August 16, 2012 by David K. Sutton
There Are No Reasonable Republicans In Washington D.C.
Paul Krugman has a short piece titled “Reasonable Republicans?” where he makes a point that I’ve made in the past, that there are no reasonable Republicans serving in office. That’s not to say there are no reasonable Republicans at all, just that they all exist outside the beltway. They might be former aids to past Republican presidential administrations or they could be ex-congressman, but they all have one thing in common, they are no longer serving, and they are no longer considered part of the Republican establishment.
If all Republicans are saying unreasonable things, then it’s a distortion — indeed, a form of bias — to insist that there must be reasonable Republicans.
Now, what you can quite easily find are examples of people who used to be Republicans, or even still consider themselves Republicans, saying reasonable things — say, Bruce Bartlett or David Frum. But the very fact that they’re reasonable has led to their excommunication from the movement! – Paul Krugman, Reasonable Republicans?
To be fair, Democrats have to toe the line at times on party positions, but I’m talking about the plethora of ridiculous and unreasonable positions Republicans take on issues. For example, it is Republicans who want to end Medicare as we know while at the same time saying they are Medicare saviors. It is Republicans who put up a fight in congress last year over the debt ceiling, threatening to default on our debts in order to get their way (which led to the credit downgrade). It is Republicans who want to privatize the most successful government program in American history, Social Security. It is Republicans who say reducing taxes leads to higher revenue.
And I’d like to make another related point. The idea that the vote on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was partisan. If an entire party (the GOP) decides it’s not going to support anything President Obama does and every member of that party votes against Obama’s signature legislative achievement, does that mean the legislation was partisan? I mean, for something to be bipartisan, it would require both sides be willing to negotiate and come to a compromise. If one side (the GOP) is unwilling to ever agree on anything (and in fact says compromise is weakness) then how are we to ever achieve bipartisan legislation? Does it mean we should just do nothing to ensure the Democratic Party cannot be labeled as partisan? The simple and obvious answer is: no. Therefore, it’s not that the Affordable Care Act was an extreme and partisan piece of legislation, instead it’s the Republican Party that is so extreme it was never going to compromise on any health care bill that Obama supported, even if they wrote it themselves (which they largely did).
This is why you will not find a reasonable Republican in Washington D.C. in 2012.