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Last night’s mistake

Last night’s mistake

The failure last night to pass the so-called Boehner bill was a mistake.  I hope it will be corrected today.

I don’t disparage the intentions of the 25 or so who were not willing to vote for the bill.  In fact, I agree with them as to where we should end up.  I disagree with them as to how to get there.

My disagreement is that they are treating this vote as the end of the line, the last chance to save this sinking ship.

That’s not my perspective.  This is an opportunity to change direction of the ship, and spend the next year fighting for the types of deeper changes which will save the ship.

The Boehner bill establishes the principles of no new taxes, dollar-for-dollar offsets of debt and budget cuts, capping the growth of government, and the necessity of further cuts.  The Boehner bill also establishes this agenda as the agenda for the presidential election by making sure that more hard decisions are made during the electoral season.

There is uncertainty as to what no debt ceiling raise means.  Frankly, I don’t know whether it will be no big deal or catastrophe.  But I am confident that regardless, it plays into Obama’s hands.

The lack of job growth, the failure of a recovery to materialize, any further economic damage, and so on, will be placed on our doorstep, however unfairly.  The narrative for the presidential election will be changed dramatically, and not in a way that helps us rid ourselves of a president who is deeply committed to the expansion of government by regulation if not legislation.

Passing the Boehner bill out of the House, to near certain rejection by the Senate and Obama, puts the onus for any negative consequences where it belongs, on the Democrats.  But only if Republicans pass it out of the House.

Update:  I should also add that some of the monied Tea Party organizations, which only to a limited extent represent the “movement,” have lost their way when they announce that they will target Allen West over his decision to vote for the Boehner bill.  Allen West?

And, here is West’s response (h/t @allahpundit):


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“My disagreement is that they are treating this vote as the end of the line, the last chance to save this sinking ship.

That’s not my perspective.”

We all have the right to our opinion. However, you and I were not elected to make these decisions.

Will we have a better chance in the future to right this sinking ship? Should we act now or wait?

To quote Ronald Reagan: “If not us, who? If now now, when?”

I agree with now.

    BD1957 in reply to tomesnyder. | July 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    That Reagan quote was not spoken in reference to a particular piece of legislation, it was addressed to the particular tasks & challenges of governing at that time.

    Where legislation was concerned, Reagan was perfectly willing to take as much of the loaf of bread as he could get now and coming back tomorrow to push for the rest of it.

    Democrats love the current visuals – – – – they are all united (behind stupid policy, granted), while Republicans are bickering among themselves over what to pass. There’s little to no focus on the Democrats intransigence because the press likes the circus on our side of the aisle – and no matter how unfair that is, it isn’t going to change.

    On top of all that, we have folks on our side beating their chest about their membership in the “NO!!” caucus & accusing their fellow Republicans who are trying to pass legislation which has some chance of becoming law “sellouts” and “RINOs” and all the usual stuff.

    Here’s the thing – if this isn’t the solution for this moment (leaving the rest of the loaf in play for the next round), what is & how are you going to get it passed?

William A. Jacobson | July 29, 2011 at 8:56 am

The Boehner bill is now. Find me a Reagan quote which says we have to shoot ourselves in the foot.

“Last night on Sean Hannity’s show, Senator Rand Paul said around a dozen Republican Senators will vote against Boehner’s plan. And they must. Because if they do not, I have a sneaking suspicion that Harry Reid will strip out the balanced budget amendment language and the second vote on the debt ceiling, send it back to the House, and get it passed with a hundred Democrats.House Conservatives who don’t like the plan, but are willing to trade their vote for a balanced budget amendment are about to be force fed the plan they don’t like by Harry Reid and all with their help.”

“To console themselves, Boehner is going to give House conservatives their balanced budget amendment language and then have them do the very thing they promised they’d fight — fund Obamacare.

Yes, you see that’s the dirty little secret glossed over by everyone. John Boehner’s plan contemplates Obamacare’s continuation. And House Republicans will sell their souls today for a balanced budget amendment that the Senate will strip from the plan in the best case scenario.”

Red State

“1) House Republicans are walking into an enormous trap. The Boehner plan is sufficiently similar to the Reid plan, in virtually all important respects, that its passage will lead to the following compromise:

A commission which will report out large tax increases which cannot be filibustered. The “deciders” on the commission will be six Pelosi/Reid people and one squish Republican, who will be corralled into submission by:
A “trigger” which will make the pressure currently being applied to Congress seem small by comparison.”

(3) Dick Morris is correct that if Tuesday comes and goes, with only a shut-down of unessential government agencies, the American people will see Obama’s fear-mongering for what it is.

