Everyone’s paying attention to the rebel flag debate while we watch John Boehner and Barack Obama sell our national sovereignty down the river with TPA.
Tag Archives: John Boehner
The president’s overreach is an affront to the rule of law and the Constitution itself.
Mathematicians have long contended that if you give a million monkeys a million typewriters and an infinite amount of time, eventually the simians will produce the King James Bible. Maybe so, but why inflict such a difficult challenge from the get–go? It could severely damage monkey morale.
I suggest assigning monkey scribes the task of producing the House GOP leadership’s “Immigration Reform Principles.” They should be able to knock that out in about a day — even with frequent banana breaks — and if they don’t replicate the document exactly, what the monkeys produce can’t be much more incoherent than the steaming pile the House leadership authored.
The document begins by stating: “Our nation’s immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced.” Naturally, their solution is to jettison the law. I’ve already outlined why amnesty is a bad idea for Republicans in an earlier column located here. So I won’t belabor that point, but what I would like to do is analyze Boehner & Company’s strategy for any evidence that it will accomplish their misguided goals.
Based on statements to the media and the “Principles,” Speaker Boehner’s concerns focus on three main areas:
- Negative media coverage of Republican opposition to amnesty
- Pressure from farmers and corporate America who want cheap imported labor that considers insultingly low wages a big raise from what they got back home
- Overwhelming Hispanic voting support for Democrat politicians
What Boehner does not appear to be worried about is the loss of support from the GOP’s conservative base after amnesty is passed.
So to achieve his goal of improving the Republican image, getting lobbyists off his back and showing Hispanics that he’s a verdadero amigo, Boehner wants a “step–by–step” process that constitutes an incremental surrender to Democrats and other tribal advocates. Boehner’s document begins with a list of bromides the House GOP leadership uses in an attempt to pull the wool over conservative’s eyes: “zero tolerance,” “visa tracking,” “employment verification” and I think an end to chain migration, but the “Principles” are so vague on that point it’s hard to tell.
I guess we will have to await clarification from the monkey’s version of the document.
But the linchpin of the “principles” is the statement: “There will be no special path to citizenship for individuals who broke our nation’s immigration laws – that would be unfair to those immigrants who have played by the rules and harmful to promoting the rule of law.”
Instead Boehner unveils a grand public relations coup: Republicans propose to let illegals stay in the U.S. as Untermenschen. Whoops, sorry, I mean as legal residents but not citizens. They must pass background checks, pay “back taxes,” speak English (unless stopped by a policeman), give up any and all “rights” to welfare and be able to read the Constitution in Chinese. (No wait, that’s only if they want to vote in Alabama.)
This is like a land owner telling a trespasser who’s been on squatting in the house for years that he and his family can stay in the house he doesn’t own, but you won’t give him a clear title.
As they say in The Game of Thrones: You know nothing John Boehner.
After decades of being media whipping boys, elected Republicans not only don’t know how to advance an argument, they don’t even know how to avoid a public relations disaster.
Boehner — not the monkeys — will have recreated Exodus with Hispanics in the role of the Israelites. And just like the Jews trapped in Egypt, they can work all they want and the generous GOP will even give them straw for the bricks, but they will never have the vote or the dole.
And God help us, Chuck Schumer gets to be Moses.
As soon as the ink is dry on their 2nd class citizen documents, the formerly illegal are going to be demonstrating against Republican Apartheid. It’s going to be the story of the decade for the Mainstream Media and John Boehner gave it to them on a platter.
Every Election Day the 2nd classers will be demonstrating outside Republican polling places, yelling and brandishing signs for concerned network correspondents.
Queremos que el voto y lo queremos ahora! (We want the vote and we want it now!)
Estoy soñando con el voto (I’m dreaming of the vote)
Segunda clase es la ciudadanía apartheid (2nd class citizenship is apartheid)
Dicen a la familia a venir del Norte (Tell the family to come North)
Then there are the human tragedy stories that bring home the cost of Republican heartlessness courtesy of NPR. The grownup anchor babies who have to tell madre y padre they can’t go to the polls today and vote like they did in Venezuela under Chavez, because John Boehner says they’re less than citizens.
And don’t forget the groundskeeper who lost a foot to a runaway weed beater while working on some one percenter’s estate. He and his family are living in a Kelvinator box under a bridge abutment because he can’t work and he can’t collect U.S. disability checks thanks to Ebenezer Boehner. With tears in his eyes, Piers Morgan will tell viewers, “He was good enough to mow the lawn, but he’s not good enough to cash a disability check.”
That’s the kind of publicity that will have younger citizens leaving their Chipotle burritos uneaten as they run to the nearest party headquarters so they can register to vote Republican and grind the brown man down.
My prediction is six months max and Boehner will be throwing himself on Nelson Mandela’s grave and begging Obama to sign his Full Amnesty with Added Reparations bill.
Why endure the agony of an incremental amnesty? You can’t be half pregnant and you can’t pass a half citizenship bill. Boehner needs to either surrender now and line up a nice lobby job or finally start listening to his own disenfranchised conservative base.
House Republican leadership is preparing to betray the base. Again. To illustrate the magnitude of the sellout I was going to use a hypothetical analogy with Democrats and their base. Initially I was going to posit that Sen. Tim Kaine (D–Secular) had changed his mind about abortion.
