12 Questions Republicans Can’t Answer

August 4, 2008 at 9:16 pm

In honor of Thomas Frank’s new book, The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, here are 12 questions Republicans can’t answer.

I’d suggest using them sparingly. Perhaps between pigs-in-a-blanket at a cocktail party. Perhaps in response to the latest label someone tries to slap on Barack Obama (Muslim, Reverend Wright associate, snob, liberal, celebrity, transvestite).

Because these questions drive conservatives crazy.

  1. If Republicans are against big government, why do we have the biggest government ever under George W. Bush?
  2. If Republicans are fiscally responsible, why do they act like teenagers with a credit card running up our debt?
  3. What is the incentive for people who don’t believe in government to do a good job?
  4. If Republicans are the party of “personal responsibility,” why are they always blaming Democrats?
  5. How can a corporate-owned media be liberal?
  6. What does John McCain stand for?
  7. If the private sector is more efficient, how come we are paying more to outsource Iraq and Katrina (and getting less) then if the government had handled these jobs?
  8. If Republicans are against the “Hollywood class,” what about Arnold Schwartzenneger, Ronald Reagan, and Chuck Norris?
  9. Who are the liberal elites? And how is it that they manage to control everything?
  10. If welfare is bad, why is corporate welfare ok?
  11. If “trickle down” theory works, why is the middle class disappearing? Or, why is the gap between rich and poor greater than ever?
  12. If the corporation you worked for told you that they had a new retirement plan that would provide you with more freedom and choice, what would you think they were doing? (Then why would you believe our government?)

Why dedicate these questions to Frank’s new book? I heard an interview with him on NPR this afternoon and his book looks to be another blockbuster at least as good as What’s the Matter with Kansas?

His book discusses the irony and consequences of electing conservatives that don’t believe in government. Instead of encouraging fair competition and trying to make sure conditions exist so that markets can work, conservatives use this philosophy to destroy the government and sell it off piecemeal to the private sector.

I started to think, how is it that it is difficult for people to see the difference between what Republicans say and what they do in practice. And I started to think, perhaps we’re not asking the right questions.