Republicans Bet on America's Failure
Editor’s Note: To watch the cable news shows, you would have thought that the Republicans had won a great victory over President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan – by voting nearly unanimously against it, by touting their supposed fiscal restraint and by rallying the nation around Ronald Reagan’s old philosophy: “government is the problem.”
In this guest essay, former Democratic congressional aide Brent Budowsky offers a contrary viewpoint and warns the Republicans of the risk they run in rooting for American to fail:
The passage of the $787 billion jobs bill represents a great victory for President Obama, a huge triumph for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and a tremendous moment for the smart Republican senators: Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine.
It was a crushing blow for the do-nothing, obstructionist, recession Republicans who are betting against America.
A popular President with support from the American people that has risen again to the high 60s to mid 70s asked for a jobs bill by Presidents Day, and gets it. The recession-connected Republicans, who suffered landslide losses in 2006 and 2008 because of their diehard support for George W. Bush, sink further into the political hole.
When America recovers, Obama wins; Harry Reid wins; the Speaker wins; Sens. Snowe, Specter and Collins win; and the recession Republicans lose.
So, the Republicans are betting the ranch that America fails, because they know if the stimulus program succeeds, if America succeeds, they are left out on the limb with their old black magic of Republic economics.
These guys have gone so far right, they can't see Main Street with a microscope. They are so politically maladroit, the best they can serve up for a nation that is hungry for solutions is a stone-cold dish of Bush doggie bags.
They tried to cut the jobs bill in half. They tried to take spending for jobs out of a program that was designed to create jobs. They opposed fuel-efficient cars for the federal fleet, weatherizing buildings in the cold of winter, and building schools for the kids. Instead, they supported more tax cuts for the wealthy and repeated, ad nauseam, the sad platitudes of Herbert Hoover and the defeated policies of John McCain in 2008.
The three Republican senators standing almost alone – representing the Northeast where most Republicans are no longer welcome – were denounced as “traitors” and Benedict Arnolds.
The recession party then gloated when Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire declined to serve in Obama’s Cabinet, though he likely will not run again and will very probably be succeeded by yet another Democrat.
The death march of the recession Republicans continues. It is their curse, their failure of economics, the curse that led them to minority status for a generation after Hoover, the curse that led to their latest disaster in 2008, after another disaster in 2006.
The recession Republicans are hoping the President fails, and betting the ranch that America fails, which is a very bad bet indeed.
Brent Budowsky was an aide to Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and to Rep. Bill Alexander, then the chief deputy whip of the House. He can be read in The Hill newspaper, where he is a columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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