Posts Tagged 'republicans'

Don’t Blink

This Saturday morning, July 23rd, the Senate was originally scheduled to vote on Cut, Cap and Balance, the Republican plan to cut $111 billion out of this year’s deficit, trim $4 trillion over ten years, and present a balanced budget amendment to the states.  Instead, Harry Reid moved the vote up to Friday morning, calling it a waste of time and the worst piece of legislation to ever come to the Senate floor.  It failed to pass on strict partisan lines.

Senator Schumer called the bill “Cut, Cap and Kill” because he insisted that the bill would kill Medicare.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz declared in the House of Representatives that the bill would kill seniors and that it was the Paul Ryan plan on steroids.   The only problem is that in three different places Cut, Cap and Balance specifically exempted Medicare and Social Security from cuts and caps.  Had Republicans known, some of them might have been a little bit more up in arms about the bill.  It was actually a very good compromise.  It cut and cap wasteful spending on liberal social programs and government bureaucracy, not hot buttons like military, Social Security and Medicare.

Perhaps that is a more reasonable explanation of why Harry Reid went back on his promise to allow debate on Cut, Cap and Balance and instead moved the vote up.  Perhaps someone in the Senate actually read the bill and told Reid what was in it.  And then, as if scripted, suddenly news outlets started declaring a deal between Boehner and Obama that was so close Reid needed to get this bill off the floor and stop “wasting time” on it.  The only problem is there was no such deal.  Somebody was lying to provide the sense of urgency needed to cut off debate on Cut, Cap and Balance before it got out that Democrats were lying about it killing Medicare.

This has become the name of the game in budget talks.  Neither side is willing to give in because both sides know that 2012 elections hang in the balance.  The difference is that Republicans have actually gone so far as to write a good compromise bill.  Democrats can’t vote yes on it, not because it “kills Medicare” or kills seniors.  They can’t vote on it because passing Cut, Cap and Balance would destroy Democrat re-election hopes for 2012.  It would be a huge Republican victory because Republicans came up with it.

On the other hand, Democrats can’t write a plan of their own.  They haven’t submitted a budget in over 800 days, and they can’t submit one now or that will also destroy their chances of getting re-elected in 2012.  Democrats can’t write a bill that says “We want to raise taxes so that we don’t have to cut spending as much” and still win in 2012 because the vast majority of the country doesn’t want Democrats to raise taxes so that they can spend more.  They are spending enough already, and we are taxed enough already.  On the other hand, Democrats can’t write a plan saying “Ok, no higher taxes, just cuts” or they will lose their class warfare base.  The liberal base of the Democrat party does not want a bill that doesn’t raise taxes on the “rich”.  It’s not about raising revenue, it’s about punishing upper classes more.

Republicans submitted a plan and it was a good plan.  Obama has signaled that he is willing to let the country default on its debt rather than compromise with Republicans.  Democrats have proven that they are the party of no on a budget deal.  If Republicans end up caving in order to save our credit rating, I hope Americans get the right message.  It doesn’t mean Republicans are wimps and we need to get rid of them.  It means they can only do so much with just a majority in the House.  We need to give them the Senate and the Presidency in 2012 if we expect anything to get accomplished.

Have you heard the one about Obama’s budget?

Democrats are saying Obama’s budget is strategic genius.  It avoids recommending any unpopular choices or dealing with any difficult topics so that Republicans will have to take those up and be hated by the masses for doing so.  That is the excuse for Obama skipping over any sort of entitlement reform.  Others are saying he is “establishing credibility with the voters” by writing some unpopular budget cuts into his plan so that he can negotiate with Republicans.

So now the President’s responsibility is reduced to a subtle way of taking partisan jabs at his political enemies?

It doesn’t seem that way to me.  It seems to me that Obama’s budget is much more like a bad joke or embarrassing bodily noise that one tries to avoid making in public.

Obama has come out now saying that his budget cuts the deficit and that we “can’t run up the credit card” anymore.  This is an odd claim since Obama’s budget actually runs up an additional $250 billion on the card this year, setting his deficit at a new record of $1.65 trillion.  And he doesn’t even have a stimulus bill to show for it.

The real joke is that Obama’s budget reduces the deficit to $607 billion after ten years.  Of course, Presidential budget projections ten years out are as on target as a superbowl prediction ten years out.  But even if Obama does cut the deficit to $607 billion it will still be over $100 billion higher than Bush’s worst deficit in 2008.

Don’t worry, Obama’s deficit doesn’t have a chance at getting as low as $607 billion.  Obama’s “tough choices” on budget cuts circumvent entitlements altogether, but he does have cuts to education funding and heating for the poor.  That’ll pass.

Obama also includes tax hikes that his own party wouldn’t pass.  This must be part of his genius strategy where he somehow hangs his deficit around the Republican’s neck.  Obama’s spending cuts and tax hikes will never pass.

