GOP – The Grand Odd Party
The Grand Old Party has become the Grand Odd Party. While still labeled the GOP (keeping the outward brand sign the same), this is not your grandfather’s GOP. It is a party with advanced dementia.
Before I continue, let me be clear that Democrats are not distinguishing themselves either. The Dems are playing poker and looking at where they might pick up a few new seats in the 2014 midterms. At a time when history could be made, I see no brave Democrats coming forth.
The Grand Odd Party does not lack leaders who gladly come to the front. It is what these Republicans do that is particularly odd. How can the red staters argue that the top 2% should not pay more in taxes, then suggest that maybe millionaires could, and then simply walk away from the negotiations when $400,000 might have sealed the deal? Have they forgotten that we just concluded an election where President Obama campaigned on raising taxes on the top 2% and he won convincingly?
One might argue that Republicans now feel they would prefer to see all the Bush Tax Cuts expire and then vote in 2013 for tax reductions. The GOP might think that with the debt limit fast approaching, why not try to force major entitlement reforms then or shut down the government? So is that odd behavior?
Indeed it is, and here’s why.
The GOP behavior since 2010 has been consistently “obstructionist”. American voters are not quick studies, for sure, but they do see what’s going on. In time voters will decide that another party should get a chance. There could be a large shift come 2014 if the current gridlock over the deficit and debt increase plays out as it has so far.
The second, and non-political, reason is that real problem is staring everyone in the eye and no one (including Democrats) are speaking up. The fundamental problem facing America is the cost of our health care delivery system. Compared to all other modern industrial countries the US is spending more than twice as much per person with health outcome that can only be described as mediocre. Reform health care and the deficit problem can be solved in a heartbeat.
There is no chance that the GOP leadership does not know this. Yet, they persist in doubling down on no tax increases, and just cutting entitlements. The GOP plan will not balance the budget without severe spending cuts and ultimately regressive taxes. The math does not work otherwise. So it is “odd” that GOP rhetoric continues to go round and round retracing the same arguments where no data or facts can be found to support their position.
Were the GOP to only make a reasonable (mathematically demonstrable) proposal, they could expose the Democrats shallow ideas. Isn’t it odd that they do not?