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The Insiders
Posted at 01:19 PM ET, 05/01/2012

The real criticisms of the Republican Party

Ed's exasperation seems high today with some of the recent attacks on Republicans. All I can say, pal, is, “I feel your pain.” It isn't fun when you're losing.

Ed, savyy man that he is, uses an old debating trick: lump all the charges together, and pick on the most unfair one to distract from the rest. Let's go through Ed's list and see which of the charges against the Republicans might be fair.

First, Ed brushes off the Ornstein/Mann article — based on their new book — that Republicans are more responsible than Democrats for the excessive partisanship and gridlock in Congress. There are no more respected students of Congress than these two men; and one of them, Ornstein, has a long affiliation with the American Enterprise Institute, which has very close ties to the Republican Party. When they conclude that, in the brawl that is Washington these days, it is possible to identify the bullies, that is significant. It may not matter right away to voters, but could and should influence reporters towards greater context on their coverage.

Second, the charge Ed mentions that Romney would have “let Osama walk.” That is dumb and out-of-bounds: The fairer criticism is that Romney said finding Osama was not worth “moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just to catch one person.”

Third, Ed takes on Eugene Robinson's charge that Republicans are trying to restrict voting rights, like back in the Jim Crow days. One can argue with the analogy, but not with the facts: Republicans are waging a systematic and regrettably effective campaign to restrict access to the polls.

Fourth, is Mitt Romney a “basher” of immigrants, as Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Tex.) said? Well, Romney called the highly restrictive Arizona law on immigration a “model” for the nation, opposes the Dream Act and is desperate to repair his image with Latinos. Romney is in that bad place on immigration: stuck in the wrong position or he’s a serious hypocrite.

Finally, regarding Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget. What do you think happens when you don't raise taxes and increase the defense budget?  The rest of the budget, much of which goes to the social safety net, gets crushed.  That's the basic math of the Ryan budget.

One thing Ed and I agree on: Voters are not stupid. Give them time, and they will discover which criticisms are vaild.

By  |  01:19 PM ET, 05/01/2012

 
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