This sneering, preening performance by the new Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, yesterday on Fox News really set me off, for some reason. As you can see, it's all about blaming Democrats for the state of the economy, insisting that they are somehow responsible for the ballooning federal deficit and the need to raise the debt ceiling. That's the thrust of the RNC's latest round of Obama-bashing ads.
You certainly can't say they lack for chutzpah.
Look, this meme has been building ever since the Tea Partiers started raging about the deficit and the debt, and now it's the official Republican talking point. It all makes me want to ask:
Where do you guys get the balls to lecture Democrats about deficit spending and the state of the economy?
The previous Democratic president -- a guy named Bill Clinton, who Republicans hounded with a meaningless sex scandal -- handed off to his Republican successor a $46 billion federal surplus after having erased the deficit for three successive years.
That surplus disappeared the first year George W. Bush was in office, even before the 9/11 attacks happened, in no small part because Bush began slashing taxes for the wealthy immediately upon taking office. And then he and his Republican allies running the Congress proceeded to ring up the deficit to unheard-of heights, thanks largely to a needless invasion of another nation under false pretenses.
Where were all these Republicans in the years 2001-2006, when they were setting new records for federal deficits and destroying the economy along the way?
And then blaming Obama and the Democrats for lost jobs really takes the cake. It's undoubtedly true that Obama's policies have not restored jobs in anything near an adequate fashion. But those millions of jobs were destroyed on Republicans' economic watch, as a result of Republican economic policies.
Fixing the economy is indeed a much bigger uphill climb than the Pollyannas on the White House economic team reckoned. But Republicans have done nothing but make it harder, by obstructing every Democratic initiative to stimulate the economy and improve our economic competitiveness (which was what the health-care debate was largely about), not to mention the employment picture generally.
Indeed, it's now becoming crystal clear that they are perfectly willing to wreck the American economy entirely in order to defeat Obama's economic policies, such as they are. And at the same time, they not only plan to blame Obama for the wreckage, they are already doing so.
Remind me again why our president is deluded into believing he can bargain in good faith with these people.
OK, rant over.