Why Is The GOP Smiling? (Or “The Audacity of Nope”)

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & Deficit, RepublicansLeave a Comment

To read today's Washington Post, you would get the impression that Republicans are happy with their opposition to the stimulus bill.  By fighting the popular Obama, the article suggests that the GOP is beginning its road to a comeback:

After giving the package zero votes in the House, and with their counterparts in the Senate likely to provide in a crucial procedural vote today only the handful of votes needed to avoid a filibuster, Republicans are relishing the opportunity to make a big statement.  Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) suggested last week that the party is learning from the disruptive tactics of the Taliban, and the GOP these days does have the bravado of an insurgent band that has pulled together after a big defeat to carry off a quick, if not particularly damaging, raid on the powers that be.

"We're so far ahead of where we thought we'd be at this time," said Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), one of several younger congressmen seeking to lead the party's renewal. "It's not a sign that we're back to where we need to be, but it's a sign that we're beginning to find our voice. We're standing on our core principles, and the core principle that suffered the most in recent years was fiscal conservatism and economic liberty. That was the tallest pole in our tent, and we took an ax to it, but now we're building it back."

The second-ranking House Republican, Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.), put it more bluntly. "What transpired . . . and will give us a shot in the arm going forward is that we are standing up on principle and just saying no," he said.

Yes, the GOP is finding their voice.  A voice that just says "no" (Cue Nancy Reagan's anti-drug message, and Senator Ted Stevens).

The article contains a photograph of Rush Limbaugh, suggesting that he is the de-facto leader of the Republican Party.  What's that about? Change nobody can be believe, because it's not change.

And the last paragraph is a howler, containing a nice quote from Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.):

"This thing is a dog and it doesn't hunt," Ryan said. "Everyone thinks Washington is just going back to pork-barrel spending. You can't walk down the street in Janesville, Wisconsin, without someone trashing it."

I suppose there are a lot of disgruntled people walking aimlessly down the street in Janesville Wisconsin, seeing as how so many of them were thrown out of work when the Chevy plant (which had been there 90 years) was closed.  But I don't think they will be complaining loudly about a job stimulus bill.

In fact, it appears that most Americans are behind Obama on this.  The graph don't lie.


That's right. by nearly a two-to-one margin, Americans do not approve the Republican attempts at obstructionism.  Republican politicians and pundits might want to hold off on popping the champagne cork.

FURTHER THOUGHT:  I suspect that both Obama and the "Democrats in Congress" approval ratings would be higher if they were a little less centrist.