The Republican pick-up line falls flat

Updated
All campaigns are attempts at seduction. There’s a reason why the first thing candidates ask for is your phone number and e-mail address. They want the chance to kick some game to you, and they want to do it often. And whether “you” are part of their base, a swing voter, or even a member of the Beltway media – politicians want to whisper sweet nothings into your ear all day long. Need an example? (Really?) Well, one we’ve been hearing a lot is that Republicans are fiscally responsible, because they want to lower the deficit. It’s urgent!!!!!, they tell us. There’s nothing that’s more important! And all those huge spending programs they warn America about? Health care reform, the stimulus, TARP? They’re all dragging the deficit down! (Oh, yeah, and tax cuts for the rich are free, somehow.) It’s been an effective pick-up line in the post-2008 presidential election era, when the so-called “tax and spend” Democrats are in power and Republicans and libertarians bitter about that election’s result have co-opted a moniker (and at times, wardrobe) from a “simpler time.” They seduced many, to be certain. But if more reports like this surface, and Republicans are exposed as more Dick Whitman than Don Draper, that pick-up line may get a chorus of “Sorry, I’m just here with my friends” from the American voters they’ve been trying to court:
Calculations by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and other independent fiscal experts show that the $1.1 trillion cost over the next 10 years of the Medicare prescription drug program, which the Republican-controlled Congress adopted in 2003, by itself would add more to the deficit than the combined costs of the bailout, the stimulus and the health care law.
You know…if stories like this keep coming out, the Republicans might just acquire a reputation. (Photo: TV Guide/AMC.)

The Republican pick-up line falls flat

Updated