In response to the president’s taunt the other night that GOP critics of his budget haven’t bothered to offer their own, the House GOP today made a big show of, well, confirming his point, for the time being at least.
Yes, they claim they released an “alternative budget” today, but the “Republican Road to Recovery” document is in actual fact a 16-page compilation of talking points, attacks on Obama, “goals,” and very sketchy proposals, with virtually no numbers and certainly no rigorous presentation of spending and revenue levels over time. And by “sketchy” proposals, I don’t just mean sparse, but also discredited, such as the endlessly repeated GOP “idea” of going back to the 1950s by forcing Americans into individually purchased health insurance policies and medical services, and the suggestion that “reforming” programs that help low-income Americans own homes is all that has to be done to fix the financial system.
The House GOP leadership, unsurprisingly, says it will have more details out “in a few days,” which makes you wonder why they killed so many trees with today’s document.
It appears Republicans just couldn’t bear letting Obama’s challenge stand until they had their act together, and had to do some quick posturing lest someone imagine they were just the “party of no.”
But at one prominent conservative website, there seems to be some deep resentment that Republicans didn’t respond a little more forcefully. Check out this interesting observation from Jeff Emanuel at Redstate:
There was a time in our country’s history where opponents who had a genuine beef with each other were not only unafraid to debate the issue (see Lincoln-Douglass), but were willing to actually do battle over it (see Sumner-Brooks). Heck, we’ve even had a sitting Vice President kill a former Treasury Secretary in a duel!
How fortunate it is for President Obama that he lives in an age in which the virtue of manhood as once understood and revered has been utterly depleted; an age in which we not only have nonviolent disagreements (which are largely — and sometimes unfortunately — governed by the rules of comity), but where out-and-out challenges like those he repeatedly made to McCain during the campaign, and like that he made to the House GOP last night (during what is, for all intents and purposes, simply an “extended campaign”), are treated as being a sign of all the toughness a Democratic president needs, even when they are nought but rhetorical devices he has no intention whatsoever of backing up with actual action.
Since–alas and alackaday–in this era of depleted manhood and runaway nonviolence and comity, there are no manly men left in the Republican Party willing to emulate Bully Brooks and Aaron Burr by literally bludgeoning or shooting their opponents, it seems they must bludgeon Democrats with talking points and return fire with “ideas” left over from the Bush administration and the McCain-Palin campaign.