In his latest ploy to get sympathy, John Boehner claims Obama is trying to "annihilate the Republican Party." This came in the wake of the President's inaugural address, which took on an unusually "liberal" tone according to pundits, essentially daring the Republican Party to defy him, and defy him they have done once again.
The Repubicans have pushed this theme in every media outlet. They even had Woodward sounding their drum by stating that Obama had "moved the goal posts" on budget talks, even though increased revenue had long been part of any budget package. But, the Republicans yet again refuse to yield, preferring to call Obama's bluff.
As usual, Joe Scarborough tries to play both sides of the issue. In his latest op-ed piece in the NYTimes, he thinks this move will backfire on Obama, as the country will feel little pinch from the sequestration. Yet, it is the Republicans who have been scaremongering the public of an economic Armageddon if Congress doesn't reach a deal.
Unfortunately, no deal appears in sight because the Republicans have refused to yield on new revenues, preferring to live in their fantasy world of a "revenue-neutral" government, even when virtually every economist says the only way to cut the deficit is to increase revenue. Further budget cuts only hurt the economy, as it stifles the renewed recovery we have seen since last Fall.
Krugman commented on Bloomberg television the other night that the Republicans are still preaching the same tired 19th century austerity policies as far as economics goes, just periodically giving it a different name.
It is hard to determine what the long game is for the GOP. None of their so-called leaders have offered any grand vision. They prefer to fall back on the same tired bromides that have won them elections in the past, believing that their tax-paying constituents are the real victims here, paying for the other 50% that they carry on their back.
Cartoon courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune