Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Most observers seem to find it baffling that Paul Ryan's new budget looks so much like his old budget, given the results of the election that took place after his last budget release. Ryan Lizza:
The House budget is also getting criticized for being a rehash of defeated ideas. Despite the 2012 Presidential election results and the House G.O.P.'s diminished ranks and historic unpopularity, Ryan's budget is little different from his last few. Didn't the election teach Republicans anything? (Heidi Moore at the Guardian is particularly good on this point, noting how the budget is "like some sad fiscal remake of the movie Groundhog Day.")
Has Ryan learned nothing from the 2012 vote? Why are he and the rest of the GOP acting as if their ideas didn't lose them the election?

Well, because they don't think their ideas really did lose them the 2012 election.

They think they lost because their get-out-the-vote technology failed on Election Day. They think they lag the Democrats in data mining and use of social media. They think media bias defeated them. They think they kinda-sorta won because they won the white vote and the elderly vote. They think a tiny number of anomalous, atypical Republicans spoiled everything for the rest of the party by scaring women with off-putting abortion rhetoric. They think they just haven't found the right messenger who can explain to Hispanic voters that they're "natural Republicans." They think Obama and Democrats win among low-information voters who are too dumb to realize what's really happening to them and what the two parties really stand for. Or those same voters are being bribed with "Obamaphones." And, yes, Republicans are still claiming voter fraud.

Oh, and besides, they won the House (even if they lost the total House vote and won only because of gerrymandering, and even if Democrats retained the Senate), so 2012 was a split decision right? Heck, Paul Ryan won -- he won reelection to his House seat.

So it's all good for the GOP! Their ideas are what America wants! It's obvious!


Victor said...

I'm sure I won't be alone in thinking, I'm glad the Republicans haven't yet recovered from their oblivious overdose.

Let's hope they don't, until someone discovers some "Anti-stupid-and-evil" vaccine.

aimai said...

I doubt very much if they care about whether/how they lost the election in terms of the popular vote. I just don't think they think in those terms. The line the rulers always take is to assume that the voters are the last of their issues--who cares what those uneducated,s elfish, noisy, unwashed, rabble think or want? The function of elections is for some people to get into power and then to use it, good and hard, on everyone else. The consent of the governed? The right of the people to "peacefully assemble and petition" their overlords? That's not relevant to governing or legislating. Ryan never gave a flying fuck about the popularity of his plans--his plans are geared at saving rich people money and hurting poor people. Obviously its only going to be popular among certain groups. He doesn't now, and never did, care about popularity. The will/desire of hte people is nothign but a fig leaf, a rhetorical flourish. As long as Ryan's banker and backer friends are happy, he's happy.

Victor said...

This ends today's edition of "What aimai Said!"

Steve M. said...

Well, obviously Ryan would care about it if he were at risk of losing his position of power.

And, alternately, this bit about getting elected and doing whatever the hell you want is true only if you're a Republican. I*f you're a Democrat, you get elected and say, "What will the Republicans and the panel on Meet the Press allow me to do?"

toad said...

Ryan is just a corporate tool. The people realize this. his budget only serves the rich and thats why people dont like it.