The Republican Party is so fundamentally wrong so often about so much stuff that is so important that's it's ironically easy to lose track of it all. And in recent days we've been bombarded with evidence of Republican wrongness at such a fast and furious clip that I realise I personally haven't been able to full absorb the depth and breadth of the wrong.
So let's make a quick list - based just on news stories from the past week:
- Republicans - including John McCain back in 2008 - were wrong to insist that we should not pursue Osama Bin Laden into Pakistan if we had credible intelligence that he was there. Or rather, since one could argue that the policy might be right even if the outcome would be bad, let's say that whether this is right or wrong, Osama Bin Laden would still be threatening America today if the Republicans had won the last election.
- Republicans - including, most notably, Dick Cheney - were wrong to suggest that Americans are less safe from terrorism under Obama than they were under Bush.
- Republicans leaders were wrong to keep calling everything that Democrats proposed a "job killing" measure, when in fact the last three months has been the best 3 month period for job growth in 5 years. On the other hand, independent experts at Moody's have reproted that the GOP's proposed budget would result in the LOSS of over 700,000 American jobs. That's just wrong on so many levels.
- Republicans - in particular Rep Paul Ryan - were wrong to suggest that they had a plan to cut the deficit. Ryan's so-called deficit reduction plan was based on heavy tax cuts for the wealthy plus heavy cuts to needed services for the poor (that's balanced! See! He's cutting taxes AND spending! Everything gets cut!). But even with these deep spending cuts, Ryan wasn't able to project any ability to balance the budget without his piece de resistance - a plan to eliminate Medicare and replace it with vouchers to allow the elderly to buy private health care. This proposal has been strikingly unpopular with the public, and has now been abandoned by Republican leaders - though not before House Republicans voted for it. Without the elimination of Medicare, Ryan's plan does not balance the budget.
- Republicans in Congress were wrong to make posturing noises to suggest that they would be willing - nay! eager! - to let America default on its debt. For bizarre procedural reasons, every time US borrowing goes above a certain point, Congress must vote to allow this debt ceiling to rise. Republicans, however, had been ranting about their unwillingness to do this unless Democrats were willing to
let old people dieaccept the phase out of Medicare. Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed and Republicans are willing to settle for deep cuts to non-entitlement spending programs instead. Gee, thanks. The implications, if the debt ceiling were not raised, would be that the US would default on its borrowing, doing severe damage to our position within the markets, which experts believe could trigger another financial crisis. White House Economic Advisor Austen Goolsbee put it this way, "If we get to the point where we damage the full faith and credit of the United States, that would be the first default in history caused purely by insanity.”
If Republicans were in charge this week, they would have left the world's most dangerous terrorist happy in his Pakistan mansion, lost 700,000 jobs instead of adding 250,000, eliminated Medicare, and cut taxes for the rich.
The one Republican achievement this week is their (apparent) willingness to reluctantly agree that they will NOT cause a financial calamity for no apparent reason.
Why does anyone vote for these guys?