A liberal friend of mine informed me that the President’s budget really doesn’t matter, what counts is what Congress does.  Apparently he was trying to make me feel better about the President’s embarrassing budget.  I’m fine with that.  Bush was crucified for his last two years in office for high budget deficits.  Nevermind that Obama dwarfed those deficits his first year in office (and again his second and now third year), does this mean we can now blame Pelosi/Reid for Bush’s budget deficits?  The last time Republicans controlled Congress they had a $248 billion deficit.  That is less than the increase in Obama’s $1.65 trillion deficit this year.

Obama is betting on his skills of manipulation and a willfully ignorant voting public.  He has offered a sham budget with hopes that Republicans will do his job for him so that he can blame them for failure or take credit himself for success.  Clinton did the same thing when Gingrich and co. shut down the government and balanced the budget.

Obama’s budget is a shameful joke.  Liberals love him for it because they see his partisan agenda.  Hopefully the majority of voters see it for what it is: a waste of Obama’s time and our tax dollars.

Healthcare Horror Show

We’ve all seen the scary movie where the power is cut during the party and the young ditsy blonde decides it’s a good time to go out to the garage by herself to get more beers.  And we all sit there and scream NO, It’s a trap!  That is kind of like Obama’s “bi-partisan healthcare summit”.

When you hear “bi-partisan healthcare summit”, you might think it is a meeting between the two parties where they work together to come up with a new healthcare plan that the majority of Americans approve of.  This is not the case.  Today, Obama and his Democrats are announcing that they already have a new plan.  And by new they mean just like the Senate plan but with more taxes and government takeover of the private sector.  Oh yeah, and Obama cut back on the Union tax on cadillac health plans.

In fact, the new Obama plan still allows for backdoor abortion funding, still forces every American to buy health insurance from Obama approved corporations, and still costs a trillion dollars.  The only new things are higher taxes on investment income and price controls.  Because we know from the Carter years how well price controls work and nothing says “focused on improving the economy” like raising taxes on economic investment.

So you might be asking yourself why the Democrats would call a bi-partisan summit if they already have a partisan plan that many have suggested they are willing to forgo Senate rules to pass?  The Democrats have painted the Republican party as the party of “no”.  And they would love to extend the open arms of bi-partisanship and have the Republicans say “no” one more time.  The trick is to appear to be bi-partisan without actually being bi-partisan.  Dems have done it again.

It’s a win win situation.  After all the backroom deals, one sided debate, and party member buyoffs, Obama can now claim that he is making a good faith effort to hold debates and meetings on C-Span.  If the Republicans don’t show, he can say he tried and many Americans will actually believe him.  If Republicans do show up, Obama can stick to his guns, claim Republicans are stubborn and refuse to work with him, and then pass the bill on reconciliation as a “last ditch desperation move” to get something done in this partisan country.  If Republicans show up and do find a compromise, Obama will finally have what he has truly been looking for: shared guilt.  When things go terribly wrong, like they did during the first two Pelosi years, Obama will have cover because hey, the Republicans voted for it too.

What can Republicans do?  The only solution is something that has eluded them for 18 years.  They need to communicate.  The Republican plan is tort reform, portability so that you won’t lose your plan if you lose your job, ability to buy across state lines and increase price cutting competition, honesty in the industry, medicare fraud reform, and tax credits to people who truly can’t afford insurance so that they can choose their own policy to fit their needs.  No public abortion funding, no public funding for illegal aliens,  and no mandates to buy from government approved corporations.  Obama is counting on his ability to out-campaign the Right.  But after 14 months of seeing the results of Obama’s flowery policies, the Republicans may be able to win this debate with just the facts.

Even In Nevada, Sometimes The House Deals You All Aces

Harry Reid is probably pretty proud of himself tonight.  And if Republicans behave as usual, he has good reason to be.  After working and dealing with Republicans to come up with a bi-partisan jobs bill filled with tax cuts and unrelated pork programs, Reid has thrown the bill in the trash and drafted a new copy with just the tax cuts and infrastructure spending.  The cost of his new bill is less then half of the old one.  As AP put it, he has all but dared the Republicans to vote against the new bill.

This isn’t a bad move for Reid.  If Republicans vote for it, he is already in a position to call the bill a victory for himself and the Obama administration.  He can put “Taming the Republicans in a Tea Party Era” on his resume.  If the Republicans vote against it, Reid can claim he offered them a bill with tax cuts, no pork and infrastructure spending, but Republicans were so partisan that they wouldn’t go for it.  Nevermind that Reid was the one who scrapped the bi-partisan deal they had already arrived at.

