Friday, November 9, 2012

Election lessons

I caught up with continuing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for an imaginary interview in the wake of Tuesday's devastating electoral results for his party.

Q: What's next now that your primary goal of denying President Obama a second term has been thwarted?

A: That goal was only a means to an end. What the American people did in this election was merely to choose a different means to that same end.

Q: What do you mean by that?

A: The results of the election clearly show that the American people want to rub President Obama's nose in the dirt. They "gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office." (actual quote) Hopefully the president will heed the message of the electorate and adopt the positions of the Republican party on the most pressing issues facing our country.

Q: So you don't see these results as any kind of repudiation of the Republican platform, or suggesting any change of direction for your members in Congress?

A: What are you talking about? Clearly the American people still support the Republican program. They just chose President Obama to implement it. They want to teach the Democrats a lesson.

Q: Never mind. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing the country?

A: Obviously the major problem we are facing is that the very wealthy do not have enough money. We must act quickly to preserve their privileged position, and improve it if possible.

Q: So you don't think the president won a mandate to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy?

A: Like I said, it seems clear to me that the voters decided to punish the president by forcing him to deal with Republicans in Congress. People could not possibly vote for President Obama because they agree with any of his ideas. The whole idea is absurd.

Q: What about the recent study by the Congressional Research Service finding that lowering tax rates for the wealthy actually has no effect on economic growth or job creation? 

A: Notice that Republicans in Congress made sure to take that report out of circulation, because we don't think people should be infected by economic analysis when they are making decisions regarding the economy.

Q: Well, what about the report of the Congressional Budget Office finding that of all the ways to deal with deficit reduction, probably the least harmful to the economy is to increase taxes for the wealthy?

A: If we are not going to allow our core values to be affected by election results, why would we reconsider our positions based on economic studies and analysis? Look, Governor Romney may have lost the election, but we can still be proud of the principles he stood for. One of his campaign's proudest statements was that they would not allow their positions to be dictated by fact-checkers.  The Republican Party will continue to stand proudly for our blind adherence to ideology notwithstanding popular opinion or truth. And if President Obama doesn't recognize the need to bend to our position, then he just doesn't understand the message of this election.

Q: So you don't interpret the election results as suggesting that Republicans need to compromise on a budget agreement?

A: I don't understand what you are talking about. The voters clearly told the Democrats they need to compromise. Why else would voters elect so many new Democrats to the Senate? They never told Republicans anything of the sort.  "I know some people out there think Tuesday’s results mean Republicans in Washington are now going to roll over and agree to Democrat demands that we hike tax rates before the end of the year. I’m here to tell them there is no truth to that notion whatsoever." (actual quote)

Q: Thank you for your time, Senator McConnell. Are there any other messages you'd like to send to the reality-based community?

A: We are not going to let silly notions like reality stand in the way of our commitment to principle.

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