The Michael Barone editorial

The root word is idea; hey, consider this! It forms the basis for ideal; wouldn’t it be wonderful if this were to happen. From an ideal comes idealist; the sort of individual who believes in the better angels of man’s nature. However, the ideologue persists in believing in those “better angels” even in the face of contrary facts.  Michael Barone is unfortunately an ideologue, a fellow who insists on believing that the GOP can be so much more than they truly are.

In his editorial in which he says that the GOP could in fact provide a post election plan much like the “Contract with America,” Barone forgets completely that the former House Speaker Gingrich [idealist] plan was quickly abandoned by the GOP when it proved to be inconvenient and unworkable.  It could serve to get them a political majority in Congress by 1994, but it would not serve their agenda of staying in power if they actually implemented any of it.  After all, the practical rationale was, that the voters were fickle and had short election cycle memories.  From 1994 onward, the GOP might have exploited the original contract but they preferred to “get Clinton” rather than actually honor what they advertised as their commitment to their voters.  If Barone had actually been prepared to think past the box of his ideology, he would have realized this.  The GOP since the time of Reagan have consistently demonstrated one thing, how anti-Democrat they are.  That is all.

But, what the GOP have not done since the time of Reagan, was to effectively demonstrate that they were capable of governing conservatively.

Consider the idea of health care “reform” based on “free market” principles.  Oh, really?  Like Medicare “reform” where government would basically subsidize big pharma and health insurance companies and guarantee that high-priced medications (the bane of the elderly on fixed income) would be the standard and allow for no lower-priced competition (especially medications coming from Canada).  In a true free market situation, there would in fact be competition.  What Medicare “reform” did, was to assure a monopoly.  Which says immediately, that the GOP in power at the time this “reform” was passed, did not believe in “free market principles” after all.  They were certainly all about certain types of corporate welfare, the bigger the corporation of course, the more they were likely to put that corporation on the dole.  But to do the preceding doesn’t mean that the GOP supported a “conservative” principle.  To literally decide to favor major corporations over the elderly on fixed incomes was to show absolutely no compassion for those voters whom they persuaded to put them in office.  And to heed only those special interests who bought their offices for them.  Endemic corruption that lay behind the GOP’s continued grabs for power doesn’t make a good argument for anything “conservative.”  End result, “Obamacare” that the GOP in general and Barone in particular despise because and only because “Obamacare” presumably takes people (as opposed to favored interests) into consideration.  What should that tell anyone?

Does anyone remember when bankruptcy “reform” passed back during GW’s tenure as president?  Without question, credit card companies (including Capital One Bank) were to be the beneficiaries of this “reform.”  No doubt, they had sent lobbyists to Congress for years to place a greater burden of responsibility of debt on the general American consumer who could not so easily through the new bankruptcy “reform” relieve themselves of it.  But since that “reform” bill passed a GOP controlled Congress and was signed into law by GW; it was this “well-intentioned” legislation to “protect the interests” of powerful banks that would have a cause and disastrous effect post its passage that would have as well an assurance that the GOP would be swept out of power for real by 2008.  The bankruptcy “reform” bill to protect the interests of financial companies who demanded to be put on the gvt dole (read the continuing to exist FDIC) against the well-being of the general American public was to ultimately hit their wallets so hard that Obama would become president and the Democrats would assume a majority.  Again, the GOP demonstrated no desire to support a “free market principle” with bankruptcy “reform.”  They would certainly act on the behalf of certain types of businesses but also ultimately against other businesses as well as the demand side of the free market—the labor/consumer public.  When the financial melt down occurred big time by 2008, it was because the GOP cut out of the equation the demand  side of the free market from any political consideration.

However, the GOP want the demand side to put them back in power by 2010.  And proceed to do so with the “fear factor” they persist in stirring up.

Having addressed the economic consequences of the GOP presence in government, especially during the time that they held a majority or had their party leader in the White House, I now turn to the failure of “conservatism” as to the levels of spending that the GOP were just as willing to engage in.  Whether it was pork barrel, special interest, or earmarks, or some public edifice dedicated to some GOP senator’s honor or to the honor of some political friend.  Just because the GOP are “anti-spending” when opposing the Democrats does not mean that they are anti-spending.  Far from it.  Nor is the income redistribution shuffle called the tax cut proof of “fiscal responsibility.”  The tax cut is certainly going to mean that less money enters the treasury.  That essential services, etc. including disbursements of money to the states that can no longer be funded as was once the case before these tax cuts were implemented must mean:  the implementing of fees to cover essential services, or tax hikes to cover what federal monies no longer will in disbursements to the states to subsidize their own essential services to their respective electorates.  Or the money gets borrowed to “pay for” the tax cuts.  What the GOP now in the minority do not wish to admit to is that money was borrowed to “pay for” tax cuts as well as to “pay for” GW’s war on terror.  It was certainly borrowed to “pay for” the GOP putting on the dole their favored interest groups.  Deficits and being “in hock” to the Chinese are only an issue [now] as long as the GOP are in the minority.  It wasn’t an issue, however, when they were in power.  Or for that matter, while GW was president.

Shouldn’t real fiscal responsibility first deal with waste, fraud and abuse?  Waste, fraud and abuse that survived Ronald Reagan and continued to be a factor during the eight years of GW.  You can be sure that the GOP aren’t going to accept ending any of the above if it would in any way inconvenience the special interests.

How about the “reduction of government?”  Special interest groups to include religious activists have no interest in discussing the “reduction of government” if they can turn to government to advance an agenda.  The argument seems to really be that the GOP are only opposed to “big government” if they are not the ones at the reins of it.  Or simply demonstrate a political opposition to the idea that they must compete with the Democrats in having to decide in what direction big government should go.  On who’s behalf big government should act.

Michael Barone has to surely know this.  Yet he stubbornly refuses to face the facts and assumes that if the GOP were to regain control of Congress, that they will surely have a “plan” to govern that has never existed in reality.  Just because the GOP are anti-Democrat doesn’t make them conservative.  And I do not hold out much hope that the GOP will be conservative in the future.


One Response to “The Michael Barone editorial”

  1. Doradztwo kredytowe Says:

    Great post!

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