Quick Hits for October 4th, 2009:
* Reps Joe Wilson and Alan Grayson both have had significant booms in their fundraising since their "bold" statements. Wilson blurted out "you lie" in the middle of President Obama's speech in Congress, and while it also was a fundraising boon for his opposition, he has become a significant fundraiser for the GOP base. Grayson was on the House Floor during morning comments, which historically get a little aggressive, and was noted for saying, "Don't get sick. That's what the Republicans have in mind. And if you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly." Grayson has also seen significant fundraising success right after his speech.
The comments motivate the base and create fundraising opportunities, but are they what we should hope for in our representatives? While I agree with Grayson's general sentiment, are there really any Republicans who would want people to "die quickly?" I doubt it. We should demand more from our leaders than pandering to the extremes to raise money while getting nothing done.
* Roland Martin of CNN wrote an interesting article about the GOP's proclaiming anyone who speaks badly of America as unpatriotic, and beyond that, those on the right proclaimed opposition to the war in Iraq as "wanting America to fail" and called them "unpatriotic." As the Olympics were given to Rio, it appears that the right has started their own giddiness about America failing or losing the Olympic bidding. It seems that they have their own little hypocrisy to deal with.
* The GOP has decided to blast President Obama for his policies and their effect on jobs, insisting that deeper tax cuts for small business and individuals are the key to job creation.
Maybe someone should remind the GOP that stimulus often takes 9-15 months to filter through the system before it hits its full impact. Sure, it will have some impact immediately just from its perception, but it takes a while for it to have an impact, not simply 6-7 months. Because this is government programs, it will take longer because it takes time to design, set up, hire, and implement the programs themselves. To proclaim their failure only shows ignorance in economics.
I have to wonder why they think tax cuts for individuals are key to anything. Maybe they should realize that 47% of Americans pay NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX at all. Six thousand people making over $1 pay no federal income tax. Why doesn't the GOP just come out and say it, they want to repeal all taxes of every kind? If you want a great country, you have to pay for it. 47% of America paying no federal income taxes is too much!
The GOP fails to understand the great impediment to small business isn't taxation. It really isn't. It is the aversion to risk that people now aspire to have a good job instead of to start a new business, while the GOP continues to treat massive corporations as if they are people we should all beg for jobs, and subsidize them so they can undermine and eliminate small businesses.
It used to be that Republicans understood economics better than liberals, but it is clear that can't be said anymore.
* Fox's John Tantillo called for the rising up of the American Capitalist Party, proclaiming the Democrats as Socialist, and the Republicans as the party of "No." Maybe he missed it, but they are called the Libertarian Party. Get to work John.
* John McCain and Lindsey Graham have both become critical of the movement to the far right of the Republican Party, as pundits push away from the moderates and toward the extremes. While Rush, Beck, Palin, and O'Reilly push to the far right and extremes, the GOP continues to believe the far right is the overwhelming majority, something elections have disproven for quite a while.
The right lost its credibility in about 2005 under President Bush and never got it back. In the last election, it was their lies that lost the 2008 election as much as President Obama won it. They proclaimed that President Obama was radical, was socialist or communist, was a radical black nationalist, anti-American, etc., and as people listened to President Obama, it simply wasn't true. After a while, the lies just had no impact anymore.
The right has now deluded themselves into believing that the far right is the norm. Social Movements, what political parties are essentially, never get larger by playing to the zealots. That is just historically true. Someone ought to remind the GOP of that if they are to have any hope of rebuilding their party.