Republicans are still running on deficit reduction, but as the election nears, their governing agenda reveals something that close observers recognized all along: Deficit reduction was never the point.
The front-page headline on this story is “How Republicans Threw In The Towel On Deficit Reduction.” Only in the third or fourth graf do you get the fact that the GOP never had any allegiance to deficit reduction, and was only using it as cover for cutting spending they didn’t like. None of the GOP numbers on spending (much less taxes) have ever made any sense this cycle, but “Republican Lies on Deficit Reduction Become More Transparent” is not the kind of headline you’re going to see on a publication that wants to become mainstream, and that does much of its business covering Washington.
Which is sort of sad, if predictable. Insofar as enterprises like TPM grow, they need a continuing flow of stories, and if you’re covering politics that means a continuing practice of not calling bullsh*t on your sources too loudly.