Tag Archives: Mitch McConnell

What I Learned

3 Aug

So far, I’ve learned that the Democrats capitulated to tea party hostage-taking, abetted by mainstream Republicans; I’ve learned that the Republicans have sold out the tea party; I’ve learned that Gabby Giffords’ appearance on the House floor was a brazen stunt, concocted by Democrats to inject sympathy into the process; I’ve learned that Gabby Giffords’ appearance on the House floor was a brazen stunt, concocted by the White House to embarrass Democrats into voting in favor of the debt ceiling deal; I’ve learned that the debtpocalypse deal will guarantee a second recession because the government’s hands are now tied; I’ve learned that the debtpocalypse deal is horribly awful, and that anyone who took Econ 101 could tell you so – that you never pull trillions out of a recession economy; I’ve learned that the debtpocalypse deal is a return to fiscal sanity and responsibility, and that Washington is finally getting its fiscal house in order; I’ve learned that the supercommittee that will be constituted to establish cuts will be responsible; I’ve learned that the supercommittee that will be constituted to establish cuts is just a “catfood commission” that will determine how much more awful it can make the lives of Medicare-dependent seniors.

I do, however, agree with this:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/RBReich/status/97890093695647744″%5D

I did learn that the Dow dipped 2% yesterday upon news of a debt deal, and that doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I also learned that Senator Mitch McConnell has never worked a day in his life in the dreaded private sector.

In short, the country is well past having an honest discussion about fixing the economy, and both sides have become radicalized. This compromise is precisely how the country was founded to run. If we wanted to guarantee that policies or bills would be introduced and passed, we’d have a parliamentary system.

I learned that the Democrats have no game, and don’t know when or how to play a good hand. I learned that the Democrats suck at messaging, and the President makes a nice speech, but can’t – or won’t – advocate for what he believes in.  This country is ruled right now by the tea party.  Progressives, meanwhile, are pissing all over President Obama rather than Republicans and their tea party dog waggers.

I’m no economist, so I’m not going to pretend to inject my own opinion about whether this compromise is a disaster or not. I’m returned to the notion that re-election is the matter of tantamount importance in Washington. I also get the sense that President Obama’s entire raison d’etre is to prove to the tea party that he’s not the soshulist Kenyan usurper they think he is, which is as pointless as it is unnecessary.

Congressional Republicans: Insane and Cynical

15 Jul

I left the Republican Party about 10 years ago mostly because it went crazy on the whole Jesus/social reactionary side of things.  Today, Paul Krugman reminds us that the Republican Party has also gone insane when it comes to the political process and governing.

…even the administration of former President George W. Bush refrained from making extravagant claims about tax-cut magic, at least in part for fear that making such claims would raise questions about the administration’s seriousness.

Recently, however, all restraint has vanished — indeed, it has been driven out of the party. Last year Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, asserted that the Bush tax cuts actually increased revenue — a claim completely at odds with the evidence — and also declared that this was “the view of virtually every Republican on that subject.” And it’s true: even Mr. Romney, widely regarded as the most sensible of the contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination, has endorsed the view that tax cuts can actually reduce the deficit.

Echoing something I wrote yesterday, he adds:

First of all, the modern G.O.P. fundamentally does not accept the legitimacy of a Democratic presidency — any Democratic presidency. We saw that under Bill Clinton, and we saw it again as soon as Mr. Obama took office.

As a result, Republicans are automatically against anything the president wants, even if they have supported similar proposals in the past. Mitt Romney’s health care plan became a tyrannical assault on American freedom when put in place by that man in the White House. And the same logic applies to the proposed debt deals.

Put it this way: If a Republican president had managed to extract the kind of concessions on Medicare and Social Security that Mr. Obama is offering, it would have been considered a conservative triumph. But when those concessions come attached to minor increases in revenue, and more important, when they come from a Democratic president, the proposals become unacceptable plans to tax the life out of the U.S. economy.

Right now, the Republicans have (again) wrangled huge concessions from Obama, yet refuse to yield an inch in response. You don’t negotiate, they say, with terrorists.  Given that the net result of no deal will lead to a downgrading of the federal debt, a de facto tax increase on the whole country, and probably global economic and financial meltdown, the Republicans are working hard to ruin the country for purely political ends.