How did the GOP oppose Obama during the campaign? They raised fears that he was a radical, Marxist, leftist, Communist, Socialist, Muslim, Arab who hates America.
How did the GOP oppose Obama’s stimulus plan? They claimed it didn’t include tax cuts (which it did) which are the most effective way of stimulating the economy (which most research doesn’t support) that it hasn’t helped the economy at all (something which virtually all mainstream economists disagree with), and that it was part of a socialist government takeover of the economy (which it’s not).
How did the GOP oppose Obama’s health care plan? They claimed there were death panels (nope), government mandated euthanasia and abortion (nope and nope), coverage for illegal immigrants (not at all), secret socialist indoctrination of children (huh?), and that it represented a government takeover of 1/6th of the economy (so far from being true) that would increase the deficit (when it actually reduces the deficit more than any bill in history).
How does the GOP oppose net neutrality? They claim it would enable the government to control political speech on the internet – likening it to the Fairness Doctrine for radio (which is so far from what it actually does).
How does the GOP oppose cap and trade legislation? They call it a massive redistribution of wealth (which it’s not) and based on thoroughly debunked lies (which is rather dangerous bullshit).
How does the GOP oppose Obama’s national security policies? They claim he is deliberately weakening America (when his focus has been on strengthening America), abandoning all of Bush’s policies (which he is not, to the disappointment of many progressives and libertarians), along with many other debunked claims.
How then does the GOP oppose financial reform? They are claiming that it “allow[s] endless taxpayer-funded bailouts for big Wall Street banks” and creates a “slush fund” for future bailouts. And here’s the brilliant part: while trashing Wall Street and the bailouts that saved the big firms, they are simultaneously promising Wall Street and the big firms that they will block the reforms Wall Street doesn’t want in return for massive campaign contributions.
They are following — almost to the letter — Republican pollster Frank Lutz’s proposed strategy to rake in the dollars from Wall Street for blocking any reform while railing against bailouts and how Democrats are too soft on the banks. The best way to oppose something is to pretend it’s something it’s not.
Absolutely brilliant strategy. Too bad it’s evil.
The policies they are attacking include a FDIC tax on the banks to create holdover money to allow regulators to go in and dismantle the company. Contrary to some cushy authority to bailout big firms, Senator Mark Warner describes the process being created by the financial reforms in an interview with Ezra Klein:
“Resolution,” Warner continued, “will be so painful for any company. No rational management team would ever choose resolution. It means shareholders wiped out. Management wiped out. Your firm is going away. At least in bankruptcy, there was some chance that some of your equity would’ve been retained and you could come out in some form on the other side of the process. The resolution that Corker and I have tried to create means the death of the company. The institution is gone.”
The financial reform bill is far from perfect — but it’s a good bill and nothing at all like what the Republicans are describing it as.
[Image by DonkeyHotey licensed under Creative Commons.]