First a long one, I am trying to tease out of Broder some sort of admission that 35 out of 40 Republicans in the Senate are too crazy to negotiate with:
Jim DeMint introduced an amendment yesterday to strip the stimulus of all spending and double down on tax cuts (i.e permanently get rid of estate tax, cut business tax by a lot, cut all tax brackets, etc.). I could have sworn this was the same guy that on Sunday morning was saying a "stimulus" bill had to temporary, but when it came to tax cuts he and much of his caucus appear to not believe what they have been saying in the last week.
DeMint's amendment got 34 or 35 Republican votes. So we have 34 or 35 Republicans who only want more of the same Bush policies (1005 tax cuts), with absolutely no middle ground, and in the face of massive data that 8 years of tax cuts helped ruin our economy (or at the very least didn't stem the ruination).
This leaves only 4 or 5 "reality based" Republicans that appear open to negotiation.
I don't blame their stance, as the majority of Republicans left in Congress come from really Republican districts in Republican states. It is literally against their best interests to negotiate one iota.
I know you love bipartisanship pretty much more than anything else, but please answer me how bipartisanship can work when one party has absolutely no interest in negotiating, is willing to be disingenuous (see DeMint's "temporary" to "permanent" flip-flop above, and sees no benefit to negotiation?
Next I am responding to this question/answer sequence:
Joe the Plumber/GOP Economics Expert:
What's your reaction to the GOP selecting as its intellectual leaders Rush Limbaugh and Joe the Plumber? Can you have meaningful dialogue in such circumstances?
David S. Broder:
I've heard Rus and Joe called many things. But "intellectual leaders"? You kiddin' me?
Joe and Rush:
I don't know, Republican congressional-types have been kissing Limbaugh's ring and they had Mr. the Plumber in for a policy lunch the other day. Those are data points.
Given that they still believe that tax cuts add revenue and have been solving our economic woes since 2001, I think Rush and Joe are as "intellectual" as leaders as Republicans in Congress are going to get.
I have been asking all the the politics chatters whether they think that executives who offshore profits to cheat the U.S. out of profits are tax cheats. Earlier in the week I was directly referring to Dick Cheney and his Halliburton tenure in my questions. I dialed it back and got the Broder to basically admit they are acting in a less than American fashion. This is good, now maybe I can bring it up on NPR's Talk of the Nation or something, or use it as fodder for other WaPo chatters.
With all this talk about people like Daschle and Geitner having to pay back taxes I would like your opinion. Do you think that companies that "move" their companies to a PO Box in the Cayman Islands solely to skimp on paying their U.S. taxes are tax cheats?
David S. Broder:
They may not be violating the law, as Daschle and Geithner apparently were, but they are taking advantage of a loophole and cheating on their obligation as an American company.
I love when these WaPo chatters have to state the obvious like their audience is a bunch of morons. If offshoring profits wasn't legal, why would I ask such a question? Didn't someone once say that the worst crimes were the legal ones?
As to the whole offshoring tax dodge, I think that there is currently a seething populist rage rippling through this country. Focusing on shaming these companies could not only be a positive outlet for this populism, but I think that if such outrage became a topic of conversation among the villagers, it could really cripple these companies ability to publicly fight against things like card check. A company trying to maintain their "patriotic" street cred wouldn't be able to take the lead against American workers.