More evidence of the Republican refusal to deal with reality, once something conservatives prided themselves on:
YouGov asked: "Which of the following would you support as ways to reduce the nation's budget deficit?" They altered the rules of polling slightly, however, to deny respondents a "don't know" answer. Respondents had to answer something, either yes or no …
This bold maneuver is almost designed to force someone out of ideological abstractions. The Dems favored big cuts in defense and tax hikes for the wealthy as ways to cut the deficit. But they didn't want to touch Medicare or Medicaid much – which means much higher taxes for the wealthy and much bigger defense cuts. But at least they chose. Republicans couldn't:
Many fewer Republicans supported tax increases on the wealthy (27.1%) and cuts in military spending (15.5%). Yet when denied the "don't know" exit, Republicans were scarcely more accepting of cuts to Medicare or Social Security than Democrats, only 13.5% and 15% approving, respectively. A majority of Republicans, 53.3%, answered "none of the above"—no changes to taxes, defense, or entitlements.
And people wonder why our debt exploded under Reagan and George W Bush. And why it will explode once again if Romney becomes president. A party this irrational – a party hysterical about debt whose members do not actually want to cut spending or raise any taxes, a party a majority of whose members have somehow persuaded themselves that there were indeed WMDs in Iraq in 2003 – should not be a mainstream party in a Western democracy.
It should be in therapy.
(Photo: An elephant bull charges through trees in Tsavo west national park, some 350 kilometres southeast of Nairobi on February 10, 2011. By Otto Bakano/Getty.)