… the way the American political system works, the minority party that prevented the majority from addressing the crisis will accrue massive political benefits as a result of the collapse.
Conservatives won’t admit it today, but what we’re looking at is a major breakdown of the logic of the American political system.
What he is talking about is the fact that Republicans, who during the Bush years drove the economy pell-mell off a cliff, have, as an electoral strategy, steadfastly worked to ensure that Rush Limbaugh gets his wish that the President fail – and if that sinks the economy for the next decade, well, the devil take the hindmost. They have fought everything that we know, based on historical precedent, to be sound economic policy, and they succeeded in hobbling the initial stimulus by paring it to half of what it should have been.
The main GOP tool for wreaking self-righteous havoc: like the liar screaming fire in a crowded theater, they rampage through the media screaming something to the effect that the deficit is coming and it’s going to eat your children – after running up record deficits under every Republican president since Reagan. They’ve managed to bamboozle economically ignorant Americans who actually believe cable news sound-bites offering simple formulas that distort the complex relationship between short-term stimulative spending and long-term debt.
Nor are GOPers one-trick ponies; they have one more especially potent tool: go on the offensive and lie like a dog. Deny the demonstrable fact that even a weak stimulus moved us toward recovery – which might mean that a bigger stimulus could spur a bigger recovery. Deny that the growth of the national debt, as Ezra Kleiln points out, reflects “a massive drop in revenues, not $4 trillion in spending over the past two years… .”
You want an example? I give you Roy Blunt trotting out, rather lackadaisically, I admit, the GOP two-pronged tool box, the lazy pol’s substitute for a campaign strategy, but one that he clearly expects reward him with a Senate seat:
Paul Krugman tells us that our political culture is sick:
… a culture that rewards hypocrisy and irresponsibility rather than serious efforts to solve America’s problems. And blame the filibuster, under which 41 senators can make the country ungovernable, if they choose – and they have so chosen.
My question: why would anyone want to send one more irresponsible hypocrite like Roy Blunt to the senate where he gets to help wield the filibuster for the benefit of the cronies and campaign contributors whose welfare kept him so busy in the House? Why should we reward him for failure in the past just because he promises to do the same thing in the future?