Thursday, May 28, 2015

Those Extreme Democrats

Peter Wehner claims

AMONG liberals, it’s almost universally assumed that of the two major parties, it’s the Republicans who have become more extreme over the years. That’s a self-flattering but false narrative.

This is not to say the Republican Party hasn’t become a more conservative party. It has. But in the last two decades the Democratic Party has moved substantially further to the left than the Republican Party has shifted to the right. On most major issues the Republican Party hasn’t moved very much from where it was during the Gingrich era in the mid-1990s.

Responding to the first paragraph, Tristero observes

Not a single elected Democrat has called for secession, as Rick Perry did. Not a single elected Democrat defied the Supreme Court to the extent of sending in the National Guard and provoking an insane confrontation with the local police, as Jeb Bush did during Schiavo. Not a single elected Democrat is so anti-reality and anti-science that they believe that if women are "legitimately raped," they will be protected from pregnancy as Todd Akin did.

Oh, sure there are leftwing extremists. Somewhere. But in the Democratic Party? Holding office or positions of power? Puhleeeze.

Additionally, as Bob Cesca points out in a slightly different context, though abortion still is legal

Republican legislatures across red-state America have passed laws that make it almost impossible to actually undergo the (again, totally legal) procedure. Fetal personhood laws, fetal heartbeat laws, waiting-period laws, trans-vaginal ultrasound laws — not to mention one law that made it illegal to operate a women’s health clinic outside of a 60-mile radius of a hospital — have all functioned as de facto abortion bans.

Then there is outspoken different-sex marriage advocate Mike Huckabee, anticipating a Supreme Court decision favorable to same-sex marriage, recently arguing

Judicial review is exactly what we have lived under; we have not lived under judicial supremacy. The Supreme Court can’t make a law; the legislature has to make it, the executive has to sign it and enforce it. The notion that the Supreme Court comes up with a ruling and that automatically subjects the two other branches to following it defies everything there is to equal branches of government.

So much for Marbury v. Madison, checks and balances, and judicial review for Huckabee and GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson, who as a statesman is an excellent surgeon. We await other Repub politicians, some of whom have decried President Obama as a tyrant, calling out Huckabee and Carlson for suggesting Congress can ignore the Court.

We don't, however, have to wait to determine the GOP position on income taxes, wherein cutting taxes for the wealthy is akin to godliness, or at least to sex  within traditional marriage for the purpose of procreation.  The GOP always has been rhetorically opposed to "tax and spend," unless it's Repub Presidents doing the spending- as they do more prolifically than Democratic Presidents (chart of public employment from Calculated Risk via Steven Greenhouse).

About the progressive income tax, they are clear, as we learned during the August, 2011 Repub presidential debate (video below) when co-moderator Brett Baier

phrased it this way: “I’m going to ask a question to everyone here on the stage. Say you had a deal, a real spending cuts deal, 10-to-1, as Byron said, spending cuts to tax increases…. Who on this stage would walk away from that deal? Can you raise your hand if you feel so strongly about not raising taxes, you’d walk away on the 10-to-1 deal?”

All eight candidates raised their hand. Literally all of them, if offered a debt-reduction deal that’s 10-to-1 in their favor, would simply refuse.

Now, that's bipartisanship.

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