I feel like we are caught in a time warp or an endless loop. The Republicans have been giving us the same message over and over for the past four years and even though the American people voted against their plan they insist that Obama come to meet them when they should be offering to go to meet him. Their only message, offered to every commentator every time they are interviewed is about the need to cut spending, balance the budget, and get rid of the deficit. They always act as if Obama is a spendthrift who passes out money to everyone and pays no attention to the nation’s debt or its deficit. They are changing their message slightly because instead of expressing a desire to privatize everything, and to cut entitlements, they are focusing, for now, on Medicare. Health care costs are rising at an alarming rate and I am sure we all worry about whether Medicare will continue to be available. But it is very interesting that the party that wants small government is always talking about cutting our benefits. That is all they seem willing to cut. They never suggest cuts in any other programs or departments of government. They offer to revise the 70,000 page tax code, but again they rarely give us any specifics.
There are several economists who admit that avoiding austerity has actually helped the American economy. And although all of us are unhappy with huge national debts and deficits, some economists suggest that they are not that enormous given the recession we just came through. Paul Krugman, an economist who writes in the New York Times calls the Republicans “deficit scolds” with good reason because that seems to be their sole argument, repeated ad nauseum.
I also do believe that Obama fully intends to make some cuts in spending, but I know he would also like to do some spending because he thinks it would help create jobs. Paul Ryan who appeared on Meet the Press this Sunday repeated the same alarmist message that we have heard from him before. He intimates through his arguments that Obama is ruining the American economy and that Obama is a stubborn idiot who needs to be saved by the Republican agenda. He still worries that we have created an “institutionalized” group of inner city minorities who lack initiative because they have been supported by the government for too long. I don’t think the financial support they get or the rigmarole they must go through to get that support really produces a living income or a satisfying lifestyle. I would think that a focus on educational models that help people succeed in school would be more useful than some “throw them in the deep end and see if they swim” strategy.
The Republicans do have some plans for how to become a more popular political party. They have decided to go after the minority vote by working with Democrats on immigration. They have decided that the only reason Obama won was by pandering to minorities so they want to get in on some of that pandering action. However, just in case Spanish and African Americans see through this courtship and decide they will not be wooed, Republicans want to change the way electoral votes are counted. Because big cities tend to skew Democratic and more rural areas tend to skew Republican. Presidential candidates often win all the electoral votes in a state if they win the major cities. The GOP has come up with a plan to go district by district to count the vote and then to apportion the electoral votes in the state by the numbers of districts won, instead of the number of votes won. If a candidate won the popular vote s/he would not necessarily get all of that state’s electoral votes. Electoral votes would be split among the candidates. If we had run the 2012 election Mitt Romney would have won the Presidency even though Obama won the popular vote, experts say. Why isn’t this the perfect time to get rid of the elitist Electoral College and decide the election by the popular vote alone?
Last week John Boehner accused Obama of trying to get rid of the Republican Party. Why would Obama bother when the Republicans are doing such a great job of sabotaging themselves? They are committing political seppuku.We are not a single party nation and I don’t believe we really want to be, but if the Republicans can’t moderate their agenda I, for one, would be just as happy to see them sidelined until they stop trying to dictate a path that Americans did not choose and do not want, for some very obvious reasons.
This is the view from the cheap seats.
This photo is from an article on yahoo.com. Thank you Yahoo.