Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is ecstatic because he believes Republicans "got our groove back." He’s right, of course.
In the past week or so, Republican leaders have uniformly reaffirmed every destructive governing instinct ever uttered by their most irresponsible loudmouths:
– They want to deregulate Wall Street, again, by repealing even the modest oversight provisions of the financial regulation bill.
– They want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (nevermind the deficits); but they’ll impose every spending cut they can on domestic programs for the non-wealthy, claiming we can’t afford them.
– They would weaken and/or dismantle the safety net for the middle class, by cutting or deferring benefits for Social Security, hacking Medicare eligibility and benefits, defunding unemployment insurance and ending COBRA subsidies.
– They would repeal the worthwhile parts of the Republican-designed Obama/Romney Care, especially the parts that benefit those eligible for Medicaid and seek to regulate insurers.
– They’ll impose a moratorium on new regulations and repeal recent health, safety and environmental regulations; then they’ll make sure off-shore oil drilling is overseen only via industry self-regulation.
– They’ll embrace austerity for workers, the middle class, the poor, while leaving military spending essentially unchecked; they would accelerate efforts to outsource to private, legally unaccountable corporations more and more of the lucrative contracts serving military occupations and other essential government functions.
For a short while after their well deserved 2006 and 2008 electoral drubbings, a few Republican pundits wondered out loud whether tanking the economy, doubling unemployment, unleashing a crime wave on Wall Street, starting and losing two wars and destroying the rule of law along with essential freedoms in the Bill of Rights might have been really bad politics, not to mention really terrible policies.
But they’re over that momentary bout with doubt now. With the help of political geniuses in the White House who did everything they could to resurrect the GOP’s image as the party of good ideas, the Republicans are back to openly advocating every insane policy and using every despicable political tactic permissible under America’s corrupt political system.
There’s probably no stopping them now; a vanishing hope would require a thorough turnover of the Democratic Party Leadership and cleaning out the White House stables. History tells us we only get that after a preventable but catastrophic loss.
So yes, the GOP has got their groove back, and it’s groovier than ever. They’re offering the same policies and direction only worse for the economy, the climate and the country. They’re heading for the same ditch, only deeper. They offer the same leaders, only they’re even more irresponsible and making even more insane statements, and they’re driven by the same rabid core supporters whipped into ignorant, racist fury by some of the most cynical media and political manipulators in the business.
We’re on our way into a black hole, and there are no theories on whether there’s a way back out. Good luck with that, America.
Paul Krugman, Republican economics: Redo That Voodoo