"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Midterms Rewarded Personal Irresponsibility”: The Moral Hazard Created By The Republican Midterm Victory

One of the hardiest of conservative memes over the last few decades has been about the moral hazard created by The Welfare State: Helping people who are poor or sick may have some social benefits, but they are far outweighed by the dangers of rewarding personal irresponsibility, you see. People–and sadly, their children–need to suffer visibly and painfully for their failure to achieve success in this, the greatest country in the history of the world, where anyone with some initiative and persistence can do well. Then they’ll shape up or perish, and others will be warned.

This has always been more than a little self-serving for those who thereby celebrate their own righteousness, while often confusing privilege and luck with virtue. But I do see their point a bit better today in thinking about the moral hazard created by the Republican midterm victory of 2014. Paul Krugman crystallized it perfectly:

the biggest secret of the Republican triumph surely lies in the discovery that obstructionism bordering on sabotage is a winning political strategy. From Day 1 of the Obama administration, Mr. McConnell and his colleagues have done everything they could to undermine effective policy, in particular blocking every effort to do the obvious thing — boost infrastructure spending — in a time of low interest rates and high unemployment.

This was, it turned out, bad for America but good for Republicans. Most voters don’t know much about policy details, nor do they understand the legislative process. So all they saw was that the man in the White House wasn’t delivering prosperity — and they punished his party.

You’d better believe that if Republicans are ever in the position Democrats were in when McConnell and company decided on this scorched-earth strategy, this lesson of 2014 will be remembered–because after all, personal irresponsibility was rewarded.


By: Ed Kilgore, Contributing Writer, Political Animal, The Washington Monthly, November 7, 2014

November 8, 2014 - Posted by | Midterm Elections, Personal Responsibility, Republicans | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. The bad guys are winning, but they have NOT won yet. Mitch McConnell’s and others’ strategy to limit Obama to one term didn’t work, but the non-stop obstruction has harmed the country to the point that the voters threw the bums out. Only the voters, through apathy, threw the wrong bums out and elected a new set of even worse bums, mostly wingnuts and whackjobs. The tragedy of this election is that when the nation awakes from its long, national nightmare, we will find ourselves stuck with those recently elected to the Senate for six long years. We are fortunate that the 2010 crop of TEA Party Republicans will face the voters again in 2016, a presidential election year where the Democratic base is more likely to vote.

    The current GOP policy of obstruction most closely resembles US actions in the Vietnam War where the US sometimes destroyed villages to save them. The GOP are destroying portions of the country and the lives of millions of Americans to save us, GOP style. And the people they purport to save us from are they themselves, not the fictional Obama rush to socialism.


    Comment by walthe310 | November 8, 2014 | Reply

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