Out of Touch

Bob Herbert had a great op-ed piece in the New York Times.

Here’s an excerpt:

Not only has the G.O.P. spent years trying to fool everybody in sight with its phony-baloney, dime-store philosophies, it’s now trapped in the patently pathetic phase of fooling itself.

The economy has imploded, the auto industry is in danger of being vaporized and more than half of all working Americans are worried that they may lose their jobs in the next year. So what’s the Republican response? To build a wall of obstruction in front of efforts to get the economy moving again, and then to stand in front of that wall chanting gibberish about smaller government, lower taxes, spending cuts and Ronald Reagan.

It’s not a party; it’s a cult. I’m no fan of Arlen Specter, but if I were a Republican, I wouldn’t be shoving him out the door and waving good riddance. This is the party of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Newt (“I’m trying to rise from the ashes”) Gingrich, and the dark force who can’t seem to exit the public stage or modify his medieval ways, Dick Cheney.

It is losing all credibility with the public because it is not offering anything — anything at all — that could be viewed as helpful or constructive in a time of national crisis. And it has been unwilling to take responsibility for its role in bringing that crisis about.

Americans are aghast at what happened to the country while the G.O.P. was in charge. Iraq and Katrina come to mind, not to mention the transmutation of the Clinton surpluses into the Bush budget deficits and the collapse of the entire economy.

Trickle down. Weapons of mass destruction. Torture. Deregulation. You name it. The Republican-conservative know-it-alls of the past several years (all-too-frequently with feckless Democrats following closely behind) brought destruction and heartbreak to just about everything they touched.

And yet the G.O.P. behaves as though nothing has changed. Even in the face of a national economic nightmare, the party is offering nothing in the way of policies or new ideas that might give a bit of hope or comfort to families wrestling with joblessness, housing foreclosures and bankruptcies.

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