Congress

The GOP: Opposition Becomes It

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Jeremy Lott, a frequent Reason magazine contributor, finds himself liking the Republican Party a lot more in the age of Obama. Writing at The Politico:

Republicans have already helped to sink a few key administration nominees. The House Republicans cast a unanimous vote against the stimulus package. They are likely to repeat that trick when they have to vote on the bill that comes out of the reconciliation process.

As a result, Obama now looks far too defensive for a president still in his first 100 days of office. By denying it serious bipartisan cover, the GOP has succeeded in tying him to the unpopular stimulus bill. If it fails, Republicans will argue that he has failed. The charge will resonate.

That's a remarkable oppositional achievement so soon into a popular president's first term, and it's only a start. Many Republicans are still professing their willingness to "work with" Obama. However, they'll be just as happy to work against him on issues ranging from taxes to spending to health care to labor law.

The sense, from watching Republicans these past few weeks, is that they are finding being in the opposition liberating. Without a governing coalition to hold together, they don't have to back bad legislation. Without Bush to hold them back, they can soar.

Indeed, one of the only advantages of the political duopoly is that on occasion it encourages one party to do something decent it would otherwise not be so inclined to do, merely for the appearance of product differentiation. (As in the only overseas intervention that Obama didn't seem to like being the one in Iraq that he could blame on his political opponents.) GOP opposition to the advancing state may be too little, too late. But it deserves a half a hat tip, at least.

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  1. Does this mean that Team R can start spouting a bunch of libertarianish rhetoric, and I can get fooled into supporting it again? I can’t wait.

  2. The Republicans are in the minority and have nothing to lose. The real nut cutting on this is from the Democratic side. There were a few Dems, Heath Shuler to name one, who actaully voted against the bill. That took balls.

    There were a lot who didn’t. A lot of Democrats like Web from Virginia who people claim are really reasonable guys who aren’t big liberals voted for this garbage.

    The bottoline is that anyone who voted for this package, Republican or Democrat, is a worthless scumbag crapweasal. End of story. I don’t want to hear anymore bullshit on here about how fake blue dogs like Jim Webb are anything better than crooks like Charlie Rangle and Chris Dodd.

  3. Yes, they seem to have magically regained their sense of financial parsimony as soon as the other guy gets his hands on the purse strings, after previously spending like drunken sailors. Funny how that works.

  4. Fuck the GOP. The best thing they can do is regain a majority in Congress and reflexively oppose the president. Gridlock is change I can believe in. Let’s permanently have a GOP Congress and a Dem president and we’ll all be better off.

    Bring back the blowjob scandals, I say! You want to see the Obamatrons’ heads explode? That should do it. Oh, I’m salivating just thinking about it.

  5. Warty: I won’t support the GOP again until it proves it can lead. Hell, anybody can criticize and oppose.

  6. GOP opposition to the advancing state may be too little, too late. But it deserves a half a hat tip, at least.

    You think so. Seems to me, a bunch of lying, thieving, corrupt, low-life bottom-feeding, sons of bitches, that only pretend to favor small government when they’re impotent so they can dry fuck America in the ass the first chance they get, deserve something else.

  7. GOP opposition to the advancing state may be too little, too late.

    Um, may be?

  8. “Fuck the GOP. The best thing they can do is regain a majority in Congress and reflexively oppose the president. Gridlock is change I can believe in. Let’s permanently have a GOP Congress and a Dem president and we’ll all be better off.”

    That is a great idea but it is a year too late. By the time the GOP comes back in 2010, the damage will be done. The baseline domestic spending will have doubled. So, in 2010, the public kicks out the Dems in Congress and the Republicans will try to undo the damage. Then BO will veto the spending bills and shut down the government. The state media will then talk about how the Taliban wing of the Republican Paty is cutting education and domestic spending in half. They will never mention that BO doubled it. It will be all about how the Republicans want to throw starving children into the street and close down national parks.

    Margerat Thatcher had it right. When the Left wins goverment expands. When the Right wins, government expansion stops, but never does government contract or the march to socialism ever roll back.