(4) Furthermore, as 2008 taught us, the GOP can sell all of its principles and spend the better part of a trillion dollars and the stock market will still continue to fall –- particularly since Standard & Poor’s is about to downgrade the U.S. for being too timid in debt reduction.”

<a href=""Red State

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Viator. | July 29, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I hate to agree with Greg Sargent, but he is right that there is just as much likelihood that, given the timing and the difficulty of getting even this passed in the House, there will be no Senate revision, it will be take it or leave it:

    It’s worth noting, though, that if GOP leaders do ultimately round up the votes to pass Boehner’s plan — a very big if, to be sure — the current chaos could actually help him later. It could make it easier for Boehner to argue that nothing other than his plan, or something very clser to it, can ever pass the House. And we still don’t know what Dems will be prepared to concede in order to get the final compromise through the House, which, after all, remains imperative to stave off default and economic calamity.

    In other words, even if things seem totally out of control in the House at this very minute, the larger dynamics of the situation mean that Republicans could still emerge from this whole mess with a major victory

      Senators Issue Letter to House GOP Colleagues in Opposition to Debt Limit Extension Bill

      “Today Republican Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee (Utah), Jim DeMint (S.C.), and David Vitter (La.) issued a Dear Colleague letter to their Republican House brethren, stating their opposition to tomorrow’s House vote on the debt limit extension and urging them to stand in opposition as well.”

      “1) The bill will lead to an increase of our national debt of at least $7 trillion in the next 10 years, assuming the maximum cuts in the bill actually materialize. Using less optimistic CBO numbers, new debt could easily approach $10 trillion.

      2) The first year “cuts” are inadequate. The first year is the only really enforceable number without a Balanced Budget Amendment. The first year cuts are a paltry $7 billion.

      3) The bill would clearly produce a downgrade to our AAA rating, as reported by multiple sources today. To raise the debt ceiling without adequate reforms would do more harm to our economy than not raising it at all.

      4) The bill does not make specific cuts, so it is impossible to assess where the cuts will come from or whether they are gimmicks.

      5) The budget never balances under this scenario.

      6) The special committee process set up under this bill could fast track potential tax increases. Despite what some have said, there are no protections in the bill against tax increases.

      7) The bill clearly does not fulfill the principles of “Cut, Cap and Balance”. Saying that it does is a gross distortion and attempt to peel off votes of skeptical members.”

      Rand Paul,

We’ve Been Played for Saps, Folks: Boehner Bill Will Become Reid Bill

“So Dingy Harry can take the Boehner bill and tweak it and rewrite it, make additions to it, take some things out of it, play with it however he wants, and get enough votes from Democrats since it becomes the Reid bill, and then it gets sent back to Boehner in the House looking nothing like his bill, but the rationale for passing the Boehner bill in the House is we’ve got to do this, the time is up, we’re not going to get blamed. So if Reid monkeys around with the bill that he gets from Boehner, and it passes in the Senate, with whatever changes that are not favorable to us, of course, they throw it back in Boehner’s lap, and then the pressure is going to be back on Boehner. Okay, do you sign the Reid bill? Do you pass it? Do you get your guys to vote for it and send it to Obama, basically a Democrat bill. That is what a lot of people — and I sign on to the theory, too — this is one of the traps that’s being set. The Boehner bill is essentially being used to be a foundation for a nonexistent as of yet Reid bill. And thereby the Boehner bill becomes the Reid bill, therefore Democrat bill all in the absence of an Obama plan. No Obama plan at all in this.”

Rush Limbaugh

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Viator. | July 29, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Isn’t that true with anything the House passes. So the House should never pass anything for fear it will be thrown back at them in stripped down version?

      CCB was not thrown back REID tabled it. Give them CCB II, III and IV. If that was done cleverly the Democrat intransigence and game playing would become manifest despite the MSM covering them them.

“puts the onus for any negative consequences where it belongs, on the Democrats”

I’ll support this theory though it was used many time before and always ended in failure.

So I’ll go along with this theory however it will depend upon how Democrats effectively twist the narrative to blame ‘The Other’ ie Republicans, Conservatives, Tea PArty, George Bush etc etc and so forth and how many Establishment Republicans looking to save their political careers will reach across the aisle applauding the newly crafted false narrative.

I hope you are right about this theory-perhaps this time around it will work.

    Nemo's omen in reply to syn. | July 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

    It’ll never work with a complicit press and an unreliable FOX.

    Not sometime in 2012 but now is THE historic opportunity for a fiscally radicalized, sufficiently sized Republican minority to force changes in business as usual. Now is the time to say No to profligate spending and pretend cuts, engorged government to include Obamacare to come, overfunded and out of control TSA, EPA, Depts. of Education and Agriculture, and overweening, stifling and conflicting regulation. Now is the prelude to 2012 and this Congress needs to set the tone and lay down specifics, or reformation mojo in the House will slip-slide away in the months ahead. Boehner’s bill is already a compromise that will be further compromised by Reid, time and opinion polls, and it likely will end up solidifying the Democratic base while creating an unbreachable schism in the Republican Party.

