I can imagine the GOP's think tanks, and yes they do pay their think tank very well, went into action during the Clinton years to determine how to a) get rid of Democrats from office & b) how to get rid of all the social programs they think cause taxation to be so high in the US.
First thing they did is blow the Lewinsky thing way out of proportion to what it was. For Americans living abroad this caused nothing but shame and humiliation and given that Gingrich was leading the pack, highlights the hypocrisy. This was to tip the election in favor of the GOP to win. The economy was doing fine, there was a surplus in the budget, there was every likelihood the Democrats would've carried the 2000 election.
When they finally called the election for W, the first thing he did was drop taxation rates and looked at calling for war with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan & North Korea, the so called "axis of evil".
When 9/11 occurred, this made it easy to enter war with Afghanistan and then lying to the world about Iraq to start the war there. Both these wars were put on the credit card.
My guess, is the GOP think tank estimated it would take two wars put on the US credit card, the deregulation of the banks, dropping the income of the govt all designed to crash the US economy. Hence W flushed another 700Billion down the drain by simply handing the first bailout over to Wall Street.
This was the first part of the GOP plan enacted. They knew it was unlikely they would carry the 2008 election and knew whoever would win for the Democrats, they'd make him/her a one term president, by making the economy suck so hard. The Koch Bros financed the Teaparty movement knowing the Democrats would go after changes to healthcare, with their mantras of growing govt and deficit.
Obama said he read the results of the 2010 election as people thinking the deficit was the biggest problem. I think he might have misread the public's response. Disappointment with Democrats not delivering strong healthcare reform, removing the patriot act, amongst other things.
This is exactly what i think the GOP had really been hoping for, Obama losing one of the houses, and hence the GOP were able to hold the govt to ransom over raising the income tax. This, of course, was to keep the recovery of the US economy slow. Interesting move on Obama's part was to offer the GOP all the welfare payments in exchange for increases in income taxes. The GOP refused this. Probably because they know many of the people who vote GOP depend on those welfare payments. I think they ultimately wanted to get rid of welfare payments, but they wanted the democrats to do it. And they could have done it when W was in the office but they didn't.
Between the results of the 2010 election and the behavior of the GOP in 2011, people had started to truly despair over govt. The GOP kept the national dialog moving from deficit to removing women's rights, to reducing welfare payments and back again. Meanwhile the rich got this huge bailout, get to keep their tax cuts while everyone else was losing their jobs and homes.
Then the endless debates of boring GOP gibberish, the endless distractions of Michelle Buchmann & Herman Cain.
Gloriously Occupy Wall Street happened and changed all that.
Occupy has stolen the GOPs domination of the national conversation. If it hadn't been for Occupy, it is very likely the GOP would have gotten their way and the democrats would lose the presidency in 2012, would go on to destroy all the social welfare system, destroy women's rights, unions and probably hold onto presidency for the next four presidential elections riding on the strength of 'the last time Democrats where in office, they destroyed the economy.'
Now I sense desperation about the GOP. Their rabidly going after women's rights has galvanized men into acting on women's behalf. Before it was GOP men telling women they had no right to decide what to do with their body. I can't remember the last time I heard the word "deficit" mentioned and all the GOP candidates in the primaries are proving themselves to be embarrassing losers as they scrabble for relevance.
Most people I know think the GOP couldn't manipulate their way out of a cardboard box let alone put a long term plan such as this to work, and perhaps I am in tinfoil cap land for suggesting they can. However, they do have excellent strategists, strategists the Democrats don't use. The GOP have successfully used tools such as repeating lies until people accept the lies as truth. Lies like:
- govt is always less efficient than private enterprise.
- Trickle down economics works.
- Government is necessarily bad and corporations are somehow good.
- Intellectuals are bad and ignorance is totally acceptable in a presidential candidate and the population as a whole.
- Taxing the rich is somehow a disincentive to becoming rich.
- That the government doesn't create jobs.
- The Founding Fathers were Christians, and
- Republic somehow means something more than not having a monarch as a Head of State.
Words take on new meanings,
- abortion is now the murder of innocent babies, instead of the termination of a pregnancy.
- Communism and socialism are so evil that no one really knows what they mean.