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.I'm less hopeful than Sullivan. It's not clear to me that, should Obama win a second term, anything will change.
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.
Monday, October 10, 2011
The politics of destruction