    Most of us realize that, even were the GOP to take the Senate and WH in the next election, the establishment party interests won’t fundamentally rethink government mission and funding except for around the edges, on account of, sensibly, not wanting to thoroughly own the ugly that’ll ensue from downsizing bureaucracy and entitlements and depriving citizens and illegals alike of their “medical rights.” As always, they’ll see no need to rock the boat they’re floating in, especially in today’s turbulent seas, and what rocky shoals?

    At this point, only Tea Party fiscal conservatives are willing to swim against the tide to make landfall against the odds. The storm has already hit despite all denial.

You know.. Sometimes what a spendthrift needs is a dose of bankruptcy. The key issue is not the debt ceiling, but one of accounting principles. Baseline budgeting is non-sense and should not be used. If they want to do forecasting, future budgets should use revenue forecasts for budgetary authority not historical spending increases, That’s just insanity!

None of the bills addresses that. I don’t think any meaningful reform can be made so long as Congress continues to use Enron’s accounting model with a bit of Ponzi’s sleight of hand.

    syn in reply to Steve. | July 29, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Yes, experiencing the hard hit to the wallet is one of the best educations human beings can receive; propping up failure simply extends the pain and the misery.

    PS: enabling addicts always fails both the addicts and enablers.

“he is right that there is just as much likelihood that, given the timing and the difficulty of getting even this passed in the House, there will be no Senate revision”

We are talking about the Senate which successfully passed their ‘death panel’ behind cloed doors and with having never read a single page of their 2000 pages of corruption and lawlessness.

But if you believe the Senate will behave honorably and lawfully then I’ll trust your predictions.

[…] UPDATE: Professor Jacobson: “The failure last night to pass the so-called Boehner bill was a mistake. … […]

I think the GOP House should send GOP bills to the Senate rather than try and craft a RINO bill which will end up in the sausage machine, get returned to the house as sausage to salvage Dem hopes for 2012. This long ago ceased to be about debt and is all about politics. The best current GOP debt reduction effort, filled with smoke and mirrors, would reduce spending from an increase of either +$9 or +$10 (depending on which figures you use) trillion to an increase of +$9 or +$8 trillion over ten years, none of which will prevent a ratings downgrade. The Dems seem to be willing to use a Cloward-Piven strategy but not the GOP.
Does anyone think the GOP will get credit for that? Remember the emergency TARP where the GOP lost the last Presidential election?

On top of that there is included the dangerous un-democratic congressional super-committee stacked with progressive Democrats, the future funding for Obamacare and a probable pass for any further discussion of debt until after the 2012 election.

Midwest Rhino | July 29, 2011 at 9:50 am

It seems the concern is that this bill might establish “principles”, but cuts are still back-loaded promises more than real cuts. And how high will the debt ceiling be raised? Can they “hold the line” or will they give the Democrats the “blank check” to spend past the next election?

This bill may propose some good things, but is already “dead on arrival”. So this bill gets changed by Reid. Reid’s version will raise the ceiling past the election with phantom cuts, but he will claim that IS the compromise.

My question is how the Republicans can frame THIS “final” version as THE compromise. Or can they hold the line on a smaller debt ceiling increase, so that the critical issue is sure to be on the table for the election?

Obama has put off the Obamacare explosion till after 2013. He says no one is talking of raising taxes .. till 2013. Everything he does seems based on “do it now, but put off the repercussions till 2013”. “Cuts” (in the increases, no real cutting) are put off even longer.

The House must assure this increase does not give them the “blank check” to get past 2013. West says he wants to stay on offense … I don’t quite see how retreating without demanding Democrats put their plan in writing, is exactly being on the offense. “We showed you ours, now you show us yours”.

But I don’t claim to know how things really work in DC, and I don’t know what the latest version is. I just know Obama/Reid offer nothing solid, and dismiss the House with a wave of their hand, and Boehner seems to obey. What happened to the 2010 mandate? Why is Reid still King?

Default is not the issue, credit rating is the issue, which is fixed with less spending, not more debt. Make sure that is the issue for the next election … if this bill is REALLY doing that … do it now AND tell Reid his changes are “dead on arrival”. This IS the compromise.

Wow. Give them everything they want in exchange for the OPPORTUNITY to change the direction of the ship. It sounds like the losing Republican battle cry “We will lose this battle in order to win the war. Eventually. Someday. Maybe.”

