The Same Old Song: The Audacity of “Nope”

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Despite President Obama meeting with the Republican leadership on three occasions and even agreeing to some of their useless tax cut proposals to appease them, not a single Republican in the House voted for his stimulus bill. The economy stands on the brink of a global depression as a result of years of failed Republican policies (particulary the deregulation of the banking, insurance and financial services industries since 1995 which led to the creation of the mammoth speculative investment Ponzi Schemes that have collapsed and are responsible for the current mess we are in), but Republicans would rather see the country, and the world, go over the brink into depression than to face reality and abandon their commitment to a failed and entirely discredited economic ideology. So much for putting their "country first."

Bob Herbert addressed this issue in his column last week The Same Old Song:

What’s up with the Republicans? Have they no sense that their policies have sent the country hurtling down the road to ruin? Are they so divorced from reality that in their delusionary state they honestly believe we need more of their tax cuts for the rich and their other forms of plutocratic irresponsibility, the very things that got us to this deplorable state?

The G.O.P.’s latest campaign is aimed at undermining President Obama’s effort to cope with the national economic emergency by attacking the spending in his stimulus package and repeating ad nauseam the Republican mantra for ever more tax cuts.

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Maybe the Republicans don’t think there is an emergency. After all, it was Phil Gramm, John McCain’s economic guru, who told us last summer that the pain was all in our heads, that this was a “mental recession.”

The truth, of course, is that the country is hemorrhaging jobs and Americans are heading to the poorhouse by the millions. The stock markets and the value of the family home have collapsed, and there is virtual across-the-board agreement that the country is caught up in the worst economic disaster since at least World War II.

The Republican answer to this turmoil?

Tax cuts.

They need to go into rehab.

The question that I would like answered is why anyone listens to this crowd anymore. G.O.P. policies have been an absolute backbreaker for the middle class. (Forget the poor. Nobody talks about them anymore, not even the Democrats.) The G.O.P. has successfully engineered a wholesale redistribution of wealth to those already at the top of the income ladder and then, in a remarkable display of chutzpah, dared anyone to talk about class warfare.

* * *

When the G.O.P. talks, nobody should listen. Republicans have argued, with the collaboration of much of the media, that they could radically cut taxes while simultaneously balancing the federal budget, when, in fact, big income-tax cuts inevitably lead to big budget deficits. We listened to the G.O.P. and what do we have now? A trillion-dollar-plus deficit and an economy in shambles.

This is the party that preached fiscal discipline and then cut taxes in time of war. This is the party that still wants to put the torch to Social Security and Medicare. This is a party that, given a choice between Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, would choose Ronald Reagan in a heartbeat.

Why is anyone still listening?

Stephen Colbert challenges these Republican ideologues to "put no money where your mouth is" in this "Word" segment, "The Audacity of Nope." H/T to Heather over at Crooks&Liars blog for the transcript:

Last night—last night's party line vote was a great start for the 111th Congress. But these hard times demand an even larger meaningless gesture. That is why I am calling on every Republican who voted against this bill to put no money where your mouth is. Refuse to accept a single penny of the eight hundred billion dollars for your Congressional district.

Think of it—think of it—think of it like a hunger strike. Then—then just sit back and watch in glee as the Democrats face the wrath of their constituents suffering as the eight hundred billion dollars tears through their districts like a force five cash-o-cane.

It won't be easy but you are fighting for a principle. If we can't have a perfect bill to stimulate the economy you'd rather have no economy at all. And that's the Word.

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