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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 01:50 PM ET, 07/14/2011

GOP flirts with blame for `economic catastrophe’

If the GOP doesn’t agree to new revenues, and a compromise isn’t reached to raise the debt ceiling, and the country defaults as a result, will Republicans take the blame for the ensuing economic catastrophe?

There’s a growing consensus among pundits that they will (see Brooks, David), and it seems fair to interpret Mitch McConnell’s escape-hatch proposal as an acknowledgment that some in the GOP establishment recognize this as a very real possibility.

Now MoveOn is going up with radio ads hammering three House Republicans for flirting with “economic catastrophe” by failing to reach a compromise to hike the debt ceiling. The spots are an early taste of the types of ads Dems will run against Republicans if the GOP doesn’t agree to new revenues, and the compromise talks crash and burn as a result, taking the economy with it.

Here’s the script of the ad targetting Rep Sean Duffy of Wisconisn, sent over by a source:

Representative Sean Duffy must think Wisconsin voters are stupid. He’s toeing the Republican line, threatening to cause an economic catastrophe, all so the GOP can protect their multi-millionaire, hedge-fund managing, giant corporate friends.
But Wisconsin voters know the deficit CAN be fixed. Just start by rolling back the Bush tax breaks for the wealthiest, end irresponsible corporate tax breaks and loopholes…
And make millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share, just like the rest of us.
But Representative Duffy won’t budge. It seems like he’d rather see our families fail, our economy fail, and our entire country fail than simply stand up to the GOP’s greedy friends.
Well, we’re not stupid … and we’re not gonna let them force our country to fail.
Representative Duffy: Stop standing with millionaires and corporations while Wisconsin families suffer.

The ad — which will also target Reps Lou Barletta and Blake Farenthold, and could be expanded to include others — doesn’t mention the words “debt ceiling,” possibly because some polls show public hostility to raising it. That aside, the key to the ad is that it accuses Republicans of using the specter of economic disaster and national failure as leverage to protect tax loopholes and tax breaks for the rich.

It’s unclear whether the public is receptive to the idea that the GOP is deliberately threatening to sabotage the economy in order to defend the rich, but today’s Quinnipiac poll does suggest that voters are beginning to view the debt ceiling impasse on Dem terms. It finds that a plurality would blame the GOP more than Obama if it isn’t raised, and that a big majority thinks the eventual compromise should include tax hikes for the rich and corporations.

If Republicans don’t agree to some form of new revenues — or if they don’t figure out a way to get the McConnell proposal through the House — there’s a growing possibility that they will take the blame for cratering the economy. This ad is only the beginning of what Dems will throw at Republicans if the worst does end up happening.

UPDATE: You can listen to the ads right here.

By  |  01:50 PM ET, 07/14/2011

 
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