For years Kaine has said that although he’s personally opposed to abortion, he is not willing to impose his beliefs on a ‘woman’s right to choose.’ Essentially confessing that his Catholic faith is not strong enough to get in the way of his political ambitions. (In his last campaign he became even more weaselly, saying he didn’t want to stand in the way of a woman exercising her “constitutional choices,” unless the choice involved a handgun.)
In my hypothetical Kaine would announce he had decided that what the Catholic Church teaches and the Bible says is the truth and he will no longer support any abortion unless it is to save the life of the mother. Kaine would also declare that he will no longer vote for any taxpayer dollars to be given to Planned Parenthood since both his beliefs and opinion polls show Americans don’t think tax money should pay for or help support abortion facilities.
It’s a great analogy but it has one problem: No one would believe it. The analogy is too fantastic for even temporary suspension of disbelief. Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, put it nicely this week: “So what’s the difference between Boehner and Pelosi and McConnell and Reid? Answer: The Democratic leadership honors its promises. Republican leaders have abandoned theirs.”
This House GOP leadership betrayal is passage of an amnesty bill, probably before the November election. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R–Sellout) says leadership supports an amnesty bill for 12 million illegals that includes tighter border enforcement as a sop to conservatives.
Boehner pays far more attention to agitation from people who shouldn’t be in the country than they do to conservative citizens. And unprincipled businessmen who want a steady supply of imported serfs are far more influential than mere voters.
National Republicans are forever pursuing the ‘independent voter’ at the expense of the base. Democrats on the other hand solidify their base first and then move to the independents. You think that might be why they win elections?
Besides the betrayal of the base, which is bad enough, what political goal do these masterminds in House leadership (to borrow an adjective from Mark Levin) think they are going to accomplish?
Boehner has picked an issue that was a failure the last time Republicans supported it. Ronald Reagan signed a one–time–only–amnesty–that–will–also–seal–the–border–tighter–than–a–teenage–miniskirt.
The results of that amnesty were fourfold:
- Granted citizenship to people who came and stayed illegally
- Produced millions of new votes for Democrats
- Legalized low–skill labor for employers & reduced wage rates for citizens
- Attracted another 12 million illegals who want their amnesty now.
Does Boehner expect amnesty to attract Hispanic voters? California Hispanics now make up the largest ethic group in the state as a result of amnesty and Democrat failure to seal the border. There is not one Republican statewide official. California is a GOP desert as Hispanics proved singularly ungrateful.
Does Boehner think amnesty will improve the party’s image? A Gallup poll lists a total of 3 percent of the populace ranking immigration “reform” as a top priority and I’m guessing all their names began with Jesus.
Does Boehner think amnesty will mean more contributions from big business? Possible and it may last a cycle or two, but once the amnestied voters gravitate to Democrats, Republicans will start losing. And the Business Roundtable doesn’t back or finance losers for long.
Immigration polling, which has evidently frightened the GOP leadership, is dishonest. Respondents are offered unrealistic or nebulous choices. For instance the Public Religion Research Institute proclaims, “Support for a path to citizenship has remained unchanged…an identical number (63%) supported a path to citizenship for immigrants currently living in the United States illegally.”
Yet their poll offers three choices that are false or too general to be useful: “become citizens provided they meet certain requirements,” “become permanent legal residents but not citizens” or “Identify and deport them.”
“Certain requirements” is not defined and therefore is useless in determining public policy. Poll respondents can interpret “certain requirements” in a number of ways ranging from “learn to speak English like Tom Brokaw” to “stand in a long line for an autographed photo of Obama.”
“Legal residents but not citizens” is an outcome that creates a permanent helot class that won’t survive the first Democrat Congress. And no sane conservative has ever advocated mass deportation. We believe they got here under their own power and they can leave the same way.
I have yet to see a poll that asks a question that offers a conservative choice. For instance: Do you support a step–by–step approach to the immigration problem that begins by removing the economic incentive for illegal immigration thru a law that makes it a criminal offense for employers to hire illegal aliens?
If illegals can’t work and they can’t collect welfare or rebates from the IRS then the invasion will begin to reverse. Presto the “immigration problem” solves itself! Sure the bill won’t pass the current Senate, but so what? It offers a conservative alternative to the amnesty now crowd and it preserves the rule of law, but that pales in comparison to Boehner’s dreams of campaign contributions from the Business Roundtable.
Before elected officials — Republicans again — got cold feet in Prince William County, illegals were fleeing after an anti–illegal enforcement act was passed. The county saved millions as they fled to nearby “sanctuary” cities and states. The same can happen in a nation that takes its own immigration laws seriously.
Unfortunately that is not this nation and it’s not this Republican Party.
WEST CHESTER, Ohio, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Eric Gurr, of West Chester, Ohio filed his petitions today and will face John Boehner in the May primary for the 8th congressional district of Ohio.
“It’s time we go this country back on the right track.” said Gurr. “We need to stand firm in our opposition to increased spending, increased debt and the endless printing of money to finance that debt. No nation can consume more than it produces and Congress must realize that the money they spend belongs to us.”
Gurr is advocating for much smaller government and a return to the traditional value of thrift in spending that has served the nation so well in the past. He is strongly opposed to amnesty and special treatment for big businesses related to immigration reform. Gurr also believes that a select committee should be convened to get to the bottom of the Benghazi tragedy.