I’m tired of waiting for the ship to change direction. There may be a reason why we can’t do this now, but that won’t go away. Imagining that things will be fixed in the future does not match what we’ve seen in the past.

In other words, why would you expect things to get better or easier when we’re further in debt?

    William A. Jacobson in reply to ErikZ. | July 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

    The Boehner bill is “everything they want”? I don’t think so, not even close.

    syn in reply to ErikZ. | July 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

    “It sounds like the losing Republican battle cry “We will lose this battle in order to win the war. Eventually. Someday. Maybe.”

    Hey, one of the very first things I learned shortly after my 9.11.2001 conversion from a brain-dead liberal obtuse with all things politics to a highly engaged Conservative activist was the mantra “Republicans are the party of stupid while Democrats are the party of evil”

    After almost nine years of conservative activism I am beginning to see truth in that mantra.

Geez professor, the Boehner bill may be “now”, but it is an abdication of responsibility. It is just an “Ole!” to allow runaway government spending and catastrophic debt to continue unabated. If we can’t find the spine to address the problems today in a non-election year, what exactly do you foresee about these guys that will find the spine in six months, after our debt rating has been downgraded, when the economy will be worse, and the situation even worse during an election year? Even worse, the Boehner plan gets rewritten into the Reid plan and then we are talking about 2013?

For the GOP, it is NEVER the right time to do THE RIGHT THING. When these clowns sold out on the 2011 budget fiasco ($100B than turned into $62B and settled at $31B that worked out to $250M (that’s million) of spending cuts, they told us that those talks were a distraction to the REAL fight, the debt ceiling.

Okay, so here we are. The Big Debt Ceiling Fight. So what’s the excuse this time? We can’t do it during an election year? It’s not an election year. We couldn’t even do it minutes after an historic electoral victory. We can’t do it because the voters will blame the Republicans. Even though they won an historical electoral victory to address these very issues? We are only 1/3 of the government. But THESE SAME CLOWNS controlled EVERYTHING under Bush when they engineered the biggest build-out of big government since LBJ. We believe THESE SAME CLOWNS?

A couple of weeks of ago, you reviewed your blog experience confessing that you were not very political two years ago. Yet here you are defending the corrupt establishment and parroting their lame and trite arguments.

Do you see why it is so difficult to do the right thing? It’s seductive. You’re always outnumbered by “the big boys” with the big money and important political connections. You are up against very influential and monied interests who throw the Karl Roves, Brit Humes, Weekly Standard, Fox News, and so many other enablers in your face and who have career reasons to not offend their sponsors.

It took just 25 Tea Party congressmen with conviction to stand Congress on its head. Imagine if we had 200? THAT is the trend we need to build on. That is where the most informed and motivated voters are gravitating to. America loves fighters and winners. We are sick of our corrupt one-party deal makers. Are you now becoming an establishment drone?

This is the time when you either fight or step aside. Two years isn’t much time to “get it”. I’ve been around the block so many times that I can’t stand it anymore. There IS no Republican party. They are just Assistant Democrats and until we get a second party, all roads will continue to lead to what everyone here fears most: fascist post-Constitutional tyranny.

Professor, you have heard us explain our positions. How about fleshing out yours? All we’ve seen are links and “me too”. Maybe if you wrote an essay for us to examine, one that reconciles your principles and convictions to your Republican politics, maybe we can further your conservative education. Right now, you are defending the Mexicans at the Alamo.

Notice how the Dems have us heartily beating up on each other? Very nicely played.

    Who is “we”? The Dems don’t have “us” beating us on each other. It’s that for some of “us”, the “we” also includes Assistant Democrats, Democratic Party Enablers.

    The biggest obstacle for us conservatives is not Democrats but Republicans who keep fighting the only people who are willing to fight for the principles that the GOP keeps saying they embrace while always ALWAYS paving the way for the Democratic agenda. Are you a Republican or a conservative? They are not interchangeable.

When reality and ideology clash….

I honestly don’t blame them. They feel they are standing on principle, and are resisting the “corruption” of politics.

Understandable. These are not career politicians, However, they ARE politicians just the same, and need to understand that is now their chosen profession.

If we are to “blame” anyone, it must start with Boehner. He has failed to make his case.

Personally, I’m refreshed that they didn’t just fall in line. A stark contrast to the Pelosi era.

That said, the message has been sent, and now it’s time to move.

In the future I suspect Boehner will “negotiate” with the House in public first, then take it to Obama…instead of “negotiating” with Obama in private, then taking it to the House.

Classic “you’re doin’ it wrong”

I have a transcript of a presser Obama is giving today. Here is what he is planning to say:

One DEBT to rule them all, One DEBT to chide them,
One DEBT to bring them all and in the red-ink bind them.

