The Politics Of Doing Nothing

Republicans have started to coalesce into their usual group think.  Their latest shared machination seems to be the determination that President Obama  is using the current climate to grow government in some Machiavellian master plan, thereby turning the U.S. into a socialistic state.

First, I would suggest that a recent U.S. President used the prevailing environment to pursue his agenda.   George W. Bush exploited the deaths of 3,000+ Americans on September 11th to drive policy  (with the help of a lockstep group of Republicans and an utterly gutless group of complicit Democrats) toward the ideological goals his administration established before the tragic event and then blanketed himself with the national security rationale to deflect any criticism or even scrutiny afterwards.

Second, the sudden concern by Republicans over deficits and debt rings hollow.  Did they express outrage when we were handing out tax cuts benefiting the wealthy, while funding a disastrous (and expensive) war in Iraq?   Moreover, the economic disaster we now face was caused largely by enacting policies that realized Republican economic ideals:  removing oversight and regulation and allowing businesses (in this case the banking industry) to police themselves.

The notion that government should do nothing in the current economic situation is absurd;  the consequences of inaction in the face of global warming are dire; the morality and economic impact of accepting the status quo relative to health care policy is disastrous.  Unfortunately Republicans prefer doing nothing rather than addressing these problems, pretending the negative impact of inaction is overstated.  That do nothing approach didn’t work out for the people in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and it won’t work out for the people of the United States  (and the world) for the pressing matters of today.

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