Mr. Gurr was born in Hamilton, Ohio in 1965 and has resided in the 8th district for most of his life. He is a married father of three and grandfather of two.
His campaign committee “Gurr for congress” has established a website at www.gurrforcongress.com and can be followed on twitter @gurrforcongress.
Earlier this month I wrote that Walmart doesn’t help its PR efforts when the company acts in a manner that only serves to reinforce its reputation as the Simon Legree of retail. (Details here.) In this instance an Ohio store had a display in the employee break room asking for donations to help other Walmart employees that had fallen on hard times during the Thanksgiving & Christmas season.
Asking employees who earn an average of $12.83/hour to contribute to other employees is a touching testimony to the innate decency of the Walmart workforce, but it also calls up unfortunate images of the widow’s mite particularly in comparison with the wealth of the Walton family.
The column concluded with a look at Walmart’s Associates in Critical Need Trust. This is a fund that dispenses up to $1,500 to employees suffering severe financial setbacks. (This does not include a bad losing streak in connection with the Powerball lottery.)
I liked the sound of that, until I learned that once again these donations are no skin off the Walton family’s stock certificates. This trust is funded by voluntary payroll deduction, again from the $12.83/hour employees.
And that’s when problems began at the Shannon household.
My wife announced that unless the Walton family stops being so selfish (they have $144 billion in Walmart stock) and makes a major contribution to the Trust we will be boycotting Walmart. Generally I have no problem with boycotts. It’s an individual decision that uses the market to bring pressure on a merchant. No government intervention required. Colonists did it during the run up to the Revolution.
For taste and political reasons, I never darken the door of Starbucks (homosexual marriage is “part of the corporate DNA”), Caribou Coffee (Sharia–compliant finance) or Chipotle (one of the nation’s leading employers of illegals).
On the other hand I’m also cheap, so I regularly shop at Walmart, in spite of linguistic encounters with Walmart employees that graphically illustrate what retail shopping is going to be like after John Boehner decides it’s safe to grant illegals amnesty.
The wife says Target is going to be the windfall beneficiary of Shannon shopping dollars in the future. But I have mixed emotions regarding that store, too. All too often in the Sunday advertising circular the clothes younger models wear contribute to the sexualization of tweenaged shoppers. Young girls are hard enough to shop for without major retailers urging them to dress like pint–sized Kim Kardashians.
This is not a problem encountered when viewing the frumpy models in a Walmart catalog. I don’t know for certain whom it is wearing those dowdy clothes, but most of them appear to be related to Fred and Ethel Mertz. Regardless of age there are no sex symbols in a Walmart catalog.
Besides the Target food section is mostly full of do–it–yourself yogurt mixes and it is about one third the size of Walmart’s. (Although, credit where credit is due, Target does carry Malt–O–Meal.) I do hate sneaking around behind my wife’s back. The fact that my future secret assignations are with a major retail chain and not a hoochie mama is probably a commentary on the dullness of my existence, but I plan to continue to visit Walmart.
On the other hand I won’t be visiting Republican members of the Virginia House delegation. Last week I wrote about the shameful Boehner/Ryan sellout they tried to spin as a “budget deal.” (Details here.) This capitulation raises taxes (fees), increases spending and negates the sequester.
Ryan is so proud of himself. The good congressman says he’s increased Pentagon spending by $2 billion, which means all the Coffee Colonels there can go back to using the Keurig instead of making do with Nescafe. In return for all this bounty Ryan agreed to let the Democrats increase their spending by $22 billion! That’s an 11 to 1 ratio and we’re on the short side.
GOP apologists talk about future spending cuts contained in the deal, but with these big spenders the cuts always remain in the future, just over the horizon, like a mirage.
You can’t bind a future Congress to a deal made today. Heck this Congress can’t even bind itself. Who do you think negotiated the original sequester?
Now Boehner is flush with positive MSM coverage and has declared war on the TEA party. He’s tired of having Obama hand him his hat, so the great strategist turns on his base. Now maybe Karl Rove will return his phone calls.
At times like this the favorite criticism of the TEA party centers on Senate candidates. The TEA party supported candidates that lost and that cost Republicans the Senate.
Establishment Republicans never foist a loser on the electorate. Just look at the great work being done by President Romney and Senator George Allen. Not to mention that paragon of tanning, Senator Charlie Crist from Florida. All these worthies are (or were, Crist became a Democrat this year) establishment Republicans with the full support of party elders.
The TEA party is not a monolithic closed structure resistant to outside ideas — wait that sounds like Boehner’s cabal — it’s a loosely affiliated collection of like–minded conservatives and tin foil distributors. (Just kidding.)
There is no national body that selects candidates. Local groups support local candidates.
The TEA party–backed candidate lost in Missouri because establishment Republicans in that state utilize a primary system that doesn’t have a runoff if no one gets 50 percent of the vote. That’s how Todd Akin becomes your nominee with fewer than 35 percent of the vote. Akin and his gynecological theories could have never won a runoff. The TEA party candidate would not have survived the primary if Missouri Republicans ran the party like Texas Republicans.
In Delaware, Christine O’Donnell was simply mislabeled. She would have had no problem winning as a Democrat. If Patty Murray of budget deal negotiating fame can win her first race running as “a mom in tennis shoes,” O’Donnell would have had few problems as “a mom who’s not a witch.”
