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Blame Republicans for Everything, Say Two DC Scholars
Republicans are the "core" problem of partisan gridlock and Washington's dysfunction, so write two longtime Washington scholars and pundits -- who also happen to be liberals.
It's hard to say if Norman Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann are writing about the GOP tongue-in-cheek or just indulging a taste for high-blown hackery. Their article appeared on the front page of last Friday's Washington Post.
Let's hit some of the highlights of Ornstein's and Mann's analysis, shall we?
In the lead paragraph, Ornstein and Mann chide Speaker Boehner and Republican leaders for not condemning Representative Allan West's remarks about members of the House Democratic caucus being "communists."
Let's set aside the validity of West's remarks. How about some of the shameful remarks made by Democrats against Republicans, without apparent condemnation from Democratic leaders?
The late Democratic Representative Tom Lantos said this about Republicans during a budget fight in 1995: "Republicans were Goose Stepping in their pursuit of legislation." Who goose-steps other than fascists? Was Lantos condemned by Democratic leaders for his remarks?
Or this gem for Democratic Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr.: "In South Africa we'd call it apartheid. In Germany we'd call it Fascism. Here we call it Conservatism. These people are attacking the poor!"
Where was Nancy Pelosi's censure of Jackson for his zinger? But, then, it was Nancy Pelosi a couple of years ago who accused Americans who opposed ObamaCare of wearing "swastika armbands."
Consider this assertion by Ornstein and Mann:
Pray tell, wasn't it President Obama and congressional Democrats who passed the president's massive government takeover of health care without meaningful debate and on a party-line vote in 2010? In fact, wasn't the voluminous health care bill rushed through Congress without having read or understanding many important details?
But ObamaCare doesn't count to Ornstein and Mann, evidently, seeing that liberals consider government-dominated health care as centrist. Discussion and debate shouldn't be about the advisability of ObamaCare in a free nation, but about how best to implement and manage it. Then - and only then - are Republicans reasonable.
And here's one from Ornstein and Mann for the laugh meter:
Where does one begin to counter such idiocy? How about with Mr. Obama's outrageous expansion of the national government? What about Mr. Obama's czar-heavy administration? Or the jaw-dropping increase in the national debt? How about Mr. Obama unleashing the EPA and FDA to ride roughshod over business, industry, and citizens' lives? How about the deliberate strangulation of traditional energy in favor of pie-in-the-sky green energy? And did we already mention ObamaCare? No goal line crossing by the Democrats on any of this?
Ornstein and Mann go on to explain why Republicans are such extremists:
Of course, Democrats never attempted any of these maneuvers during the last Bush presidency, particularly when it came to the Iraq War.
Maybe - just maybe - Ornstein and Mann might want to consider GOP congressional opposition from this perspective: perhaps congressional Republicans are using whatever legislative tools are at their disposal to stop Uncle Sam's dramatic leftward lurch? Perhaps Republicans are functioning in the best sense as a "loyal opposition?" Perhaps Republicans see it as their duty to stymie Mr. Obama's statist designs and to thwart policies and appointments that will only push the nation to ruin?
But that's a conservative's perspective, which is extreme by Ornstein's and Mann's standards.
There's more, of course, from DC's scholarly duo:
Imagine that. There are some Republicans who actually believe that principle matters; in fact, that principle is fundamental to decision-making; that principle trumps deal-making. It's fairly obvious why Democrats favor deal-making over principle: because their principles aren't being compromised. The question for Democrats isn't ever: "Should government be big?" The question is always, "How big can we grow government at this time?"
This next quote by Ornstein and Mann veers into farce:
Fiscal pressures made exponentially worse by the reckless spending of Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats.
Clever, isn't it, how Ornstein and Mann try to lump Mr. Obama in with former President Clinton, who seems practically Coolidge-esque when compared to Mr. Obama. Ornstein and Mann conveniently forget that President Clinton's fiscal restraint was helped along mightily by Newt Gingrich (vilified elsewhere in the article) and a Republican Congress that insisted on financial prudence.
Both men may want to recall that voters in the 2010 midterm elections decisively repudiated Mr. Obama's and congressional Democrats' handling of the economy and government.
Finally, Ornstein's and Mann's takeaway for inside-the-Beltway readers:
That's right. Unless Homo Country Club Republicanus is resuscitated and the GOP returns to the left-wing Democratic Party's reservation, all cannot be well with the republic.
Trouble is, the natives are restless. Grassroots conservatives across the land have embraced founding principles and are pushing for change - change away from big government, away from the world of comfortable assumptions, arrangements, and relationships that make Ornstein and Mann cry out for a return to the status quo ante.
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