JOHN LYNCH: NO BALLS

Posted in Quick Hits on February 3rd, 2009 by Ed

This is about John Lynch the Governor of New Hampshire, not the nine-time Pro Bowl defensive back. That the latter has balls is beyond debate.

I accept the fact that Gov. Lynch cannot appoint a Democrat to replace Judd Gregg and thus give the party a magic 60 in the Senate. Gregg simply would not accept the Cabinet post without assurances that he will be replaced by a Republican. But why did Lynch apparently choose Bonnie Newman as Gregg's interim replacement? Newman is, by any stretch of the imagination, a competent Republican of the type that plays well in New Hampshire. She will be a strong candidate in 2010. Were Lynch not a wimp he'd appoint some idiot that he, or any other Democrat, could easily knock off in two years.

Remember this next time we have to debate which party is more selfish and partisan.

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THE PARTY WITH AN IDEA

Posted in Rants on February 3rd, 2009 by Ed

Back in September, when talk of a taxpayer bailout of the financial sector began in earnest, the Republican Study Committee announced a "market-based" alternative cure for what ails banks. Without checking the link, what would you guess that alternative was?

Just a few days ago the House GOP stood united (with a handful of Democrats) in opposition to the White House's proposed economic stimulus package. The Boehner Crew proposed an alternative plan with a radically different approach to stimulating the economy. What do you think that was?

In 2003 the nation experienced an economic malaise due to the after-effects of 9/11 and the first stages of the sharp rise in crude oil prices. President Bush leaned on a compliant Congress to legislate his vision of the best, fastest way to revitalize our economy and spur job growth. What was it?

In 1981 Ronald Reagan entered the White House proposing a radical solution for the twin plagues of unemployment and inflation. What was it?

On February 7th the continental United States will be attacked by a loose coalition of soccer hooligans, common household appliances that have become self-aware, incontinent birds of prey, and Rodan. What is the Republicans' proposed solution for this problem?

If you answered "cut taxes," "cut taxes," "cut taxes," "cut taxes," and "cut taxes," respectively, you win! The prize is a tax cut. Workers making under $100,000 annually are ineligible for this prize. Neither ginandtacos.com nor its parent corporation, Nordyne Defense Dynamics, are liable for any failure of tax cuts to produce jobs and working- or middle-class prosperity as promised. Void where logic is applied to arguments.

I was legitimately disappointed in John Boehner's statements in response to the White House plan. That I disagree with him is irrelevant. I'm irritated at the extent to which he bores me. Call it selfish, but just once I would like to hear something other than "tax cuts" come out of the GOP's collective piehole. Really, John? Tax cuts? Again? You're not even trying anymore. We can teach a parrot to say two words, guys. Of sentient beings we expect more. We are on the verge of simply replacing Republican elected officials with a bobblehead doll that shouts "TAX CUTS!" randomly and without warning. The sole difference between the GOP and a broken clock is that the latter is right once every twelve hours.

For decades the GOP has touted itself as "the party of ideas," a sobriquet bestowed on them by Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan as he lamented his party's decline from its New Deal-era dominance. Here's a particularly enjoyable transcript of Karl Rove reassuring his colleagues of this fact a few months before the 2006 General Election. The Democrats are the party of big government and innovation-stifling regulation. The Republicans, in contrast, are the freewheeling purveyors of the marketplace of innovation and ideas. Democrats = stagnation. Republicans = bold solutions and progress. One party was willing to think outside of the box and the other was stubbornly insistent on sticking to their old ways.

Today the Republicans are not the party of ideas, they are the party with an idea. Note the key article in that sentence. They have one idea. Singular. The party is unafraid to boldly and with courage of their convictions take a stand and proclaim, "The answer is tax cuts. Now what was the question?" They beat this dead horse incessantly not because it works or because it has the potential to work; they do it because they have nothing else. There is no other idea. This is it. Tax cuts, tax cuts, and more tax cuts, preferably starting with the gilded portions of the tax code – the capital gains tax, the inheritance tax, the Alternative Minimum Tax, and corporate taxes.

Ignore the fact that all of these things have been tried (repeatedly) and have failed to "stimulate" or "trickle down" or create anything other than greater disparity between the wealthy and the unwashed masses. Just cut 'em again. Keep cutting. It'll work this time. We swear. Really. The 32nd time is the charm. Just think of how much better things would be during this recession if people are allowed to keep a slightly larger portion of their rapidly-falling wages. I guess the unemployed can't benefit, but if we cut their former employer's taxes surely Joe Six Pack will be re-hired with alacrity. Trust us, it works just like this. Here is a great book by Hayek that explains the whole thing. Don't mind those pages that are stuck together.

Amazingly the GOP is getting some traction with their comma-dependent argument ("No more tax cuts? No, more tax cuts!"), substantially aided by That Darned Liberal Media. Obama's been in charge for about 10 days, so it's only fair that we let the Republicans run the show again. The Democrats had their chance and it's time to try something else. But what else is there? Surely we can't rely on the backward-looking party, the one with no ideas, to come up with a fresh solution. All is lost.

Wait! I hear John Boehner has an idea. Isn't it high time we hear him out?

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