Country club Republicans conveniently overlook the fact that TEA party energy is responsible for Boehner sitting in the Speaker’s chair today.
This wretched budget deal has now passed the Senate where Republicans with primary opponents voted against it as a sop to people like you and me. There was never a doubt as to House passage. If you want to see how your house member voted you can check here and here.
I’m sorry to say the deal passed with every GOP member from Virginia voting ‘yes.’ These Republicans are either too timid to vote conservative or they simply aren’t conservatives.
Regardless of the reason for their failure, I’ll be happily boycotting every one of these politicians until they’re out of office. No money and no votes from the Shannon household and I urge every conservative reading this to do likewise.
This is a boycott every conservative can get behind.
Here’s the situation: You’re in a high–stakes negotiation with an untrustworthy opponent. The opposition has violated every agreement the two of you have made in the past. Enforcement mechanisms are weak or non–existent.
In other areas of mutual interest your opponent regularly violates the law and dares you to do something about the violation. Your weak and vacillating leadership can’t be counted on in a pinch. And finally, the opposition lies shamelessly to the state media, doing its best to paint you as a fanatic and pathological liar.
So what do you do?
Bomb Iran is a good answer, but it’s not the answer for this question, because I’m talking about negotiating a budget deal with Democrats.
The Republican House leadership decision in this case was to sell out their conservative base in a brazen attempt to insure their own re–election at the expense of the nation’s fiscal future.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R–WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D–Sneakers) have presented us with a plan that shatters the spending ceiling that was the main result of the bruising sequester fight, dilutes the small budget cuts from the sequester and raises taxes (Ryan calls it a “fee” but if the feds get more money and it comes from our pockets it’s the same as a tax).
Ryan even has the gall to say the deal will balance the budget in ten years and sidestep the threat of government shutdowns in January and October 2014.
And those dates are what are really important for craven House negotiators. In fact, the real motivation for the deal is Ryan’s shutdown statement. House Republicans still think they suffered a near–death experience in the recent government shutdown. But instead of seeing Jesus and a bright light, they saw a Mayflower moving van and a bright white resume. For them if it’s a choice between selling out to the Democrats and losing their cushy Congressional job, sellout is just another word for job security.
The risk of a potential shutdown in January and October of an election year was simply too much uncertainty for these stalwarts to bear. So instead of simply passing a continuing resolution as has been done for the past few years and keeping the sequester savings, Ryan decided to remove all uncertainly and cave in this year.
Ryan and Speaker Boehner (R–Risible) think they can get away with this lie to conservatives because the result of increased federal spending and budget busting won’t have the personal impact on voters that Obama’s insurance lie had. You don’t get a letter from the government cancelling your future. You get a Chinaman repossessing the Washington monument.
The rationalization for this total surrender is threefold according to our betters: The agreement restores some defense spending reduced by the sequester, cuts the budget and brings the entire budget into balance in ten years.
Let’s start at the top. Ace negotiator Ryan was able to restore $2 billion in Pentagon spending next year in return for letting Democrats increase wasteful social spending by $ 22 BILLION! That’s a ratio of 11 to one in welfare to warfare spending.
The sequester was bad enough — defense took half the cuts, while social spending took the other half spread over countless pointless programs — but this disaster in multiplication makes that deal look positively prudent.
Second the budget cut. I admire Ryan’s poker face as he announced $26 billion in cuts over ten years. This means the federal government will be cutting $2.6 billion a year out of a budget that’s over $1 trillion! For comparison purposes, the city of Washington, DC spends more than $2.6 billion in four months. In 2012 the IRS issued $11 billion in fraudulent income tax refunds. In the same year the government wasted $95 billion in programs identified by the Government Accounting Office that duplicated other wasteful government programs.
In federal terms, Ryan’s $2.6 billion is pocket change.
Finally, the budget balances in ten years. This is not because spending will finally be brought in line with revenue, which is how individuals balance budgets. No, Ryan is hoping that federal tax revenues will grow enough through a recovering economy to finally match the spending right now. In the other nine years the deficit continues to pile up.
This is like a drunk driver careening the wrong way down the interstate hoping his blood will absorb enough of the booze for him to regain control before the car hits the bridge abutment.
David Stockman, Reagan’s budget director who saw firsthand how Republicans agreed to increase taxes for Democrat spending cuts that never came, says, “First, let’s be clear—it’s a joke and betrayal. It’s the final surrender of the House Republican leadership to Beltway politics and kicking the can and ignoring the budget monster that’s hurtling down the road.”
Earlier this week reporter Paul Kane of The Washington Post seemed confused that TEA party members were mounting challenges to incumbent Republican senators. The answer is simple; conservatives have no reason to support big government incumbentcrats, regardless of whether they are Senators or Congressmen. Keeping the likes of Boehner or Ryan or Orrin Hatch in office is not the be all and end all of our existence. If nothing else even an unsuccessful primary can be a wakeup call for these whited sepulchers.
Why fight for them if they won’t fight for us? Why waste the gas necessary to drive to the polls to vote for these weaklings?
The only difference between these Republicans and Nancy Pelosi is we go broke slower and there’s a slim chance we won’t have to attend a same–sex marriage ceremony to qualify for Social Security benefits.
