Meanwhile over on Balloon Juice I see this:
The country will “pay dearly” if it executes the president’s stimulus plans, Sen. Richard Shelby says.Dear Sen. Shelby: 31 percent is NOT EVERYBODY. Don't drag me and 62 percent of this country into your (wrong) side of the argument.
“Everybody on the street in America understands that,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee. “This is not the right road to go. We’ll pay dearly.”
Sullivan in his article has a point: The Republicans "are feeling better about themselves is that they managed to turn this debate into one about ideology in a vacuum. That's how they governed for many years; it's what they know; and since they have no shame, they feel no need to square their newfound fiscal conservatism in a depression with their record of massive spending and borrowing in a boom."
The Republican leadership truly exists inside this hermetically-sealed echo chamber of theirs, where all they know is getting onto the talking head shows on FOX, CNN, MSNBC and elsewhere, spout their BS, hang out with like-minded media hosts and their handlers, and never ever really recognize just what the hell is actually happening outside of that damn Beltway mentality of theirs. They say "everybody knows" when in fact that's just another unverifible strawman they're pointing at: that Gallup poll shows 62 percent siding with Obama, 48 percent siding with the Democratic Congress. 31 percent with the Republicans? They've capped out to that 1/3 of the electorate, which points to just their GOP Far Right base supporting them. JUST THEIR BASE. No one else is buying the GOP BS.
This is where I think Sullivan is getting it wrong: "The gerrymandering of the past decade also means the Republican rump is secure - with 31 percent approval - even when resisting adequate fiscal stimulus in a deflationary spiral." The gerrymandering of districts isn't going to protect the GOP in Congress, or even at the state level. Republican representation in the House is already lopsided: The Dems hold a 37 seat advantage there. Who thinks 2 more years of possible job losses and economic collapse is going to drive more voters towards an obstructionist Republican Party that caused this economic crisis in the first place? And will be held responsible (re-read that Gallup Poll: people are not favoring the Republicans right now because they know what that party is doing is wrong!) if the Republicans succeed in wreaking this stimulus or any other economic platform Obama tries to pass?
And that's the House. The Senate isn't gerrymandered. And as this economy collapses, more states will feel the hurt, more angry voters will rise up. And they're not gonna blame Obama and the Democrats (again, the Gallup poll is showing the voters side with them) who are trying to pass these bills: they're gonna blame the vote-blockers.
And that's the federal level. At the state level the Republicans have got be scared sh-tless. A lot of states are facing massive deficits: Florida and California are two prime examples. States will feel the economic pinch more because 1) a lot of states have constitutional requirements to balance their budgets at some point, meaning they either cut services or raise taxes or a balance of both; 2) a lot of states have restrictions on how they can raise taxes... if ever; and 3) the Republicans and the "centrists" in the Senate just cut billions of dollars that were going to the states for deficit relief. The state-level Republicans are about to face the consequences of decades of pushing anti-tax policies to appease their Club for Greed overlords: an inability to respond to a nationwide economic disaster because they've had to cut back truckloads of social services in order to budget-balance against massive revenue shortfalls. I'm surprised we're not hearing about Gov. Crist getting on the phone to yell at the Republican Senators "DAMMIT WE NEED THAT $40 BILLION!" Do you think voters at the state level are going to favor Republicans when it comes time to vote for governorships and state leges? Do you think voters are going to forget that it was Republicans who cut back on schools, on health care, on jobs programs, on transit, on everything just so the Republicans could save their precious tax cuts?
The Republican Party is truly doomed, because they don't care. Their leadership are all stuck in the television sound booths, mouthing off platitudes and lies that they already believe and reinforce on each other, and they don't see outside of their windowed little world of theirs. They're not going to win in 2010 like they think they will if they succeed in torpedoing this stimulus or any other stim package. Who is going to keep buying their b-llsh-t when there's no one left with any money to buy it?