21 February, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Vote for the Cons in 2010 and kiss your stimulus goodbye:

It's good to have dreams and aspirations, isn't it? Too bad that the Republican party's aspirations appear to be centered on destroying the country. After two decades of nearly unfettered access to run the nation, the Republicans are trying their damndest to obstruct and torpedo the stimulus bill and any success that President Obama might have.

And they actually think this will win them supporters. Astonishing. Even David Frum, who hasn't seen a really bad idea he wouldn't cheerlead, as long as it came out of the mouth of a Republican, thinks the GOP is "brain dead".

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) goes on FOX News and vows that the Republican Party will cancel the stimulus bill if they retake the majority in 2010.

This grandstanding may play well with their shrinking base, but to retake a majority, they'll need support from independents. And "Vote for us - we'll stop the stimulus!" seems a slogan destined to lose with that crowd. For a party attempting to climb out of the political toilet, they're doing a fine job of going the wrong way up the U-bend.

And there's no sign they've realized their mistake:
Watching conservatives talk about the economic crisis, the arguments start to have a certain "Groundhog Day" quality.

On MSNBC, Pat Buchanan perpetuated the myth that government efforts to expand affordable housing to underserved communities caused the financial crisis, a charge that has frequently taken the form of attacks on the Community Reinvestment Act. In fact, as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has stated: "Our own experience with CRA over more than 30 years and recent analysis of available data, including data on subprime loan performance, runs counter to the charge that CRA was at the root of, or otherwise contributed in any substantive way to, the current mortgage difficulties."


When I saw Media Matters' item noting Pat Buchanan blaming "minority communities" for the financial crisis, I had to triple-check the date to make sure it wasn't a piece from last year.

Didn't we already have this debate? Isn't it already clear that the conservative talking points were wrong in October, and haven't improved with age?

Steve Benen, generous soul that he is, goes on to speculate that con media mouthpieces know they're wrong, but are stuck repeating old talking points because they haven't yet formulated new ones. Myself, I think it's because they're genuinely too clueless to understand they've been debunked. And they're relying on an electorate that's just as uninformed as they are. Sadly, at least 30% of the country can be relied upon in that regard.

However, even an appreciable fraction of that 30% can, with encouragement and a few tries, think their way out of a brown paper bag. Antics like this might get a few synapses filing in the "What the fuck?!" centers of their brains:

Man, the NRCC under Pete Sessions is even more hilarious than last year's model.

As Republicans who voted against the stimulus package (by which we mean, every single Elephant in the House) step up left and right to try to take credit for the stimulus jobs, the NRCC is busy firing off ads and robocalls targeting vulnerable Democrats for voting for the stimulus.

Which means that House Republicans hate the stimulus, voted against it, but they're super excited about the tax cuts and jobs and infrastructure and all the mega-awesome stuff the StimPak is actually gonna do...but damn all those Democrats to hell who actually got it done!!!

That's an impressive, if risible, series of reversals in and of itself, but as the Detroit News' Gordon Trowbridge notes, the actual content of their robocall hitting Michigan Democrat Gary Peters is even better:

The National Republican Campaign Committee said Friday it will launch a robocall campaign targeting freshman Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, for his vote on the "wasteful spending" stimulus bill. But the research team at the NRCC might want to think a little harder about the "wasteful spending" it cites in Michigan.

Amid the smoking cessation and STD prevention programs the NRCC cites as evidence of Peters irresponsibility come "$1 Billion for Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee Program" and "$600 Million for cars for government employees." The fact that Michigan lawmakers of both parties pushed for the advanced battery funding apparently didn't occur to the NRCC. Nor did the fact that those cars for government employees would be build by Michigan-based manufacturers.

Wow. Just... wow. If we had to depict the above graphically, it would look something like this:

Or perhaps this:

Which may explain why the job market is a little reluctant to absorb some of these assclowns:

The Wall Street Journal reports today that “for many of the roughly 3,000 political appointees who served President George W. Bush, [f]inding work has proved a far tougher task than those appointees expected”:

Only 25% to 30% of ex-Bush officials seeking full-time jobs have succeeded, estimated Eric Vautour, a Washington recruiter at Russell Reynolds Associates Inc. That “is much, much worse” than when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton left the White House, he said. At least half those presidents’ senior staffers landed employment within a month after the administration ended, Mr. Vautour recalled.


Paul Krugman observes, "[I]t appears that wingnut welfare is breaking down when it comes to former Bush officials."


As for signs that the Cons may acquire a clue: if California is any indication, we're in for a long wait:
It's amusing to consider how the beginning of this excerpt relates to the end of this excerpt. (thanks to reader G.B. for the heads-up)

The 1,400 Republican activists heading to Sacramento this weekend for the twice-yearly GOP convention will be united by a single concern: how to lift the state party out of the deep hole it's dug in recent years.

Reeling from their failed attempt to block tax increases in the state budget, their worst presidential defeat in decades, losing seats in the Legislature and watching party membership shrink, California Republicans know something has to be done soon if the party wants to hang on to what's left of its statewide clout.

"We have to get out of the doldrums from the November election," said Tom Del Beccaro of Lafayette, the party's vice chair. "We need to rally people."

That won't be easy. The convention opened Friday, just a day after Democrats -- and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- steamrolled over GOP opposition and managed to pass a state budget plan that included tax hikes opposed by all but a handful of Republican legislators.

Convention delegates are expected to vote Sunday on a motion to censure the six Republicans who voted for the tax increases.

Punishing people for doing the right thing, driving out the few relatively sane Republicans left in the party, and campaigning simultaneously for and against the stimulus, therefore shooting their chances for political survival in both feet with a rocket launcher.

It's probably best to stop thinking of them as a political party and start thinking of them as absurdist performance art instead.


Chris said...

Let's take this "CRA was the cause of it all" bullshit upstairs, tuck it in, sing it a lullaby - then quietly tip toe out of the room and let it go to sleep.

Cujo359 said...

I'm thinking the lack of job opportunities for former Bush Administration officials says as much about their quality relative to past administrations as it does about the economy. Even so, it's kinda fun that they're now suffering from the effects of their own failure.