Fiscal conservatism, fiscal sham.
Lots of things to say, but too late in the day to edit and post any of it.
There’s a great post here that I haven’t dug into yet that graphs mentions of terms like “balanced budget” from National Review Online over the past three administrations. I disagree that it’s a good measurement about what Republicans care about, especially since NRO is a policy-driven pundit site and not representative of what members of Congress are thinking, much less conservative voters.
But it’s still hilarious. At the very least, NRO writers don’t give a shit about balanced budgets or cutting spending when a Republican is in the White House, but can’t shut up about either when a Democrat is in office. It doesn’t seem to matter who controls Congress, either. Just the White House. Which says a lot about how fake these fiscal debates always are since Congress writes the budget.
What I’d like to do is go back through polls (I am not looking forward to this) dating back more than 20 years to see if I can pull out how often Republicans say spending and deficits are top issues. I suspect it’ll be similar to what Gregory Koger found — they forget to care when Republicans are running the show, even when the GOP runs up massive deficits and hugely increases spending.
Once piece I want to do is how about fake Republicans have been lately. They screamed loudly that Obamacare was so horrible that it was worth shutting down the government, but they’ve now abandoned that agenda in favor of benefit cuts to Medicare and Social Security. I plan to dig lots of examples out of the news archives showing Republicans spending the 2012 election saying that Democrats (Obama-Biden) were going to gut Medicare, and only Romney-Ryan could save it. After the election, GOP rhetoric reverted to the mean: cut, baby, cut.
People shouldn’t be allowed to forget that kind of bullshit. If voters treated the professional GOP with the respect it deserves and has earned for truthful statements about its agenda over the past 20 years, there wouldn’t be a Republican Party.
I don’t know if it warrants a story, but there’s the GOP tax that has cost America $700 billion in lost productivity, 3% of GDP, and nearly 1.5 points of unemployment
And Glenn Greenwald is leaving The Guardian to form his own news outlet. Can anyone put in a good word for me? That is one of three places in the world I would stop being a pundit and start being a real journalist for.
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The HuffPollster (Pollster was bought out by Huff a while back but it’s still an independent unit) email came out just after I published this evening or I would have included some of this data first. Anti-incumbency sentiments are substantially higher than in 2010 and Democrats continue to lead in the generic ballot question. If this holds up, then Democrats won’t win control of the House, but Republicans will see their majority shrink for the fourth time in five elections — 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2014.
Republican Party favorables (not the same as job approval) are at historic lows, between 24-28%, and most people blame the GOP for the shut down and anything bad that happens because of it. Yet voters say they trust the GOP to manage the federal government more than Democrats by about three points. One wonders if they understood the question since right now the GOP can’t even keep it running.
Cory Booker is going to easily win the New Jersey race to replace Frank Lautenberg tomorrow.
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Bits of Twitter wisdom:
Greg Sargent: Again: There is NO solution Tea Party Rs would support that would ever be accepted by Obama/Senate Ds. Now, please proceed.
Dave Waldman: Once again, the Tea Party does not require that you LOSE your primary. One option that remains is… go win it.
That last one could be a thing unto itself. We’re in this because people like John Boehner are terrified of being primaried by ultra-conservatives that can win a primary dominated by activists only to easily lose in a general dominated by people on Medicare. It’s not the Tea Party right that’s the mainstream GOP’s problem, it’s the GOP not fighting for votes by telling the truth instead of playing a pandering contest against a true believer that’s not lying about wanting to watch the world burn.