Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why The Republicans' Alternate Universe Is About To Collide With Reality

Much has been written in recent months about the alternate universe in which many Republicans live. It is a universe populated not by hard facts, empirical knowledge and an understanding of economics and history, but by a denial of reality. With the federal debt crisis on center stage, these realities in particular present themselves:

* The crisis is a direct result of the profligacy of the Bush era, notably the billions of dollars spent on the Iraq war hard on the heels of a tax cut for the wealthy.

* The very Republican leaders whose intransigence has fueled the crisis, notably Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported the war and voted for the tax cuts.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office this week found that the House Republican debt plan fell short of its projected savings while the Democratic Senate plan met its projected savings.

The Republican response when confronted with these realities is not surprising, but nevertheless still astounding:

* President Obama is to blame for the deficit crisis.

* Who voted for or supported what in 2002 and 2003 has no bearing on 2011.

* The Congressional Budget Office is coming up with numbers "out of thin air."

You don't have to be a rocket scientist, yet alone a Wharton School graduate, to see what will happen next:

The Republicans will have to bow to reality and compromise or blow whatever slim chance they have of taking back the Senate and White House in 2012. A failure to do so will come down on them like a ton of bricks when elderly and infirm voters start going to mailboxes to get their government checks and find nothing there.

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