I beckon everybody to go visit the blog of one of the most incisive political observers around, Russ Daggatt. In this posting, Russ points out that the current GOP lockstep-disciplined partisanship has nothing to do with conservatism, or patriotism, or deliberation or governance... or even dogma.
For example, just yesterday, the Republicans in the Senate voted in perfect formation against re-instituting "pay-as-you-go" budget rules that require tax cuts or spending increases be matched by revenue measures that keep the effect debt-neutral. Or, as Daggatt's put it:
It was these rules, which prevailed during the ‘90’s, that were largely responsible for the record budget surpluses inherited by President Bush. And it was Bush and a Republican Congress allowing those rules to lapse in 2002 that cleared the way for the record budget deficits that followed. The measure passed the Senate today 60-40, on a straight party line vote. Again, not a single Republican voted for this fiscal discipline. Not one. Not Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins or Mr. Fiscal Responsibility, Judd Gregg or “Maverick” John McCain.
As I’ve noted before, over 75 percent of our national debt was racked up under just three Republican presidents – Reagan, Bush I and Bush II. That is the debt that we must pay down or continue to finance with interest. The interest (and the interest on the interest) just for that Republican debt will amount to trillions of dollars over the next decade. Is there some symbolic message that we are supposed to glean from the refusal of Republicans to allow the US government to finance the debt accumulated under their leadership?
Or, as President Obama noted in his speech:
At the beginning of the last decade, the year 2000, America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion. By the time I took office, we had a one-year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. All this was before I walked in the door.
Go read Daggatt's whole piece. It shows what fools the democrats are, for not realizing what the real issue is. The issue that could let them attack the republicans where it would hurt them most -- as traitors to conservatism.
I've said it before. The state of Arizona is drawing half of its electricity from coils and magnets that are placed around the spinning, in Barry Goldwater's grave. I could list three dozen simple statements or Fox-simple talking points that would eviscerate the GOP as having betrayed the very cause they pretend to represent. Here's just one.
Conservatives supposedly revere Military readiness and spread the truism-lie than Bill Clinton undermined it. But the US Officer Corps admired Clinton and despised Bush. Moreover, at the end of the Clinton Administration, ALL of our US Army brigades were rated "fully combat ready." That's 100% of them.
At the end of the Bush administration, the number that were rated combat ready was 0%.
All right, such blips are simplistic. But that's what we're down to, now. And a media campaign that racked up and fired two dozen such bullets, all at once, would make it hard even for Fox to spin them all away. Moreover, if corporations, many of them foreign owned (Fox is up towards 10% held by Saudi princes) are going to blitz America with political ads, then it is time to get gut-simple in response.
This is their weak point. Show the republicans' betrayal OF conservatism... and then hurl a hundred blue-dog, retired military officers straight at GOP reps in their home turf, where they think their gerrymandered districts keep them safe.
Oh, just for the record: blue dogs aren't the problem, they are the solution. The way to form a new home for America's tens of millions of decent conservatives, allowing them to finally abandon a party that has gone stark, jibbering mad.
Oh, one big point. The democratic caucus in the US House of Representatives can change the game, now. If Nancy Pelosi can get them to simply PASS the Senate's Health Care Bill... promising to amend it later.
Then the dems will have a victory and momentum, Obama will be "formidable" again, the GOP can be blamed for not deliberating to improve the bill... and let Fox howl.
If Pelosi cannot do this one simple thing, then she should be replaced.
And new democratic candidates should step forward right away, in the primaries, to challenge those who couldn't do this one thing for their party and their nation.