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Posts Tagged ‘Stupid Party’

I am sometimes at a loss for words to describe the stupidity of the Republican Party.

Let’s use an analogy to explain what I mean. Imagine you were playing a game of chess and your opponent openly stated that he wanted you to move your rook to a certain point on the board.

If your IQ was above room temperature, you would probably be suspicious that he wasn’t trying to help you win the game.

Well, the same thing happens in fiscal policy. I quoted the Hill newspaper last year when some Democrats admitted that their top political goal was to seduce the GOP into a tax increase.

Now we have more evidence.

The Democrats’ counter-strategy is a bit more subtle, but has essentially been to find ways to make it very uncomfortable for Republicans to maintain such a rigid anti-tax orthodoxy — to ultimately force Republicans to break their anti-tax pledges and badly splinter their party. That’s what the Buffett Rule is about; that why Dems insist they won’t dismantle the so-called “sequester” — big cuts to defense and even to Medicare — unless Republicans agree to tackle deficits in a balanced way, i.e. by supporting significant new tax revenues. The results have been mixed. They’ve won a small number of GOP votes here and there, and vulnerable members are nowadays more likely to trash or dismiss Grover Norquist in the press than they were last year. But at a very high level within the Democratic Party, there’s a recognition that breaking the GOP on taxes is an absolutely crucial strategic imperative for defending safety net programs over the long term.

That’s a pretty clear statement. We have folks on the left who say they want higher taxes both to prop up big government and to cause internal damage to the GOP.

So we’re now left with a rather strange puzzle. Why would any Republicans (most recently Sen. Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush) want to help the Democrats achieve those goals?!?

Unless, of course, they’re motivated by a belief in bigger government (high likely) or a suicidal desire to harm their own electoral prospects (highly unlikely since even I don’t think GOPers are that stupid).

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Some things don’t need to be said because they are so obvious, and the title of the blog post gives a couple of examples.

But sometimes it’s worth elaborating on these eternal truths, at least when we need to warn gullible Republicans that they shouldn’t get seduced into doing something stupid.

As part of the debt limit deal, the crowd in Washington agreed to set up a “super committee” and they charged it with producing $1.5 trillion (really $1.2 trillion, but close enough for government work) of deficit reduction.

I warned at the time that this was a tax increase trap.

And I screamed from the rafters that it was a tax increase trap after Reid and Pelosi appointed hard-core left wingers to the super committee.

So I’m not surprised that the Democrats on the super committee are insisting that higher taxes should be the first item on the agenda. Here’s some of the report from Reuters.

Democrats want tax hikes to be the first item negotiated in “super committee” deficit-reduction talks, trying to force Republicans to confront an issue at the heart of this year’s budget fights, sources told Reuters. The tough stance by Democratic members of the powerful 12-member congressional panel reflects the party’s wariness that Republicans might try to sideline the issue of revenue increases in the negotiations. “They’ve raised the idea of doing taxes first,” a Republican aide involved in the discussions said on Friday on condition of anonymity. …Another congressional aide, who also did not want to be identified, confirmed that among Democrats, “there is an effort to try to discuss revenues” now. During the super committee’s initial closed-door meetings, “Republicans wanted to just talk about spending cuts and Democrats said, ‘No,'” the aide said. …A third congressional aide with knowledge of the super committee’s discussions told Reuters the six Democratic panel members were “not completely unified on their approach.” …If Democrats insist on tackling tax increases first, that is “problematic” given the November 23 deadline, the aide said.

This story isn’t really newsworthy, of course, unless you’re a fan of dog-bites-man reporting. Heck, the reporter could have written it the day the super committee was announced and waited for a slow day before publishing it.

The real story is whether Republicans will be foolish enough to walk into an obvious trap by agreeing to a tax hike.

Yes, I know that the GOP has earned its reputation as being the Stupid Party. And, yes, I realize the Democrats only need one Republican to capitulate and that the six GOPers on the super committee include several potential weak links – such as Cong. Fred Upton, the clown who gave us the light bulb ban.

But the Democrats have admitted that their number one political goal is luring Republicans into a tax increase trap. As such, Republicans should be forewarned.

So what will GOPers do? Well, when your opponents admit that they intend to defeat you by getting you to travel down a certain path, it would take monumental stupidity – idiocy of stupendous proportions – to actually walk down that path.

In other words, it’s a 50-50 proposition. The cartoon at the bottom of this post is really all you need to know if you want to understand how Republicans deal with potential tax hikes.

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