Thursday, March 17, 2011

Get On With It

I'm beginning to wonder if John Boehner actually isn't a politician, but instead a sly Zen master whose true purpose is to develop in us the arts of patience and persistence. 

As I see it, he's only been able to blaze his trail of tears as Speaker thanks to last year's voter revolt against the Democrats and Obamacare, yet at nearly every turn he seems by nature to seek out a "bipartisan" approach to settling political conflicts. This might be tolerable if liberals and Democrats were themselves willing to make serious concessions, but unfortunately these are people for whom "bipartisan" means "we get what we want, then you shut up!" Whenever Boehner does this, tea partiers, conservatives and even some libertarians erupt in protest, and then he usually backtracks to a tougher position to calm them down.  He and his House leadership have played this tune so often by now that I think it's a safe bet to say that if they continue this approach, they may well blow the opportunity the elections gave them to begin rolling back the Obama disaster.

The latest example of this has been the Continuing Resolution (CR) saga that's been going on since the majority Democrats in the last Congress refused to pass a full year budget, leaving the problem to the new Republican majority. This has been a nice little game for Obama since it keeps the Congress preoccupied with short term emergencies, stopping the Republicans from working on the big picture, the main part of which is defunding Obamacare and setting the stage for its ultimate repeal.

Today another CR went through that funds the government until April 8, and who knows what will happen after that.  The big fear that is driving Boehner & Associates is that if they pass another budget with spending cuts that Obama and the Democrats in the Senate find unacceptable, the latest resolution will expire with no further funding enacted, causing a "government shutdown." The conventional wisdom is that this same situation is what brought Bill Clinton back from the brink in 1995, and the Republican leadership  fears that replaying the Gingrich strategy will lead to a similar revival in Obama's political fortunes.

So as things stand now, all that Obama and Harry Reid have to do to forestall any serious budget cuts is to hint that the Republicans will only come to disaster if they actually try to do what so many of them were elected to do, cut spending and stop Obamacare. Apparently this is a strategy that takes very little energy, if Obama's social calendar is any indication, and I can imagine them going on this way for the rest of Obama's term if it keeps working.

There appears to be a growing revulsion among members of the House that their leadership has led them to this state of affairs, and I think that many of them are realizing that they are in serious danger of losing support from the voters who gave them such a whopping majority in the House to begin with. The Republican leadership may be willing to avoid a showdown on spending if they think it will keep them from a Gingrich-style political disaster, but I think if they take this path they will only be courting a much larger disaster by completely alienating most of the same voters who gave them the power they now seem so reticent to use.

Instead, I think they should take heart in how Gov. Walker in Wisconsin has so far been able to win out against extreme opposition in his quest to save his state from bankruptcy.  As has been shown in Wisconsin, even small requests for budgetary savings drive leftists to near savagery in their opposition.  What could they possibly say or do that would be much worse than what we've seen from them already?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, leftists are driven to savagery when tea partiers elect people who are big government, pro corporation, no-bid contracts to campaign contributers, koch sucking partisan pieces of shit.

    Your party btw, is the party of no- no concessions is not a democratic 'leftist' quality, it's utterly inherent to Republican principles.

    You've got your world all backwards tard.