Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Overlooking the obvious

Jonathan Gurwitz has a good column today titled Republicans are in trouble and they don't know why.
But it seems that Gurwitz doesn’t know why either, or at least he can’t bring himself to admit it.
He makes several good points which are surprising coming from a right-wing pundit such as that the lengthy Democratic primary and the nasty catfight between Obama and Hillary is not going to save Republicans from the electoral drubbing that they’ve got coming this fall.

The Democrats' long, competitive primary race has allowed them to receive more media attention, raise more money, register more voters and create greater grassroots organization in more states than Republicans could dream.
A few months of intra-party squabbling isn't going to do serious damage to a major political party.

Gurwitz outlines the special election losses I mentioned in my previous post as symptoms of a political party that is self-destructing. He then goes on to make another good point that I’ve made in the past, which is that it is not ALL George W. Bush’s fault.

Though Bush's unpopularity certainly doesn't help, he isn't on the ballot. And the American people have no problem distinguishing between party affiliation in Congress and party affiliation in the White House — which is one reason polls show John McCain still has a decent chance of winning the presidential race.

I would say a “slim” chance of winning as opposed to a “decent” chance of winning, but the point is taken.
But here Gurwitz starts to go awry in his analysis and suddenly develops an accute case of tunnel vision that somehow prevents him from seeing the elephant in the room.
How can anyone write an entire column about the GOP’s election woes without once mentioning the Iraq war? But Gurwitz seems to think that voters are mostly upset about scandals and profligate spending and that it is the Republican Party’s failure to “oppose the spendthrift ways and pork barrel spending (of) the new Democratic majority” that has put them in trouble with the electorate.

Republicans continue to figure disproportionately in Capitol Hill ethics imbroglios, share in the spoils of earmarks and wasteful appropriations and fail to distinguish themselves from Democrats and from the disreputable record that cost them control of Congress.

What Gurwitz can’t bring himself to admit is that the real reason that Republicans are in the doghouse now is because we have tried their ideas these past eight years and found that they DON’T WORK.
Republican tax cuts were supposed to energize the economy, produce a windfall of tax revenues, balance the budget and lead to even more tax cuts. Instead, we got a stagnant economy, spiraling deficits, $4 a gallon gasoline, and we are on the brink of a recession.
On the foreign policy front, the war in Iraq was supposed to last no more than six months, cost less than half a billion dollars (which we were supposed to recoup in oil revenues) and result in a flowering of democracy across the Middle East. I don’t even need to recount the horrors of the last five years to demonstrate that it was all bullshit.
That is why the Republicans are going to get their butts kicked in the next election, Jonathan. Not because people are upset about earmarks or scandals. It’s the war and the economy. And Republicans don’t have a clue about how to fix either one.

No comments:

Post a Comment