Grudgingly, 100% correct. Dealing with Democrats (politicians, senators, congressmen, lawyers, auto salesman) is like dealing with North Korea, always something today in exchange for a promise to discuss something tomorrow. The problem doesn’t go away, the fix just gets worse. And worse. And worse. And then subsistence.

The difference between this spring and now is not really much. Republican still only control the House.

Remember the Overton Window? The Dems overreached, pushed the window too far too fast. There seems to be a physics type opposite and equal reaction from the tea partiers, and I think that is what the debate is about amongst Republicans.

I would rather move the ball down the field than go for a touchdown and end up sacked.

I also appreciate Reagan, but know that Truman was successful in blaming a do nothing Congress. Reagan, Thatcher, Churchill are well regarded historically because they were ready to step in when the time came, and it was obvious to the masses. You ran a series by a pollster a while ago explaining that most people do not intently follow politics and current events. It would do well to remember that the few second sound bites can effectively wipe out many hours of laborious study and seriousness.

Professor, I seldom disagree with you but you do not take into consideration some things that have already happened. Obama’s budget was rejected 97-0. Not one Democrat voted for it. The Ryan plan, which was passed by Congress, went to the Senate to fall dead. So the Congress passed Cut, Cap and Balance, only to go to the Senate and have it tabled. Both times, Harry Ried REFUSED to even allow it to come up for discussion. Reid has said that if the Boehner plan is passed, it is DOA on arrival in the Senate and if just by chance it would pass the Senate, the President has said he will veto it.

Yesterday the S & P spokesman said that the debt needed to be cut by at least $7 Trillion, and the Ryan budget gets near that at $6.2. The chances of the U.S. credit rating being downgraded in spite of what ever is done now is 99%. When British bonds are a better bet than U.S. bonds and the credit rating agencies are still talking about downgrading Great Britian’s credit rating, it becomes clear: the genie is already out of the bottle and we are simply trying to stuff one of his legs back in.

The Republicans hold only 1/2 of the Congress, which gives them 1/2 of all four branches; legislative, executive, judicial and media. No matter what the Republicans do, blame is going to be laid at their feet by the media who long ago jumped in the tank for Democrats.

I think it is time to be honest. The Democrats, and the President, really have no plan but have been masters at dumping this at the feet of the Republicans, who have passed two bills that Reid just simply dismissed. The President promised reporters at a presser last week that his plan would be available to them, on paper, after his presser. When Carney was asked for it yesterday, Carney told the press that they (the White House) has already shown plenty of leg; i.e. there is NO White House plan.

Harry Reid is now saying he is going to go forward (allow a vote) on HIS plan. That was ALWAYS the plan; Reid would ignore everything coming out of the Republican House only to push his bill. It will be a take or leave it situation with the press yakking about how the Republicans are not being “cooperative” (never mind Obamacare was done behind tall mahagany doors with a sign that said “No Republicans Allowed”). It is hard to swim upstream when you have the MSM holding your head under water.

It is time to realize what exactly is going on here. The Democrats, and the President, want a default. Remember, Timothy Geithner will have the authority to decided what checks go out and who gets paid, not the Republicans in the House. The Democrats, and the POTUS, are rolling the dice thinking if the nation does go into default, with a complicit media, the blame will fall on Republicans and they will take back the Congress in 2012 and maintain the Oval Office. Look for the POTUS to try to usurp the 14th Amendment, all in the name of “saving” the nation.

This is no longer about our nation for the Dems. This is about November, 2012.

Number of times the debt ceiling has been raised since 1962 = 75

Number of debt commissions in 30 years = 17

Total debt and obligations of the US = $90-200 trillion dollars, depending whose figures you use. Somewhere between 6 to 14 times US GDP.

US debt increases have now become exponential.

Increases in US debt

“The Boehner bill establishes the principles of no new taxes, dollar-for-dollar offsets of debt and budget cuts, capping the growth of government, and the necessity of further cuts. The Boehner bill also establishes this agenda as the agenda for the presidential election by making sure that more hard decisions are made during the electoral season.”

I don’t understand. The Boehner bill was written by Establishment Republicans with sops to the Tea Partiers in order to secure their votes. From all reports the “budget cuts” are miniscule. This hardly “establishes the principles of…capping the growth of government, and the necessity of further cuts.”

Moreover, this claim of establishing principles and agendas is wishful thinking. Are Obama, Harry Reid and company going to heed any “principles” or “agenda” established by House Republicans in this debt ceiling fight?

If the principles you outline were indeed established, the House would be passing Connie Mack’s “Penney Plan” with sops to establishment Republicans in order to secure their votes.

