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The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Posted by: McQ on Friday, January 30, 2009

Of course most QandO readers are smart enough to understand that no matter what our political class says or promises, not much at all changes within the DC beltway. Despite the smiling assurances of 'hope', change' a 'new attitude' and 'bi-partisanship', it is obvious that there is neither a new attitude or any desire for bi-partisanship on either side and no hope that's going to change any time soon. I'm fine with the lack of bi-partisanship, frankly.

That said, it is always interesting to get a peek at attitudes among our so-called leaders which they may or may not share with the voting public.

Take a moment and read this memo from Nancy Pelosi's communications director sent to Democratic members and staff after the stimulus vote the other day:
To: Interested Parties
From: Brendan Daly
Re: The Republican Problem
Date: January 29, 2009

The House Republican Leadership put its Members in another politically untenable position yesterday: trying to reclaim the mantle of lower taxes and small government — at the exact time when economists of every ideological stripe agree that government investments are the only way to get our economy moving again and make us competitive for the long term.

So yesterday, while we are facing the greatest economic crisis in decades, Republican House Members ended up voting unanimously against:

* Jobs in their own communities

* Tax cuts for 95 percent of American workers

* Long overdue investments that will transform and grow their economies to compete globally

* Critical services in their own communities, such as police officers, teachers, and health care

Instead, their substitute did not create as many jobs and it increased the number of people subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

The hypocrisy of the Republicans complaining about the process does not obscure the record of recent Republican leadership:

* 2.6 million American jobs were lost in 2008 alone.

* The national debt has almost doubled in the last eight years; the debt borrowed from foreign countries has tripled.

* The Clinton Administration left a record budget surplus. President Bush turned it into the worst deficit in American history.

* We face an economic recession unrivaled since the Great Depression, as a result of years of failure to invest in our own global competitiveness, failures to bring common sense to Wall Street and our housing market, and tax policies that favored massive corporations and most affluent individuals.

This is not the first time the Republicans in the House have unanimously voted against a needed economic package. The last time, in 1993, when Democrats voted for tough action to clean up after Republican economic mess, not a single Republican voted for the legislation that produced record surpluses and a balanced budget.

Once again this week, as another Democratic President and Democratic Congress worked to address historic deficits and recession brought on by Republican mismanagement of the economy, not a single Republican voted for the legislation. There's a pattern here of Republican economic mismanagement and Democrats stepping up to do what's needed for the good of the country while Republicans acted in a partisan and irresponsible manner.
Of course anyone with the intelligence of a retarded chipmunk knows that if you were to take a red pen and cross through the boilerplate political rhetoric, there wouldn't be much left of this little missive. In fact, it is apparent there isn't much deep thinking going on in it at all.

This is simply a talking point memo. This is what members and senior staff should regurgitate when the press comes sniffing around for comments. And this is from their leader (as there's no doubt it reflects Pelosi's thoughts - that's what communication's directors are paid to communicate). It's pitiful.

Note the "either/or" false dichotomy they try to create. Republicans are either for ...

* Jobs in their own communities

* Tax cuts for 95 percent of American workers

* Long overdue investments that will transform and grow their economies to compete globally

* Critical services in their own communities, such as police officers, teachers, and health care

... or against those things as indicated by their vote.

Obviously they could be for jobs, real investments in actual wealth producing enterprises, tax cuts for 100% of the American workers and corporations too, and properly structured stimulus which creates real jobs as opposed to government "make work" jobs.

Nope - it is either for or against. No middle ground. It is their version or no version.

No desire to see beyond the talking points. Pure demagoguery. This is the face of national politics today. Reduced to foot stamping tantrums and demonization of the opposition when thwarted.

The bill passed but Republicans refused to sign on as planned (and share the blame when it fails).


Hope and change.
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