Poor Bob Robb is reduced to defending the Tea Party to carry Mitt’s water

17 May 2012 09:54 am
Posted by: Donna

Per his Wednesday Republic column where he takes issue with scholars Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, who have a new book out blaming (duh) the Republicans for all the problems in the country now:

According to them, the Republican Party has become “an insurgent outlier in American politics.” It is “ideologically extreme” and “far from the mainstream.”

Mann and Ornstein’s own delusion about the center point of American politics is revealed by their description of the Democrats under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as being “a status-quo party.”

My opinion is that the delusion Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein might be laboring under is that of worshiping the “mainstream” and “center point” instead of just judging political and ideological positions on their merits, in which case “wow, most Republican ideas suck” would be sufficient to make all their arguments. Republican ideas still suck even when Democrats embrace them in whole or part, which makes it really easy to dismantle the rest of Robb’s column.

Like it or loathe it, Obamacare shook the healthcare status quo, a sixth of the U.S. economy, from rafters to basement.

“Obamacare” includes many of the ideas of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s plan – keeps private and employer-based insurance in place and has the individual mandate that lots of Republicans liked until they recently decided they didn’t like it. The aspects of the law that majorities of Americans like are the commie liberal socialist Democratic ones – Medicaid expansion, ban on recissions and pre-existing condition exclusions, ability to keep your kids on your health care until age 26, etc. Americans really liked the public option too, which had to be jettisoned from the plan because, you know, Republicans and conservative Democrats didn’t like it. At any rate, the Republicans offered their own health care plan in 2009 as an alternative to what the Dems were putting out. It sucked, by the way.

Back to Bob:

Astonishingly, Mann and Ornstein cite Republican opposition to the unprecedented spending and deficits under Obama as part of what makes the party far from the mainstream. “In the face of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression,” they intone, “the party’s leaders and their outside acolytes insisted on obeisance to a supply-side view of economic growth ….”

As a matter of economics, it is inaccurate to describe either enthusiasm for or skepticism about Keynesian stimulus spending as outside the mainstream. There are a large number of highly credentialed economists on either side.

As a matter of politics, describing opposition to Keynesian stimulus spending as outside the mainstream is palpable rubbish. When Obama’s stimulus was passed, a CNN poll showed a narrow majority approving, 54 percent. A year later, public sentiment had reversed and the stimulus was opposed by 56 percent of the electorate. Public opinion remains net negative today.

Why, it’s astonishing! Again, the problem isn’t that Republicans are “far from the mainstream”, it’s that they’re dishonest and wrong. There is nothing unprecedented about the spending and deficits under Obama since most of it preceded his administration. Bush tax cuts, Bush defense spending, Medicare Part D plan that was passed under Bush, and the economic downturn that happened as the result of 30 years of Reaganomics.


The part that Obama contributed to, the stimulus, which is a relatively small part of the overall deficit projection, was about 1/3 tax cuts. Tax cuts are a sucky form of stimulus, compared to more direct forms of spending. But those tax cuts were put in there to be “bipartisan”, in a futile attempt by the Democrats to attract some Republican votes. Shockingly, a sparse stimulus loaded with sucky Republican tax cuts didn’t perform as well as a better one, full of luscious socialistic gobs of government spending, would have.

Bob Robb is having none of this, though, as he plows ahead with his obligatory defense of the Tea Party on behalf of Mitt.

In the 2010 election, Republicans were transparent about intentions. They didn’t say they were going to work with Obama to solve the country’s problems. They said they were going to put an end to his big-spending ways and his big-government proposals.

What they actually did after they took over Congress was to go straight up into the uteri of American women. And they’re not exactly the brightest bulbs in the box to begin with.

Back to Bob Robb and his money Mitt quote:

Mitt Romney has given some specifics on what he would do to lower the trajectory of entitlement spending. Obama has not.

Erm, okay. Romney’s “tax cuts and magic asterisks” plan blows a ginormous hole in the deficit. But it does starve the worthless paupers. Which is where Bob Robb, Mitt Romney, and the Tea Party agree.


