Quote of the Day: More Republican Hopes For Economic Collapse

“The dirty little secret … is that every Republican in this country wants Obama to fail, but none of them have the guts to say so; I am willing to say it.”

Rush Limbaugh

Republicans really must totally dissociate themselves from people like Limbaugh. How do they really think this will be received by the average voter who faces personal disaster if the stock market crash continues to wipe out their retirement savings or if they lose their jobs should Obama fail?

Some conservatives realize this. Far too many Republicans, such as Rick Santorum do not. Limbaugh is also giving the keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). If the Republicans are smart they will laugh him off the stage. Unfortunately they will not and Limbaugh will continue to be their unofficial spokesman.

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  1. 1
    Carol Corbett says:

    Nobody should give air time to this fat, impotent, pill-popping, sack of human excrement.  I flipped the channel as soon as I saw his ugly self.

  2. 2
    Fritz says:

    Do you never wish that bad policy should fail? 

    OK — it’s a tough conundrum.  But I understand the hope that the American invasion and conquest of Iraq should not be, well, a model of success.  Is that “Wishing us to lose”?   I understand very well that that was exactly how conservatives put it.  But was it fair for them to do so?

    I understand the hope that the flagrant and continuing destruction of American constitutional rights in the War on Some Drugs should not succeed.  Is it wrong to believe that bad policy should produce bad results?

    Similarly, for those of us who do not want the US government consuming an ever-larger share of the GNP and investment capital, is it terriby wrong to not want a strategy of government expansion to work?  How can I wish everyone the best of luck in this swamp while still hoping that government expansion will not be the solution?

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    There is a problem with your analogy. Opponents of the war both opposed going to war and hoped for the United States to succeed. It was a common falsehood spread by conservatives that opponents of the war wished for us to lose. Maybe falsehood is too strong in many cases. The reptilian minds of many conservatives simply are unable to understand such a position. (There are also some on the far left who might have hoped for the US to fail. The difference is that the extremists on the left who hold such extremist positions do not matter much. The extremists on the right are firmly in control of the Republican Party.)

    On the other hand, Limbaugh and other Republicans outright hope for failure. It is one thing to prefer limited government economic policies. It is another thing to deny reality and to demand to pursue policies which have failed, and to hope that policies which show better promise of success fail. As we’ve discussed before, the universe is not here to please us. We must go with the policies which have a better chance at success as opposed to ignoring reality and sticking with those which have failed. It is better to admit to being wrong on economic policy and have the economy recover than to wish misery on the country as conservatives like Limbaugh do. At very least it only makes sense to hope for success when faced with such severe economic problems.

  4. 4
    Fritz says:

    Of course, the Bush administration did not practice actual government fiscal restraint, so your comment about “pursue policies that have failed” doesn’t really apply.  I also have no idea how to generate a metric for “better promise of sucess”.  I would only be persuaded by “economists think so” if those same economists predicted the crash.

    As far as whether people wanted the US to lose in Iraq, I will state that I was at least relieved that it was not cheap and easy for the US to occupy Iraq.   We tend to repeat things that are cheap and easy and I don’t want foreign conquest to become a hobby.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    It’s not only Bush. Ronald Reagan hardly cared about fiscal restraint. Conservatives seem to repeatedly get their guy elected and then try to dissociate themselves from them when they fail (or in Reagan’s case ignore what he actually did). Perhaps there is a reason why, once faced with being in office, nobody really follows conservative doctrine.

    It is one thing to believe that Obama’s economic solutions will not work. It is an entirely different thing to actually hope they will not work out of fear that this will show your side was wrong in political arguments. What is important is the recovery of the economy–not which side wins debating points.

    As for Iraq I had no doubt that the occupation would be difficult. It was not a matter of hoping either way, but of facing reality. Once the troops were already in place I would have preferred that the United States could have gone in quickly, set up a functioning democracy which respects civil liberties and opposed religious extremism, and come home safely. I just knew that this was not a realistic outcome.

  6. 6
    Fritz says:

    I absolutely agree with you about Reagan.  Also not a president with any commitment to fiscal restraint.  Bill Clinton had some.  Before that?  Maybe Eisenhower.

    I disagree with your belief that it is all about “debating points”.  It really is about the future role of the government in all aspects of economy and life.    I think we are at a cusp in how that relationship is defined for a generation.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    But so much of this is primarily over debating points. Conservatives are screaming about socialism, but that is nonsense. Nobody of consequence is advocating anything close to socialism, and the Republicans have hardly been supporters of a true free market system in power.

    If government spending can really stimulate the economy and get us out of this mess, that would be a good thing. The only real downside is that this conservatives who claim it cannot would lose the debating points. As this is the program being tried, it only makes sense to hope that it works if you are primarily motivated by what is good for the country as opposed to proving that certain conservative economic beliefs are right.

  8. 8
    Fritz says:

    Ron, I see far graver downsides than you do.  It’s not debating points, it’s whether the experiment in limited government will continue.  In the unlikely event that the stimulus plan does raise asset values, that would mean that many of us can cash out and look elsewhere before the reckoning comes due.  The fact that I am thinking that now and was not thinking that a few years ago is a pretty strong indication that asset values are not going to significantly rise any time soon.

    I don’t know about others, but I am pretty sure I have never written that Republicans (when in power) have been (within living memory) supporters of anything like a free market.

    I have read proposals for national takeovers of commercial banks, for single-payer national health care, and for sufficient government ownership of automobile production to ensure a domestic industry.  At what level of all this can we use the word “socialism”?

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    Cries of socialism are nothing but scare tactics from the right. We are looking at reaction to a crisis–not permanent changes in the economy and certainly not government ownership of the means of production. The calls for government take overs of some businesses are based upon necessity, not any desire for long term ownership or control. The plans under discussion are not for permanent government ownership but for a temporary increase in government shares in these companies, with the hopes of selling off their stake in the future.

    Single payer national health care is not even on the table. With the exception of a handful such as Michael Moore, those involved in health care reform support preservation of a free market system of health care delivery. You are even confusing the issue by lumping together “single payer” and “national health care.” These are two quite different things. Neither is on the table, with far fewer people in this country even considering national health care compared to the small number who has been pushing for a single payer plan for years.

  10. 10
    Fritz says:

    I figure “temporary government ownership” is as likely to end as a temporary tax.  Possible in a theoretical sense.  I hope you are correct that this is a temporary crisis and not a permanent change — but I fear you are incorrect.

    And, yes, I deliberately conflate single-payer plans with national health care.  Once there is no market, the details, while important to policy wonks, don’t really affect the reality on the ground — which is that the government would have complete control of 1/6 (if I remember the percentage correctly) of the economy.  I definitely think unloading employer-paid health care to the government is on the table.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    You are confusing what is actually on the table with the scare tactics of the far right. Temporary government ownership is nothing like a temporary tax. We are looking at proposals which basically amount to the government buying and later selling stock, not permanent nationalization. Nobody in power is suggesting national heath care.

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