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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Out right-winging it

Paul Krugman:

"President Obama has made it clear that he’s willing to sign on to a deficit-reduction deal that consists overwhelmingly of spending cuts, and includes draconian cuts in key social programs, up to and including a rise in the age of Medicare eligibility. These are extraordinary concessions. As The Times’s Nate Silver points out, the president has offered deals that are far to the right of what the average American voter prefers — in fact, if anything, they’re a bit to the right of what the average Republican voter prefers!

Yet Republicans are saying no. Indeed, they’re threatening to force a U.S. default, and create an economic crisis, unless they get a completely one-sided deal. And this was entirely predictable.
First of all, the modern G.O.P. fundamentally does not accept the legitimacy of a Democratic presidency — any Democratic presidency. We saw that under Bill Clinton, and we saw it again as soon as Mr. Obama took office.
As a result, Republicans are automatically against anything the president wants, even if they have supported similar proposals in the past. Mitt Romney’s health care plan became a tyrannical assault on American freedom when put in place by that man in the White House. And the same logic applies to the proposed debt deals."

Dailykos: "Yes, yes, Paul Krugman is a crazy Nobel Prize-winning maniac. But even many Republicans—even many George W. Bush-serving Republicans—have been saying the same thing. Some have been all but pleading for Republicans to take a damn deal already.
None of the stuff of this presidency is controversial, in fact (it's certainly hardly "socialist" or even left of center) except insofar as it's a Democrat proposing it. That's all it takes. If a Republican president proposed a few trillion dollars of deficit reduction (not that one would, based on the plain historical evidence, but let's just go with the premise), he would presumably be lauded as the Great And True Hero of Conservatism. When Republicans tried to tackle healthcare, during the Clinton years, what they came up with as their preferred conservative solution looked a great deal like what Romney did, and then what Obama did. Then it was sound and business-friendly: now it's socialism and utterly intolerable. It's been, what, only a decade and change?

The finest recent example, though, has been the battle against the latest socialist conspiracy: efficient light bulbs. It literally was a Bush-era plan. From 2007. And yes, Bush signed it. Four short years later, those efficiency standards must be an infringement because a group of conservative crackpots got together and decided that, well, it just plain must be.

Bad: I'm not sure there's any way to express just how silly these people are. Worse: even now, most of our press is bound and determined not to point that out."

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