Republican Party



The Debt Ceiling and Washington’s Political Pornography

Published July 12th, 2011 by tcarpenter

Watching the negotiations in Washington about whether to raise the ceiling on the national debt is like watching a vile form of pornography–if pornography were boring as well as disgusting. Both Republicans and Democrats are engaged in their usual political posturing. The GOP members of Congress dig-in their heels about raising the debt limit, although the overwhelming majority of them had no problem taking that step during the Bush years–or for that matter during the administration of the sainted Ronald Reagan. They are equally adamant about no new taxes. That is an admirable position in principle, but only if serious spending cuts are made to keep the budget from continuing to bleed vast quantities of red ink. Borrowing to cover the shortfall is simply a form of deferred, covert taxation–with the goal of shifting much of the burden onto future generations.

 

Amazingly, the Obama administration and the congressional Democrats manage to be even a little worse than their Republican colleagues. They habitually portray proposals merely to slow the jaw-dropping growth in federal spending as brutal “cuts” that would devastate essential programs and put Grandma and Grandpa out on the street without their Social Security checks. Whenever the Dems propose so-called spending cuts, they are little more than paper promises to slow the rate of increase in spending in the out years–i.e., 5 to 10 years in the future. Experience has shown that promises of spending restraint in the mists of the distant future almost never become reality.

 

Both parties play their cynical games while the country careens toward national bankruptcy. If the massive budget deficit is not reduced through real (and substantial) cuts–which means cutting military spending, Social Security and Medicare–the United States could be Greece in another decade or two. Our children and grandchildren will not think kindly of us if that happens. But not to worry. The Republicans and Democrats in the 2020s will be busy blaming each other for the debacle.

 

 

 

The GOP’s Uninspiring Presidential Candidates

Published February 21st, 2011 by tcarpenter

I had the misfortune of catching Mike Huckabee’s interview today on ABC’s Good Morning America.  When asked about his presidential ambitions for 2012, the former Arkansas governor was cautious, arguing that President Obama would be a formidable candidate.  Huckabee then stated that since 1848, only one incumbent president, Jimmy Carter, had ever been defeated for re-election.

Well, he was almost right.  Except for George H.W. “Poppy” Bush losing to Bill Clinton in 1992.  And Herbert Hoover being defeated by Franklin Roosevelt in 1932.  And William Howard Taft losing in 1912.  And Grover Cleveland coming up short in 1888.  And Benjamin Harrison being ousted from the White House in 1892.

Is it really too much to expect that candidates for the presidency (and let’s remember that Huckabee already ran for the GOP nomination in 2008) know the basics about that office and not make gross factual misstatements on national television?

But one shouldn’t really be surprised.  The probable GOP presidential field for 2012 thus far looks utterly dismal.  The likes of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney inspire no more confidence than does Mike Huckabee.  And then, of course, we have Sarah Palin, whose degree of ignorance on both civil liberties and foreign policy issues is truly breathtaking.  Her most recent gaffe occurred when she was asked about the mounting anti-regime demonstrations in the Middle East.  Her answer was so utterly incoherent that it was not even certain she was speaking English.

Please.  The party that produced Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan should be able to do better than this bunch.