Wednesday, March 25, 2009

G0P: "Like an Arsonist Who Complains That the Fire Department Is Wasting Water"

CNN Political Contributor Paul Begala says it takes amazing chutzpah for conservative critics to be complaining that President Obama is trying to do too much at once and spending too much to do it, given that every major problem he's attacking was created or exacerbated by eight years of conservative technical stupidity, reckless deficit spending, regulatory malfeasance and repeated mismanagement of the federal government:

Obama inherited an ungodly mess: a $1.2 trillion deficit, an economy that was careening from recession into depression, a collapse in effective demand, the disintegration of the real estate market and a financial meltdown that spanned the globe and brought multibillion-dollar institutions to their knees. That's not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and the Mexican drug war.

If this were "Sesame Street," the announcer would be saying, "This program brought to you by the letters G, O and P." None of the crises the president is addressing were of his creation. All of them were created or worsened by the Republicans who ran the House of Representatives, Senate and White House for years.

And so the American people turned to Obama to bring change -- and change he has brought. He's moving on all fronts: addressing the housing foreclosure crisis, the banking crisis, the unemployment crisis. Did I mention that all of these crises were courtesy of the Republicans who ran this country for years? Good.

Now the Republicans have what we Texans call the chutzpah to criticize Obama for doing too much. Maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't have to be fixing so many problems if the Republicans hadn't created so many problems.

The Republicans are like an arsonist who complains that the fire department is wasting water. Obama is trying to handle an immediate crisis while also laying the foundation for long-term growth. The Republicans are doing neither. They have no plan to stop the loss of jobs or to get capital markets functioning properly -- and they certainly have no plans for health care, education or energy, which are the keys to both long-term economic growth and long-term deficit reduction.

All the energy -- indeed all debate -- is on the progressive side of the aisle. The Obama administration's only intellectual challengers are on the left, where economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and others are offering a vigorous critique and proposing alternative solutions. But where are the Republicans? Doing nothing but complaining. Unless and until they do offer an alternative, they really have no right to whine about the president. For now at least, GOP stands for "Got 0 Plans."

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Great series of posts, Gerald. As shown by the Santelli rant on CNBC a couple of weeks ago, which was cheered on by testosterone-laden day traders, the legacy of the Reagan era is dying hard, even though his ideas have been thoroughly discredited. They'd have us return to the libertarian utopia of the Hoover administration.

Even those with the most to lose are still buying into the Reaganite myths and are still likely to blame powerless people who have nothing instead of powerful people who've been increasingly gathering everything unto themselves.

Maybe some things never change... In the 1930s the government wasn't able to deliver bonuses to World War I vets who were marching in order to claim what was owed to them. In 2009, they can't stop the paying of bonuses to the well-heeled who never earned them.