Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly spells out the obvious, one more time:
Seven months after raising the specter of Republicans trying to hurt the economy on purpose, I can’t help but notice the “sabotage” question appears to be picking up some steam. Just this month, some high-profile, mainstream pundits have begun exploring the issue, and just this week, two of Congress’ most powerful Democrats broached the same subject.
Yesterday, Michael Tomasky went even further, arguing that Democrats should start “saying openly what has been clear for months or even years now — that as long as economic recovery would work to the political benefit of Barack Obama, the Republicans have been, are, and will be in favor of sabotaging the economy.” Tomasky added this is “obvious.”
The point isn’t to question Republicans’ bizarre priorities or values; the point is to make economic argument clear to the public. Too many bemoan a vague “lack of political will” or “absence of leadership” as the reason so little gets done. Those people are wrong.
Republicans said a payroll tax cut would help create jobs, and now they’re opposed to their own idea. Republicans said the Economic Development Administration is great for the economy, and now they’re opposed to that, too. Republicans have traditionally supported infrastructure investment, but the “infrastructure bank” idea appears likely to be killed by the GOP. Many Republicans endorsed the TANF Emergency Fund last year as an incredibly effective method of lowering unemployment, and the congressional GOP killed that, too.
Republicans are blocking qualified Treasury Department nominees who could also be working on economic policy. Republicans are blocking qualified Federal Reserve nominees who could also help improve the economy, while demanding that the Fed do nothing to promote economic activity. The GOP is demanding that Congress and the White House agree to immediately take money out of the economy and eliminate public-sector jobs, even when conservative economists say that’s crazy. What’s more, these same Republican officials have made it abundantly clear that failure to give them the cuts they want would force them to crash the economy on purpose.
And it’s against this backdrop that one of the most powerful Republican officials on Capitol Hill has argued, more than once, that his “top priority” isn’t job creation, but rather, “denying President Obama a second term in office.”
There’s a metaphor, originally I think from Alcoholics Anonymous, that badly damaged, dysfunctional people / families / organizations limp along by “ignoring the elephant in the room“… the ‘elephant’ being the horrible truth (addiction, co-dependency, criminal activity) which can’t be treated until everyone stops pretending it doesn’t exist. And in a group situation, the pretence is usually at the behest of one domineering individual who forces their victims to buy into their pathology at whatever cost to the rest of the group.
The current GOP leadership has taken its pathology to the national level, and its members (with the complicity of most of the media) are holding us all hostage to the worst elements of political authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and economic piracy. We need to start talking out loud about the dead elephant in the room — the GOP doesn’t want to protect America, they just want to protect Republicans.