The hard truth is that “Establishment Politicians” are in charge on both sides of the aisle. They are supported by the “Establishment Media,” the “Establishment Bureaucracy” and a sizeable percentage of the “Establishment Public” which sucks at the teat of the Welfare State. The Tea Partiers are gnats buzzing at the fringe of “The Establishment.”

The idea that any political strategy is capable of changing this hard truth or cajoling “The Establishment” to do what is right is laughable. Playing ball with “The Establishment” is suicide.

I say stand on principle, do harm to “The Establishment” by any political means possible. If that means the “Establishment Public” has to come to terms living without a government check, so be it.

Whether you know it or not, the battle lines for 2012 are already drawn. We won’t win that battle by conceding anything to the other side. It’s Liberty versus the Welfare State. That’s the only agenda I’m interested in establishing for the 2012 Presidential election.

The Boehner bill establishes the principles of no new taxes, dollar-for-dollar offsets of debt and budget cuts, capping the growth of government, and the necessity of further cuts.

That’s where you’re wrong. It doesn’t cap or cut. All it does is slow the continuing expansion.

Bamboozler-in-Chief is sweet-talking bi-partisan like John McCain sweet-talking maverick.

We are in the smart hands of an awesome Big Government!

[Jake]Tapper: (to Jay Carney) Is there any negotiation going on specifically between Vice President Biden and the Senate Republican leader about what happens with and if the Senate rejects the Boehner bill?

Carney: Well, the Senate WILL reject the boehner bill.

So what is the point in all of this. Nothing the Republicans pass will be accepted by the Reid cabal. This is all a kabuki dance for November, 2012.

Obama’s press message to America and soon Senator John McCain will cross the aisle in agreement:

“Americans all going TO DIE EATING CAT FOOD if you don’t give your Big Government overlords want we want!!!!!!”

    Steve in reply to syn. | July 29, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Shhhhhh, You’ll give the FDA expansion rational to protect said americans eating cat food. That will price said catfood out of reach.

[…] forever giving Lucy the football and trusting that she’ll hold it in place. And lately, taking a beating from the cute little red haired girl with the teapot, too.Personally, I think the last three weeks of hysteria and hype have been a […]

I like Mcain’s analogy if not the way he delivered it. I am a hobbit standing up to the Shadow wraiths in Congress and calling for Sauron to step down! .. Now where did I put Sting?…

The ring must be cast back into the fire of its making ! Down with Mordor!

Allen West? The same combat veteran who’s been educated about all the great Strategists from Sun Tzu thru Sherman and John Boyd? The man on the scene with the technical knowledge and awareness of The Battle of Tours and Al-Andalusia? The man with the knowledge, training, and experience of “OOda Loop” and getting inside his opponents Decision Cycle?

The situation this country faces is figuratively analogous to the Battle of Bastogne when the German Panzer Generals sent in their surrender requests. Would it surprise anyone if Representative West replied: Nuts!

The Professor is right.

If the House cannot pass a bill that does measurable good, and no harm, they are leaving the field open to Obama and Reid. There will be two possible outcomes, neither good.

1. Obama and the Democrats push through something that guarantees business as usual and ride it into the 2012 elections. The country suffers for a long time to come.
2. Obama/Reid do a bill in the Senate, and it dies in the house. Nothing is accomplished. Chaos ensues, and the GOP takes the blame. Obama rides that into 2012 and…

Before people draw a line in the sand, they should understand what they are fighting for, what they stand to gain if they win, and what it will cost them if they lose. It also helps to understand what the odds of victory/defeat actually are. Robert E. Lee knew well how to choose his fights, and live to fight another day, right up until Gettysburg when he rolled the dice on all or nothing.

The whole process is not helped by those on the sidelines who keep yelling “hey, let’s you two fight”. With none of their own blood at risk, they can be great side line warriors. We see a lot of that on the blogs. I sent Limbaugh an email on that subject yesterday.

    Nemo's omen in reply to Oldflyer. | July 29, 2011 at 11:36 am

    The House passed CC&B that did “measurable good.” The Senate tabled it.

    Reid has promised to defeat Boehner’s bill. At best, he’d take it, change it and own it. Business as usual, gar-on-teed.

    What is your solution? How much more compromise do you propose?

      BD1957 in reply to Nemo's omen. | July 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      Those are good questions – and everyone, including the folks working to defeat Boehner’s legislation, should be compelled to answer.

      Boehner has provisions in it which are better than current policy. What “better legislation” is out there that the defeat of Boehner will help get passed? How is the Republican position strengthened by the defeat of Boehner?

      There are people every day who speak of how they admire Ron Paul for sticking to his principles. That’s all well and good, but it’s hardly courageous – one man, one vote, he’s pretty much never in the position where he has to own the ramifications of his policy preferences.

