From Steve Benen: the Republicans’ “serious” offer, in one chart.

From Steve Benen: the Republicans’ “serious” offer, in one chart.

Confused about what exactly the GOP’s latest fiscal offer includes? Wondering whether it might not be some sort of conservative-Democratic proposal from Erskine Bowles, in spite of not being Simpson-Bowles, nor proposed by Bowles, nor endorsed by Bowles? Steve Benen has come to our aid:

Steve Benen-Chart of Republicans' fiscal offer
















That pretty much does it. The one thing I disagree with Steve on is his assertion that the hard Right is only pretending to dislike the offer. I think its feeling of betrayal at Boehner’s vague promise to close unspecified loopholes and use the revenue to reduce the deficit is sincere—absurd, but sincere. Conservative activists really believe that raising taxes is evil, full stop, and that any Republican proposal to do so, however nebulous or presumptively regressive, counts as a sellout. Or rather: while some top conservative strategists may be saying this strategically to gain leverage, if the rank-and-file takes the propaganda to be the real conservative position, it starts to become such.

Author: Andrew Sabl

I'm a political theorist and Visiting Professor (through 2017) in the Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale. My interests include the history of political thought, toleration, democratic theory, political ethics, problems of coordination and convention, the realist movement in political theory, and the thought of David Hume. My first book, Ruling Passions: Political Offices and Democratic Ethics (Princeton, 2002) covered many of these topics, with a special focus on the varieties of democratic politics and the disparate qualities of mind and character appropriate to those who practice each of them. My second book Hume's Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England was published in 2012; I am currently finishing a book on toleration, with the working title The Virtues of Hypocrisy, under contract with Harvard University Press. A Los Angeles native, I got my B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. Before coming to Yale I taught at Vanderbilt and at UCLA, where I was an Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor; and held visiting positions at Williams, Harvard, and Princeton. I am married to Miriam Laugesen, who teaches health policy and the politics of health care at the Mailman School of public health at Columbia, and we have a twelve-year-old son.

4 thoughts on “From Steve Benen: the Republicans’ “serious” offer, in one chart.”

  1. Andrew,

    Can we please stop referring to Norquist and his latter-day visigoths as conservative activists? These people are not conservatives: they are reactionaries trying to stuff us all back into some sort of nightmare version of Ozzie and Harriet.

    1. I’m a descriptivist. If the overwhelming majority of people who call themselves conservative activists agree with Norquist, that becomes the position that defines conservative activism. If that means that “conservative,” at least in the U.S., ceases to be a respectable label among reasonable people, then there’s no avoiding that. In fact there has been no avoiding that for some time.

      1. I think it would be reasonable to call them “self-styled” conservative activists. The vast majority of spokestwits from the Discovery Institute call themselves scientists, after all.

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