An Open Letter to the GOP Leadership
Dear Speaker Boehner and Other Assorted Clueless Bozos on Capitol Hill,
You've already been pwned, and it's too late to un-pwn yourself even if such a thing were possible. Which it isn't. Now it's time to try something new. Let's call it: Give them what they want.
I'll repeat: Give President Obama and the Democrats the tax hikes they demand, and which most polls show the American public accepts.
You'll let us avoid the fiscal cliff -- a phrase I'm going to do my best to avoid using from now on. A better phrase, if less elegant, might be, "the totally artificial fiscal construct engineered by our so-called leaders a while back, just in case they hadn't already assed up the economy quite enough." But I digress.
Give them the tax hikes. Look big, look magnanimous, look bipartisan. Be sure at every mention of the tax hikes to talk up the spending cuts and entitlement reforms Obama and the Democrats promised to talk about in a grand bargain down the road. Someday, whenevs, as soon as Obama gets his round tuit in the mail. The important thing is to change the subject.
You've been the subject for almost two weeks now, and that's never a good thing. First of all, the media portray you as idiots and the Democrats portray you as evil. Secondly, then you get out in front of the cameras and do your darnedest to prove them all right. That [REDACTED] has got to stop.
The new subject can be: Why won't the Democrats agree even just to a serious discussion about the spending reforms we so desperately need? "Have you seen these guys?" The media won't go along, of course, but at least you'll have changed the subject.
Later, you can talk about something else: Where are the revenues?
You know and I know (and even Obama knows) that increasing the top marginal tax rate won't come even close to getting our fiscal house in order. At best, it's like plugging a broken dam with a damp sponge. At worst, it's like fighting a forest fire by wandering around in the woods with lighter fluid on your nads.
So next summer, next fall, that's the new new subject: Where are the revenues?
And there's a third subject that will fall nicely into place: Where are the jobs?
Your line of attack could go something like this:
We gave the Democrats their taxes. They already got ObamaCare, which we said would kill jobs. They already got Dodd-Frank, which we said would strangle credit and small banks. They got their vindictive EPA, which we said would sit on the economy like Paul Prudhomme sits on a Barcalounger after downing that third quart of sausage gumbo. We told you this wouldn't work, and it hasn't. And it won't.
You might want to tidy up the language some, but you get the idea. The problem is, you can't open this line of attack so long as your "obstructionism" is what everybody is talking about. It's not like the economy can get too terribly much more messed up than it already is, by raising the top rate to where it was during the Clinton years. And if we do walk off that fiscal cliff on January 1, we all know who will get the blame: You guys.
Will it be true? No. But I've seen the GOP leadership -- that's you, remember? -- in action against the Democrats these last two years, and you guys couldn't dodge a spitball if it were shot at you from across a football field by an asthmatic spider monkey with glaucoma.
So give them what they want. Change the subject.
I'm afraid the reason you're afraid to try this tact is you're secretly afraid that Obamanomics will work, given enough time. You're worried that somehow, alienating job creators and sucking money out of the creative economy and hijacking the healthcare industry and enshrining Too Big to Fail and outlawing coal and all the rest will somehow eventually create a bunch of jobs and balance the budget and stuff.
Well, for goodness sake, ladies and gentlemen of the Soon-To-Be-Permanent GOP Minority: At least pretend to have the courage of the convictions you pretend to hold. I mean, the Democrats (and Nixon) tried this stuff in the '60s and '70s, and all it gave us was stagflation and disco and velour neckties. Today the left has things so screwed up, that the Fed can't even kick off a scathing round of inflation when it tries to.
Really, the only big difference between now and 1980 is, you somehow managed to [REDACTED]ing lose to Jimmy [SO VERY REDACTED]ing Carter this time around. The GOP managed to help get a second term for a guy with a broken economy and a dead ambassador and all the rest, who ran for reelection on a platform "the other guy is teh suck." Do you understand how epic a fail that is? You must understand after November 6 that whatever you've been doing, it's not working.
I didn't want it to come to this, but it has. So take my advice, please. Because you can't afford to be the subject any more.
And we can't afford it, either.