Republican Fight Double Feature: Palin v. Limbaugh and Gingrich v. Club for Growth

As a general rule of thumb Republicans are totally inept at governing, but are a highly effective opposition party. On the other hand, Democrats do a far better (even if not perfect) job of governing, but cannot match the Republicans in a dirty political fight. It is great to see the Republicans occasionally battle each other. We have two such battles at present with Sarah Palin vs. Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich vs. The Club For Growth.

At least Sarah Palin is showing some degree of consistency in attacking Rush Limbaugh for a “retard” comment after calling on Rahm Emanuel to be fired after he called strategy of some liberals on health care reform “f–king retarded.”

The cases aren’t entirely analogous.  Palin responded on her own to Emanuel’s comment but only showed this consistency in criticizing Limbaugh through a spokesperson when asked about this. Still, it is good to see the two fighting in this manner. There is also a difference between Emanuel using an insult such as this against fellow Democrats in the heat of an argument and Limbaugh calling a meeting of advocates for the mentally handicapped  a “retard summit at the White House.”

Of course, if we can believe Levi Johnston, Sarah Palin also joked about her “retarded baby.” I guess she’ll have to demand that she resign. Oh wait…

Meanwhile the Club For Growth is attacking Newt Gingrich for supporting Republicans who are not as extreme as they are. Gingrich was campaigning for Utah Senator Bob Bennett while the Club for Growth is working to defeat him:

“I wish the Club for Growth would spend as much time and energy to defeat liberal Democrats as they do dividing Republicans,” Gingrich told a crowd at Bennett’s formal campaign launch, according to the Deseret News. “I try to defeat liberal Democrats. I don’t spend much time trying to defeat Republicans.”

That prompted the influential conservative group to take a shot at Gingrich for backing “ultra-liberal” Dede Scozzafava in last year’s special election in New York’s 23rd district. The moderate Scozzafava quit the race after being harangued by conservative activists who supported Doug Hoffman. Democrat Bill Owens eventually won the race.

“Newt has proven time and again that he will support any Republican, regardless of policies and principles,” said Club president Chris Chocola in a statement. “That’s his right, but the Club for Growth PAC puts principles over party,”

“Newt was wrong about New York-23, and he’s wrong about Utah,” Chocola continued. “And pretty soon, Bennett will wish Newt never gave him the kiss of Dede.”

Actually Gingrich was right about New York-23 as the Club for Growth’s strategy led to the Republicans losing a Congressional seat which they had held for a century. See, good things do happen when the Republicans fight among themselves.

Republicans Fine With Cutting Taxes And Increasing Deficit

There’s a reason why the last time the budget was balanced was under a Democratic president and not a Republican. There’s also reason why the Republicans oppose measures such as a pay as you go policy and a commission to study deficit reduction. As should be pretty clear, Republicans have no real interest in ending the budget deficit. Their sole concern is paying less in taxes, as is demonstrated in this Rasmussen poll:

Fifty percent (50%) of conservatives are comfortable with a budget deficit if taxes are cut versus 63% of liberals who favor a balanced budget with higher taxes. But then 50% of conservative voters also think the federal budget can be balanced without a tax increase. Sixty-one percent (61%) of liberals say that’s impossible.

The partisan differences on the questions are notable. While 50% of Republicans would rather see a budget deficit with tax cuts, a plurality (46%) of Democrats favor the opposite approach – a balanced budget with higher taxes. Voters not affiliated with either party are evenly divided on the question.

Similarly, almost half (47%) of GOP voters think it’s possible to balance the budget without raising taxes, but 53% of Democrats don’t. Unaffiliateds are more closely divided but tend to agree with Democratic voters.

It is somewhat understandable. Nobody likes to pay taxes and everyone would prefer to see their taxes go down. However there are grown ups who realize that we cannot cut taxes without increasing the deficit, causing future problems, and their are those living in the conservative fantasy world where reality can be ignored whenever it conflicts with their wishes.