The extraordinary cluelessness of the Republicans

When politicians use mutually incompatible arguments to attack the same proposal, it’s safe to say that they are more interested in scoring political points than actually participating in a meaningful debate. Here’s Andrew Sullivan on RNC posturing about the stimulus bill:

On the one hand, they seem to be saying (a la McCain) that this is long-term spending, not stimulus; then they are complaining it’s a short-term stimulus that will not create long-term jobs (a la Steele). One can only presume this is mainly about politics, not governing. Like so much of the last eight years.

And the public seems to have rumbled them. Sully cites Gallup:

Gallup on the Stimulus

Gallup on the Stimulus

Daniel Larison, himself deeply skeptical of any stimulus proposal, skewers the consistency of the RNC’s stupidity:

During the bailout debate, the House Republican leadership voted for creating the TARP, which was also bad policy, and they were oblivious to the political toxicity of that measure among their own constituents. It’s not as if the leadership had some deep reservoir of populist credibility before the bailout. Even if the TARP had been a good idea and even if it had already had some success, it would still be perceived as nothing more than the scam and the giveaway to banks that it actually was. Even though the stimulus bill will probably have no desirable effects and will add vast sums to the debt, the stimulus and its supporters are going to continue to be perceived as acting on behalf of the public. Boehner and Cantor have twice managed to put themselves on the wrong side of public opinion on major pieces of legislation in the last five months, so again I have to wonder why it is they remain in the leadership. I have to assume it is because the members of the conference are as politically clueless as they are.