Saturday, July 02, 2011

Unpatriotic Republicans

A letter to the editor by Alan Howard of Williamsburg in today's Washington Post concisely explains something I've been trying to articulate for months.  Here's the letter in its entirety:

In his June 30 op-ed column “The GOP’s trump card,” Marc A. Thiessen stated the Republican position clearly: “If the dire predictions of his Treasury secretary are to be believed, the consequences of a default would be so calamitous that Obama cannot allow it to happen. He must sign whatever debt-limit increase Republicans give him. This means Republicans hold all the cards.”

In other words, the president is at a disadvantage because he must worry about the welfare of the nation, whereas Republicans can ignore that and concentrate on beating Obama. That has been the Republican attitude since President Obama took office, and it goes a long way to explaining why we cannot get out of the mess left by the Bush administration and its congressional allies.

The Republicans exult over the fact that they have enormous leverage around this reckless debt ceiling fight.  But their leverage comes from exploiting the responsible approach to this issue by the Democrats.  Contrarily, the Republicans' threaten to act totally irresponsibly, putting the entire global economy at risk in service of their ideological goal of shrinking the size of government to the point where, in the words of Grover Norquist, "we can drown it in the bathtub."

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