Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Only Thing Better Than Not Making Mistakes Is Watching The Other Guys Make Mistakes You Once Made

My proposed headline was above, but that was too long for the space allotted. Except that the less jazzy headline chosen by the editor wasn’t that much shorter.

East Valley Tribune, Oct. 14, 2007

I love watching the state Republican Party endure their own long, dark Mark Fleischer moment. Arizona Democrats had such a fabulous time when our state chair managed the party based on his misunderstanding of the lyrics to the Brownie song; Fleischer thought his job was to antagonize new friends and anger the old, so the party coffers lacked both silver and gold.

Eventually we elected a Democratic governor, and Janet Napolitano realized she didn’t need this particular bozo making her life more difficult. By a far-closer-than-it-should-have-been vote, Jim Pederson became state chair. Fleischer then ran for Congress in Tucson, lost the primary, then moved to New Mexico, far enough away that he’s able to style himself an expert and has a thriving political consulting practice. Which is fine, New Mexico has enough natural beauty that their karma probably requires having Fleischer around, to avoid harsher cosmic score-settling consequences, like plagues of frogs.

So I want to encourage state GOP leaders who think the problems Republicans have with the public can be cured by a rededication to core Republican values. Just like Mark Fleischer used to confuse cluelessness with principle, state GOP party leaders want to dig themselves out of their current hole by digging deeper, harder, and faster.

Keep feeding the already-convinced more red meat about Hispanic (and only Hispanic) illegal immigrants -- and do it in a way that puts you the enemies list of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In foreign policy, the GOP cure for being so vehemently and disastrously wrong about invading Iraq and a badly-conceived and badly-executed war is another war. Iran, Burma, North Korea -- it doesn’t much matter. If you don’t want war, you’re not a real man. Hey, what could possibly go wrong?

In health care, the GOP solution for helping working and middle-class Americans -- especially those with pre-existing conditions -- find affordable insurance coverage is insisting those folks choose between keeping their house or paying for care. The Republicans think you don’t pay enough for health care; instead, if you bore more risk, you’d somehow become a better, magically-healthier consumer. Instead of expanding S-CHIP and covering the stray adult or Baltimore homeowner, we should close the program. According to Republicans, people need to face the consequences of their homeownership-vs.-health-care-for-their-kids choices.

If government did have a broad-based financing system for health care, why, that would be servitude! We’d all become serfs, just like every senior enrolled in Medicare. Oh, wait -- those cranky seniors are the ones writing letters to the editor complaining that if people younger than 65 had universal coverage, they’d turn into serfs. After all, when you’re 65, you’ve earned everything government can do for you. At age 64, you’re still a no-good freeloader. Come back only after you’re aged sufficiently for government-financed health care.

In economics, Republicans want to feed the public ever-greater levels of nonsense. Cutting taxes raises revenue, all the GOP presidential candidates say. The data -- and even GOP economists -- say differently, that cutting taxes cuts revenues. Revenues may rise if the economy grows, but tax cuts don’t insure that the economy grows. (Especially not cutting estate taxes, a large and key part of the Bush tax cuts.) The economy somehow didn’t notice the 1993 Clinton tax increase, and boomed; Bush cut taxes in 2001, and the economy went into recession.

But if like John McCain, your level of economic literacy lets you "wish interest rates were zero," it doesn’t take much foresight to rule in this particular kingdom of the blind. Republicans proved time and again that while they want to cut "spending," none of them want to cut "programs." What they do want to do is let those at the top pay much less in taxes. Some of the cuts may trickle down, but that’s camouflage, nothing more.

Yep, the cure for the public’s lack of trust in the GOP is to give them more of the same, just louder -- and meaner. Have at it, I say.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


"Cutting taxes raises revenue, all the GOP presidential candidates say. The data -- and even GOP economists -- say differently..."

You disagree with the "Fundamental Theorem of the GOP," which is also called the "Laffer Curve." Fortunately we have state leadership which can give you tutorial knowledge and bring you up to speed. Check this gentleman out, if you can find him:


Unless you accept the irrefutable logic of the Laffer Curve, you won't understand how we can fund a war 2/3 the cost of WW2, while replacing the Space Shuttle fleet, building a moon base, and funding a manned mission to Mars. The 'wingers will be happy to explain it to you.