Josh Barro is not impressed with the current state of the Republican party. He calls them “crazy” and “awful”.
Josh Eidelson at Slate interviewed Josh Barro, a politics editor from Business Insider and a lifelong Republican who interned for Grover Norquist, on the state of the current GOP.
Barro explained that the Republican party is wrong to compare the government to running a business on a federal level, and that Republicans haven’t offered good solutions or ideas. In fact, Democrats were right about how fiscal austerity slowed the economy:
The federal government doesn’t spend a tremendous amount of its money on payroll. Nor is there really a meaningful concept that the federal government should be run like a business, because the federal government basically just moves money around. In the last few years, the key questions have been ones where Democrats have tended to be right: It was not appropriate to have significant fiscal austerity in the last few years – that has slowed down the economy. Especially in the last few decades, as you’ve had these really unequal returns to economic growth, the federal government needs to play an important role both in supporting low and middle incomes and then also providing a safety net. Because the economy is more fragile than we thought it was.
Barro also knows that some of the blame for the epistemic closure driving the party into madness is due to conservative media. Barro says you have to indulge the conservative bubble or you lose the audience. Of course, this is true of any audience, and it’s why mainstream press tries to hard not to offend the Right that they end up misleading the public. They can’t afford to alienate their audience.
Barro is not impressed with the temper tantrums and thinks Republicans shouldn’t be trusted with power (he’s right):
So the last few years at the federal level, Republicans have just not been offering good solutions to the problems that we face. And then we’ve seen over the last month that because they don’t like the things the other side is doing, they start temper tantrums and do things that are very damaging to the economy. And so I don’t know why I should look at that and say anything other than these people are crazy and awful and shouldn’t be trusted with power.
Barro called House Republicans out for being “dangerously incompetent” the day before they brought us to the brink of default. “Of course Speaker John Boehner couldn’t get the votes. The only stunning thing is that anyone still looks at House Republicans and says: ‘You know what would be great? Giving these people more power over public policy.'”
Barro is not alone, there are other sane Republicans who keep trying to warn the party to no avail. The problem is that no one wants to hear it.
The “liberal” media is not as likely to create this exact same problem in their readers, if only due to progressive pessimism and insistence on facts. But liberals should guard against it anyway. Let the GOP be a lesson — read both sides of an argument. Be willing to be wrong. And most importantly, face reality.
The tough thing is that liberals are at the opposite end of the spectrum from conservatives, so applying the “lesson” is not as simple as saying “if it’s good it must be a lie.”
In 2012, the polls were wrong and the mainstream media was pretending there was a horse race when there was not. We reported the truth about this, and were accused of saying what Democrats wanted to hear. Nope; it was just that our Editor understands how to read polls and the facts tend have a liberal bias right now. They certainly did during the campaign.
The 2012, the Obama team told the press what their polls showed, and they were accused of puffing things up like the Romney team was doing. Nope again; the Obama team was correct. The point is that liberals being told that everything is bad (that’s clickbait progressive style) is no more the truth than conservatives being told everything is fine (their version of clickbait).
Barro saying that Republicans shouldn’t be trusted with power is not a partisan statement, even if he does not identify as a conservative. It’s the truth. The longer Republicans avoid the truth and hide in their Bush bunker (their implosion became inevitable when they refused to take responsibility for the failures of their ideology as imposed under Bush), the longer they will be out of power.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.