Friday, October 14, 2011

Oh Those Delusional Republicans

Among other things, Republicans today are the party of the delusional. It's courtship with Christianists and then the Tea Party in the quest for short-term gains took it ever further to the right -- and sometimes completely out of right field -- while ignoring the larger reality that mainstream voters wouldn't by these brands of extremism.

But a funny thing is happening on the way to 2012. Jobs growth has been slow or non-existent in the year since the Bush Recession "officially" ended and this has handed the GOP a golden opportunity to take back the White House and perhaps the Senate, as well.

This, as Matt Bai writes in a forthcoming New York Times Magazine article, the continuing fallout from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression has made party leaders positively giddy.

"Given such fast-deteriorating conditions," writes Bai, "Many Republican veterans have come around to the view that they aren’t really going to need the perfect presidential candidate, and perhaps not even a notably good one. With Chris Christie having taken himself out of the running -- again -- earlier this month, the field of candidates now appears to be pretty much set, and none of them are likely to inspire any reimaginings of Mount Rushmore."

While the major issue of the forthcoming campaign will undoubtedly be about jobs and if Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee he will undoubtedly fliip-flop to a more moderate center, the Republicans are again being delusional.

This is because the jobs picture is not just about jobs. It also is about what happens when people don't have jobs. Things like home foreclosures, motor vehicle repossessions, loss of health insurance, and not sending children to college. And here the Republicans have been unrelentingly mean spirited in their blood quest to do everything in their power to prevent Barack Obama's re-election while trying to screw the middle class, the poor, the elderly and the infirm.

That strategy is not compatible with reality. It's . . . surprise! delusional.

Cutouts by Victor Schrager for The New York Times

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