Last week was not a good one for GOP sound bites. The leading candidates made a couple of statements that, if interpreted a certain way, could lead one to wonder if the party is careening off an ideological cliff.
First, during the GOP debate, every single candidate said that they would walk away from a deficit deal that had $10 in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases. That is absolutely crazy. Anyone who would actually veto that deal has no business running for president. It's extremely unlikely that they would get a deal that was even that good. Do they think Democrats are just going to disappear? Do they not realize that those ten dollars in uncut spending will mean higher taxes later on? Would they really turn down a chance to substantially reform entitlements and move closer to long-term fiscal health in exchange for, say, ending the Bush tax cuts?
Like the author of the above article, I think that the mainstream candidates in the debate were most likely lying, and simply pandering to the hard-liners in the GOP base. Their statements are thus mostly an indictment of a primary system that is dominated by the radical wing of each party and forces candidates to throw red meat to their base, whether they truly believe what they are saying or not.
Secondly, Mitt Romney proclaimed at the Iowa State Fair that "corporations are people." Again, there are two ways of interpreting this. It could mean simply that corporations are made up of people, and as Romney said, all the money that goes to corporations eventually goes to people. It could, however, also mean that corporations deserve the same constitutional rights as people, an interpretation which the DNC is already using to attack Romney. This is a policy position that was unfortunately legitimized by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case--in my opinion, one of the most destructive decisions in recent history.
As I stated in my first post, businesses are more akin to governments than to individuals; they are collective organizations which increase overall wealth, security, and efficiency but must be carefully monitored and limited lest they usurp the power of the people. The Citizens United case gives corporations (and unions) undue power over the political process, and Republicans who actually believe that "corporations are people" risk being labeled as protecting corporate fat cats at the expense of ordinary people.