Friday, March 27, 2009

The GOP And Dunce Caps

Since the roll out of the Republican Road to Recovery Budget plan Thursday I've seen people wondering when the GOP became the Party of Epic Fail - how we lost to them or what happened to the ones we lost to? I suppose it's fair to postulate that the Republicans have gotten so used to being stenographed by the media that they didn't realize that running out a Budget that was lacking any numbers beyond a goofy tax cut wouldn't cut it with the media because it said mean things about the 'Democrat Party' budget. Maybe they thought that between Boehner's Faux Tan (is he now darker than Obama?) and Cantor's star power nobody would notice the entire and complete lack of information and the silliness of whatever those circles were supposed to be. [in the spirit of honesty the crew at Balloon Juice gets credit for some of the humor]

But the topic was "how did they get this bad?" There is a little matter of when the last time they had to do any work occurred. Bill Clinton presented certain challenges to the Republicans in Congress, he was a good politician and he was President, since then... George II (Rove) told them what to do and like good little soldiers they did. Thinking was not required and the only political calculations required were just exactly how to scare the electorate a little more this week. There is something to be said for practice in politics and having more than one arrow in your quiver. Multiple approaches bring experience in what works and doesn't, how to modify and tweak, and how to capitalize on successes. Try real hard to remember the last time they had to do the work of governing.

Most of the moderate Republicans are gone, the 2010 Senate race may well take out most of what's left of them. Spector has shifted right to stave off a Primary challenge and it may be a question whether he can, but he has now lost a lot of credit with the electorate outside the right wing. Maine voters are going to be asked why they're hanging on to not quite Democrats when they could have the actual thing - not a bad question if the country is looking better. Boehner and Cantor are creatures of the right and while they know how to lie and be snotty and hold their caucus together in the matter of actual public discourse around ideas - not so much.

Why they took the school yard dare tossed at them by the President is open to question, it certainly isn't smart strategy to provide something that should have numbers without them or to provide numbers that can be tested. Statements of ideology absent numbers aren't really testable in the public argument unless the opposing side makes them up. The Republican mess masquerading as a budget cannot pass that kind of scrutiny when providing its own numbers, it is flatly impossible to dump out of the federal budget sufficient funds to cover not only the Bush hole but the accumulating hole going forward created by Bush policies. The Republicans are providing nice fat targets for Democrats.


realbtl said...

Not only was thinking not required, it was actively discouraged. The strength of the Republican party has been message discipline at least since St. Ronnie. While the discipline is still there, there is no unified voice supplying the message so they veer wildly from teleprompter to socialist to whatever. Unfortunately I believe this is temporary and that a new voice will arise at which point everyone will be back on message. One can only hope that the new messenger isn't, like the current crop, batshit insane.

ThePoliticalCat said...

The only disappointment in this is that those Repubs who postured as "moderates" and "centrists" - like Arlen Specter - scuttle like cockroaches to edge up to their "leaders" the minute Flush Rimbowl or Jackoff Boner sez the word. Nevertheless. It's good to see them eat their own.