Retreating to a compound in Idaho is looking better and better. And since Janet Reno is no longer attorney general, we might even survive until the Chinese foreclose.
Truer words have never been spoken!
Speaker John Boehner is the Adm. Karl Dönitz of Republican politics. Hemmed in on one side by the pounding batteries of the Mainstream Media and on the other by a mob of howling leftists eager to send him to a self–criticism session on MSNBC — Boehner desperately tries to negotiate a surrender to Supreme Commander Obama that will leave him with a shred of dignity and continued access to the Congressional tanning bed.
What really sticks in Boehner’s craw is the realization he’s going to be stuck with the blame for the shutdown defeat! He warned the caucus what would happen if they followed a strategy designed by crazy people. But no, they were intoxicated by the crowds at the rallies and stem–winders on the Senate floor. Victory was at hand!
Yet now the loonies are out of the picture and here Boehner sits in the ruins of the Shutdown Bunker wondering if Harry Reid will allow him to smoke at the signing ceremony.
That’s what Boehner gets for trying to fight a two–front war. The struggle over Obamacare should have been either the continuing resolution shutdown or the debt ceiling. Not a bizarre push–me—pull–you that blurred the two issues and made the public think the country hitched a ride with Thelma & Louise.
Giving credit where credit is due, Boehner started out well. The House GOP passed the initial continuing resolution with everything funded but Obamacare and sent the bill to the Senate where is disappeared like it was term limits legislation. So the government was at impasse.
It’s possible that if Boehner had donned a turban and started enriching uranium, Obama would have agreed to negotiate with him, but there wasn’t enough time to install the necessary number of centrifuges in the Rayburn office building.
During past shutdowns our leaders attempted to limit the inconvenience. This was a policy the Obama Administration could not afford to follow, as I pointed out last week, because after losing the sequester a painless shutdown would help make the case for even smaller government.
That’s why the Spite House made sure this shutdown hurt as many civilian bystanders as possible. Collateral damage was the order of the day. In total disregard of negative publicity Obama used his human drones in the Park Police to close the WWII monument, national parks, private businesses, roads, athletic fields and anything else they could get away with.
It drove Obama’s approval rating down to Jimmy Carter Land at 37 percent, which is an all time low for the light bringer. Yet he held firm, ironically enough employing the Nixon “madman” strategy. As Nixon once said, “I call it the Madman Theory… I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, “for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry—and he has his hand on the nuclear button.”
The only difference is Obama — totally lacking a foreign policy — uses the Madman theory to intimidate his Republican domestic opposition. It’s remarkable that a fellow who wears mom jeans and would probably have trouble bench-pressing a juice box, is so eager to roll the dice when other’s futures are at stake.
So as the nation’s busy borrowers at the Treasury threatened to crash into an unyielding debt ceiling, Boehner was genuinely worried that Madman Barack might actually cause the country to default, if it meant he would win the confrontation.
So Boehner blinked and surrendered.
Here is where the Frenchmen could have provided the margin of victory.
If only Boehner had employed the Three Musketeer Strategy the county and the GOP would have won in the long run. The Three Musketeer’s motto was: One for All & All for One.
Instead of allowing craven porkmeister Sen. Mitch McConnell (R–I’m not for sale, but I rent cheap) to seize the agenda and pass a combination government funding and debt ceiling agreement, Boehner should have had the House pass a bill that did that AND required everyone, every company and every member of Congress and their staff to submit to Obamacare this year without any waivers.
One for All & All for One; with the “All” in this instance being Obamacare. That way the fight is still about Obama’s signature bill, the one he shut down the government to save, but in a brilliant bit of political ju–jitsu his bill is turned against him.
Making the entire country suffer under the full Obamacare this year would have resulted in a disaster at the polls for Democrats in 2014. What’s more, the administration knows it, which is why it exempted employers from the mandate until AFTER the election.
Even better the Three Musketeer bill has the virtue of simplicity: all the money and all the Obamacare. With only two elements the MSM could not bury coverage of the Obamacare waiver removal, as it buried Obama’s plunging poll ratings. (Most poll stories trumpeted declining GOP ratings in the headlines and only mentioned the new low for Obama as a passing aside.)
A Three Musketeers bill would have been a poison pill for the administration. Signing it means a disaster at the polls next year. Not signing it and defaulting because Republicans were too bi–partisan and Obama didn’t want his signature bill to take effect for everyone would be a PR disaster even the MSM could not ignore. And Democrats would still face a wipeout in 2014. All victory would have required was for Boehner to hold fast regardless of Obama’s choice.
If the signature bill of the president is so good for the country, as the MSM claims, then Republicans should have done their best to make sure the nation gets it, as H. L. Mencken used to say, “good and hard.” After all, what’s wrong with using “settled law” to unsettle the populace?
When: Friday, October 18th, 11pm Eastern/7pm Pacific
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Whether it’s “down the rabbit hole”, or “through the looking glass”, the world of politics is often referred to in the lexicon given to us by Lewis Carroll. No matter what, those terms are resurrected when referring to something that has gone terribly wrong. And that’s what’s here on Jabberwonky…
Tonight: No, you’re not dreaming, or confused. Well, maybe you are a little confused… It’s Friday, not Sunday. The show is on at 11pm Eastern, not 10pm. Jabberwonky obviously has moved, and that’s because there will be a new show on Sunday nights. (More on that later!) For now, Liz is ticked at liberals – nothing new, but this time it’s a little worse than usual. Yes, they have been absolutely disgusting in their political and press porn lately, whether it’s picking on stenographers, or setting up the Republicans for more garbage after the new year. So, listen in to see just what happens when there isn’t anyone around to keep things a little calm!
