Various pundits have accused the GOP of intentionally sabotaging the economy in order to diminish Obama's re-election chances. Brendan Nyhan sighs:
There's undeniably an element of partisanship in GOP opposition to Obama's economic policies, but that's how politics works. Democrats also reflexively opposed many of President Bush's proposals, including his initiatives for Iraq, but that doesn't mean they were sabotaging US foreign policy to ensure his defeat. Moreover, the increasingly routine nature of these accusations hinders open debate. In a democracy, it's crucial that political leaders can publicly oppose the executive branch without being accused of hurting the country. That principle is no less true today than it was during President Bush's time in office.
I don't doubt that the most hardcore Republican partisans long for this recession to continue indefinitely - or until the minute before they win back the presidency. But on one big issue, the GOP seems eager to prop up Keynesian demand by keeping the unaffordable Bush tax cuts in place for the remainder of Obama's first term. They have no serious plans for reducing spending either. This is, from my point of view, fiscally reckless in the medium and long-term - but it cannot be spun as trying to depress the economy next year.
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