DEPT. OF POTS AND KETTLES…. Oh, good, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has a new script.
Boehner sought to advance a new GOP argument, that Democrats can’t be trusted on financial reform because of their handling of other issues.
In a one-minute speech on the House floor, the top Republican said congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama lack credibility on financial reform because of what Boehner called failed promises about the economy, healthcare reform, and bringing down the deficit.
“We’re seeing a growing credibility gap here in Washington,” Boehner said. “Democrats are saying one thing and doing something else.”
Greg Sargent posted the entire transcript of Boehner’s new spiel.
I suspect there were some focus groups somewhere who found this pitch persuasive — otherwise, Boehner wouldn’t be saying it — but it strikes me as pretty weak tea.
For one thing, for Republicans to talk about a credibility gap is to lead with their chin. We’re talking about a party claims to care about fiscal responsibility, but added $5 trillion to the debt. They claim to be experts on national security, but they bungled two wars and saw 9/11 and other attacks happen on their watch. They claim to know how to use tax policy to grow the economy, but their economic policies produced ruin. They claim to have credible proposals on everything from health care to energy, but their plans quickly fall apart after minimal scrutiny. They claim to hate last year’s recovery package, but keep taking credit for stimulus projects they don’t believe should even exist. They claim to support reforms of how Wall Street operates, but they won’t even allow for a debate on the Senate floor, and seem to be trading obstructionism for campaign cash.
If Republicans really want Americans to consider which party is lacking in credibility, no serious analysis would work in the GOP’s favor.
For another, while Democrats are hardly above reproach, questioning their trustworthiness seems like an odd area for criticism. For better or worse, Dems have governed as they said they’d govern. They’ve fought for the ideas and proposals they said they’d fight for.
And despite inheriting multiple disasters from a failed Republican administration, things have gone pretty well. After 15 months as the governing party, Democrats have rescued the economy from a burgeoning catastrophe, prevented terrorist attacks, captured or killed a variety of terrorist leaders, withdrawn troops from Iraq, passed a breakthrough health-care reform plan, overhauled the student-loan system, struck a key nuclear deal with Russia, got the faltering U.S. auto industry back on track, got banks to pay us back for the TARP bailout, lifted the ban on stem-cell research, passed a national service bill, passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, passed new regulations of the credit card industry, passed new regulation of the tobacco industry, helped restore the nation’s stature and leadership role on the global stage, and are poised to finally bring some safeguards and accountability to Wall Street.
Why is it, exactly, that Boehner thinks Democrats have a “credibility” problem, as opposed to, say, his own party?