Funny. All the R presidential candidates, real and imagined, have no trouble saying that a major initiative that clearly worked, and may have prevented another depression, was a mistake. OTOH, when it comes to Iraq, the benefit of which is unclear at best, and which has cost uncountable lives and money, plunging the region into chaos, strengthening our enemies, they hem and haw.
If you want to understand the temperaments and governing philosophies of the Republican presidential candidates, pay close attention to the way they talk about an iconic moment of President Barack Obama’s tenure: His decision, in the spring of 2009, to rescue Chrysler and General Motors.
Most of the top GOP contenders have said the decision was a mistake. The latest to do so was Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, who boasted Friday during MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he was against all bailouts -- including the one for General Motors. “When corporate leaders make bad mistakes, they need to be held accountable, whether they are on Wall Street or on Main Street,” Perry said.
Perry and the other Republicans critical of the auto industry rescue might sincerely believe it was the wrong policy. Or they might simply fear the wrath of Republican primary voters who can’t stomach support for an initiative that came from Obama. Whatever their motives, Republicans who say they would not have extended the same lifeline that Obama did need to reckon with a key fact:
By nearly all accounts, the 2009 rescue package saved a vital U.S. industry and, just maybe, the economic fortunes for an entire region.The nice thing about calling the bailout a mistake is they don't have to address the consequences of not having done it. Because it was done. No consequences derive from their claim. Free pass pander. Iraq, on the other hand, is staring them in the face, its failures as undeniable as Donald Trump's hair. On that, however, they prefer not to opine.
But what the heck. It's not as if any of them is even pretending to be in touch with reality. Scott "the other Koch brother" Walker, for example, fresh off ruining his state's economy but proud of demonizing teachers, now stands ready to welcome a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Marco "the foreign policy expert" Rubio stepped on yet another rake trying to explain the difference between "nation building" and "helping to build a nation." Rick "don't google me" Santorum is still trying to confirm how it is that he is welcome to opine on climate change whereas the Pope is not. Or how it is that the world faces "more pressing problems" than climate change, i.e., jobs for Americans.
Well, at least Lindsey "they'll kill us all" Graham says Caitlyn Jenner is welcome in the Republican party. Here's the sound of Republicans around the country shouting their agreement.
[Image source.] [One might only hope it's true.]