Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Pledge On America

The Times editorializes this morning on the Republican pledge to America, in much the same way Krugman has been, reviewing its disingenuous numbers and uselessness as policy.

The Republicans’ central claim is that they will be able to reduce the budget deficit, while cutting taxes deeply and making marginal cuts in spending. That pledge is impossible to keep...
The Republicans’ pledge also fails to mention that President Obama has already called for extending the tax cuts for 98 percent of taxpayers (couples making up to $250,000 and individuals making up to $200,000).
So what the pledge is really advocating is a permanent extension of tax cuts for the top 2 percent. In all, the pledge’s tax proposal would add $3.7 trillion to the nation’s debt over the next 10 years, nearly $700 billion more than the administration’s proposal.
The drive for permanent high-end tax cuts is profligate; there is no other word for it...

If you haven't read the Republican Party platform documents, you should: they're quite remarkable in their economic, social and political obeisance to the far right:

The complete Republican sell-out to the Tea Partiers has no parallel, now or at any time in American history, in Democratic concessions to the left.

The Tea Partiers are angry because the world and their dreams differ. They're angry because those who are not like them consider themselves fully as human as they do. They're angry because they assert what they consider objective, unassailable truths, and are disagreed with by others when they do. And their consistency in these matters of affect gives rise to a wild inconsistency, and an impossibility, of actual effective, just governance, making it inevitable that any actual attempt to govern will result in either total failure, which, to them, is always Somebody Else's Fault or a betrayal of principle.

And, while they doth protest much, perhaps too much, I think they'd be a lot less angry about all this if a centrist Democrat who was maybe 60 years old, graying at the temples and, er, less melanotically prominent were occupying the White House, if Barney Frank had a wife and two kids, if Nancy Pelosi were afflicted with a Y chromosome. And if the country as a whole weren't moving the way it is socially, as well as politically and economically. I don't think you can overemphasize the fact that the thrust in their political argument has much less to do with politics, especially rational, applicable politics, than anybody pretends, and that they will never be satisfied were that realm alone addressed even to their utter appeasement. They couldn't care less if the numbers don't add up. They care that Self is in danger from Other. An argument about the former addresses the latter not in the least. Which means that collaboration with them in governance is not only unwise policy, but a priori entirely impossible, doomed before the attempt is even made.

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