  9. The sense, from watching Republicans these past few weeks, is that they are finding being in the opposition liberating. Without a governing coalition to hold together, they don’t have to back bad legislation.

    Also, roll this around for a bit. Does this give any reason for voting for republicans? Any reason at all to make them a majority party, ever again?

  10. I don’t think the GOP has improved. I think the issue is that Obama is reactive. I kind of sensed that from the first debate. The GOP may have figured it out already and gone into offensive mode cause they’ve senses a weakness.

  11. “Also, roll this around for a bit. Does this give any reason for voting for republicans? Any reason at all to make them a majority party, ever again?”

    Nope. They are at their best when they are not in power. Problem is, same it true for the Democrats.

  12. “I think the issue is that Obama is reactive. I kind of sensed that from the first debate. The GOP may have figured it out already and gone into offensive mode cause they’ve senses a weakness.”

    Wouldn’t that be playing to Obama’s strength?

  13. “Also, roll this around for a bit. Does this give any reason for voting for republicans? Any reason at all to make them a majority party, ever again?”

    So the answer is to keep voting Democrat and let them loot the treasury. How about this idea; the Republicans fucked up and got kicked out in 06 and 08 and now that the Dems are fucking up kick them out in 10 and 12 and if they fuck up again kick them out in 14. Maybe just maybe one side will get tired of losing elections and actually do something right. I know it is a long shot, but the alternative is to reward the Dems for stealing several trillion dollars.

  14. Lamar,

    Oh i see this. I’m just wordering if the Lotts of the world really buy into this line of thinking. And that they don’t come to its logical conclusion that the plane has crashed into the goddamn mountain.

  15. Warty: I won’t support the GOP again until it proves it can lead. Hell, anybody can criticize and oppose.

    That’s the problem: their leading sucks. (see: Bush Era) It’s only the opposing that’s any good.

  16. This is not about the Republicans. You guys are right. They are the minority and it is very easy to vote against something when you know it is going to pass anyway.

    The issue here is the Democrats. What happened to all that “Democratic Center” that people talk about? I thought there were all these Dems who were centric and reasonable and were different from Pelosi and Reid and Dodd and their ilk? Where the hell are they? Who cares that every Republcian voted against it. What matters is that nearly every Dem voted for it. That says that there is no such thing as a Dem Center and that people like Webb and company who claim to be such are just lying pieces of shit and no better than Pelosi.

  17. Margerat Thatcher had it right. When the Left wins goverment expands. When the Right wins, government expansion stops, but never does government contract or the march to socialism ever roll back.

  18. EDIT: stupid tag

    Margerat Thatcher had it right. When the Left wins goverment expands. When the Right wins, government expansion stops, but never does government contract or the march to socialism ever roll back..

    Bullshit. When the left wins they keep expanding government as fast as the right did. When the right wins they increase the expansion.

    The difference is, when the left wins the right starts lying about how they oppose the expansion. Whereas when the right wins the left lies about how the rights expansion favors the rich while their expansion favors the poor.

  19. GOP opposition to the advancing state may be too little, too late. But it deserves a half a hat tip, at least.

    I cynically chalk it all up to opportunism, not principle. This “too little too late” resistance to increased government involvement in my life and the nation’s economy is welcome, but I won’t be handing out any kudos for quite some time.

  20. Wouldn’t that be playing to Obama’s strength?

    Not really. It means he’s not leading, the other side is leading by causing him to react to them. they’re the one’s showing initiative. He’s just reacting to the events of the moment.

    Perfect example: The salary caps. Instead of thinking it through, he just reacted to the headlines about the bonuses and did the politically expedient thing.

  21. Yeah, they’ll be “fiscal conservatives” just long enough to fool enough morons into voting for them again. As soon as they regain power all that fiscal restraint goes out the window. Always.

  22. “Not really. It means he’s not leading, the other side is leading by causing him to react to them. they’re the one’s showing initiative.”

    Just an FYI: I don’t think a lot of people around here will lose sleep if Obama doesn’t “lead” us into financial ruin.

