Rep. Walsh Defends Gridlock: "Every One Of These Fights...Are Good For This Country"
Appearing on Fox Business last night, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) told Lou Dobbs that his party's commitment to ideology over legislative accomplishment has benefited the nation, and that "each and every one of these fights" has been "good for this country." Reflecting the frustration apparent in one GOP senator's comment that "The new definition of success around here is just keeping the lights on," Dobbs asked Walsh to consider how gridlock over relatively small levels of spending looks from outside the beltway:
DOBBS: There's an old expression that I was taught, 'Just don't let it get reduced to principle.' [...] If I'm one of the 25 million people in this country who doesn't have a job and I hear a congressman, a billionaire, I hear anyone say to me the solution is something that's gonna take two to three years to get done, I'm gonna be gut-sick. And I think we've got a higher responsibility to the country than that, all of us, as citizens, let alone you folks elected to office.
WALSH: Well we do, Lou, but understand, we're in a bind. The House Republicans are in a bit of a bind here because we were sent to Washington to really try to undo everything this president's done, which we believe has destroyed this economy. It's caused a bumpy road. But I think each and every one of these fights that we have — and the super-committee and the debt ceiling's gonna come up again, and there'll be appropriations fights — I take a contrarian view, I think these are good for this country. The country's paying attention. They want us to come together on something, but they want us to be fiscally disciplined.
In other words, Joe Walsh is proud that the GOP's stubborn union-busting trickery shut down the FAA for most of a month, putting tens of thousands of construction workers into a holding pattern. He's proud that his Tea Party Republicans took the full faith and credit of the United States hostage, causing Standard & Poor's to downgrade America's credit rating for the first time ever. He's proud that their current ideological fight over disaster relief funds has caused the rebuilding of Joplin, MO to grind to a halt.
Furthermore, the party spent the spring holding out-of-touch votes on defunding Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio, and passing a budget that won't actually pay down the debt but will replace Medicare with undervalued coupons and force current seniors to pay higher prescription drug costs. Walsh thinks that was good for the country too.
The economy disagrees. After posting strong monthly job gains in the first few months of the year, hiring in the private sector has weakened to the point that public-sector layoffs wiped out private gains in August. The failure of the GOP's promised "cut-and-grow" strategy is so apparent that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been forced to admit that his party has thus far neglected to focus on the "grow" part.