Monday, October 10, 2011

The politics of destruction

Andrew Sullivan:
To me, from the zero GOP votes for the first stimulus, the last three years have been an exercize in calculated, cynical, partisan destruction. The Republicans greeted a Democratic president eager to reach to conservatives as a Jihadist Marxist they would try to destroy at all costs. They've stuck with the message through thick and thin.

Right now, the obvious strategy for emerging from the economic soup is short-term stimulus combined with a Grand Bargain on spending and taxes for long-term fiscal retrenchment. But this would improve the economy in the next year and so hurt Republican chances to regain the White House and Senate. Hence its evaporation. It is far more important for the GOP that Obama lose his job than that more Americans should save theirs' - even if it means voting against proposals they have endorsed in the past.

For a decade, the Grand Bargain concept was taken seriously by both sides. Then after Obama's election, the GOP decided to go for broke on keeping revenues deeply depressed, while offering politically impossible proposals to end Medicare as an entitlement or abolish social security. And short term, it worked.

Long term, once voters really assess the choice next year? I'm not so sure.
I'm less hopeful than Sullivan.  It's not clear to me that, should Obama win a second term, anything will change.

4 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Sullivan is so very right. The Republicans are just that cynical. They've begun the destruction of the country with their obstructionism in order to win the election, and they will finish the job if they win control.

I'm not as hopeful as Andrew that Obama will win, either. Only if the Republicans tear each other to pieces is Obama likely to win.

JCF said...

What's perhaps MOST cynical, is that Republicans have done almost nothing to reach out to Obama voters, to win them over.

Their strategy is based just about ENTIRELY on reducing the electorate, either from discouragement (that Obama '08 voters will give up on the process), if not outright disenfranchisement (voter IDs, reduced/eliminated early voting, reduced registration opportunities: all in the name of NONEXISTENT "voter fraud").

I think it's a GIVEN that the '12 election will have FAR fewer voters than in '08.

Weep for the USA. :-(..

JCF said...

Off-topic---

We've lost one of our LGBT forefathers: Frank Kameny has died.

May he rest in peace, and rise in GLORY!

Marshall Scott said...

JCF, I hope that you're wrong. Part of what we can do - need to do - is to call people to vote, and especially to vote in Congressional elections. Yes, I know that districts are gerrymandered in ways that give incumbents a wide edge. At the same time, we need to remind ourselves that to have progressive government requires more than having a progressive president. We need progressive folks in the House and Senate as well, and in state legislatures. And while we may not get them if we do vote, we will certainly not get them if we don't.