When Does ‘No’ Actually Mean ‘Yes’?

Obama’s economic package has finally been unveiled and, just like I predicted, Republicans aren’t having any part of it. This is not surprising. Prominent Republican Oompa-Loompa John Boehner came out with a statement that might as well have been given in 2008 for all its reliance on talking points and disregard for facts. Since the GOP/Tea Party seems to be riding a crest of fear and disappointment into apparent victory in November, why would they change the game plan now? Obama’s projects, as stated by the president himself, are not a quick fix and even if they were to pass before the midterms (not bloody likely) they would not have a huge effect on the immediate economy. So we’re stuck with a minority party that has staked its political survival on the short term and a president who has staked the country’s on the long term.

Again, all of this is old news. What is interesting about this new bout of obstruction from the Right is just how potentially damaging  it is. Most Americans probably aren’t aware of  how many of the president’s accomplishments, most notably Health Care Reform and Financial Reform, come from Republicans. HCR is especially notable, in that it is virtually indistinguishable from the plan Mitt Romney enacted in MA. Financial reform, though not quite as Republican in origin, nevertheless incorporates plenty of conservative ideas. Adding those examples up with the “cash-and-trash” phenomenon, it seems the American public is perfectly content to let Republicans defy proposals that they themselves once supported (or still secretly do).

But the new economic proposal has the Right in uncharted territory. Yes, the proposals by Obama are all ones that the nearly extinct moderate Republicans have been clamoring for and supporting for some time. What’s different is that the powerful players of K Street and the Chamber of Commerce also happen to like the proposals. At least they did as of Obama’s speech. This puts the minority party in the uncomfortable position of trying to grandstand against their own financial benefactors. The wacko 29%’ers are pleased as punch when the Republicans just say no; evidently they seem to think that gridlock and inaction is exactly what America needs and what the people want (hint: it’s not). But I wonder just how firm the Republican’s obstruction will be when it steps on the toes of conservative playmakers like the CoC? I know money makes the world go round, doubly so if you have an R next to your name. If the donations from lobbyists start drying up because they actually like Obama’s plan (the one they practically wrote), will the Party of No be forced to change course?

The smart bet is on no. Boehner and Co. think they have a winning formula with their “Let’s Not Take America Anywhere” strategy. I really don’t see them coming to their senses before November, the American people be damned. But during the back and forth over Obama’s economic package in the upcoming weeks, just remember who was calling for the proposals in the first place.


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