Friday, November 5, 2010

Republicans: Is the New Script the Old Script?

It's not very hard to understand why so many republicans are so sure today that their script was always right, and the reason the last show bombed was bad acting.

It's also not very hard for longtime politics wonks to see that both parties reach this conclusion each they go through their boom-bust cycle. Democrats "learned" that they should have really passed healthcare, so when they got their next swing at the ball, they made sure they did it, by whatever means necessary. How'd THAT work out? To this day, they are convinced of their courage and rectitude on HCR.

And now it's the GOP's turn to fail to learn. Even as the president (granted, predictably) announced his commitment to identifying and working on important business with the GOP at the table. various GOP members trumpeted their zeal to be uncompromising. I must have missed the part where we all voted for our leaders to fiddle while the nation keeps burning.

We're poised for an epic 2-year food fight where almost nothing gets achieved, and nearly every political act by both sides is done first for the sake of signaling. The GOP seems ready to keep talking big about cuts. Then they plan to deliver little, and blame democrats. Because most of them lack the courage to propose unpopular cuts or structural adjustments to the nondiscretionary spending that comprises most of the budget, and they are terrified to cut the only arguably discretionary portion of the budget that is a big chunk: military spending.

So they'll nibble at non-defense discretionary spending, and blame the subsequent lack of success at cutting spending on the democrats. They will act without courage, because most of them cannot get past their gut instinct that such courage is political suicide.

As an advocate of independent thought and independent candidates in 2012, I am hoping to identify some politicians, regardless of party, who have on occasion shown a willingness to speak the truth even if its inconvenient for their side. How about an open thread for that?

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