Here is why the Republicans should play the hand he dealt them.  The first inclination is going to be to attack Reid for throwing away their bi-partisan agreement.  But what Reid stripped out of the bill was unrelated items and pork spending that we can’t afford anyway.  He also stripped out popular Bush tax cuts and the Patriot Act which Republicans need to highlight separately instead of allowing Dems to sneak them in to other bills.  What Reid has given them is not a perfect bill, but it is far better than whatever the socialist Democrat’s plan B might be.  In other words, if Republicans reject this, the next bill will be more like the failed Stimulus bill.  Many Republicans were calling for a payroll tax holiday over the Stimulus bill originally.

My advice to Republicans is to highlight that Democrats are now seeking tax cuts to stimulate the economy, an idea typically owned by the Right.  Then they need to take the bill back to Harry Reid with a list of Stimulus pork that they can cut to pay for it.  After all, aren’t we in the era of Paygo?  If the Republicans play their hand right, we can see who is really bluffing.  I’ll tell you right now, Pelosi and her House have already folded on Reid’s game.

Let the Democrats Have the Moderates

Democrats continue every election cycle to try to tell Republicans how to win elections. When your arch enemy starts giving you tips on how to defeat him, you should be suspicious. Yet Democrats keep offering friendly advice. No, thanks.

Democrats keep telling Republicans that we need to make our tent bigger. We need more liberals in our party. We need to get away from issues that kill our party like smaller government, the right to live, and, of course, family values. Americans don’t want that. As long as we stay the party of small government, focused on that 200 year old constitution and this crazy idea that men are born equal, not that they need to be made equal by the government, we will remain the minority party.

But who are the moderates anyway? One thing is for sure: they are not reliable. For example, take Dede Scozzafava. After spending months telling everyone she is a conservative and a die-hard Republican despite her liberal record, she finally drops out of the race and endorses the liberal Democrat over the Conservative party candidate. Or how about Colin Powell and a number of other moderate Republicans who begged the Republicans to put forth a moderate/liberal candidate for President and then proceeded to endorse the liberal Democrat when they did.

Moderates are people who think the government should provide every social service imaginable, while still thinking the government should spend less and tax less. They think abortion on demand is terrible and tragic, but should be safe and legal. They think partial birth abortion should be illegal because it is the murder of a living baby, except in the case of rape, danger to the mother’s life, poverty, or a real good sob story. They vote for the incumbents if their life is going good and they are generally happy. They vote against the incumbent if they’ve had a bad day, or if the opponent has a strong chin and more rugged facial features.

They vote based on color, gender, negative advertising, popular fads, and shiny lights. They support short wars, aid for Africa (even if it’s borrowed from China) and environmental reform, whether it actually helps the environment or not. They love federal grants and then complain about how the government wastes so much money. Generally, they are incompetent and uninformed.

But they still vote. Why don’t I want them? Think about it. When Republicans stuck to their conservative principles and presented them eloquently, they won. When conservatives won, Democrats ran blue-dog conservatives to compete with Republican conservatives. When Democrats started winning again was when Republicans started going after liberal moderates and Democrats ran conservative blue dogs. Then in 2008, Democrats ran socialists and ultra-liberals while Republicans ran liberals and wishy washy, unreliable moderates. Republicans were killed in a landslide.

Democrats weren’t trying to broaden their tent in 2008. They ran on a genius graphic design team, color, good looks, discontent and fluff. It had nothing to do with them being pro-big government, pro partial birth abortion, pro overseas abortion funding, pro debt, and anti-military. It had everything to do with advertising, discontent, and the fact that we were involved in two wars that had lasted longer than a year each. Now, because Democrats have stuck to their principles, the entire Washington Republican movement is stuck on this stupid idea that they need to broaden their base and become more liberal if they are going to win elections.

What Newt Gingrich and other Washington Republicans don’t understand is that when you pick up your tent and move it to the other side of the field, you leave your base out in the cold and they stop voting for you. And when you get to the other side of the field, they don’t vote for you either because they already have a tent. As for all the people in the middle, whether they go right or left has absolutely nothing to do with values or issues.

Think about it. If you truly believed that the thing growing in a pregnant woman has the intrinsic value of a wart, then how could you ever vote for anyone who would suggest that a woman’s right to remove that wart should be limited? Yet, Democrats won the majority on the backs of pro-life blue dogs. If you truly believed that the constitution should be the basis of our government and that politicians should uphold their vow to uphold and implement the constitution, then you would never vote for a big government candidate who borrows $1.5 trillion from China to buy local infrastructure projects and subsidize or buy private industries.

Moderates are going to continue to look for the next shiny thing that looks good and talks sweetly. Run and vote on principle. If both sides ran on principle, Conservatives would get 40% and Liberals would get 20%. I would rather have them coming over to our side to get votes while losing their 20% base than the other way around.


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