Yesterday, thanks to a left-of-center Facebook friend, caught a Washington Post piece where two left-of-center political scientists blamed Republicans for Washington gridlock.
Unfortunately, they didn’t mention the failure of the Democratic Senate to pass a budget for the past three years. Nor did they consider that Republicans in the current Congress thought that they owed it to those who elected them to hold the line on government spending as they face off against a Democratic president who believes more government spending (and greater regulation) is the only way to face pressing social and economic problems.
Messrs. Mann and Ornstein (said political scientists) lament, for example, that Republicans are committed to the small government principles of Ronald Reagan:
Republicans often dismiss nonpartisan analyses of the nature of problems and the impact of policies when those assessments don’t fit their ideology.[*] In the face of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the party’s leaders and their outside acolytes insisted on obeisance to a supply-side view of economic growth — thus fulfilling Norquist’s pledge — while ignoring contrary considerations.
Um, guys, could it just be that they just don’t believe that increasing federal spending will lift us out of an economic downturn? The authors do reference the Great Depression, but fail to point out that neither the big spending policies of then-President Herbert Hoover nor his successor, a Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt served to end said downturn. They didn’t call the depression great because it ended in the early 1930s; they called it great because it lasted through the entire decade.
Does seem that Mann and Ornstein have ignored some contrary considerations about the success of Mr. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
The political scientists reveal their bias from the get-go, beginning their article by noting that “Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates” failed to condemn Congressman Allen West for alleging that roughly 80 of his Democratic colleagues were Communists. They fail, writes Karl at HotAir to provide “links to all the op-eds they did about the extreme statements about Republicans being Un-American, comparing them to fascists, Nazis, racists and so on made by” leading Democrats.
Not having had the good fortune that I today enjoyed, being able to spend the day with my nephew, my sister and my Dad, Karl had the chance to go through the article and analyze it point by point, finding that their thesis appears to be that extremism in “the defense of center-left establishmentarianism is no vice!” The post is well written and well worth your time.
*Could it be that they have seen contrary considerations of these “non-partisan” analyses?
UPDATE: Concluding that Mann and Ornstein “had written a clever parody“, Jennifer Rubin offers a (partial) list of issues the pundits left out of their analysis of Washington gridlock:
They’d disregard that the Democrats had control of the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress for the first two years of the Obama administration, and that the Democratic majority in the Senate hadn’t passed a budget in three years.
They’d omit mention that President Obama nixed the “grand bargain,”as The Post reported. They’d overlook that not only had the Republican House Budget Committee chairman put forth tax reform and Medicare and Medicaid reform (which the entire GOP passed) but that the Republican nominee for president did all that plus offer his formula for Social Security reform. They would leave out the hyperpartisan war on opponents, run out of the White House against everyone from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the Supreme Court to Fox News.
They’d slide by the gender- and class-baiting that Obama and the Democrats are relying on in lieu of agenda, and forget the shameless Mediscare gambit in response to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) effort at Medicare reform. They wouldn’t mention the Democrats’ refusal to respond to the supercommittee proposal (which included new revenue) from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)
She’s right. At times, it does read the like a parody. Read the whole thing.