Unrequited “Post-Partisanship”

It’s time to take a look back a couple days to a post I wrote about “Post-Partisanship”.

Now that the RNC has new leadership, one would think that, perhaps, for the sake of uniting the country, helping the economy, or some other high minded purpose that Republicans may want to lay off the obstructionist tactics. One would be wrong…

Speaking at a retreat of Republican legislators, newly installed RNC chair Michael Steele remarked:

I thought it was very important to send a signal, and you sent it loudly, very clearly, that this party, the leadership of this caucus, would stand first and foremost with the American people. You made it very clear that in order to grow through this recession that you not redistribute the wealth of the people of this nation.

This is an interesting quote. I don’t see anywhere in HR 1 that “wealth is redistributed”. Looking again at the way the funds are appropriated I see $225b to help people who have lost their jobs and states who have lost tax revenue, $319b is for construction and upgrade projects that will help private business and workers alike, $255b in tax cuts to middle income earners, and $20b in cuts to business. Where’s the “redistribution”?

In the midst of a recession as bad or worse than ANY recession in my 36 years the new RNC chair is ready to set his party down the well-worn path of the POUM Hypothesis. The “Promise of Upward Mobility” hypothesis states that individuals earning lower incomes will not support tax increases for the wealthy on the “promise of upward mobility”, fearing that they too may some day have to pay the new tax rate.

Most people I talk to are more worried about maintaining their income levels than increasing them. In the wake of the financial crisis that exacerbated the unemployment increases we’ve been experiencing for over a year now, and the irresponsible actions of many of the executives that helped these institutions tank, few people care about how much these “Me first” millionaires are going to have to pay in taxes.

Then there’s the fact that there ARE NO TAX INCREASES anywhere in this bill. None. So where’s that redistribution again Mr. Steele?

The Republican Party has no interest in anything that may look like “bi-partisanship” unless it’s their “bi-partisanship”, and their “bi-partisanship” looks suspiciously like a party whose ideas, or lack thereof, have been rejected by the voters of this nation over the past two election cycles.

If Republicans want to act in good faith, then I welcome what they have to offer to the conversation, but if they are just interested in making anything and everything like a twisted version of the old Peanuts Lucy/Charlie Brown/football scenario, then they can blow their dog whistles to high heaven, I don’t care. The American people are sick of the games, and until the Republican Party recognizes this fact, they will continue to marginalize themselves, which is just fine by me.

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