THE PLANK APRIL 16, 2009
On Tuesday, I linked to an item by The Hill's Eric Zimmermann reporting that back when the financial crisis hit, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) told his wife to take as much money as possible out of the bank. The title I gave the post, "GOP Economic Policy," was intended as a joke: Even a party as shrill and obstructive as the Republicans have become wouldn't really suggest something as idiotic as making a run on the banks, right?
Then, something funny happened: The story made its way across the blogosphere, the Democratic Party picked up on it, and CNN ran a piece soliciting a response from Brian Walsh, the communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. There were plenty of obvious things Walsh might have said: It was a humorous anecdote, it was a story intended to illustrate just how dire the economic situation had seemed at the time, etc. Instead, he said this:
The Democrats’ response highlights perfectly the competing views of the two parties when it comes to strengthening the economy.... In just the first three months of this year, Senate Democrats have voted for more spending than the previous Administration spent on Iraq, Afghanistan and Katrina recovery combined so it's little wonder Americans want to keep their hard earned money away from the grips of Washington.
So, I officially retract any attempt at levity associated with my earlier post. According to a party spokesman speaking on the record to a national news outlet, the GOP not only believes in starting bank runs, but considers this selfish, panicky, wildly destructive position a perfect illustration of "the competing views of the two parties."
From Walsh's remarks one might also infer that the GOP is sympathetic to criminal tax evasion, but then we already knew that.