Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Karl Rove’s miraculous virginity

We were assured that only social conservatives in the Republican Party used the term “forcible rape” or had any respect for the idea that a rape victim’s state of mind had any influence on whether she became pregnant.

When it comes to fiscal policy, however, so-called market Republicans apparently think that they can become virgins all over again simply by losing an election.

Karl Rove’s righteous advice to Republicans as they prepare to respond to the President’s next $trillion request to raise the amount the treasury can borrow to pay the federal government’s obligations was penned in the Wall Street Journal this morning. He took particular offence at Obama’s proposition that Congress “should pay the bills they have already racked up.”

He asserted baldy that Obama signed the measures, “that racked up the bills, which Republicans opposed.” Please, he’s saying, just set aside an avalanche of evidence that Republican recklessness along with Democrat indulgence created the debt problem and the Great Recession's deficit. We didn’t vote for Obamacare.

Rove endorses massive, unspecified spending cuts to keep paying the interest on Obama’s profligate spending. Even his prescription for what to do now is qualified with virginal expressions of innocence:

“With control of just one chamber, Republicans won't be able to advance much-needed structural changes in entitlements. That's the cost of losing the 2012 election. A Republican wish list will have to await a GOP president and Congress.

“For now, Republicans must make Mr. Obama take ownership of his deficits and the debt (which has increased from $10.626 trillion the day he took office to $16.433 trillion on Wednesday). It's impossible to negotiate with an ideologue, but Republicans can systematically unmask him and constrain him as much as their limited power allows, if they are united and acting in concert.”

Some cost: you lose the Presidency and so you can insist that you had nothing to do with this mess and needn’t extend yourself to fix it.

Rove’s rebut to growing impatience with Republican policy intransigence is simply more extremism. He fleshes out the paranoid perspective: foul spirits surrounds me; I’m innocent.

It won’t matter what fantasy carries the Republicans into the next fight. Neither fiscal terrorists nor suicide boomers get a pass for being virgins. 

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