Consider the Republicans. They are in deep trouble. The party is toxic to half the electorate and that part is growing. Yet, you suggest that we need to at least stop scaring and hating these people and you get told “that’s pundit speak” and we can’t sacrifice our values to win these people. Our “values”? Is the purpose of the Republican Party really to stop rape victims from getting abortions, stop a few thousand gays from calling their marriage-like relationships “marriage” and whine about deporting Mexicans who will never be deported? Or you get this, “we’ll never win them all”. . . as if we needed 100%. This is like saying there’s no point in trying to stay healthy if you can’t be at your ideal weight immediately.
But the most frustrating one is this. Putting the social issues aside, the Republican Party just doesn’t stand for anything. Seriously. What vision does the Party offer America? Well, take a look. Pretty much since Bush, the Republican vision of America has centered entirely around the Bush tax cuts. . . nothing more. What do those tax cuts mean to average people? Do they promise jobs? Do they give you a chance to buy a home, start a business, raise a family, send the kids to college, ensure your health, protect your retirement? No. They’re just a hodgepodge of minor breaks here and there that amount to something like $400 a year to average people. They do nothing to create incentives to get people to start businesses. They do nothing about excessive regulation. They do nothing to make markets more fair or more open or competition more intense. They do nothing to make America better.
Then Obama took office and he created Obamacare. He also passed a whole bunch of new regulations. Suddenly, the Republican agenda doubled in size! Woo hoo! Now they also wanted to repeal Obamacare and rescind those regulations. Inspiring. Seriously, think about this. This promise basically amounts to “we want to return the healthcare system to the mess it was in 2008.” In fact, that’s exactly what the entire Republican platform is: we want to return everything to the glory days of 2008... deep into the recession.
That’s not a winner.
And the fiscal cliff shows this again. Now is the time to either step aside and let Obama have his agenda and suffer the consequences or to fight for something that will rally the American people. So what are the Republicans fighting for? Making sure the Bush tax cuts won’t expire for rich people. In other words, they are fighting to make sure the rich can party like it’s 2008 as well.
How less inspiring can a party be than to stand for this? And why in the world does no one seem to realize how stupid this is? This has been the Republican position since the mid-2000s and in that time they lost every single election except 2010, which had special circumstances because people were freaked out about Obamacare.... yet they think this is an effective strategy. At some point, don’t you realize that 10 years of losing in a row means you’re doing something wrong? Yet, Boehner and the rest are proudly standing before cameras saying they would rather plunge the country over this (fake) “fiscal cliff” than not see their vision of a return to the glory days of 2008 be enacted. Good grief. The price for this idiocy, by the way, is that the GOP is getting battered in polls with 53% blaming the GOP for the fiscal cliff and 27% blaming Obama.
Yet, they aren’t alone. I’ve heard several talk radio hosts lately who are whining that if they were in charge, things would be different... harrumph. See, they aren’t as weak as the Republicans, no siree. They wouldn’t be planning to surrender to Obama on this important issue of protecting the rich from tax hikes. They would tell Obama, “if you don’t agree to keep the Bush tax cuts in place for the rich... to get us back to the glory of 2008... then I’ll send the country right over the (fake) fiscal cliff!”
Think about this. The Republicans are following a game plan that has cost them every election since 2000 except for 2010. And talk radio is attacking the Republicans for being weak and then bragging how if they were in charge, they would do exactly what the Republicans are doing right now. . . to the letter. Moreover, they are shouting down anyone who suggests that a platform of “2008 forever... with venom” is a bad idea. This is insanity.
Is it really so hard to see this?
Is it really so hard to recognize that when something doesn’t work. . . you. . . don’t. . . keep. . . doing. . . it?
Maybe I am taking crazy pills.
On the plus side, it sounds like both Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio get this. Add them to the list with Bobby Jindal.