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Roger Keeling

"What I can"t grasp is why this Republican majority wants to take some of the basic accomplishments of that era, accomplishments that took a decade or more of serious work, and casually toss them aside."

I suppose the cheap response is, "Because they're evil?"

The complicated -- truly nuanced and detailed and even-handed reply, boiled down to three words -- would be, "Because they're evil."

Okay, I admit, "evil" is a loaded term. What they're DOING is evil. But you're asking about motivation. I suspect that a lot of it is simple sloth: half or more of the GOP caucus hasn't clue-one what they're doing when they vote on these things. And the ones that do? There appears to be a weird kind of maliciousness run amok among the conservatives and GOP generally that boils down to, "What the Democrats did is bad. ANYTHING they approved of is bad. And so we must undo it."

As insane and simplistic as that seems, it was amply on display when the ShrubReich first took over in 2001. I cannot now quote the specific citations, but at the time I read some actual quotes that pretty much conveyed that belief. If Clinton did it, the Shrubites were going to do the absolute opposite. They seemed to genuinely believe the rightwing hate machine noise: Clinton, they thought, was the absolute epitome of corruption and evil, and everything he did needed to be undone. EVERYTHING.

This just seems to be another extension of that.

Or, maybe the reason is at once simpler and more barbaric: they don't CARE what the bottom-line economics of it are. All they care is about cutting $4.9 billion in immediate outlays so they can shovel that much more toward (1) tax cuts for the rich; (2) Hallibuton contracts; and, or (3) election year politics, with claims that they're making the "hard choices" necessary to balance the budget.

In other words: because they're evil.

Meteor Blades

Some of them, Roget, are also stupid.

Meteor Blades

...erk ... I know you're not a thesaurus.

Rebecca Allen, RN, PhD

No, it's not about not caring, it's deliberate. It's the same reason that Katrina was such a disaster: Anything that makes government look useful to people runs against their agenda. They want the public to hate the government as much as they do, so they'll support endless tax cuts. In their minds, the only good government program is subsidies for the rich. Programs like this one, that directly benefit ordinary people, are anathema to them.


Not to be somewhat flip but in addition I'd add:

1st critical GOP constituency: the ultra-rich. Cut things we're not interested in, like child support enforcement, to benefit the things we like, i.e.--our tax cuts.

2nd critical GOP constituency: less-well-educated divorced white males. Hmm, who do you think the principle beneficiary would be when you slash child support enforcement?

For my money, this "what's in it for me" attitude trumps even the Norquist "starve the beast" conspiracy that well characterizes today's GOP.

PS: like your blog, Mark. Still framing the issues as clearly as you did back in the day.

Roger Keeling

Meteor Blades:

That's okay about my name. But, I think I mentioned that half the GOP members of Congress don't have clue-one what they're doing ... which is another way of saying "stupidity."

By the way, today (1/30/06) The American Prospect online had this tidbit by Sam Rosenfeld:


Subscription-only CQ alerts us to the GOP's secret plan to win the midterms:
Lawmakers still haven’t finished fighting last year’s budget battles but are preparing this week for the fiscal 2007 budget process, which is expected to include further belt-tightening even in the charged atmosphere of election-year politicking.

With President Bush pledging to again hold the line on non-security domestic discretionary spending in the plan he will deliver Feb. 6, lawmakers are bracing for another year of tight appropriations and the prospect of another savings package aimed at entitlement programs including Medicare and Medicaid…

(Senate Budget Committee Chairman) Gregg maintains that Republicans should make cutting the budget their “cause celebre” and view it as a positive, not a negative factor for their election campaigns.

* * * *

So what can I say? That looks a LOT like Reason #3 that I cited up above. In other words, yet another version of "evil."

Here's the link to TAPPED: http://www.prospect.org/weblog/. Sorry, but I've never figured out where TAPPED keeps the Permalinks, otherwise I'd post that here. The piece in question was posted 1/30/06 at 1:43 p.m.


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