Saturday, January 31, 2009

The House's Modern-Day Hoovers

Time to turn the microphone over to Colbert I. King:

The pain of this recession was apparently lost on Boehner and his House Republicans. Their public fretting over the future impact of deficits on today's children and grandchildren is disingenuous. In truth, what really gets them hot and bothered is the thought of government taking on more responsibility to fight this deepening recession, and the huge amount of public spending it will take to pull the economy out of the doldrums. It so happened that the Republican standard-bearer in the 1920s, Herbert Hoover, felt that way, too. Hoover's distaste for government, and his belief that business was the answer to the country's economic tailspin, got Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected president in 1932. In their slavish devotion to Hooverism, today's Republicans are repeating the mistakes that banished their party to the political wilderness in the '30s.


Shag from Brookline said...

Boehner and his House Republicans are demonstrating party first and country much further down the list. After Hoover, the Republicans in Congress did likewise. Hopefully with his communications skills and greater technology available today, President Obama will forge ahead. It should be kept in mind that the long range planning of politicians is generally limited to their next elections.

jamzo said...

the GOP has very little power

one resource they have is to express their opposition to the democrats using their power to advance their health care, technology and other agendas in the stimulus package

in this climate they cannot come out and say they are against unemployment, health care assitance, etc,

TheTrucker said...

The lack of foresight you mention is not as pronounced with the members of the Republican party as it is with the members of the Democratic party. And as Bush was not impeached I have come a long way down the path of Democrats putting their immediate particular political futures ahead of all else. You can make this a party centric observation by aligning the Democrats with populism. The Republicans have a religious fixation at their core (the belief in Daniel Boone) to which they will adhere even as the sky falls on them and the seas rise 200 feet. I vote for a little more pragmatism for all of them but it ain't gonna happen.

The correct move is the nuclear option, also known as the parliamentary option, and the Constitutional option.

TheTrucker said...

The 60 vote rule in the Senate was a compromise in 1975 as the Democrats attempted to do away with the cloture process altogether. They brought the number down from 2/3rd (67) to 3/5ths (60). The cloture deal serves the minority party in the Senate. But we all know that the Democratic party is not a lock step religious outfit. That means that the Democrats have seldom been able to use the cloture process to their advantage. The most recent example was Alito and the failure of the Democrats to block his nomination. I am still hopeful that the Democrats at this point will be able to reduce the numbers again or do away with the cloture rules entirely. We have a lot of work to do and the Republicans will be trying to disable any legislation that might get the country out of its Republican induced depression.

For the Republicans they need only to weaken the stimulus to the point where they can use cherry picked data and cherry picked history to convince the morons that the stimulus did not work very well. They will never change their tune and will continue to insist that tax cuts would have been better. There is no way to actually win this debate and there is no common ground as much as Obama might believe it possible. The bought and paid for neoconomists will sing the Republican song and lie on behalf of their masters on all days.

If the Democrats attempt to play nice with the Republicans they will get their political clocks cleaned in the 2010 elections. They must use the power they have right now to alter the minority protection rules in the Senate because these rules serve the minority Republicans (the minority rich) to a much greater degree than they serve the common people. The larger electoral districts (statewide) of the senatorial elections already serve the rich and the powerful as opposed to the common people:

Bruce Webb said...

Trucker. This is all what should make the Judd Gregg story the biggest political story of the year to date, if of course it happens which we should know by Monday.

It is unlikely in the extreme that Coleman is really going to prevail in Minnesota meaning that a Gregg appointment to Commerce potentially puts us with a few weeks of a filibuster proof Senate.

I personally don't think the Republicans could systematically sustain filibusters anyway, between the retirees and the few remaining moderates (with Spector facing a tough reelection to start with) it shouldn't be difficult to peel off one or two. But if they end up reduced to 40 seats they risk simply being marginalized altogether. Something House Republicans have already (perhaps deliberately) managed to do already.

There are both risks and rewards in being perceived to own the problem. On the other hand it would be nice not to always have the solution compromised right out of the gate.

TGoodwin said...

Trucker, about the Republicans, you say: "They will never change their tune and will continue to insist that tax cuts would have been better. There is no way to actually win this debate …."

Congressman John Boehner adds a special touch to the Republican refrain; he writes a piece titled: "Creating Jobs through Fast-Acting Tax Relief, Not Slow-Moving Government Spending." If tax cuts really did that, we would have noticed it by now. We have, in very recent times, evidence to the contrary. In 1993, President Clinton began his term with a first-year major tax increase; the Republicans were unified in their opposition just as they now oppose the new initiative. As to the effects on employment and unemployment, the table below presents a factual picture; it compares results of the employment picture after Clinton began with a tax hike and Bush began with a tax cut. (The data can be gleaned from the BLS website.)

You may be right in that it might be difficult to convince some; numbers are very unpopular with many who participate in the debate, particularly when the numbers sing a different tune.

Jack said...

"In their slavish devotion to Hooverism, today's Republicans are repeating the mistakes that banished their party to the political wilderness in the '30s."

If I remember correctly a Hoover is a round and loud machine that sucks. The analogy seems apropos.