Well, at least they're not mincing words.

In an earlier post from today, I discussed an argument by Congressional Democrats that the GOP was politically invested in the failure of the economic stimulus package.

Now, I though this was going to be a question of supposition and conjecture. I honestly, in my wildest dreams, didn't imagine that they would just barf their strategy out into the media for the world to see. From HuffPo (via Andrew):

Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and nine other Republicans spoke with reporters Thursday afternoon following their House colleagues' unanimous rejection of President Obama's stimulus package Wednesday evening.

"They can cram down a stimulus package without Republican support," said Kyl, "but if that happens, then when, as we believe, in six months or so, when the American people say, 'Wait a minute, we're not better off. In fact, we're worse off than we were six months ago. Who is responsible for this and what can be done to fix it?' Republicans then are going to be in a position to say, 'We didn't have the input in this and that's why it didn't work.'"

First of all, let us note that this is not an odious toad like Rush Limbaugh talking here. This is the Senate Minority Whip. This is put-near as close to official Republican talking points as you're gonna find.

Secondly, that "we didn't have input" is a load of high-grade garden compost. Remember? One interesting little graf from that article:

In a measure of the complex political dynamic in Congress, House Republican leaders urged their rank and file to oppose the stimulus measure hours before Obama arrived. [emphasis mine]
So, spare me your sniveling "we didn't have a say" crapspackle, Sen. Kyle. Your party was against the package before Obama arrived on the Hill to personally lobby them for support, and there was nothing he could have said that would have changed their minds.

Finally, remember how the initial post was about the comparative political ramifications for failure in Iraq vs. failure with the economy? I will personally pay cash money (not a lot, but enough for selected foot-longs at Subway) to anyone that can show me a quote by any prominent Democrat holding out for failure during the run-up to the war in Iraq. Not criticism, mind you -- openly plotting to make political hay should the invasion fail.

Today's GOP: a darker future for you, a brighter future for them.


  1. Comparing political calculation on the run up to Iraq, where a large number of civilian and military lives were at stake, with the passage of a spending bill, with our children's wallets at stake, is not a reasonable comparison. More rational to see if the Democrats played politics with Mr. Bush's spending bills. I'll bet they did, because that's what politicians do.

    And if it is a gaffe to lobby against a bill before listening to the President, well, we've had nothing but gaffes in my lifetime.

    That said, I find it sad that you cannot give even the slightest scintilla of consideration to the good intentions of Republicans. I'm a cynical observer, but I'm willing to concede that both parties have an interest in a brighter future for everyone. Each party wants exclusive credit for that bright future, however, and is more than willing to lie and obstruct to see the opposition gets no credit.

    As far as input, even the HuffPo reports that the Republican ideas of tax cuts for small business have high poll numbers, so I'm at a loss to understand how Mr. Obama can totally ignore such a popular request from the opposition while trying to maintain an illusi... I means, a spirit of bipartisanship. Sure, he's giving up tens of millions for contraception, but that's weak tea indeed compared to helping out tens of millions of businesses. If Mr. Obama were serious about bipartisanship, he'd at least broach the subject with the press and Democratic leadership. Oh well...

  2. If the economy is heading into the tank at the rate that it is then the amount of taxes that folk pay drop significantly. If your business has reached a point that it is barely breaking even, or slightly negative (see some of the current wind investors for example) then a tax cut does not help, while a financial incentive might. See also the experience of the Germans in restarting their auto sales industry.

  3. Oops! I should probably have given you a ref or two to the German incentive program, which seems to be working. Now if we could just do that for houses . . . .

  4. I am going to refrain from trying to sound even vaguely authoritative about the stimulus per se, since I know jack squat about economics.

    However, nobody is seriously thinking that this or any stimulus package will effect a significant improvement in six months. Kyle is blatantly setting Obama up for failure.

    And of course the GOP can lobby against the bill whenever they want. But let's not pretend that they would have been willing to go along with the plan, no matter what Obama said.

  5. >Kyle is blatantly setting Obama up for failure.

    Well, Mr. Obama won, right? He's in control. If he doesn't like the script, he can do something about it.

    And of course the Dems can pass the bill whenever they want. So let's not pretend they would have been willing to go along with an alternative plan, no matter what Mr. Kyle said.