Greg Sargent notes that House Taliban lieutenant Rep. Patrick McHenry has finally given voice to the blatantly obvious motivation driving the GOP obstruction uber alles strategy:
McHenry’s description is buried in this new article from National Journal (sub. only):
“We will lose on legislation. But we will win the message war every day, and every week, until November 2010,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., an outspoken conservative who has participated on the GOP message teams. “Our goal is to bring down approval numbers for [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and for House Democrats. That will take repetition. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
McHenry’s spokesperson, Brock McCleary, tells me his boss is standing by the quote.
Of course McHenry is standing by the quote. The leaderless GOP insurgency has nothing left in its depleted arsenal except recycled guerrilla tactics, the ideological equivalent of roadside IEDs. They are literally betting the House on the efficacy of this strategy.
And, as D-Day notes, the asymmetrical campaign goes beyond mere electoral gain:
Over the long term, all [Congressional Republicans] are doing is chipping away at the notion that government can perform its core function, demonizing the activities of the Congress, evoking mistrust in elected officials, and poisoning the whole notion of federal spending. That’s their REAL project.
So here’s the picture that scares me: It’s September 2009, the unemployment rate has passed 9 percent, and despite the early round of stimulus spending it’s still headed up. Mr. Obama finally concedes that a bigger stimulus is needed.
But he can’t get his new plan through Congress because approval for his economic policies has plummeted, partly because his policies are seen to have failed, partly because job-creation policies are conflated in the public mind with deeply unpopular bank bailouts. And as a result, the recession rages on, unchecked.
Bottom line is this: The GOP is perfectly willing to sacrifice the economic solvency of the United States–of the entire fucking world–simply to gain a few seats in 2010–and, in the process, will do whatever it takes to guarantee the fulfilment of its by-now tired contention that public investment never, ever works.
Frank Schaeffer is absolutely correct:
[T]he Republican Party has become the party of obstruction at just the time when all Americans should be pulling together for the good of our country. Instead, Republicans are today’s fifth column sabotaging American renewal.
Sharpen the pitchforks.