Monday, March 2, 2009

France scares me

Well, not me, but apparently Republican operative Mike Murphy thinks we all are. In his appearance yesterday on Meet The Press, he invoked France four times (by my count) as the economic model toward which we're heading under the Obama economic plan.

If we need any better example of how tired the rhetoric of the Republican party is right now, this is it. I understood, but thought ridiculous, the anger toward the French in the wake of our rush to attack Iraq. Their reluctance at that time to join our quest wasn't exactly unique, but they seemed to receive the bulk of the enmity. In retrospect, of course, the French seem to have been the prudent ones.

The Republicans cranked up the France business again during the 2004 presidential campaign, accusing John Kerry of (gasp!) speaking French. How effective that particular idea was I don't know, but it hardly seems all that significant now.

Yet Murphy raises the specter of France as the horror which must be avoided, and I don't get it at all. France may have a higher level of government spending than we do, but so do lots of countries. They're hurting in the current global financial troubles, but many countries are doing worse. If Murphy wants to terrify us into rejecting the president's initiatives, he should warn that we'll become Iceland or Zimbabwe, not France.

And this guy is still an important voice in the Republican party...I don't get it.

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