    And I’m pretty sure capping executive wages was not first presented to Obama by a freaking newspaper headline. It has been a liberal idea for decades. And for practical reasons, where are disgruntled executives going to go? Galt’s Gulch?

  23. “The difference is, when the left wins the right starts lying about how they oppose the expansion. Whereas when the right wins the left lies about how the rights expansion favors the rich while their expansion favors the poor.”

    So Warren there is no difference between someone like Tom Colburn and Nancy Pelosi?

  24. And for practical reasons, where are disgruntled executives going to go?

    I believe that the plan on executive comp is to

    (a) play the class envy card with the Unwashed Masses, so as to amass and consolidate power, and

    (b) “convince” the executives to make sizable contributions to the Democratic Party as a prohoylactic measure, so as to amass and consolidate power.

    Any questions?

  25. “I believe that the plan on executive comp is to: (a) play the class envy card with the Unwashed Masses, so as to amass and consolidate power, and (b) “convince” the executives to make sizable contributions to the Democratic Party as a prohoylactic measure, so as to amass and consolidate power..”

    I tend to think capping exec bonuses is an attempt to sell the American people on giving these businesses billions of dollars. I mean, c’mon. You can’t expect a government bailout then take half a billion dollars home in bonuses. People will wonder why the f*ck that company needed a bailout if they have an extra half a billion bucks lying around. I don’t find either of your theories reasonable explanations.

  26. When the Right wins, government expansion stops

    This is a fucking joke, right? Does anyone else think Joe : Democrat ass-licker : John : Republican ass-licker?

    John, were you paying attention for the last eight years? Would you not say there was a substantial increase in government expansion, even with Bush’s Republican Congress? If not, your partisan blinders are as pathetic as joe’s.

  27. How about this idea; the Republicans fucked up and got kicked out in 06 and 08 and now that the Dems are fucking up kick them out in 10 and 12 and if they fuck up again kick them out in 14. Maybe just maybe one side will get tired of losing elections and actually do something right.

    Here’s another possibility: perhaps it sometimes makes a difference which Democrats and which Republicans we vote for? Ideally we’ll eventually ditch plurality voting and give third parties a chance, but just preventing party elites from ossifying the Republicrats would be a good start.

    For some reason many people seem to see primary election challenges to incumbents as traitorous. I don’t get it. Totalitarian governments are famous for their single-candidate general “elections”; a single-candidate primary election should be seen as just one rung down on the same crooked ladder.

  28. RC Dean, I’d love to debate, but somebody posted a shitty link on another thread, causing my computer to go shitty. Can’t stay, sorry.

  29. If it fails, Republicans will argue that he has failed. The charge will resonate.

    The problem with this theory is that the economy will have to completely collapse for it to be considered a “failure.” Any outcome, no matter how bad, short of collapse, can and will be spun by the Dems as either “not their fault,” “it would have worked if not for the Republican opposition,” Bush-era policies,” etc. etc.

    Things have probably pretty much gotten as bad as they’re going to get. Any positive uptick after Friday will be a result of “Obama’s and the Democrat’s courageous stimulus package.” Anything other than recovery will be prima facia evidence that we didn’t stimulate enough.

  30. Fuck the two parties and their system.

    Republicans aren’t small government. They only use that rhetoric, while implementing big government policies that fail, thus giving a bad name to small government.

    And the democrats might as well come out of the closet as full-blown socialists at this point. Stop living the lie.

    Fuck.

  31. So Warren there is no difference between someone like Tom Colburn and Nancy Pelosi?

    You mean Tom Coburn of course. For the record he’s also an asshat douchebag that needs to have his ball ripped from his body and shoved down his throat for his hate of homos and Mexicans.

    Sure he’s different from Pelosi on fiscal issues. But here’s the thing, and I’ll type slow so you can follow along, He’s as different from John Boehner as he is from Nancy Pelosi. Because the Republicans are even more fiscally irresponsible than the Democrats.

  32. “The Republicans are in the minority and have nothing to lose. The real nut cutting on this is from the Democratic side. There were a few Dems, Heath Shuler to name one, who actaully voted against the bill. That took balls.”

    Uh not really.

