Dead on arrival. That is, apparently, the favored conservative method for addressing any and all policy suggestions or plans made by the President. It must be a highly technical political term, because it isn’t immediately obvious that the phrase has any predictive value.
The Stimulus Bill is dead on arrival.-Mitch McConnell
ObamaCare is dead on arrival.-Every Republican Open Mouth
An Obama Second Term is dead on arrival.-Reince Preibus
The President’s plan for deficit reduction is dead on arrival.-John Boehner
The first three predictions/analyses, ranked by competence, came in somewhere between the Psychic Friends Network and a gambling junkie at an OTB. Not surprising really, given that these folks represent the party that brings you Pat Robertson’s conversations with God and polling by Rasmussen Reports. Unfortunately for America, what the phrase truly represents is the intransigence of Republican policy-makers, an inclination which seems difficult to support.
Democrats won a majority of votes cast for the President, Senate, and House in 2008. Democrats won a majority of the votes cast for the President, Senate, and House in 2012 (clever redistricting by Republican legislators is the reason why the GOP retains control of the House). A majority of Americans endorsed the policy choices of President Obama, but the GOP still seems to think it should have the final say on taxes and spending in the United States. Here is John Boehner addressing the President’s proposal in more direct terms:
The President needs to get serious about deficit reduction.
The proposal by the White House, including the stimulus it contains, would trim $4.5 trillion from the deficit over 10 years without touching Social Security or taking benefits from Medicare enrollees. What, I wonder, would constitute serious? That proposal would roll back all of the debt accumulated by our nation since the end of the Bush presidency. But it is not, in the minds of conservative movers and shakers, a serious proposal and is “dead on arrival”. Why?
Because the goal of conservative movers and shakers is to roll back the debt accumulated since the end of the Bush presidency on the backs of working class Americans. The focus of modern conservatism has devolved to a simple, two-pronged strategy:
The creation of unrestricted wealth opportunities within the financial and fossil fuel sectors of the economy.
The reduction of tax burdens on those able to participate in those unrestricted wealth opportunities.
Despite all of the evidence. Despite the evident decline of American economic dominance during precisely those years (since 1980) that we have aggressively removed financial restrictions and lowered tax rates. Despite the abject failure of conservative economists to predict anything in the actual economy, conservative pundits and policy-makers cling to the notion. The President has proposed the same level of debt reduction as conservatives, but it would come via a return to the economic standards of the 1990’s, when (in case you forgot) our economy last truly boomed. Boehner and McConnell think that is a joke.
So, I think fairly, I can report that it is the credibility of Republican policy-makers that is not to be taken serious. The Boehner-McConnell vision of America is dead on arrival…
…and The Rational Middle is listening…