Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

GOP – the party of ideas?

Posted by sanityinjection on June 4, 2009

When Republican leaders in the House and Senate speak out in opposition to the Obama Administration’s proposals, one of the frequent retorts is that it’s easy for the GOP to just become the party that says “No” to everything. In other words, if the GOP doesn’t like the Democrats’ proposals, it is not enough just to shoot them down – they should propose alternatives.

This is a reasonable criticism for any opposition party. The twist, though, is that the Republicans *do* present alternative ideas – but most people don’t realize it because the media is careful not to give them too much exposure.

Case in point: The Republicans told the Administration that their budget is too big and they should make more cuts. President Obama’s response was, “OK then, let’s hear *your* suggestions for what should be cut.” This puts the GOP on the spot. Instead of just being obstructive, now they had to think about cuts that could realistically be made in this political environment (with a Democrat-controlled Congress) if the President were to adopt their suggestions. So, for example, abolishing the Department of Education was not going to be on the list.

AP’s Andrew Taylor writes that the GOP did in fact rise to the challenge and identified 37 different programs that could be cut to save some $23 billion. You can read some of the details here. Of course, that amount alone is not going to solve our budget problems. The point, though, is that the Republicans offered constructive suggestions, which is what opposition parties are usually accused of failing to do.

In particular, House GOP Leader John Boehner and GOP Whip Eric Cantor have consistently proven to be the voices of reason in Washington over the past few months. And yet most Americans probably have never heard of either of them, thanks to media outlets that consider the President’s NBA Finals prediction more worthy of coverage than serious policy proposals.

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