Rachel Maddow Hammers the Myth of the Fiscally Responsible GOP

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was on Meet The Press today where she pointed out that the Republican Party is asking voters to make a fatally flawed choice in November, if they insist on portraying themselves as the fiscally responsible party. Maddow said, “If Republicans want to run as this fiscally responsible party, it’s neat, but it’s novel. It’s not how they’ve actually governed.”

Here is the video:

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When asked about the 2010 election, Maddow discussed the two different frames each party is presenting to voters in November, “Well, sure. And what the Republicans are trying to do is trying to make this a referendum on the, on the Democrats and on President Obama, on Harry Reid, on the people in power. And what Democrats are trying to do is make this a choice.”

She then added why Democrats are facing a tough climb this fall, “Obviously, anybody who’s unhappy about anything in the country, you would hope they would turn it into a vote against the party in power. The Democrats have their work cut out for them. Just keep talking about John Boehner, keep talking about Sharron Angle, not just as the absence of Harry Reid, but as somebody who has a lot of very interesting policy positions of her own.”

Later Maddow explained why the concept of the GOP as fiscally responsible is not based in reality, “Well, you end, you end up with the situation which again you’re back to choice vs. referendum because Republicans, like great strategists like Mr. Gillespie, can argue about how it’s all about spending, it’s all about debt. But it’s not just talking about the past to say, “When Republicans have had the reins, this is what they’ve done: two wars not paid for, prescription drug benefit not paid for, two tax cuts that mostly benefited the rich not paid for. They put all that stuff on the deficit, $1.3 trillion sitting there as–in a deficit when Obama took over, after the previous Democratic president had handed him a surplus. If you talk about–if Republicans want to run as this fiscally responsible party, it’s neat, but it’s novel. It’s not how they’ve actually governed.”

Maddow is correct on two counts. First, one of the things that we have already seen in 2010 is that when elections are localized such as the special election in PA to fill John Murtha’s seat, Democrats do well. When the choice is between the two candidates in any given race, the Democrats more than hold their own. This is why Republicans are desperate to make 2010 a national referendum on Obama. The GOP still hasn’t broken out of their Contract With America model for congressional electioneering. They are walking down a foolish path if they see victories like Scott Brown’s in a national context, when Brown won because he localized the race and took federal politics out of it.

The harsh reality is that the Republican Party is still in decline. The byproduct of forcing all the moderates and reasonable people out of their party is that they are left with an atrocious crop of candidates to run in 2010. The GOP has to nationalize this election, because they do not want the Rand Paul’s and Sharron Angle’s judged on their own merits.

The second point that Maddow nailed is this recasting of the GOP as the party of fiscal responsibility. The Republicans have not balanced a federal budget since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 and 1957. (The other two presidents who accomplished this in the modern era were Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton). The patron saint of talking tough on the budget while spending money like it is going out of style was Ronald Reagan. George W. Bush followed up by taking Republican fiscal debauchery to a whole new level.

The truth is that Republicans are selling voters a false choice and a bill of goods. History tells us that Republicans cannot and will not control their spending, so the idea that they are the party who can cut America’s debt is a sick sad joke, and Democratic candidates all across this country should not let a day go by without reminding voters of the Republicans long and inglorious history of spending money that the nation does not have. The GOP’s best hope is that voters are too angry to notice just how bad they are with our money.

26 Replies to “Rachel Maddow Hammers the Myth of the Fiscally Responsible GOP”

  1. And yet. they sell themselves as Deficit Hawks and that’s their excuse for letting people STARVE in this country!!!!

    VOTE THE REPUBLICANS OUT!

  2. The Publicans are counting on the short memories and fundamental ignorance of their duped base to put them back in power.

  3. I’ve noticed the dissonance between what they say and what they do since 1981.
    After all that’s happened since then, there is no excuse for any of us to
    profess ignorance.

  4. When he’s not pandering in order to get elected, Harold Ford
    continues to show why he’s no good for the Democratic Party. Ford,
    as a now bought and paid for whore for Wall Street, actually
    advocates continuing the primary method for the greatest wealth
    disparity this country has seen since the 1800s. The Bush policies
    are the absolute cause of this economy, and the greed of corporate
    America with its outsourcing and bailed-out banks that refuse to
    lend, along with the intransigent Republicans are trying to grind
    this economy to a halt. The Obama Administration is shaping itself
    up to be the quintessential political case study of the failure of
    capitulation through compromise. They, and the Democratic
    leadership, continue to make concessions to Republicans in return
    for votes that never come, and the result is milquetoast
    legislation that makes the base feel betrayed. As bad as this is,
    how the hell anyone really paying attention can see the GOP as
    solution is beyond me.

  5. That should read: “The Obama Administration is shaping itself up to
    be the quintessential political case study of the failure — of
    capitulation through compromise”.

  6. OMG leave the Republicans’ alone you communist democrats, after
    your BS Communist Muslin obama you’ll never be on power again, give
    the country a brake.

