Their minds unhinged by the scope of the drubbing given President Barack Obama, a clique on the left has come up with the theory that the Republican House is scheming to sink the economy by blocking Obama’s agenda, hoping the voters will turn on Obama, and thus vote him out in a pique.
Republicans “want the economy to stay weak as long as there’s a Democrat in the White House,” The New York Times’ Paul Krugman tells us. Columnist Andrew Sullivan calls the Republicans’ methods “as close to organized vandalism as one can imagine.”
Well, Republicans certainly hope to turn out the president — every four years, someone tries to turn out the president and/or his party — but the thinking behind this seems odd. It rests on the idea that the Republicans think Obama’s ideas will indeed help the country, a conviction which they do not hold.
Au contraire, they think the Democrats have done a great job of trashing the place all by their lonesome, and, given their druthers, will trash the place even more. Republicans don’t think you help the economy by deficit spending, but by cutting taxes and spending, thus giving cash to people who create jobs by investing in business, and cash to consumers, who buy what these businesses make.
They think everything Obama has done made the recovery difficult: not cutting taxes, the unease caused by health care, the masses of debt. Against their own interests, they want to help him, by stopping his measures.
By their lights, if they wanted to trash the economy they’d go along with Obama, pass cap-and-trade and watch unemployment reach 20 percent.
This sabotage not only helps the sabotaged-upon party, but is backed by the public as well. We have two parties, of big and small government; of more and less taxes; of more and less regulations and rules.
Neither is right on all things, and neither is right all the time, so they tend to take turns in power, usually moving within a small range near the middle, with those who fall to one side (McGovern and Goldwater) losing by landslides to even unlovable figures (Nixon and Johnson) who can’t manage to hold public favor too long.
Obama is one who falls outside of this mid-zone, though this was masked by a time by his so-called “conservative temperament.” When this became clear, the public began its push back to the middle.
The point of all this was to put the brakes on Obama, and frustrate his plans to advance his agenda. If this is treason, we should make the most of it. It has the popular will on its side.
Examiner columnist Noemie Emery is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of “Great Expectations; The Troubled Lives of Political Families.”