“Freshman Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson, one of the most promising of the new wave of Tea Party-allied Republican legislators, was chosen to give the Republican radio address, delivered just after President Obama’s weekly radio offering, on Saturday, January 29. This was a notable assignment for a freshman because, for a party not occupying the White House, the weekly radio address (often billed as a “response”) is customarily seen as representing the views of the national opposition party as a whole.
Here is the core of Johnson’s message: “For the last 31 years, I have been running a plastics manufacturing plant in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. As a manufacturer, I have learned to identify and attack the root cause of a problem, not spend my time addressing mere symptoms. Huge deficits, slow economic activity, high unemployment, and woefully inadequate job creation are severe symptoms of the problem. They are not the root cause. The ever-expanding size, scope, and cost of government is. This is what we must address. This is what I hope the president has come to realize.”
Johnson is to be commended for his focus on the need to separate symptoms from causes. Unfortunately, his analysis of the chain of causation is at best incomplete, and of a kind that (if widely replicated) is capable of setting Republicans on the path to a political train wreck as massive as the one engineered by President Obama and the late, unlamented Pelosi-Reid Congress.” Read more.