Frustrated that Democrats no longer hold complete control of government, and that Republicans are using their new power to attempt to slam the brakes as the country careens down the path to fiscal ruin, Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein take to the Washington Post to childishly whine “But he started it!”:
Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.
Nevermind that West wasn’t making any real accusations, but offering a joking guesstimate at the number of Democrats in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Let’s hear a recent statement from Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters: “I saw pictures of Boehner and Cantor on our screens. Don’t ever let me see again in life, those Republicans in our halls, on our screens, talking about anything. These are demons! They are bringing down this country, destroying this country…” Still waiting for Obama’s condemnation.
“The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
We’ve already covered conservatives’ “conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science” here. And “dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition” describes the Democrat position on Obamacare’s Constitutionality to a tee.
What happened… Ironically, after becoming speaker, Gingrich wanted to enhance Congress’s reputation and was content to compromise with President Bill Clinton when it served his interests. But the forces Gingrich unleashed destroyed whatever comity existed across party lines, activated an extreme and virulently anti-Washington base — most recently represented by tea party activists — and helped drive moderate Republicans out of Congress.
That’s one theory. Another is that things got really ugly during Robert Bork’s confirmation hearing, when “The character assassination began the day Bork was nominated, when Ted Kennedy gave a fiery speech describing “Robert Bork’s America” as a place “in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters”… any chance that might have “destroyed whatever comity existed across party lines”?
In the presidential campaign and in Congress, GOP leaders have embraced fanciful policies on taxes and spending, kowtowing to their party’s most strident voices.
And when Democrats had complete control of government for two years, their agenda kowtowed so far away from the American electorate that the 2010 elections resulted in the largest loss of seats by a party in over 70 years.
In the face of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the party’s leaders and their outside acolytes insisted on obeisance to a supply-side view of economic growth — thus fulfilling Norquist’s pledge — while ignoring contrary considerations.
In the face of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, Democrats thought it’d be a good idea to create a hurriedly passed new entitlement via a 2,700 page bill that none of them read, while ignoring how irresponsible it would be.
We could play this game all day.
I have my opinions about who are the nastier partisans, but ultimately that debate is a waste of time. Our country is broke and getting broker. The only discussion worth having is who has the right ideas on how to reverse that trend. Democrats who haven’t passed a budget in three years, and refuse to even offer one, aren’t in the best position to fault the other side.