the choice voters will be making. To the extent that on Obama's left there are many who think any mention of entitlement reform ought to be off the table, it's risky. But it takes the truth and elevates it beyond what anyone has so far been willing to say.


Anonymous said...

It's touching that you think the truth might make a difference. Probably a professional hazard.

The public at large has gone way past that, into the realm of "truthiness". Sounds like the truth, only in a more convenient form. Sure, wildfires are a bummer, but hey, changing our energy policy a tad would be inconvenient to the oil companies, so we'll legislate climate change out of existence.

Reality. What a concept. It'll never catch on I'm afraid.


Sid Schwab said...

Yeah, I'm just a cockeyed optimist.

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