Friday, December 07, 2012


In my last post, I told you that Peggy Noonan thinks our current fiscal battle is so unfair to Republicans, who are constitutionally banned from making an appealing case to the public (or something like that). Now we find John Podhoretz also arguing that we should shed a tear for Republicans, who have the deck stacked against them, largely through circumstances they couldn't possibly have controlled:
Now, as the Right tries to pick itself up and dust itself off and start all over again, it finds itself in the heat of a battle for which it is learning it is rhetorically and emotionally unprepared.

The "fiscal cliff" coming on Dec. 31 will automatically cause everyone's taxes to rise and draconian defense cuts to go into effect. That leaves Republicans and conservatives having to fight a very public battle on these matters only weeks after a national defeat.

And they've somehow been maneuvered into arguing that benefits must be cut and taxes on the wealthy must not be raised -- without having a single populist argument in their favor.
Yes -- Republicans and conservatives were "unprepared" to do battle over the sequester -- which was signed into law sixteen months ago! Who remembers this stuff? You enter in your calendar and then you get that little electronic reminder, and you forget all about it! Doesn't that happen to everyone?

And they're having to deal with this immediately after an election! Not fair! It's not as if President Obama and the Democrats just went through an election -- oh, wait....

And they've been maneuvered -- somehow! -- into saying benefits should be cut and taxes on the wealthy not raised! What scoundrels did this to them?

They lack "a single populist argument," and Podhoretz sighs:
Thus, the political movement that came to maturity by advocating for dynamic American optimism has morphed into what it was at its most pinched and parched in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s: the eat-your-vegetables-and-shut-up party.
Is that the GOP's problem? Not exactly. In recent years, the GOP hasn't been "the eat-your-vegetables-and-shut-up party." It's been the party that always wanted, um, certain people to eat their vegetables and shut up. You know who I mean. Immigrants. "Union thugs." Single women who have sex. People who aren't country music lovers and NRA members. People with particular melanin levels. Those people.

But this year -- especially after Mitt Romney mouthed off about the "47%" -- we learned that there seem to be more of those people than there are the GOP's people, and many of the people the Republicans thought were theirs felt that all this Republican talk about "takers" who aren't "makers" was aimed at them.

So it's not that the GOP doesn't have a populist argument -- it's that the GOP's populist argument was a divide-and-conquer argument. And now too many people feel they're not on the GOP's side of the divide.


Victor said...

No, no, Johnny P, the Republicans are not "...the eat-your-vegetables-and-shut-up party."

It's the, 'We demand our champagne wishes and caviar dreams be an eternal reality, and the rest of you get some table scraps - if, and only IF, you're good!'

And whodathunk "The Party of Ideas" couldn't think of anything in 16 months?

When you can't even message your way out of this mess of your own making, the only way to describe you and your loser party is, "Pathetic."

proverbialleadballoon said...

Nice summation. It is rather enjoyable watching the gop squirm, never in my adult life have the dems had the upper hand quite like this.

Ten Bears said...

I remember... sharing the observation - perhaps even here - when the Cheney Administration pushed through the "Bush Tax Cuts" that this is exactly what was going to happen. It ain't rocket science.

I haven't made snark about the Kool-Aid or extraterrestrials cooking up Stepford Clones in the basements of the pre"9/11" WTC for a while because I'm not so sure anymore that it's snark. These animals are so deep in it I'm surprised they haven't, like turkeys in a thunderstorm, drownt.

Steve, I have fought bears and forest fires and volcanoes... Viet Cong, Gypsey Jokers... cops. Hell, not too long ago )realative time( a judge gave me the choice of keeping either my pistol or the tv. The point I'm failing to make is I don't think I can read this shit the way you do. Have I ever thanked you for that? Thank you.

Bulworth said...

So, Republicans, the Fiscal Cliff, which is comprised of spending cuts you required in order to raise the debt ceiling last year, which has always been raised without offsetting cuts in the past, and tax increases stemming from the tax cuts you passed but couldn't afford to make permanent for the past ten years, and which haven't helped the economy much anyway, have got you over the proverbial barrel?

Yes, it's quite tragic.

Anonymous said...

What Bulworth said. This situation, which is entirely and absolutely of the GOP's own making, is hard for them to weasel out of? Cry me a river.

Of course, if Romney had won, the Ryan Plan to end the sequester by restoring defense and slashing social services even further would already have gone into effect. So they doubled down and guessed wrong.