House Speaker John Boehner flanked by his House colleagues. Photo credit: Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite.
Never, ever shut down the federal government again.
– President Bill Clinton, 1996 State of the Union Address
As everyone knows, on October 1st at midnight, the federal government shut down for the first time in 17 years. This event has had and will have lasting, serious, negative consequences for the entire country, and even moreso for the two political parties. This article will explain why, looking from a conservative Republican perspective, shutting down the federal government is the worst idea possible for the GOP, the conservative movement, and the country that my fellow conservatives claim to care about first and foremost. In short, the shutdown is bad policy AND bad politics.
Why it’s bad politics for the GOP and conservatives
Contrary to what many of my fellow conservatives think, nothing good can come out of this conundrum for conservatives or for the Republican Party (regardless of whatever future you wish for that party). This is a battle we simply cannot win, and no amount of throwing the RINO epithet at everyone who disagrees with you will change that fact.
Some have pointed out to polls supposedly showing Barack Obama’s approval ratings as being at 40% or lower, and disapproval ratings going over 50%. Even if these polls are scientific and accurate – and depending on who commissioned them, they might not be – these people completely ignore the fact that Congressional Republicans and the Tea Party have even lower approval ratings in the eyes of the American people.
According to polls commissioned by Fox News – hardly a liberal outlet – Congressional Republicans had only a 23% approval rating in June and August, with disapproval ratings of 67% and 66%, respectively. That means that fully TWO THIRDS of the American public view Congressional Republicans – especially their conservative wing – negatively.
By contrast, Congressional Democrats’ approval ratings, while still dismal, were better than Republicans': 32% approval and 60% disapproval in both June and August.
Moreover, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell has the worst ratings of any major party leader in America today: 22% approval, 42% disapproval in October. John Boehner has 27% approval and 51% disapproval ratings (in April, he had 31% approval and only 41% disapproval). Even Harry Reid now does better at 27% approval and 43% disapproval) in the same month. Nancy Pelosi is at 35% approval, 47% disapproval (whereas in April, she was at 31% approval and 48% disapproval, so her image has improved since then).
Barack Obama, meanwhile, while having seen his approval ratings slump somewhat, still enjoys much higher popularity than anyone in Congress. His approval ratings, according to various polls, average at 45%, and range from a low end of 40% (Fox News, 54% disapproval) to a high end of 47% approval and the same amount disapproving.
So no matter what poll you take, Barack Obama, while hardly at the peak of his popularity, is STILL seen far more favorably than anyone in Congress, ESPECIALLY Congressional Republicans, ESPECIALLY their conservative wing.
It is inevitable that this government shutdown will take a heavy toll on the Tea Party’s, the conservative movement’s, and the GOP’s image in the American public’s eyes, and it may well prevent Republicans from retaking the Senate and the White House in 2014 and 2016. Even before the shutdown began, polls were warning that more Americans would blame the GOP than Barack Obama for the shutdown. Now, after it has happened, the veteran political analyst Charlie Cook warns us that the shutdown could cost the GOP future elections.
Despite the garbage that the Tea Party and its allies on talk radio like Rush Limbaugh probably feed you, the reality is that the absolute majority of Americans wants moderate policies from the GOP and wants both parties – including Republicans – to compromise. Gallup has demonstrated this repeatedly over the last several years, over and over again, including here, here, here, here, here, here, and most recently here. In fact, as the shutdown drew closer, Americans’ desire to see the two parties compromise increased.
According to that most recent poll, published just a week before the shutdown, 53% of all Americans (an absolute majority), as well as 56% of moderates, 65% of liberals, 55% of indies, 61% of Democrats, and even a plurality of conservatives (42%) said, just a week before the shutdown, that it was more important to compromise and avert the shutdown than to “stick to principles.” Just 25% of all Americans, and only a third of conservatives, said it’s more important to “stick to principles.”
The two groups most hostile to compromise were Republicans (only 38% supported it) and Tea Partiers (39%). 36% of Republicans and 40% of Tea Partiers said it’s better to “stick to principles” even if it means shutting the federal government down.
This fact is not lost on the American people; by far their biggest criticism of the GOP is that it is “unwilling to compromise.” This is the biggest criticism levied at the GOP by Dems, independents, and even Republicans themselves.
The current government shutdown will only aggravate this problem. The longer it continues, the heavier the toll on the GOP’s and the conservative movement’s image will be.
Contrary to what the Tea Party and the likes of Rush Limbaugh tell you, the GOP is not “Dem lite” or “not conservative enough” and does not want to “surrender” on Obamacare. The GOP is, in fact, criticized by American voters, including a plurality of Republicans, for being too unwilling to compromise. And compromise is not nearly the same thing as surrender – under a compromise, EVERYONE has to swallow unpalatable stuff, Republicans as well as Democrats.
The biggest damage will be in the eyes of moderates, women, youngsters, and minorities – the very voters the GOP will need to win future elections, or to even stay relevant as a party.
