Did you hear, all that talk about being fiscally conservative really is just a Cloward-Piven strategy in reverse.  Rather than overwhelming the system with debt, entitlements, welfare by another name, and dependence upon government, conservatives are seeking to underwhelm the system.

With a usual flair for the dramatic, Steve Benen sums it ups, None Dare Call It Sabotage (my annotations in italics):

Consider a thought experiment. Imagine you actively disliked the United States, and wanted to deliberately undermine its economy. What kind of positions would you take to do the most damage?  [Let me guess … still thinking … I’ve got it … Tea Party!] ….

Matt Yglesias had an item the other day that went largely unnoticed, but which I found pretty important.

… Which is just to say that specifically the White House needs to be prepared not just for rough political tactics from the opposition (what else is new?) but for a true worst case scenario of deliberate economic sabotage.  [Don’t look here, or here, or here, or here, or here, just take his word for it.]

Budget expert Stan Collender has predicted that Republicans perceive “economic hardship as the path to election glory.” [Hello-o, Stan Collender is the same person responsible for the Worst. Prediction. Ever., that Barack Obama would by now be called “The Deficit Slayer.”]

Paul Krugman noted in his column yesterday that Republicans “want the economy to stay weak as long as there’s a Democrat in the White House.”  [Central Falls! Central Falls! Attica! Attica!]

As best as I can tell, none of this analysis — all from prominent observers — generated significant pushback. The notion of GOP officials deliberately damaging the economy didn’t, for example, spark widespread outrage or calls for apologies from Matt or anyone else.  [Oh, please.  The lack of “push back” is not evidence that you are correct, there are only so many flies we can swat in a day.  I bet you think this annotation is about you, don’t you, don’t you?]

And that, in and of itself, strikes me as remarkable. We’re talking about a major political party, which will control much of Congress next year, possibly undermining the strength of the country — on purpose, in public, without apology or shame — for no other reason than to give themselves a campaign advantage in 2012.  [Psst, do you really want to go there? … The War Is Lost, The Surge Has Failed, Bush Lied Us Into War, Bush stole the election, Bush knew about 9/11 beforehand, blah, blah, blah.]

Maybe now would be a good time to pause and ask a straightforward question: are Americans O.K. with this? [The Revolt of The Kulaks Has Begun.]

The Boehner/McConnell GOP appears willing to gamble: if they can hold the country back, voters will just blame the president in the end. And that’s quite possibly a safe assumption.  [Your “holding back” is our “Stop the Bleeding.”]

If that’s the case, though, then it’s time for a very public, albeit uncomfortable, conversation. If a major, powerful political party is making a conscious decision about sabotage, the political world should probably take the time to consider whether this is acceptable, whether it meets the bare minimum standards for patriotism, and whether it’s a healthy development in our system of government. [“Dissent is patriotic!” is so 2006.]

I have an idea.  It worked really well before.  Remember, use your toughest people for this.

You’ll need them.

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