Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Last week when President Obama gave his budget speech, he invited the GOP's Flim-Flam Man on the GOP budget, Rep. Paul Ryan, to attend his speech and even gave him a front row seat. The president proceeded to lay waist to the Ryan Roadmap to America's Ruin and exposed it for the cruel nonsense that it is in the first part of his speech.
Rep. Ryan and the conservative commentariat immediately took tp the airwaves to complain that President Obama hurt Rep. Ryan's feelings and made him cry. "The bad man was mean to me!" The conservative commentariat fell back on a new meme that the president was "uncivil" towards Rep. Ryan and, led by David Brooks of the New York Times, suggested that the president invite Rep. Ryan to the White House — to apologize to him. Call the Wahhmbulance! Republicans' feelings got hurt.
Conservatives obviously had deluded themselves into believing that when the president invited Rep. Ryan to his speech that he would lay down prostrate before him and pay hommage to this "young gun" of the GOP as "bold" and "courageous" and "brave," reciting the right-wing noise machine talking points used to describe their "boy genius" and his Roadmap to America's Ruin. Instead,the president laid waist to the Ryan Roadmap to America's Ruin and exposed it for the cruel nonsense that it is.He delivered a pants down spanking in public to the "boy genius" of the GOP. And Mr. Sensitivity got all sensitive and cried.
Jon Stewart pointedly mocked this faux GOP "civility" nonsense in this segment of The Daily Show. "Seriously guys, grow some sack."
President Obama followed up his speech with an open mic critique of Rep. Ryan and his Roadmap to America's Ruin that further gave the GOP the vapors and made them clutch their pearls. "Bring me my smelling salts! I fear I am about to faint."
And President Obama again exposed the Ryan Roadmap to America's Ruin for the cruel nonsense that it is in his Weekly Address on Saturday. Weekly Address: America’s Fiscal Future | The White House. Of course, the Sunday talk shows were populated by Republicans with the vapors still clutching their pearls, joined by the media villagers and Beltway bloviators of the corporate media who have never met a GOP plan that they didn't like. "How dare you, sir!"
I think Paul Krugman says it best in Civility is the Last Refuge of Scoundrels:
At the beginning of last week, the commentariat was in raptures over the Serious, Courageous, Game-Changing Ryan plan. But now that the plan has been exposed as the cruel nonsense it is, what we’re hearing a lot about is the need for more civility in the discourse. President Obama did a bad thing by calling cruel nonsense cruel nonsense; he hurt Republican feelings, and how can we have a deal when the GOP is feeling insulted? What we need is personal outreach; let’s do lunch!
The easy, and perfectly fair, shot is to talk about the hypocrisy here; where were all the demands for civility when Republicans were denouncing Obama as a socialist, accusing him of creating death panels, etc..? Why is it OK for Republicans to accuse Obama of stealing from Medicare, but not OK for Obama to declare, with complete truthfulness, that those same Republicans are trying to dismantle the whole program?
Beyond that, are we dealing with children here? Is one of our two major political parties run by people so immature that they will refuse to do what the country needs because the president hasn’t been nice to them?
But the main point is, what are we supposed to have a civil discussion about? The truth is that the two parties have both utterly different goals and utterly different views about how the world works.
It’s not nice to say this (but the truth is rarely nice): whatever they may say, Republicans are not concerned, above all, about the deficit. In fact, it’s not clear that they care about the deficit at all; they’re trying to use deficit concerns to push through their goal of dismantling the Great Society and if possible the New Deal; they have stated explicitly that they want to reduce taxes on high incomes to pre-New-Deal levels. And it’s an article of faith on their part that low taxes have magical effects on the economy.
Obama believes that the major social insurance programs are a good thing, and has extended them with health reform. Some of the best-known research by his chief economist is his work debunking claims that tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves. See here and here (both pdfs).
So what is there to talk about?
Exactly, professor. One party believes in unicorns, as you have said, and is selling an economic theory that has been entirely disproved and discredited over the past 30 years. It is the economic theory that created the mess we find ourselves in today, and they are proposing more of the same, only on steroids. One political party has gone totally insane. And they get upset when one points out the obvious fact that they are batshit crazy.