Why it’s a bad policy
The shutdown is not only bad politics, it’s bad policy too. The GOP’s objective, as we all know, is to get rid of, or defund, Obamacare. However, that – or any other meaningful policy change – CANNOT come about while Obama is still in office and controls the Senate. Republicans simply CANNOT govern the country from one half of Congress – as the astute Charles Krauthammer, Brent Bozell’s MRC’s latest award recipient, has rightly remarked in a column warning Republicans against the shutdown.
To defund Obamacare, Republicans can do only two things: either shut the entire government down, as they have done, or somehow convince Senate Democrats to pass, and President Obama to sign, a bill defunding Obamacare.
As Krauthammer has warned in his seminal column, there is NO WAY IN HELL Obama will sign into law a bill defunding, or delaying the implementation of, his singular legislative “accomplishment” – the Dems had been waiting for over 50 years to check this item on “FDR’s Unfinished Business List”, as Ann Coulter calls it.
Obama will never agree to anything that defunds his sole legislative “achievement”, the sine qua non of a liberal welfare state, liberals’ Holy Grail. Nor will Senate Democrats, marching in lockstep with Harry Reid, vote for defunding or otherwise gutting Obamacare.
And short of them agreeing to the impossible, the only way to defund Obamacare is to shut the federal government down completely.
Republicans have already tried this, in a way. In 1995, under Newt Gingrich’s leadership, they offered President Clinton a budget funding parts of, but not all, of the federal government; cutting spending faster than he was willing to accept. When Clinton said no, Republicans shut the federal government down – and that killed their chances of winning in 1996. Eventually, Republicans had to agree to a budget on terms not much different from what Clinton offered before the shutdown.
So no, there is no way Republicans can win this shutdown battle – or to defund Obamacare while Obama is still in office.
And let’s use some common sense. Does ANYONE really believe that Republicans can undo ANY meaningful Obama policy – ANY significant part of Obama’s “legacy” – while he’s still in office, wielding a veto pen, a bully pulpit, and a 55-seat Senate majority?
Margaret Thatcher famously said “first you win the argument, then you win the vote.” What she forgot to add is “and only then can you make policy.” Thatcher would’ve never been able to make any policy changes had her party not won a clear majority in the Commons. And that, in turn, would’ve never happened if she had led her party to the right fringe of British politics, alienating the vital center.
Republicans first need to convince a clear majority of Americans that Obamacare still can and should be repealed, then win back the Senate and the White House, and ONLY THEN can they make any policy changes, like repealing Obamacare.
So the shutdown, however it ends, will CLEARLY fail to achieve the GOP’s objective: defunding Obamacare.
The damage to the military
In addition to the damage the shutdown will do to the GOP’s and conservatives’ public image, it will also wreak havoc on the US military, adding greatly to the damage being done by the sequester.
A government shutdown means that eventually, when the money runs out from previous years’ approps, there will be nothing to pay the troops with, no money for their and veterans’ care, and no money for current training and equipment maintenance, operations (like protecting the skies over the US), and the development and acquisition of new equipment, nor to pay DOD civilian employees (the majority of whom are not pencil-pushers but real hard workers, like mechanics at military depots).
Why shut the government down?
The ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu advised against fighting on ground, or at a time, disadvantageous to you, or when the enemy is too strong. He further wisely counseled (The Art of War, ch. 12, v. 17):
“Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.”
So how did America get into this mess in the first place? If the shutdown won’t achieve any conservative policy objective and will only do damage, why was this stand-off started?
Because the fringe of the GOP, including the Tea Party, which views any compromise as betrayal and anything other than scorched-Earth tactics as surrender, demanded that Republicans shut the government down over Obamacare. And most Republicans in Congress, scared to death of a Tea Party primary challenge, listened to the Tea Party and followed suit – thus driving America over the cliff.
Most House Republicans and many GOP Senators, including Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul, come from single-party GOP monopolies where most people are hardline conservatives who see any compromise as treason. These politicians live in single-party conservative cocoons and are thus totally detached from reality and out-of-touch with most Americans (as is the Tea Party itself). Just check the PVI ratings of Raul Labrador’s district (ID-1) and of the states of Texas, Utah, and Kentucky. Their districts and states are no more representative of America than Nancy Pelosi’s SF district.
Thus, they have no incentive to compromise, and far more to fear from a Tea Party primary challenger than a general election Democratic opponent. So they continue pushing the country to the brink, as the Tea Party demands, the consequences be damned.
Sadly, they may well take the GOP, and not just the country, over the cliff with them.
Here at Conservative Daily News, we read what you probably don’t have the stomach to digest. All the liberal tripe out there is what we wade through each day, and that includes getting that nonsense in our inbox. Today’s little gem comes from the folks over at Organizing for America – the perpetual Obama-campaign machine – and they are more than a little upset over the budget vote today. Of course, that’s not surprising since their boss was bellyaching over it already on Twitter.
What has them so angry is that the GOP members of the House added a measure to defund Obamacare in their bill to fund the Government for next few months. As reported in The Washington Post, here’s the tally:
Final tally: 230 to 189
How many Republicans voted for the bill?: 228
How many Democrats voted against the bill?: 188
How many Republicans voted against the bill?: 1
How many Democrats voted for the bill?: 2
How many lawmakers didn’t vote?: 14
How many seats are vacant?: 2
As for OFA’s response? Well, they’re operating under the assumption that John Boehner can’t control his House. Yes, you read that right. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with constituents of the Representatives telling them that they don’t want ObamaCare. No, it must be that Boehner can’t keep his ducks in a row. Well, for those of you that can’t believe the audacity of that assertion, here’s the letter itself:
(You can click on it, for easier reading.)