  7. We will immediately put this country on a “brake” from the fabric
    band of “muslins (sic)” to save the wonderful “Republicans’ (sic)”
    from being “on (sic)” power again! Are you happy now? Please,
    please tell us that you will learn to read and write before you
    vote next. Please.

  8. The republicans are playing a very dangerous game. Jason is right
    they are in decline with the additions of wild people into the
    fringe of their party. However its dangerous becuase their intense
    public relations attack using the wrong way media and Rush can be
    devastating. Or if countered right can be devastating to the
    republicans. Making Obama out to be an example of being bad bad
    wont work either and they know it. At midterms the Dems had better
    have their responses ready

  9. “BS Communist Muslin obama ” God that’s so funny to see! There is
    no doubt that the conservatives are followed by the illiterate.

  10. Sarah, He will not learn to read and write before the next
    election. He wants to remain ignorant and willfully stupid. These
    are the exact people Republicans target. Republicans get the votes
    from the uber wealthy and the stupid.

  11. Arias, Sarah, and Shiva: I don’t blame you, because it can be tough
    to spot sarcasm on the internet sometimes, but this guy is joking.
    He is what is known on the internet as a “troll”.

  12. The hypocrisy of the suave and panderer of Obama is at its high,
    rationalizing about the deficit, the deficit is not inherit it is
    the lack of Administration skills of Obama, a person who bend the
    laws to his favor and incite to racial profiling, discrimination
    and prejudice. He lie about the savings of the Obamacare and now
    they are trying to fix the bill,He lie about cutting the Budget and
    he is on an spending spree,He talks about misdirection and he is
    dividing the country,He talks about anti-terrorism and has business
    with terrorist countries, He talk about social and civil rights and
    protect the Black Panthers and the Illegals.He talk about not
    increases taxes and does not say anything about the hidden taxes,
    He talks about the environment and pollute the air with his
    campaign travels.ec.,

  13. Jason thanks so much for this post. I’m so frustrated with the GOP
    acting like their fiscally responsible when they are far from it.
    The GOP is the best “Con” job yet! This whole idea about the tax
    cuts to the wealthy is definitely a con job. Where are the jobs
    that they were suppose to bring? Reagonomics was a joke! The GOP is
    so great at deceiving the public.

  14. Jason thanks so much for this post. I’m so frustrated with the GOP
    acting like their fiscally responsible when they are far from it.
    The GOP is the best “Con” job yet! This whole idea about the tax
    cuts to the wealthy is definitely a con job. Where are the jobs
    that they were suppose to bring? The GOP is so great at deceiving
    the public.

  15. WOW where to begin? First, the deficit was inherited from Bush. You
    will be amazed on how good you can make a budget look when you
    leave stuff off of it like two wars. The cost of the two wars and
    just the wars not including the cost of defense contractors and
    payments to different people like tribal leaders for the help is
    $1,016,591,585,037. Please give an example and cite references of
    Obama bending the rules.”…incite to racial profiling,
    discrimination and prejudice”. You will need to explain this, as it
    makes no sense. From the CBO final report on Healthcare “CBO and
    JCT estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation—H.R. 3590 and
    the reconciliation proposal—would produce a net reduction in
    federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010–2019”. Every
    military leader still active in the military says that Obama’s
    handling of the terrorists are far better than W’s. Please cite the
    countries and dealings that Obama had with terrorist. I am going to
    dissect this in the quote itself, as it will be more convenient for
    me. “He talk about social and civil rights and protect the Black
    Panthers (I think you mean protects and NO he did not Bush’s AG
    dropped the charges not Obama’s) and the Illegals (NO he said that
    we must find a way to help them become citizens but they must also
    pay for their transgressions). He talk about not increases taxes
    (And if you did in fact pay taxes this year you paid the least of
    amount of taxes since 1954.) and does not say anything about the
    hidden taxes (where are these hidden taxes you speak of?), He talks
    about the environment and pollute the air with his campaign travels
    (much like you pollute the air by breathing).ec.(no clue what this
    means)”. Double JACKASS on you !!

  16. The harsh reality is that the Republican Party is still in decline.
    The byproduct of forcing all the moderates and reasonable people
    out of their party is that they are left with an atrocious crop of
    candidates to run in 2010. The GOP has to nationalize this
    election, because they do not want the Rand Paul’s and Sharron
    Angle’s judged on their own merits. cheap coach handbags;Got some
    discount p90x dvd,enjoy yourself shopping here.

  17. Oldsun you ask for a lot of information and citations yet you did
    not provide them either. “Every military leader still active in the
    military says that Obama’s handling of the terrorists are far
    better than W’s.” C’mon really??? “He talk about not increases
    taxes(And if you did in fact pay taxes this year you paid the least
    of amount of taxes since 1954” Where did you get that piece of
    misinformation? And you are either a liar or badly mistaken about
    the DOJ, it was under the Obama administration that the charges
    were dropped. Here’s a link to the NY times article: I could go on
    but I believe it’s pointless anyway.

  18. I guess links do not post, so you’ll have to look it up yourself.
    The article was written by Charlie Savage and is in the July 6,
    2010 edition.