    Shuler asked permission to vote against it from the Dem leadership and was given the green light to do so by them.

  33. Hazel Meade | February 11, 2009, 11:40am | #
    I don’t think the GOP has improved. I think the issue is that Obama is reactive. I kind of sensed that from the first debate. The GOP may have figured it out already and gone into offensive mode cause they’ve senses a weakness.

    Good point. One thing that will likely come back to bite Obama on the ass is his plans to escalate in Afghanistan. Putting whether or not that is a good or bad idea to the side, I have no doubt that he has given not the slightest thought to what happens when the Taliban wretches up attacks on US Troops to 2006 Iraq levels. They are actually militarily speaking a much superior force to be reckon with than the Iraqis. When the shit hits the fan (normal situation in all wars) how will President BallsofaHamster respond?


  34. If it fails, Republicans will argue that he has failed. The charge will resonate.

    Conversely, if the economy gets better (regardless of the stimulus package), the Republicans get to be the Party of No, the New Hoovers, the sourpusses who short-sold Hope and Change.

    It’s all politics at the kindergarten level. I’m sorry Lott is falling for it.

  35. Fuck the GOP. I will never support those dirty bastards again as long as I live.

    Of course, since I don’t support the Democrats, either, that leaves opposition to the entire government as the only reasonable position.

  36. Bullshit. When the left wins they keep expanding government as fast as the right did. When the right wins they increase the expansion.

    I think you’re confusing Bush with “the right.”

  37. You can’t expect a government bailout then take half a billion dollars home in bonuses.

    Oh, I dunno. The Fannie/Freddie crowd did just that in a public/private entity backed by the federal government, and the people now squawking about executive pay in the private sector defended them for it.

  38. The Republicans suck, but can anyone really believe they are “even more fiscally irresponsible than the Democrats”? I don’t think the GOP would let it get this close to the point of no return. They are smart enough to not kill the goose laying the golden eggs, the Democrats aren’t.

  39. a bunch of lying, thieving, corrupt, low-life bottom-feeding, sons of bitches, that only pretend to favor small government when they’re impotent so they can dry fuck America in the ass the first chance they get

    Warren, didn’t we talk about you being vague and circumspect? Say what you mean, man! 😀

  40. I think Team Red may be somewhat useful so long as they’re a pissed-off minority bent on opposing Obama. That’s about the most I can say for them.

    I can’t say even that much for the Donderites who kneel before them.

  41. If it fails, Republicans will argue that he has failed. The charge will resonate.

    No it won’t. Stimulus always fails and no one ever notices because business cycles dominate GDP anyway.

  42. If the GOP keeps up their newfound fiscally conservative ways I may just be persuaded to re-elect Obama in 2012!

  43. Let’s see, eight years of big government “conservatism”

    vs.

    Three weeks of crocodile tears and phony outrage.

    Right. Republicans have principals now.

    /barf

  44. This script is copyrighted 1992. I’ve seen this movie. A remake with lesser actors does not impress me.

  45. GOP opposition to the advancing state may be too little, too late. But it deserves a half a hat tip, at least.

    Wonderful! After the nuclear bomb has detonated, we can plant a pretty flower right among the ruins. Maybe it will grow thanks to all the radiation.

    I hearby make a rule that from now on all U.S. Presidents will be Democrats so that Republicans can always remain in opposition and oppose wasteful spending and big government because Lord knows they don’t do so when they run everything because “we have to support the President.”

    Yeah, sure. Whatever. No one put a gun to any House or Sentae GOP members head and told them they had to support No Child Left Behind or prescription drug benefits or put earmakrs into bills. They did so anyway and did so with great enthusiasm with the exception of Ron Paul. Sudden sobreity isn’t going to make up for 12 years of being drunken sailors. As Paul himself commented dryly “It’s easy to oppose when you’re not responsible for anything.”

    This is not opposition. This is opportunism.

    And instead encouraging their hypocrisy, perhaps a better strategy is to find different issues and find more solid ground to spereate themselves from the Obama Administration and let different leaders come forth like Ron paul or Walter Jones Jr. to lead them.

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