Speaker of the House John Boehner says that he’ll support President Obama’s “call for action” in Syria.
If you want to get a very clear idea of the utter contempt in which our corrupt political class holds the voters who put them in office, look no further than the Congressional Obamacare exemption. Don’t confuse this with previous exemptions a bystander Congress has allowed the Obama administration to award supportive unions and other politically favored groups.
This exemption is specifically for Congress.
Under Obamacare Members of Congress and staff are required to buy individual health insurance from state insurance exchanges, just like their constituents Ma & Pa Kettle.
Since the majority of members possess Anthony Weiner levels of common sense, this portion of the law they passed created confusion in that august body. What exchange should the staffers use; the one in the District (land of dependency and demagoguery) or the one in their home state designed by people not clever enough to make it to Washington?
Anyone smarter than a 6th grader could see the answer at a glance. Just as the DC staffers by their Viagra from CVS and the staffers back home frequent Wal–Mart, staffers based in DC buy insurance where they live and staffers back at home buy at home.
There you see? All better now.
Even this minor confusion shows why Congress’ used–car–salesman level approval rating is richly deserved. Even Robert Pear, a reporter for the lefty New York Times was moved to observe, “The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?”
Any conservative could easily answer that question. Hell no!
But for the political class the ‘where’ was not nearly as important as the ‘whom,’ as in who pays for this wondrous new insurance coverage a benevolent Obama has given?
Currently Congressional staffers have a great health insurance policy subsidized by you! While they are beavering away, coming up with new ways to control your life, their Cadillac plans are paid for with a 75 percent, tax–free subsidy.
Now the policy and the subsidy disappear. Giving members and staff another chance to be like real Americans when they realize Obama’s promise if you like your doctor and your insurance you can keep both, was just another Choom Gang alumnus blowing smoke.
This created a situation rich in unintended irony. As the Heritage Foundation wrote, “Members of Congress and their staffs are facing the same problems that confront millions of employers and employees—their fellow citizens—throughout America. They will be unable to keep the health coverage they have today, and will instead be consigned to the government health exchanges, whether they like it or not. …In short, Members of Congress will feel the effects of their own legislative handiwork directly.”
Naturally, this caused panic. In fact this unintended consequence was the only positive development to come from Obamacare. According to Politico, “Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.
The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.”
Great, self–induced term limits! Patchwork to be sure and no doubt short term, but a start nonetheless.
Other Congressional “leaders” feared the country would suffer from a “brain drain” as experienced staffers fled for the private sector where they are constantly assuring us they will make so much more money. My comment is, don’t let the door hit you in the behind.
And of course our dynamic Republican leader is on the job. Rep. John Boehner — Mr. Solidarity with the common man — was hoping Sen. Harry Reid would create a legislative fix (apt word that).
When asked about secret talks to rekindle the boiler fire in the federal gravy train, Boehner spokesman Michael Steele said, ““The speaker’s objective is to spare the entire country from the ravages of the president’s health care law. …If the speaker has the opportunity to save anyone from Obamacare, he will.”
Keep in mind the “anyone” escaping in this instance are the same people making you live under the undiluted Obamacare regime.
Fortunately for the hand–wringing Boehner and shameless Democrats the decision has been taken out of their hand. They won’t be forced to vote on Hypocrisy Bill 358. Pharaoh has spoken. President Obama intervened and ordered the Office of Personnel Management to decree the 75 percent insurance subsidies will continue for members and staff.
There is no provision in the law for this exemption, the OPM has no authority to issue the decision, but it’s in keeping with the legal theory that if Obama wants it, it must be OK.
So where does this leave you? It should leave you enraged. These posturing Republicans who bravely talk about repealing Obamacare are as quiet as church mice in regard to exempting themselves. I’ve had enough and it’s high time you felt the same.
Congress will be in recess soon and Senators and Congressman will be returning to their districts for town hall meetings. Go to the meeting. Take off work if necessary. Ask your representative if he and his staff are taking advantage of the Obamacare exemption.
If the answer is ‘yes’ or he avoids the question (which means the answer is ‘yes’) then you have a duty to vote against him. So what if he’s replaced by a Democrat. Better a leftist than a liar.
If Obamacare is a litmus test on liberty, as Republican Members of Congress have been telling us, it’s also a litmus test for those representing us. Any Representative or Senator who accepts the Obamacare exemption is a posturing Washington hypocrite and not fit to represent me.
What: Dustin Hoyt takes on the biggest issues of the day, advocating for smaller government, liberty, common sense, and honest politicians. His insight and witty commentary provide entertaining and provoking angles on everything from fiscal policy to the most sensational statements. With a twist of Libertarianism and Conservativism that blends well to all who support the tea party and true American values. This show taps into all the things patriotic Americans love and need to hear in the battle against the left and the expansive government we fight against.
Tonight: Dustin will be talking about RINOs and the Amash Amendment – no love for John Boehner tonight! Also, there might be a little talk with fellow CDN broadcasters, Jennifer Meadows and Josh Bernstein from “Grit and Grace”.