The Party Of No And Dunno

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 27 2015 @ 12:28pm

A reader writes:

I hope a lot of voters were watching CBS on Sunday night when 60 Minutes interviewed Boehner and McConnell to talk about their plans now that the GOP controls the House and Senate. Both men acknowledged that the economy has been recovering and that the recovery has been picking up steam. They also acknowledged that the recovery has mostly only benefited the top income-earners while leaving the majority of Americans stuck in neutral. Boehner and McConnell want to “do something” to address income inequality and make sure those on the bottom of the economy have the opportunity to move up. They basically accused Obama of only helping the top 1% (which seems a complete reversal of the stories we’ve been hearing from them the last six years, but I digress).

This all sounds good enough to me, since for so long, it seemed the GOP was unwilling to even acknowledge there was an issue with inequality. If they want to blame Obama, I don’t really care so long as they are willing to present solutions.

So, the interviewer then asked if they would support raising taxes on top income earners. Answer:

No. The interviewer asked if they would support raising the minimum wage. Answer: No. The interviewer asked if they would support Obama’s plan to provide free community college. Answer: No. The interviewer asked if they would support Obama’s plan to expand the Child Income Tax Credit for working families. Answer: Maybe (Boehner mumbles about wanting to help working families but says he needs to further study this idea).

Boehner then said that he thinks the solution to raising wages and a more full recovery is the removal of “regulations” coming from Obama’s administration. The only example of such onerous regulations he gave is Obamacare (which I don’t know I would call a regulation, but semantics). He ignores that the economy grew more in 2014 (the first year of Obamacare) than any year since 1999 – which I acknowledge doesn’t mean that Obamacare was the catalyst for growth, but it does seem to indicate that it’s not a “job killer”.

The interviewer then asked about roads and bridges: would the GOP Congress find a way to put forward a comprehensive infrastructure bill? Boehner and McConnell both acknowledged that the Highway Trust Fund is underfunded and that our crumbling roads and bridges need to be addressed. However, they stated that they will not adjust the gas tax and instead try to find the funds “in other ways”.

I know you love to bang the drum of the GOP having no real policies or proposals, so I thought this interview was one of the most stark examples of that – and would be understood by a large number of underinformed voters. Boehner and McConnell acknowledge that there are real problems that need to be addressed. They are excited because they finally have the power to put some bills on Obama’s desk. Yet all they can do – still! – is say No to any suggestion while presenting no ideas or policies of their own for how to address those acknowledged problems.

It’s astounding to me and, frankly, a complete dereliction of duty. I’m no partisan, but I can’t see how we won’t look back at this no-nothing party and shake our heads at how they we allowed them to gain any power at all.

Update from a reader:

I am sure you’re going to get a lot of email about the eggcorn from your reader:

I’m no partisan, but I can’t see how we won’t look back at this no-nothing party and shake our heads at how they we allowed them to gain any power at all.

“no-nothing”!

hyuk hyuk.