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Archive for August 14th, 2012

A few Republicans are not trying to blame Obama for what Bush did

Posted by Charles II on August 14, 2012

If all Republicans were like Bartlett and Stockman, I’d have to reconsider which party to vote for. While I disagree heartily with them on many things, they have been honorable in accepting blame for bad policies. Via Ritholtz,

David Stockman, Reagan Director of OMB, in the NYT:

PAUL D. RYAN is the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment, but that doesn’t alter the fact that this earnest congressman from Wisconsin is preaching the same empty conservative sermon.

Thirty years of Republican apostasy — a once grand party’s embrace of the welfare state, the warfare state and the Wall Street-coddling bailout state — have crippled the engines of capitalism and buried us in debt. Mr. Ryan’s sonorous campaign rhetoric about shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to “job creators” (read: the top 2 percent) will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse.

Bruce Bartlett, Reagan and GHWB adviser:

Although it was quickly overshadowed by his choice of Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, Mitt Romney released an important document last week by his principal economic adviser…economists Glenn Hubbard of Columbia, N. Gregory Mankiw of Harvard, John B. Taylor of Stanford and Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute….

Much of the Romney paper is taken up with reviewing the poor economic recovery, which is undeniable. Reading it, however, one is left with the impression that the recession occurred on President Obama’s watch because of policies he is responsible for.

Just to be clear, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the private research group that determines the starting and ending points of recessions, says the latest economic downturn began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.

The opposition of every Republican to the 2009 stimulus was a major factor in its inadequate size.

… it was Republican policies during the Bush administration that brought on the sickness and Republicans in Congress who have denied the economy an adequate dosage of the cure [i.e., stimulus]. Now they want to implicitly blame President Obama for causing the recession and the failure of stimulus to fix the problem, asserting that fiscal stimulus is per se ineffective.

One only wishes that Democrats would speak this plainly. Instead, some are complicit in why the stimulus is too small–a few are even giving their support to the Republican lie–and not enough are speaking out clearly on what stimulus is and why–of course!–it works (and why taxes have to be raised eventually to pay for it). Stockman and Bartlett, right-wing cranks though they may be, deserve a lot of credit for showing integrity.

Posted in budget, capitalism as cancer, Republicans, speaking truth to power | Comments Off on A few Republicans are not trying to blame Obama for what Bush did

Things Our GOP-Friendly Big Media Outfits Don’t Like Talking About

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 14, 2012

— That right-wing gun nuts, not Muslims, are and pretty much always have been the biggest terrorist threats to Americans. (Anyone besides me remember the Posse Comitatus?)

— That we need to ask why the hell we are allowing people who aren’t in a well-organized national, state or local government militia to own weapons of war.

— That Paul Ryan is such electoral kryptonite to the GOP nationally that many Republican strategists fear he could cost them the House this year.

— That the fall of the Soviet Union and its brand of Communism, and its replacement by Ayn-Rand-style capitalism, has led to the return to the conditions that obtained under Czarism, where the vast majority were dirt-poor peasants whose only solace was drink. As this graph shows, Russian male life expectancy had been rising under the Communists, then dropped drastically when they were ousted, and over twenty years later still isn’t as long as it was in the last years of the Communist régime.

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Paul Ryan, GOP Electoral Boat Anchor

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 14, 2012

The fact that the Republican Party is no longer able to pivot towards sanity once the primaries are done explains why they are so eager to do all they can to keep anyone who isn’t in a known Republican voting group from casting a ballot. Demographics aren’t on their side in the long run, and continuing to stick to the tax-cuts-in-the-secret-name-of-bigotry gambit (aka the Southern Strategy) in order to hold the white voters whose minds the GOP and their business patrons have spent half a century poisoning is only making things worse.

In fact, the Ryan-Romney ticket may well turn out to cost Republicans the House this year (h/t hungrycoyote:

Former Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), who chaired the NRCC from 2003-2006, warned that he foresaw in this election shades of President George W. Bush’s fight to create a voucher program for Social Security early in his second term, which many say cost the GOP seats in 2006.

“You saw what happened to Bush with Social Security in the 2006 election,” he said. “This is déjà vu.”

Reynolds went on to praise those Republican House candidates such as Maggie Brooks and Chris Collins — both Republicans running in New York — for backing away from (or as Reynolds put it, “accepting no responsibility” for) Ryan’s highly unppular budget plan.

Hold onto your hats, kids. This could be interesting.

UPDATE: And Politico piles on:

In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives — old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike — the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger that Romney has practically ceded the election.


And the more pessimistic strategists don’t even feign good cheer: They think the Ryan pick is a disaster for the GOP. Many of these people don’t care that much about Romney — they always felt he faced an improbable path to victory — but are worried that Ryan’s vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races.

Sounds about right.

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