      Right now, there’s a “Ron Paul Caucus” which is de facto pushing for default.

      IMO, the Republican House wasn’t elected to cause a train wreck.

      Do voters want spending brought under control? Absolutely.

      Do they understand the scope & severity of the problem? Probably not – – – if you look at the polls, it appears we think spending can be brought under control by raising “somebody else’s” taxes and reducing “somebody else’s” benefits.

      And THERE’S the rub – we’ve made the case that “Things need to change, but not to such an extent that MY taxes go up / benefits get reduced.”

      Which means, folks, that right here, right now, Republicans only have a mandate to START the process. Our fellow citizens are still entertaining the magical thinking that this problem can be solved quickly and painlessly – we have to disabuse them of that fiction & get them to understand that we’re all going to have to change our expectations.

        “Our fellow citizens are still entertaining the magical thinking that this problem can be solved quickly and painlessly – we have to disabuse them of that fiction & get them to understand that we’re all going to have to change our expectations.”

        And we disabuse them of that fiction and get them to change how? By passing a plan that is only slightly “better than current policy?”

        Ron Paul isn’t “pushing for a default.” He’s simply accepting the reality that, due to past and current Washington profligacy, we are already de facto in default!

          If it’s slightly better & the political environment – Democrats controlling the Senate & White House – isn’t conducive to doing better yet at this time, yes, that’s what you do.

          Did we send the fleet toward Japan on December 8, 1941? Why did we go to Africa in 1942 instead of Europe, when Europe is where Hitler was? When we finally went to Europe, why’d we hit Normandy instead of taking the far more direct route to Pas-de-Calais?

          You build a reputation as a “winner” by WINNING …. ‘going over the cliff with flags flying’ may stroke your ego, but that’s about it. And if, in the process, you succeed only in marginalizing yourself, then your little exercise in vanity does actual harm.

        Nemo's omen in reply to BD1957. | July 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm

        The idea that an intransigent Republican House is causing a default trainwreck is like blaming policemen for rampant crime in a neighborhood. (Granted, the police/GOP should have fought it more effectively, while acknowledging many get paid off to look the other way or are corrupt and criminal themselves…)

        Introspective honesty is needed, but constant self-blame as to the fiscal disaster the country is facing is counter-productive. Republicans and Tea partiers need to focus on principled solutions and stick to their guns, not sell out to compromise benefitting Democrats’ agenda, and not accept the spin that default is their own fault.

        Default and trainwrecks should be majority laid at the feet of Pelosi-Reid Obamacrats who’ve offered nothing or nothing significant in the way of budgets and disciplined spending. The GOP needs to find its bedrock values, speak with a steady voice, and develop some backbone, else it has absolutely nothing to run on in 2012. Republican cred will go into the red along with the nation’s finances.

        STARTing the process is a dead-end. The Dems who love process will own it, and it will go their way. Time, spin and attrition will erode interest and support for painful budgetary reform. The Repubs need to fight for real ends NOW.

          BD1957 in reply to Nemo's omen. | July 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm

          In other words, we need to move 100% of the way to a solution now, in a single bill, before we’ve even convinced the public that everyone’s going to be affected by this, and that’s the way it should be …. right?

          In that case, I say “Do nothing & welcome the train wreck” – after all, once the train wrecks, public opinion on the way out isn’t going to matter … everyone will take their hit because there will be no other option.

        Steve in reply to BD1957. | July 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm

        Kill Social Security… If we default we win. Our credit rating goes down. Spending will have to go down because we won’t be able to borrow as much.

        The Govt already has plenty of tax income, no need to raise taxes. Focus on Core responsibilities, act as referee among the states, ensure equality of citizens before the law, protect the sovereignty of the states and conduct diplomacy on their behalf.

        Other issues of national(domestic ) import should be handled by the states or Compacts of States with a fed rep acting as referee not as dictator. Maintaining a completely separate parallel set of agencies at the fed level is ridiculous.

        The income tax and making the senate direct reps were profound mistakes we made which made this massive leviathan federal government possible.

aimtomisbehave | July 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm

There’s an update to that story about an alleged Tea Party primary challenge to West. Tea Party Nation denies that they will do this, and no other group has actually announced this either.

The problem I have with the bill is it really doesn’t cut anything. From what I’ve read we get $20b in real cuts in exchange for a trillion dollars in more borrowing.

Future “cuts” won’t play for me. There’s nothing that binds any future congress to this deal, and I certainly wouldn’t believe the Obama administration will honor its agreements.

If it’s the best we can do, or the only thing we can do, ok then pass it. But when exactly are we really going to correct this train wreck?

to continue your sinking ship metaphor: now is the time to make basic repairs and to get the ship underway again, so that the big job can be finished in port.

