Why there isn't a new republican revolution...

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. 1993 All Over Again?
    By David Weigel 1/29/09 6:03 AM

    One of the goals of the unanimous Republican “no” vote on the stimulus package Wednesday was producing news analyses like this one, from The New York Times.

    The failure to win Republican support in the House seemed to echo the early months of the last Democratic administration, when President Bill Clinton in 1993 had to rely solely on Democrats to win passage of a deficit-reduction bill that was a signature element of his presidency.

    And we all know what happened in 1994. Still, I don’t think the analogy holds up.

    1. The Obama stimulus package is popular. A May 25, 1993 Gallup poll pegged support for Clinton’s plan at 44 percent, and opposition at 45 percent. The Democratic House narrowly supported the plan two days later. But the final Gallup poll before yesterday’s House vote put support for President Obama’s plan at 52 percent, with opposition at only 37 percent. Even a flawed Republican poll on the stimulus (which suggests that tax cuts are more popular than spending, ignoring the fact that the stimulus includes both) revealed that most voters, panicking about the economy, support the stimulus package.

    2. Clinton wasn’t popular; Obama is. As Michael Crowley points out, Clinton was already reeling from scandals and missteps by May 1993, when the budget vote was held. His popularity had dipped below 50 percent, and in some polls his net approval rating had inched into negative territory. Clinton’s Democrats were less popular than Obama’s Democrats—while Clinton was beating President George H.W. Bush, the party was losing seats in the House Banking Scandal backlash. Obama is cresting in the mid-60s or low-70s, depending on the poll, the Democrats have gained ground in two consecutive elections, and voter identification with the Democrats is soaring.

    3. The Clinton budget raised taxes; the Obama stimulus doesn’t. I think this is the most important distinction. The Clinton budget reconciliation increased income taxes, raised the corporate tax rate to 35 percent, and raised the gas tax by 4.3 cents per gallon. Basically, every American paid more taxes after the budget was passed. The Obama stimulus package doesn’t raise anyone’s taxes. It includes $275 billion of tax cuts. Are they poorly designed? Arguably. But they’re tax cuts! I literally cannot remember a time when the entire Republican conference in either house voted against tax cuts. In that Republican poll mentioned above, upwards of 60 percent of voters want tax cuts right now.

    The Republican strategy here is incredibly bold. The party’s betting against Obama’s current popularity and against the chance of an economic recovery by 2010 (or 2012), having done very little work convincing Americans that the stimulus tax rebates amount to “welfare” (one popular argument) or that, after eight years of deficit spending, voters should worry about the cost of this bill. I’m skeptical about the political oomph of attacking “wasteful spending,” even though (in a growing economy, at least) it makes more sense than endless tax cuts. But maybe the strategy will pay off. Or maybe putting 177 Republicans on record against tax cuts will come back to hurt them. We’ll find out.
  2. wjk


    One thing is missing from the article. He failed to mention the pork in the package (with the exception of the wasteful spending bit).
  3. This is an excellent point.
    Especially after Obama tried to go across the aisle and drum-up bi-partisan support.
    The Republicans just got "boxed" into a corner on this one.

    I guess they feel that they have some "credibility" with the American people after no longer having to deal with "carrying the political burden" of George Bush for the past 2 terms.

    FYI: The above quote is from a Senate Republican Leader yesterday; not my words.
  4. wjk


    The fascinating thing is that they are now becoming fiscally concerned. Where was that 4, 6, and even 8 years ago? At least they showed some balls, but no doubt it is a gamble. Didn't expect to see that.

    The success of the gamble will be commensurate with the success (or failure) of the package.
  5. I'm unconvinced that the spending package will actually do anything to affect the economy until the natural cycle of boom/bust/boom comes around.

    The only chance that Republicans have of looking good in this is if the recovery cycle fails, so they are betting against eventual recovery.

    The biggest problem they have is lack of consistency. There is a Youtube of Boehner tearfully beseeching his fellow Republicans to vote for Paulson's TARP. Now he wants to re-assert himself as the fiscal conservative, which is a hard sell.

    IMO the GOP needs a new front-man. Boehner cannot be it, because he has no credibility.

    After seeing Pelosi whining on the news shows, the GOP needs to challenge for seats in 2010, but it ain't gonna happen with Boehner.
  6. Do you really expect a prickly dick like Boehner to rise to the occasion?

    <img src=http://www.webwombat.com.au/entertainment/humour/images/182boner.jpg>

  7. News analyses from The New York Times regarding Obama is an oxymoron.
  8. Its amazing how unless the wolf is at YOUR door the notion of tax cuts can still be acceptable to anyone who has more than a
    superficial sense of the straits the economies in.
    For one thing you have to create any stimulus bill so that theres little chance any of the money will go to buying foreign goods ...that'd be wheel spinning leakage. You can't control how tax cuts will be spent. Funding for contraception education makes no sense in this economy but then Pelosi probably thinks her squeeze toy the Dalai Lama actually IS the manifestation of God on earth. The endowment for the Arts too is fluff ...in this crisis. I seem to have a different idea of what a crisis is than both parties.
  9. Typically clueless analysis in the OP. The republicans have belatedly realized they blew the election by supporting the Bush/Paulson bailout fraud. They are like an investment advisor who put his clients into Madoff.

    At least now they are waking up to the fact that they left the door open and Count Dracula waltzed in.

    The idea that Obama reached across the aisle to them is nonsense. He asked them to support the legitimization of socialism, and they rightly refused. Of course, I expect the same cowardly backstabbers in the Senate who rubberstamped a bagman like Eric Holder to fall all over themselves sucking up to Obama.

    The GOP has a long way to go before it can duplicate the success of '94. Back then they had real leaders and a sense of direction. They just needed a catalyst, which Clinton provided. Today's GOP is out of energy and ideas. The national party is controlled by lobbyists and consultants and is badly out of step with what remains of its base.
  10. Agreed 100%

    And one of these days the Party will realize that their "base" is not made up of the conservative Evangelical Christian right. Only then, will the Party begin to take back some of the "Reaganesque" popularity that it had.
    #10     Jan 29, 2009