Friday, December 13, 2013

Ben, it's because they DO think it's good policy.

Oh, and they DO think we're idiots.

Several days ago (by the time you're reading this) Ben Domenech went on a Twitter rant slamming GOP Leadership (especially Speaker Boehner) for "lying" to Conservatives.  That is, Ben's position is that the budget deal is good politics but bad policy, the leadership knows this (and agrees), and that the GOP reaction to Conservatives (who know that it's bad policy, and are dubious about the politics part) should have been to "tell the truth," and say, "Yes, we know it's bad policy, we're totally doing it for the politics.  Don't call us sell-outs and we won't call you idiots."

Let me, by way of rebuttal, provide a re-phrasing of Occam's Razor.  Put simply- the answer which assumes the fewest things not already in evidence is usually the correct one.  The let me suggest an answer- they do think we're idiots and they think this plan is good policy.

Now, let's judge them both against Occam's Razor.

Ben's answer assumes the following-

  • the deal is bad policy
  • the deal is good politically
  • the Republicans know both of the above
  • the Republicans are simply "lashing out" at Conservatives in response (pre-sponse?) to being called "sell-outs."

Of those, only one fact is actually in evidence- that the deal is bad policy.  Everything else is asserted but not proven.

My answer assumes the following-

  • the deal is bad policy
  • Republicans think it is good policy
  • Republicans think Conservatives are idiots.

All of my assertions have proof to back them up.  They are all in evidence.  The first is evident by the fact it increases both spending and taxes.  The second two are evident by the words that GOP Leadership are using.

So which is more likely?

It is no secret that a large number of Republicans in Washington both resent and fear the Conservative Grassroots.  Mitch McConnell uses harsher language against the Senate Conservatives Fund than he ever has against the President.  Ted Cruz has been pilloried as much by Republicans as by Democrats.  One miserable old troll in the Senate even called the TEA Parties "hobbits" (though- I'll take that one.  The Hobbits won in the end).

It is similarly no secret that the GOP Leadership loves them some spending.  None of them complained when Medicare D was passed.  They have never once asked for actual cuts to any government program.  Whenever Conservative Grassroots ask for something to be cut, they're among the first to tell us we're crazy, it can never happen, etc., etc.

Now, Occam's Razor only says that the answer which assumes the fewest facts not in evidence is the most likely answer- it doesn't make any guarantees.  So it's possible that Ben is right and I am wrong.  The fact is that it doesn't matter.  Leadership that detests- or even pretends to detest- its base is not "leadership" at all and should be replaced.

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