Friday, January 30, 2009

What Patriotism

This from the often wrong perfesser from Tennessee, Glenn Reynolds:

I think the stimulus is objectively a bad idea. But politically, opposing it seems like a no-brainer: If it passes and the economy gets better it’s old news, and who’s to say the economy wouldn’t have gotten better on its own? If it passes and the economy doesn’t get better, it’s an issue for the GOP.
So, what's good politically supersedes what's good for the country. Thanks for clarifying.


Tony Turner said...

Except that's not what he said. Re-read the first sentence. He doesn't think it's good for the country. Additionally, it's a no-brainer political decision for the GOP. Your construction assumes that he agrees with you in that the porkfest is a good thing for the country, but that the political calculation trumps this. It's an invalid construction.

Other Side said...

He doesn't think it's good for the country.

No, but I do.

Still, I hear what you are saying. I'll give you that -- even when I was writing it I questioned my conclusion regarding Reynolds.

And yet, the GOP did take the route of politics. One would think that a few would have agreed with the President's stance (11 Dems did vote the other way).

The GOP played the partisan game when they were in power and it appears they are willing to do so still. The country suffered then and will suffer now.

Thank you for your comment.

Tony Turner said...

Seems to me that the 'no' voters were the only ones being bipartisan.

Seriously, why is it so important that the House GOP members vote for whatever your side wants, especially when they don't agree with the policy? You don't need their votes, so why complain when you don't get them? If it's such an awesome bill, isn't it to your side's advantage that you can use this against the GOP in the future?

Other Side said...

I have no problem with politicians voting their conscience -- the vote en masse is a bit disconcerting and suspicious, however.

Could the Dems use this against the GOP -- sure! But doesn't it get a bit tiring this politics as usual game?

Tony Turner said...

Not sure why you're surprised that no Republicans voted for this bill. It goes against everything they stand for. It's over a trillion dollars of debt with very little stimulus. Only 10% gets spent this year, and most of it is a liberal wish-list from the last 40 years.

And when you put the GOP's "no" votes (and those of the 11 Dems who joined them) in terms such as "politics", "partisanship", the "country will suffer" because of it (really? because they voted no but the bill passed anyway?), "disconcerting", "suspicious", and even posting this as "What Patriotism", I have to say you've gone somewhat over the top.

There have been rumblings from the Senate (Conrad, Nelson) that all the D's aren't lining up to support it there, either.

Honestly, what makes you think these people aren't voting their conscience? Why isn't the side who voted "yes" the partisans?

Other Side said...

Eleven Dems voted their conscience, not one Republican. You cannot convince me that there were not one or two Republicans who might have thought the stimulus package worthwhile.

I can't imagine why cutting taxes for people and businesses, infrastructure repair, increased unemployment benefits (you know, for all those people now without jobs) is such a bad thing.

I know that Republicans wanted more tax cuts, but their plan was merely more of the same tax cuts for business that have not proved successful in the past.

Really, you guys need new ideas. A lack of new ideas is one of the reasons a large portion were voted out.

That and vicious Republican partisanship.

Tony Turner said...

I can't imagine why cutting taxes for people and businesses, infrastructure repair, increased unemployment benefits (you know, for all those people now without jobs) is such a bad thing.

Cutting taxes is stimulative. Infrastructure repair is if it's done quickly, but most of this bill pushes it out. Unemployment benefits are not stimulative and should not be part of this bill. You also did not mention that the majority of the bill happens to be pork to liberal interest groups, and not by any definition stimulative (but of course, it's a "new idea", right?). Your side should defend these proposals as part of the regular appropriations process, not wrap them all together in a bogus "stimulus" package and ram it through before the public understands what's in it. Hopefully the Senate will slow down this train next week.

So, yes, the GOP members did not vote for it. Their plan matched their worldview, and would have been truly stimulative. It offered a 5% cut on all individual rates and a 20% cut on small business tax rates. It increased the child tax credit from $1k to $5k. It froze capital gains and dividend rates (guess what? individuals pay those). You're simply wrong to imply it included only business tax cuts.

You have chosen to call their behavior partisan (vicious, even!), without framing the D majority with the same language when they shut out the GOP from crafting the massive spending bill. Obama himself resorted to the classic partisan language of "I won" during his "negotiations".

Your hypocrisy on this issue is truly breathtaking.

Other Side said...

Geez, Tony. Wanna move in?

You have chosen to call their behavior partisan (vicious, even!), without framing the D majority with the same language when they shut out the GOP from crafting the massive spending bill.

Why should I? I consider myself a Democrat and I think your side doesn't really give a damn. Let me see your blog post about the stimulus package and we'll see how generous you are with the Dems.

Better yet, if you're willing I'll let you do it here -- as a post.

In any case, sounds more like sour grapes.

Tony Turner said...

I guess I've overstayed my welcome.

Yup, by golly, you're right. My side doesn't give a damn about the country, and this is all sour grapes.

So it seems this is how it works on your blog. You don't engage commenters on their points, but just continue with more name-calling. Interesting way to defend your position.

Thanks for sharing.

Other Side said...

Damn this computer. I had a reply, but lost it.

Can't. Stand. Vista.

I'd apologize, Tony, but I fail to see where I called you a name. You are an articulate writer, though.

Look, I don't claim to have your knowledge of this issue. Wish I did. But from the little I have read, I just don't trust the Republican offers. It seems to me like the same old stuff.

You guys had six years of majorities to do positive things for the economy and instead Republican policies helped create the biggest deficits in American history and contributed mightily to the economic downfall. Let's not forget the little war we're in, too -- the one we didn't need to start.

Forgive me if I'm sensitive.

I'll take my chances with the current administration.

Tony Turner said...

Not me, specifically, but the reflexive labeling of the other side, is what I was referring to. It's a tactic that I find indefensible, logically unsound, and lazy. I've tried to offer specific data points that rebut your assertions on this specific bill, and was simply hoping for reciprocal treatment. And now you're bringing up Iraq for heaven's sake!

But, hey, this is your house.

Other Side said...

Fair enough. I was being reflexive.

I can understand your thinking that the items brought up by the Republican congressional delegation are reasonable.

I'm guessing there was a reason they were rejected by the Democrats.

My original point was there seemed to me something fishy about Republicans voting en masse against the stimulus package. It is unusual for there not to be a few defections.

I happen to think it doesn't bode well for bi-partisanship.

Back to the Marquette game.

Thank you for your comments, Tony.
Your points were cogent and well thought out.