Job #1 is to get the ship to port, and the nearest port is November 2012. Insisting on massive repairs now will sink us before we get there.

    Nemo's omen in reply to EnerGeoPolitics. | July 29, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Until Boehner revised the bill today, those “basic repairs” were only a lot of bandaids that won’t stick under water for very long– which would’ve worked had the bill temporarily raised the debt ceiling with actual, immediate offsetting spending cuts.

    At least now, even tho’ the House bill in this form won’t be approved by Reid’s Senate, the GOP has a principle to campaign on and a better chance at getting elected next year in order to implement more major repairs… IF it has sufficient Tea Party tar to swab all the holes in our hull as we reinforce it with sturdier planking, else the establishment GOP will allow us to continue listing only a little less from imbalanced budgets and pouring-in debt than the Democrats have.

Prof. Jacobson,

What do you think about Andy McCarthy’s take:

“The pass we are at is not an avoidable disruption. It is a disaster that has already begun to unfold, reversal of which cries out for bold action. The Boehner plan, or any other scheme that balks at forthrightly dealing with our financial straits, merely makes it more likely that our nation cannot survive as we have known it. In the shorter term, the Boehner plan ensures that, when serious steps are finally taken, the metastasizing debt disease will be trillions worse, if not terminal.

“Equally wrongheaded as imagining that an existential threat can be allowed to fester untreated is the insistence on seeing the threat in political rather than substantive terms.”

Can a country (or family) that borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends become solvent without action that inevitably require a massive and “catastrophic” change in lifestyle? When one is that deeply in debt, can there be an effective “moderate” approach?

    William A. Jacobson in reply to T D. | July 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    If this is the end of the battle then he is right, but it’s not. Also, are we really going to cut 40% of the federal budget overnight? If that’s what it takes then there is no hope. McCarthy also writes this:

    Does that mean the debt ceiling shouldn’t be raised at all? I think so. I am open, though, to arguments that the Titanic can’t be turned around on a dime, that some schedule of modest monthly tweaks — upward and downward — may be justified while we roll up our sleeves and do the hard work of dramatically scaling back. One would have to be convinced that the hard work is actually underway, but I could see the sense in such a plan.

      Nemo's omen in reply to William A. Jacobson. | July 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      I should know from personal experience ;), but a big McCarthy metaphor alert. One would need to roll up pant legs and not sleeves (at least not at first) on a sinking oversized and badly steered Titanic, although what good either would do…?

      Nemo's omen in reply to William A. Jacobson. | July 29, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      No one is seriously talking cutting the budget 40% instantly. But, the campaign battle ahead to influence voters ahead and change our entitlement thinking requires precepts and bold proof of intent, lest Republicans sound like opportunizing and ineffectual blowhards. Were squishy and expedient Republican compromise bills to be offered to political shark and spendthrift Dems at this critical time, even or especially with the justification that the GOP was buying time– taking baby steps, whatever, until the next election– a likely response from party partisans both sides would be a Why would anyone vote for the GOP? After Republicans gambled on compromising and incrementalizing when they could’ve taken a bold stand against Democratic intransigence, they got pwned by rhetorically more insistent and consistent Dems (media in the pocket helps.)

      As usual, establishment Republicans think they’re acting adult when they concede and concede; the Dems know they can dig in their heels and wait for concession to come to them, all the while spinning the Repubs as obstacles to better governance.

      Nemo's omen in reply to William A. Jacobson. | July 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      Please strike at least one of the “ahead”s second sentence above, b/c w/o Perview i ain’t got a head.

      Thank you, Professor, for taking the time to reply. Like the TARP bill this is a tough one with people I respect on both sides of the issue.

@ BD1957

“Did we send the fleet toward Japan on December 8, 1941?”

No, we waited four months and sent Doolittle’s raiders.

Some may have considered Doolittle’s Raid “going over the cliff with flags flying,” but it was exactly what this nation needed at the time. We didn’t compromise. We didn’t seek to avoid a “train wreck” of a world war. We signalled the Japanese that they had a real fight on their hands. By approving Doolittle’s Raid Roosevelt gave hope and encouragement to a demoralized nation.

If there is any hope of turning this country around, the Tea Party is key. The last thing the Republicans need to do is demoralize the people in the trenches. Bold strokes (even if futile ones) are a whole lot more effective moral-builders than timid half measures proposed by collaborators.

Nemo's omen | July 29, 2011 at 6:47 pm

If no one else will say it, I will.

Politics is about classic power exchange. Right now the GOP debt reduction vision is, upon Boehner bill/Tea Party amendments, posed to be on top, whether Reid likes it or not.

If House Republicans fold to Reid’s Senatorial purview/worldview, then they/ all of them are into serious kink.