Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Republican Delusions

Paul Krugman wrote in yesterday's New York Times that the Republican Party is fleeing from reality:

Last week House Republicans voted for the 40th time to repeal Obamacare. Like the previous 39 votes, this action will have no effect whatsoever. But it was a stand-in for what Republicans really want to do: repeal reality, and the laws of arithmetic in particular. The sad truth is that the modern G.O.P. is lost in fantasy, unable to participate in actual governing. 

Election defeats should act as splashes of cold water, arousing political parties from their slumber and forcing them to get their bearings. But modern Republicans have completely lost theirs:

How did the G.O.P. get to this point? On budget issues, the proximate source of the party’s troubles lies in the decision to turn the formulation of fiscal policy over to a con man. Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has always been a magic-asterisk kind of guy — someone who makes big claims about having a plan to slash deficits but refuses to spell out any of the all-important details. Back in 2011 the Congressional Budget Office, in evaluating one of Mr. Ryan’s plans, came close to open sarcasm; it described the extreme spending cuts Mr. Ryan was assuming, then remarked, tersely, “No proposals were specified that would generate that path.”

What’s happening now is that the G.O.P. is trying to convert Mr. Ryan’s big talk into actual legislation — and is finding, unsurprisingly, that it can’t be done. Yet Republicans aren’t willing to face up to that reality. Instead, they’re just running away. 

If their 2012 election defeat did not act as a splash of cold water, the Meltdown of 2008 should have. Instead, Republicans keep insisting that what the nation needs is lower taxes and more concentration of wealth. That prescription is not just political suicide. It's insane. 

Unfortunately, because legislation has to get through the Republican controlled House, the United States could be in for a long stretch of insanity.

This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.


Lorne said...

I can't help but think, Owen, that part of the explanation for the Republicans' bizarre intransigence lies in the fact that their madness is aided and abetted by the right-wing media, of which Fox, of course, is the leading exemplar. It would seem that they believes the utterances of the rabid and the unbalanced are representative of 'main street' and, despite some evidence to the contrary, are unwilling to let go of their delusional thinking quite yet.

The Mound of Sound said...

Krugman sees this as irrational, insane. Robert Reich disagrees. He contends that Republican obstruction in the house that is thwarting action on employment solutions is intentional. He says "they want unemployment to remain high and job growth to sputter."


Owen Gray said...

The Republicans certainly have their enablers, Lorne. FOX News and talk radio serve as echo chambers.

And all the GOP hears is what it wants to hear.

Owen Gray said...

I suppose some might consider that a rational plan, Mound. The Republicans tried to obstruct everything Obama did in his first term, calculating that, if he didn't succeed, he would not be re-elected.

They never imagined that it would be they who would be blamed for the gridlock.

The problem is that they still refuse to admit that their plan backfired.

CK said...

I agree with Mound, there is indeed a method to the GOP madness (or what appears to be madness). I read that same article Mound links to here by Robert Reich. He is not alone, a year or so ago, some economics professor, believe the name is Arthur Crotty, said the same things. That this economic crisis has nothing to do with debts and everything to do with an upper class that feels that the working class have gotten too uppity, so to speak--they have "too much power". So, this is a game to beat down the working class. Make them desperate by making it dangerous to be unemployed. It's all about driving down wages, so that these upper crust who have more money than anyone can spend in a life span, can hoard more.

I also caught a video on the Huffington Post this morning from Bernie Sanders (incidentally, amazing, he is critical of corporations, so he probably doesn't fundraise as much as the others, yet he still gets reelected to the senate for Vermont--amazing how that works!). Anyway, he was talking about the Koch brothers who are leading this. In this instance, Sanders was talking about social security and all those so-called pundits from right winged think tanks like CAto and the like, all singing from the same song book -- must raise age of retirement, as it is the wish of the Koch brothers who have funded them all, along with GOP senators and house reps, also funded by Koch brothers.

Here in Canada, we are not immune-- the Koch Brothers do fund the Fraser Institute (probably more, but that is the only one I know about for sure).

We progressives have to stop banging our heads against a wall and understand that this is all part of some new world order. Follow the money, such as the case of the Koch brothers. Folks better wake up before it's too late.

For openers, let's find ourselves some buzz words as the right does (media party, is one for example).

Owen Gray said...

One can argue, that this is a world wide phenomenon, CK. When Communism was a threat, the wealthy were willing to share some of their wealth to buy the loyalty of workers.

With Communism gone, the wealthy feel no such need to keep the working class happy. Thus, they believe they can drive down wages and benefits with impunity.

What we need is a workers movement which will make the wealthy very uncomfortable. Until they feel their positions are endangered, the movers and shakers will not share their wealth.

Anonymous said...

I will take my autographed copy of Dostoevsky's "Notes from Underground" and I will read it aloud, with my friends.

We will eat the pages after we have memorised them,

We will be happy.

Owen Gray said...

There is a madness rooted in truth, Anon. And then there is madness driven by hate and envy.

Republican madness is of the latter variety.