The best response from the grownups that I have seen this morning comes from Steven Pearlstein at the Washington Post. This is how he characterizes the best the Republicans had to offer last night:
Republicans, it turns out, have no public investment strategy, just as they have no health-care strategy and no agreed-upon blueprint for reducing federal spending. What they have are poll-tested talking points, economic delusions and an overwhelming partisan instinct to say "no" to anything Barack Obama proposes. In their response to the president's State of the Union message, they remind us once again that they are not serious about economic policy and not ready to govern.The Republicans owned the Federal Government from 2001 until their idiocy got so clear that Democrats were brought back in the Run Congress in 2006 and Obama was brought in to replace the failed George Bush in 2008.
In framing his retooled economic and political strategy, the president emphasized using public money to leverage private investment and innovation, once a popular Republican theme.
In the short term, administration officials expect the bigger boost to the economy is likely to come not from jobs directly funded but from additional private investments spurred by increased confidence and a renewed sense of national purpose - "our Sputnik moment," as Obama called it.
Face it. What did the Republicans do for America? Two unnecessary wars, the destruction of the financial underpinning of the federal government after Clinton had set it on the way to fiscal surpluses, the destruction of the great city of New Orleans through mismanagement of the rescue and rebuild process after Katrina hit it and the greatest economic disaster since 1929 which was completely avoidable if the adults had been in charge in Washington and on Wall Street.
With the two wars still bleeding American taxpayers and killing American troops and the unemployment at close to 10% (a number that is carefully held down by conservative definitions) all the Republicans can offer as rebuttal to Obama's State of the Union speech last night was the sedate unrealistic ignorance expressed by Eric Cantor and the loud primal scream of frustration that Michelle Bachmann awkwardly displayed.
Why are the Republicans acting so idiotic in public when America is suffering so from the first decade of Republican mismanagement during the Bush administration? People with money (e.g. The Koch brothers, Howard Ahmanson, Jr. and Houston's Bob Perry. Then there is the Wall Street money, the insurance lobby money, the Military Industrial Complex money protecting its contracts, and many more.) are stirring up the American crazies and the Republican politicians need those crazies if they are to continue to hold their elected offices. Without those well-financed special interest groups, America could have a marginally sane opposition party. as it is we get Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Michelle Bachmann.
So last night as the serious adults tried to work out how America will deal with the most challenging period it has undergone since the Great Depression and WW II, the Republican Party responded by offering the rantings of self-centered ignorant children playing dress-up and keeping the adults from doing serious work.
The Republicans are not ready to govern, and they are doing everything they can do to stop the Democrats from governing, just as America needs its best minds working to determine how to deal with the disasters Republican government have left us with. Last night put it all on display.
Oh, and the media did not show that it has a serious purpose, either, as it catered to the crazy children running the Republican Party and released an advance copy of the SOTU speech early.
Addendum 1:25 PM
This, from Steve Benen comparing Michelle Bachmann's idiocy to the speech by the more polished Eric Cantor, is interesting. They spouted the same nonsense.
But here's the funny part: substantively, Bachmann's nonsense was roughly identical to the foolishness repeated by Paul Ryan in the official Republican SOTU response. Note Media Matters' fact-check of Ryan's speech and then check Media Matters' fact-check of Bachmann's speech. The similarities are striking -- with a few exceptions, they had the exact same message.So who is handing them their talking points? This message is obviously centrally controlled.
Really. Who is it that controls this idiocy? I have hinted at a few of the culprits above. With the Citizen's United decision from the corporate-owned U.S. Supreme Court, though, tracking that information down soon enough to make a difference politically is going to be almost impossible.