As usual Thomas Sowell hit the proverbial nail on the head. In his RealClearPoltics column today, Mr. Sowell recalls the old Peanuts comic strip routine in which Lucy holds a football for Charlie Brown to kick, only to snatch it away at the last moment. Charlie Brown tumbles to the ground, we laugh, and then the same thing happens in the comic strip a week or two later. Charlie Brown suspects; he tells Lucy he doesn’t trust her. But she reassures him and he comes trotting down the field, only to come a cropper when Lucy once again snatches the ball away at the last moment.
Ha, Ha. Sound familiar?
It goes like this: Democrats start spending money wildly, handing out goodies to a wide range of people who they want to vote for them, while Republicans complain about deficits and the national debt. Then, when the public becomes alarmed about the debts that are piling up, the Democrats get the Republicans to vote for higher taxes to deal with the debt crisis, in the name of “fiscal responsibility.”
And here is the Spender-in-Chief, Barack Hussein Obama, just last week:
“ . . . next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I’m calling their bluff.”
“This year, I spent $1.4 trillion more than I took in. I said it was to ‘stimulate’ the economy. But you know and I know that the only thing it stimulated was the government payroll and Paul Krugman’s rhetorical incontinence. Ergo, Possums, you are going to have to pay. And pay. And pay.”
That’s the story thus far. We all know how it ends. But why? Why do the Republicans go along with it time and again? Is it a misplaced sense of political “realism,” (i.e., craven allegiance to special interests and their own stake in the establishment merry-go-round that makes Washington such an unedifying spectacle? Or is it something deeper, instantly recognizable but as yet unfathomable? Mr Sowell touches upon the unplumbed depths:
Why Republicans join such transparent attempts to rescue the Democrats from the political consequences of their own actions is one of the many unsolved mysteries of human nature in general and the Republican Party in particular.
What this political game boils down to is that Democrats get all the political benefits of playing Santa Claus to all sorts of groups and special interests, while Republicans who vote to raise taxes to pay for all this are cast in the role of Frank Nitti, the enforcer for the mob.
And guess what, pollsters from coast to coast agree on this amazing fact: “Many elections have confirmed that Santa Claus is more popular than Frank Nitti, surprising as that may be to some people.”
There is yet another layer of mystery here. The Republicans-as-Charlie-Brown, bad-guy scenario makes Republicans look bad: no doubt about it. They are made to appear gormless, on the one hand, and heartless on the other: too stupid not to act with Pavlovian regularity when presented with the football to kick, too feckless to take the rhetorical (and the moral) high ground when presented with “compromise” spending packages that compromise chiefly on fiscal responsibility and political integrity.
But the Republicans are not the only dopes here. As Mr. Sowell points out, “Republicans are not the only suckers in this game. The voting public’s willingness to believe fancy rhetoric and ignore hard facts is a crucial part of this scam.”
When the Obama administration said that it could provide health insurance to millions of additional people without increasing the national debt, shouldn’t common sense have told you that somebody was just insulting your intelligence?
What do you think? Or how about this?
When the two thousand page bill was rushed through Congress too fast for anybody to read it, shouldn’t that have made you realize that you were being played for a sucker?
Com’on Charlie Brown, I’m holding the football steady. Com’on!
When this bill that was passed with lightning speed was scheduled to take effect only after the 2012 election, didn’t that suggest that they didn’t want you to find out how it works in practice in time to turn against Obama when he is up for reelection?
The moral? When you hear the word “bi-partianship,” run for the door marked “voting booth” — you have the power. You don’t have to do what Lucy says. You really can throw the bums out.