Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Republican Game UPDATED

Blogger Chris L. left a comment at Think Progress yesterday responding to the House Republicans voting 100% against the stimulus package:

This was a dumb move by congressional republicans. For one, they now have to hope like hell that the economy gets worse. If it turns around for any reason, they will look like fools. Two, they just showed the new president that no matter how much he tries to reach across the aisle, they will still vote lockstep together to try and block anything he does. And three, they sent the message loud and clear to not strip out any provisions from any bill next time, because they will still vote against it.

So this is the Republican game. In a sense you can't blame them. They've always played the ideological "lock step" political strategy; strength in numbers; "Us against Them;" divide and conquer. Give them credit, they've gone "all in."

The House Republicans now stand squarely against the economic stimulus or government spending on domestic or social programs, they stand strongly together in absolute [100%] opposition to any plan brought to them by President Obama, and they stand bold and ready to accept concessions and the respect of the majority without giving back ANY support. They've got to hope that the President fails, they've got to hope that the economy deteriorates even further, but most of all they have to hope that that their conservative ideological policy solutions will suddenly be viewed as the CURE instead of the DISEASE!

I've started a list. Here are some of the programs and ideas the Republicans are now on record as being solidly against. Please feel free to add more.... and more. I'll be back to update the list often, adding links for further research as time allows. We begin:

Stuff Republicans are against:

  1. Arts agencies, local orchestras, local symphonies, artists, and musicians.
  2. Health Care for Children
  3. Rebuilding infrastructure
  4. STD and AIDS prevention
  5. Preventive Health Care
  6. Birth Control and family planning
  7. Health and well being of the working population
  8. Mass Transit and funding for railways
  9. Maintenance of the Mall, and the surrounding buildings.
  10. Health Insurance Programs for the Poor and for Legal Immigrants
  11. Pell Grants for College Students
  12. Medicaid Funding
  13. Funding for Education
Just to be fair, a second list:

Stuff Republicans are for:
  1. Tax Cuts
  2. More Tax Cuts
UPDATE: This great comment from Glenn Greenwald:

This is what happens every single time: the Democrats do everything possible to "accommodate" the Republican position and then get attacked anyway (they voted in large numbers for the Iraq War in and then got attacked for being soft on Terror in 2002; they voted for virtually every Bush "Terrorism" policy and the same thing happened, etc.). Here, they did everything possible to change their bill to please Republicans and nothing is happening except full-scale GOP opposition accompanied by a constant barrage of GOP attacks against them as big-spending, reckless, wealth-transferring liberals.

Ultimately, the success of this program will be measured by whether it produces successful results, so why shouldn't Democrats use their majority to enact the policy they think is most likely to achieve that? That's true on this issue and in general.

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