Monday, June 14, 2010

Steve Benen clarifies it all

The reason why incoherence is a deliberate strategy to deal with Obama:
I've been trying to think of a way to explain this in a way Mitch McConnell would understand. As 2009 got underway, Republicans had left two huge messes related to the economy: 1) a nearly-catastrophic recession and unemployment crisis; 2) a budget mess, including a $1.3 trillion deficit and $10 trillion debt. Both problems were simply left for the Obama administration to clean up.

The economic question of 2009 was which problem would be addressed first, but there was a catch that went largely unstated. Whichever mess policymakers chose to clean up first would necessarily make the other mess worse. It was simply unavoidable -- investing in a recovery would increase the deficit; lowering the deficit would take money out of the economy and exacerbate the recession.

Questions of sincerity notwithstanding, it was the main difference between the Democratic and Republican approaches to the economy -- Dems wanted to focus on one of the messes Republicans created (growth and jobs); the GOP wanted to focus on the other (deficit and debt).

That is, it would be the difference if lawmakers like McConnell approached governing with even the slightest bit of seriousness. Notice in his response that there's nothing even approach coherence -- he wants Obama to spend less, and more. He wants the administration to take on a larger role, and smaller. He wants the White House to care more about debt reduction, and less. He wants the president to prioritize investing in job creation, and to stop prioritizing investing in job creation.

Why anyone could take such policy gibberish seriously is a mystery to me.

They do it because it works. We are now celebrating the Era of Stupid and the stupids vote.

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