All I can say is it's about time some of the Democrats are calling out Republicans for something that's been obvious to me for some time, their willingness to wreck the economy for short term political gain.
Steve Benen's been writing about this for some time and wrote about the same press conference Ed Schultz and Jonathan Alter were talking about in the clip above in his post here -- The 'sabotage' question goes mainstream:
In November, I faced all kinds of pushback by raising a provocative argument: is it possible Republicans would pursue policies that would hurt the economy on purpose?
Seven months later, it appears the “sabotage” question is going mainstream.
E.J. Dionne Jr. inched pretty close to it last week, noting that Republicans “have no interest” in working on job creation because “Republicans benefit if the economy stays sluggish.” Kevin Drum wondered whether this will ever be “a serious talking point,” adding, “No serious person in a position of real influence really wants to accuse an entire party of cynically trying to tank the economy, after all.”
Republicans are sabotaging economic recovery efforts because it will help them win in 2012, Senate Democratic leaders charged Wednesday.
“Unfortunately our Republican colleagues in the House and Senate are driven by putting one man out of work — President Obama,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) declared at a Capitol Hill press conference called the day after Senate Republicans blocked an economic development bill that they have backed in the past.
Durbin pointed to remarks made by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in which he said the top goal of Republicans should be to make Obama a one-term President.
Durbin added that “their only goal” is to defeat the president, adding, “They believe a weak economy is there best chance of winning the next election.”
This isn’t subtle. Durbin is saying that Republicans are deliberately holding back the economy for purely partisan reasons. It’s an explosive charge, and as of today, he’s not the only one making it.
The rhetorical shift appears to the result of last night’s vote on the Economic Development Administration, a successful program that provides federal grants to local projects. Republicans have repeatedly said that they believe the EDA is great for economic growth and job creation, but they nevertheless linked arms and killed the bill. This comes after Republicans balked at a payroll tax cut intended to spur hiring, another measure the GOP has traditionally supported — until now.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the number three Democrat in the chamber, told reporters this morning, “If they oppose even something so suited to their tastes ideologically, it shows that they’re just opposing anything that helps create jobs. It almost makes you wonder if they aren’t trying to slow down the economic recovery for political gain.”
Yes, almost. Read on...
I don't think there's any "almost" about it. As Schultz and Alter pointed out in the clip above and as Steve wrote in his article, Republicans are voting against all kinds of proposals to promote job growth that they were formerly on record as supporting and as he noted, McConnell's on record saying his top priority is not job creation, but making Barack Obama a one term president.
Steve asked if it is really outrageous to at least ask if Republicans are trying to destroy the economy for political gain. I think it's long past time that they are finally being called out for it. There's no subtlety to what they're doing. It's as obvious as the nose on one's face for anyone that's been paying attention to their actions and their double speak on what's needed for economic recovery.
Jonathan Alter pointed out that the White House isn't helping matters any by not laying out a jobs plan of their own and I agree with him. They've been allowing Republicans to drive the conversation and buying into their deficit cutting austerity rhetoric instead of pushing back at Republicans who have been relentlessly claiming that the trouble with the economy is the debt and the deficit and that we must pacify the imaginary confidence fairies before corporations quit hording their money and start creating jobs in America.
I hope we continue to hear more of this from the Democrats and it's just a shame it took them this long. Here's more of their press conference that the Senate Democrats posted on their You Tube page.
[oldembed src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/P60YVqvqUYs" width="450" height="286" resize="1" fid="21"]
Now if we could get them to get on message with the need to raise taxes on the rich and not balancing our budget on the backs of the poor and the working class, I might quit being disgusted with everyone in Washington D.C. other than our progressive caucus in the House.