  1. Comment by Timmys Cat on May 18, 2012 9:47 am

    Yee-haw Robb Fog!

    Astonishingly, Mann and Ornstein cite Republican opposition to the unprecedented spending and deficits under Obama as part of what makes the party far from the mainstream.

    In the 2010 election, Republicans were transparent about intentions.

    Hee, only a true GOP shill could have either the lack of irony or lack of gag reflex to use uprecdented, transparent and Republican in the same article. Robbieboobie, either the first two don’t mean what you think they mean or you’re being a shifty little rascal.
    Me thinks you know full good and well what was unprecedented was the increase in the deficit under the last BUSH BUDGET.
    You also know good and well Obama inherited the Republican created mess of massive deficit which has carried over under his presidency.
    I do applaud your providing proof these authors points are correct. Good on you!

    I propose a name for RobbieBobs favorite tactic.


  2. Comment by Timmys Cat on May 18, 2012 1:23 pm

    Not quite sure, but seems familiar.

  3. Comment by Mike Slater on May 18, 2012 3:03 pm

    Keynesian economic policies never work. Didn’t work in the Great Depression and they don’t work now.

    Treasury Secretary under FDR Henry Morgenthau Jr. spoke about the spending of the FDR administration.

    “We are spending more money than we ever spent before and it does not work. I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started and an enormous debt to boot.”

    Can’t wait for the Supreme Court to rule Obamacare is unconstitutional and Arizona’s Sb1070 is constitutional. That should you libs crazy.

  4. Comment by Mike Slater on May 18, 2012 3:09 pm

    If I want to read what economists have to say it will be Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.

  5. Comment by Appleblossom on May 18, 2012 6:00 pm

    Morgenthau is the guy responsible for the Roosevelt Recession because FDR was dumb enough to listen to him.

    And I once mentioned this before:

    What ended the Great Depression?


    What did WWII have?


  6. Comment by desertflower on May 18, 2012 6:37 pm

    @Mike Slater…the truth will hurt, but man up!


  7. Comment by Timmys Cat on May 18, 2012 7:07 pm

    Ummm, does that mean the Goopers are going to start claiming they are trying to avoid WWIII by cutting spending?

    Facts and reality are rather confusing to them you know.

  8. Comment by Mike Slater on May 19, 2012 1:43 pm

    desertflower, if I want information it won’t be from think progress.

  9. Comment by Alan Scott on May 21, 2012 5:23 pm

    Mike is right. Keynesian spending failed
    under FDR and now again under Obama . And just as in the 1930s the idiotic micromanaging of the economy has failed. FDR’s New Dealers tried Socialist regulations, like telling farmers they could only plant so many acres of wheat. Or what price to charge for a gallon of milk .

    It was not so much massive government spending in WW2 that ended the depression as it was the rest of the industrial World destroying itself and creating demand for American products .

    If we could only get the rest of the world to destroy their farms and factories like in WW2, we could again enjoy a 30 year boom .

  10. Comment by Appleblossom on May 25, 2012 7:21 pm

    Um…no, at the time there was no world wide demand for American products when WWII hit.

    And the pent up demand that you speak of afterwards was over around 1960. Even the most war torn of the European/Japanese areas could and did rebuild within 15 years.

    Especially with that vast government expenditure of the Marshall Plan.

  11. Comment by Alan Scott on May 26, 2012 12:40 pm


    Doncha think that in 1939 everybody who could was buying American oil, steel, explosives, uhhh food . Doncha think that in 1946 we were supplying Europe and Japan with food and fuel . Of course they had no money to pay for it.

  12. Comment by Appleblossom on June 1, 2012 11:28 am

    No. In fact the 1930s Neutrality Acts actually prohibited sales of arms to other countries acting in a belligerent manner.

    Were we supplying items after the war? Yes. Because again, of government spending in the vast government expenditure of the Marshall Plan.

    Despite all your hoping and wishing it be true-Keynesian economics was right time and again (including in the prediction of the utter disaster that would occur in Germany with the imposition of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.)

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