Thursday, May 09, 2013

Explaining Conservatism To Conservatives

Is always entertaining.

Consider this by Reihan Salam -- darling of all four David Brooksian "True Conservatives" left within the territorial United States and permanent holder of the prestigious Reihan Salam Chair at MSNBC.

See if you can spot the moment at which he demonstrates that he hasn't the faintest clue what he is talking about.
The 2015 Budget Surplus Scenario

James Pethokoukis cites a new report from Potomac Research to suggest that there is at least a slim chance that the U.S. federal government will achieve a budget surplus by fiscal year 2015. Pethokoukis makes the most important political points — a surplus will make it difficult for the Obama administration to make the case for further tax increases, yet it will also undermine the case for entitlement reform. But to be cynical and political for a moment, a surplus would be even worse news for the Republican Party. Since the start of the Obama presidency, the GOP has put all of its eggs in the basket of short- to medium-term fiscal consolidation...

So imagine 2016 in the unlikely but not completely impossible event that a budget surplus does materialize. Republican elevation of the deficit issue will allow the Obama administration and its Democratic allies to declare “mission accomplished,” all without taking the blame for entitlement reform. The House-passed budget that promised a balanced budget within the ten-year budget window by making unrealistically deep cuts in Medicaid and domestic discretionary spending will continue to be hung around the necks of congressional Republicans...
This -- "...a surplus would be even worse news for the Republican Party" -- is where it starts to get hilarious.

Reihan, in what alternate universe does this "Republican Party" you refer to give a shit about objective reality?  On what political holodeck does there exist a Party of Personal Responsibility which has not LOUDLY staked out ideological positions on which it has not completely reversed itself based on a change in its political fortunes, and then re-reversed itself em masse when doing so would put them in a slightly better position to hate Barack Obama at 200 decibels?

And after decades of repeated, garish and very public displays of truly Orwellian lack regard for facts and lack of remorse for the catastrophes they create, the electoral effect has been...?


And during that time, the mainstream media's interest in bringing the serial sociopathy of the GOP to the attention of the general public has been...?


So don't worry, Reihan, your Republican party has very little to fear by way of retribution for continuing their long, tragic, nearly-perfect record of being horribly wrong about everything.

If the GOP does find itself staring down the barrel of a budget surplus in 2016, I imagine they will simply do exactly what they did in 2000, when eight years of budget discipline under Bill Clinton finally dug us out of the horrendous hole created by 12 years of ruinous Republican crackpottery:  they build an entire campaign around promising to "restore our national honor" by ridding the nation of the stench of the completely fake scandals they spend eight years manufacturing, while running ads like this one

and RNC acceptance speeches like this one (from George W. Bush's own 2000 Republican Convention acceptance speech, which he delivered live and in front of at least a hundred million witnesses):
Today, our high taxes fund a surplus. Some say that growing federal surplus means Washington has more money to spend. 
But they've got it backwards.

The surplus is not the government's money. The surplus is the people's money.

I will use this moment of opportunity to bring common sense and fairness to the tax code.

And I will act on principle.

On principle ... every family, every farmer and small businessperson, should be free to pass on their life's work to those they love.

So we will abolish the death tax.

On principle ... no one in America should have to pay more than a third of their income to the federal government.

So we will reduce tax rates for everyone, in every bracket.

On principle ... those in the greatest need should receive the greatest help.

So we will lower the bottom rate from 15 percent to 10 percent and double the child tax credit.

Now is the time to reform the tax code and share some of the surplus with the people who pay the bills.
declaring that budget surpluses are a moral disaster from which we must immediately free ourselves.

And being the thoroughly pliant dolts that 40 years of brainwashing has built them into,   Republican base voters will of course fall obediently into line, while the supine, Beltway waxworks press will treat the imbecilic idea that Surpluses are a Moral Disaster with as much Very Serious Reverence as they have treated the equally imbecilic idea of "Austerity Now!" for the last five years.

Because, Reihan, out here in the real world, that is how politics really works.

FYI,  David Frum also clipped a chunk of this same article and ran it in this Daily Beast column today.

If you feel like taking a dip in the stagnant end of the political gene pool, go here to check out some of the 850 comments (and counting) his reprint has garnered.

850 comments.  And counting.  For a reprinted snip.  Of a Reihan Salam column.

Chew on that for a minute.


JerryB said...

Nice piece. I think it's the GOP's utter lack of connection to the "reality based" world that I find the most frustrating. There is no possibility for debate without some common basis of understanding. They're still out there creating their own reality and using every "tool" (read MSM) at their disposal to force that reality on the rest of us.

Thankfully it feels like more and more people are waking up to that fact and are less vulnerable to the faux outrage wurlitzer that is the modern GOP/Tea-Bagger movement.

cloudshe said...

such garbage. when obama claims it's congress' fault for our woes you applaud. clinton's tax increases and broken promises brought in a republican congress in '94, and THEY were responsible for "budget discipline" NOT clinton yet you are more than willing to give clinton the credit for something that's "congress' fault". go smoke a joint, libs, you're clearly reality challenged