  19. “Federal, state and local income taxes consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.Tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950 USA Today May 10 2010”. Read the entire article dropout The Cheney Fallacy
    Why Barack Obama is waging a more effective war on terror than George W. Bush.
    Jack Goldsmith Jack Goldsmithview bioThe New Vulnerability The Accountable Presidency The Cheney Fallacy May 18, 2009 it is five pages long and has quotations from Military officals. That it dropout you have no facts and I am done with you dropout nice try but a epic fail altogther.

  20. Anyone who owns a biz and does a payroll-not artist, actors, musicians see the big picture have some understanding of the script. You guys offer sound bites and are easy to debate-but resort to hysterics when pointed questions are asked.

    Rachel and Keith never have an opposing voice on their shows -they are hacks

    You lefties truly stuck in an egoic mindset where you must believe that the other side is so vehement (because u cannot face yourselves and look causally at the facts)
    I would happy to be wrong, and it want bother me–but it bother liberals

    Simple facts-country fared well until Dem congress just like what happened with Reagan. Obama inherited something much easier than Reagan did. Reagan also had a cold war debt and some obstacles that made him after increase taxes but was in the form of loopholes being closed

    Whever the gov;t takes and invest money in goes into the great abyss. U libs are not hallucinating and saying the the gov’t are experts and managing money are you?

    I much rather not tax 250k and above because I want the rich and their wall st friends to reinvest that money. If the govt taxes them we will never see that money because the govt sucks at investing. Don’t u get libs?? U don’t let the govt near your finances. So what are protecting here/ Are you promoting access to more govt with managing our mutual funds. This is what got us into the mess. Gov’t land scam

    Little-known fact: Obama’s failed stimulus program cost more than the Iraq war

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Little-known-fact-Obamas-failed-stimulus-program-cost-more-than-the-Iraq-war-101302919.html#ixzz0z5jpKReO
    ———————————–
    I’m only going to go over this one more time. After that I’ll just assume you are incapable of accepting truth and would rather wallow in the liberal pig pen. As Allen Greenspan testified under oath, the economic collapse is the result of the government forcing banks to give NINJA loans (no income, no job, applicant) to minorities and illegals in the name of “fairness”. This was called the “Community Reinvestment Act” Started by Jimmy Carter and put on steroids by Bill Clinton. FANNIE and FREDDIE then granted these loans back with taxpayer dollars and IAG insured those properties. All the while Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Maxine Waters told congress ” Everything’s fine here, move along, nothing to look at.” The FOO’s (friends of Obama) running FANNIE and FEDDIE Scammed hundreds of millions in bonuses until it collapsed. This economy is solely and squarely on the Democrats they caused it, they own it. End of story.========I wish to testify that this statement is 100% CORRECT.
    ——————————–
    Had they just let the banks fail smart money would have moved in and picked up the depreciated and properly valuated assets and hiring would be well on it’s way by now. But no, we had to what Japan did, they lots a decade, actually 2 decades and are in no better shape today.

    Until the toxic waste out there is allowed to fall to their proper prices we’re going to languish on like this for years. You don’t fix an economy by trying to stop an over inflated market from correcting. The FED fears deflation because unlike inflation they don’t know how to tax it.

    You Dems don’t tell the whole story with your statistics. Bush inherited a recession that began in March of 2001 and lasted into 2002. He also had to deal with 9/11 and the response to it. From 2003- to late 2007, the economy did quite nicely under Bush. Unemployment was near historic lows and we had the longest period of sustained GNP growth in US history. The stats you describe basically came true during the final quarter of Bush’s presidency after the near financial collapse in September of 2008. Since Obama has been president, unemployment has been worse than at ANY time during GWB presidency. It has only gone up. Ever since the democrats took control of the house in 2006, our national debt and deficit have grown dramatically. Blaming Bush is not working anymore!

  21. It was clearly not all asa result of ninja but also hedge funds.

    But most of these banks were not community banks -they were insurance banks they should have been left to fail. GOP only prevented ass backwards fiscal policy decisions-like everyone that Obama has because it guarantees some risk of harm versus benefit, All of Obama’s inside experts are beginning to separate from him.
    Wanting to have another stimulus and looking to let the Bush tax cuts run out are crazy. What we need is money being spent. How about relaxing withheld percentages so more workers can keep more of their check. How about just sending Obama on vacation for the next 2 years
    I Bush gave us a ditch Obama gave us the M. Trench

  22. You guys voted for change, and “change” is all I have left in my pocket! The only disillusioned people in the country are the liberals – everyone else is just disappointed – and you can see it in the house results. Unfortunately, not enough of the far left liberals were voted out because their constituent base is much too strong…and the moderate democrats, (blue dogs), were made to suffer. The only way we are going to get anything done in this country over the next two years of Obamanomics and after he is shit-canned in 2012, is to elect more moderates on both sides who are willing to compromise only for their constituents wishes and not their own ideology! (Barney Frank and Tom Coburn – yeah…talking about you!)

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