QUOTE OF THE DAY…. Last night, Rachel Maddow did a segment on two of my favorite subjects: the success of the Obama administration’s rescue of the American automotive industry, and projections, from Goldman Sachs among others, showing the House GOP’s spending plan pushing the economy back towards a recession. (I especially liked the part of the segment in which she called me “wise.”)
I’m including the clip below, but pay particular attention to the comments from the Washington Post‘s Eugene Robinson, the mild-mannered columnist who was slightly more animated than usual when discussing these issues.
For those of you who can’t watch clips from your work computers, I’ve included a partial transcript after the jump, but just as a teaser, note that Robinson characterized the Republican plan as “economically insane,” adding, “To take two points off the top of economic growth at a time when we’re trying to struggle out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression is insanity. Any economist will tell you it’s insanity.”
He then proceeded to raise the specter of GOP economic sabotage, which one of his Washington Post colleagues probably won’t appreciate.
From the transcript:
MADDOW: Joining us now is Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for “The Washington Post” and an MSNBC contributor. Gene, it is great to see you, my wise friend.
ROBINSON: Rachel, great to be here.
MADDOW: Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly, who is wise himself, today said this report on the Republican budget should be the lead story in every news outlet in the country. Do you think this is a really big deal?
ROBINSON: I think it’s a huge deal for a couple of reasons, Rachel. Number one, it shows how economically insane the Republican — the House budget plan is, to take two points off the top of economic growth at a time when we’re trying to struggle out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression is insanity. Any economist will tell you it’s insanity.
And so, now we have Goldman Sachs, which cannot be accused of being some sort of front for international communism, or socialism or Kenyan anti-colonialism saying the same thing, that this is crazy.
Number two, you know, maybe this is the point of the House budget plan. Maybe the point of the plan is to depress economic growth to set up the Republican Party for 2012, so people will be angry with President Obama and maybe elect a Republican. So, I think this should be a huge deal.
MADDOW: Well, for all of — I mean, the admitted stupidity and distraction in our politics, there is a big salient empirical question at the heart of it, which is: should we try to help the economy by cutting spending a lot? Do you think we’ve actually been having an empirical discussion about that, a quantitative factual conversation about the answer to that question?
ROBINSON: Oh, no, not even close. It’s as if there are two dimensions. There’s a real world of people and events and facts, and then there’s — there’s a narrative world in which there is only storyline. […]
MADDOW: Am I right to suspect, in terms of the difference between fact world and narrative world, am I right to suspect that the fact that the G.M. bailout worked, that that fact will not impinge at all on Republican candidates denouncing it as one of Obama’s big mistakes for years to come?
ROBINSON: Not in the least — it will certainly not factor in the Republican narrative of what’s happened over the last 20 months. But in fact, it’s been, as you noted, a great success. G.M. is making a profit. Even Chrysler has Eminem in the ads now, and they’re kind of, you know, bumping up to respectability. I mean, you know, this was — think about it. Saved the auto industry in the United States, which is one of the great, kind of, industrial machines of the world, or certainly was once and perhaps could be again. That’s a great achievement. But I don’t think that’s a story that Republicans are going to tell.