04 February 2009

Can We Talk (about Credibility)?

The HuffPost headline says "McCain's Revenge" and the media is lapping up the losing 2008 presidential candidate's excoriation of the stimulus bill, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and President Obama's ethics.

Let's take these one at a time. McCain says the stimulus "really is a bad bill." Does he present any alternative?

Sure: the Republicans have consistently pushed for more tax cuts for wealthy Americans and corporations, as well as less government regulation, which is exactly the set of policies that that landed us in the mess we're in. Apart from McCain's much-publicized admission that he's relatively ignorant of economic issues and would be relying on advisors who have since been largely discredited, what has he done to establish any credibility in this area?

He smears Timothy Geithner by blaming him for the mismanagement of the first TARP installment because he was a "key advisor"--maybe he's forgotten that the people in charge of the TARP were Bush appointees?

And then he questions the President's commitment to his own ethics standards by pointing to nominees who have been withdrawn. This from a guy whose closest advisors were lobbyists for industries that have been instrumental in causing our economic problems.

I am sick of seeing Republicans in the media. They have brought us war-by-choice, torture-as-SOP, and civil rights-as-luxury, flushed our economy down the toilet, and continually stonewalled efforts to protect the planet and limit climate change. Their ideas have held sway for a solid 8 years (and I think a case could be made that they held sway for 28) and have left us in a place substantially worse than we were before they took over.

This is not a partisan observation. We are less healthy, less educated, less wealthy, less respected in the world--you name the area; we are almost certainly worse off.

And now we have a president who has been elected to lead us to a better future, and all the Republicans can do is call names.

I guess that's all they could ever do, since their ideas are bankrupt. Well, I hope they have fun getting advice from Joe the Plumber. He'll surely keep their ideas in the mainstream.

Oh. Most Americans don't hate Social Security? Well, doubtless if Joe knows best, along with Mr. "The fundamentals of our economy are sound."

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