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Entries in GOP (14)

Tuesday
Nov092010

GOP Surge leads to business as usual in DC

GOP: There'll be no compromise on tax cuts | McClatchy:

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who's expected to become the majority leader in the House when the new Congress is sworn in next year, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday news programs that they'd insist on an extension of the tax cuts for wealthy. McConnell said that higher taxes on upper income earners would harm small businesses.

 The GOP overtook the House because it was the will of the people, apparently the will of the people means that it's the GOP way or the highway.

So, with all the talk about change in Washington, on this point at least, we are going to see no change, which most likely means that everyone's taxes will be going up, including the precious "small businesses" that the GOP is apparently sworn to defend at all costs. Why would they do that? Even Boehner admitted that he would vote for a compromise if it was all that was presented, well, at least until he said it out loud and had to immediately retract.

This is a political move. The GOP appears to be standing firm on their principals here, but in reality, they're just trying to build up the case against President Obama for 2012. Problem is, if they refuse to compromise on the tax cuts, they'll actually be more to blame for a tax increase than the Dems. If they won't even consider a compromise that maintains the Bush cuts for 99% of the country, what does that say about them? What does that tell the average voter? Does it say "We don't believe in raising taxes and we'll stick by our guns," or does it say "we'll do anything we can to make sure that the wealthiest 1% of Americans get the benefits of these cuts." 

To me it says, we are going to do everything we can to make sure that nothing happens over the next two years, and I can't say as I appreciate the GOP's newfound dedication to obstinacy. If the GOP wants to prove to Americans (and no just the Tea Party) that they are dedicated to change, then they need to prove it by actually changing something, as opposed to allowing change to happen through attrition.

Thursday
Nov042010

The Party of Obstinacy

White House, Congress poised for battle over tax breaks in lame-duck session:

Republicans, for their part, say they have no incentive to compromise on the tax cuts, citing a mandate from voters to keep taxes low and to begin whacking at a federal budget bloated by spending on what the GOP views as Obama's failed economic policies.

So, not unlike George W. Bush entering his second term, the GOP sees their recapturing of one branch of government as a "mandate from the voters" that they need to stick to their typical line of lower taxes and zero reform.

The most recent polling available has fewer than 20% of Americans approving of the job congress is doing. Granted, those results are from before the election, but we didn't see an 80% turnover in Congress now did we? For the same time period, only slightly more than 31% of people felt that the country was on the right track, yet we didn't see a wholesale reversal of power in Washington.

The only thing the voters said on Tuesday night was that they are upset and that they feel like Congress, as a whole, needs to be doing something differently. Which, at least according to "The Pledge", the Republicans have no plans to actually do. Re-naming a 15 year old agenda and putting it in a pretty new binding does not actually make it new.

John Boehner is 1/3rd of the way into his 4th term as a Rep. for Ohio, and other than cleaning up some bad behavior by House members during his first term, his legislative claims to fame are two bills you've never heard of and No Child Left Behind (which has worked out really well).

This election wasn't a mandate, it was an admonition by the voters. The Democrats were punished at the polls for presiding over bad economic times. This isn't about health care or financial reform, it's about unemployment.

Oh, and not to tip Mr. Boehner's boat, but I'm sure that some of that "bloated" spending comes from the "Freedom to Farm Act" that he championed which simplified direct government purchasing of crops and milk. 

The GOP talks an awful lot about cutting spending, yet when it comes right down to it, they have spent an awful lot of taxpayer dollars in 1996, and since they've ruled out any cuts to military, Medicare or Social Security spending, I'll be interested to see what they are actually willing to cut, especially given the sheer amount of cash poured into these elections by private sector industry leaders.

Good luck Mr. Boehner, I'm sure that you'll have no trouble at all fixing, in two years, what it took the Bush/Obama administrations 10 years to break.

Wednesday
Oct062010

Meet the new boss...

Op-Ed Columnist - That?s Where the Money Is - NYTimes.com:

I've always thought of Mr. Boehner as one of the especially sleazy figures in a capital seething with sleaze. I remember writing about that day back in the mid-'90s when this slick, chain-smoking, quintessential influence-peddler decided to play Santa Claus by handing out checks from tobacco lobbyists to fellow Congressional sleazes right on the floor of the House.

Same as the old boss, as the saying goes. Problem is, Boehner has been fooling people into believing he actually cares for well over a decade now.

John Boehner isn't bringing anything new to the table, quite literally, just the same old promises of cutting taxes, cutting "entitlements", smaller government and fiscal responsibility.  It's the same message we've been hearing for a decade.

Boehner and his cadre of "new" leadership will bring the same kind of gridlock that has engulfed DC for the last two decades.

Monday
Oct042010

Where have you been Tea Party?

How the Republican Party Could Blow It - The Daily Beast:

If the Tea Partiers are as angry at Republican fiscal irresponsibility as Democratic fiscal irresponsibility, how come the movement only sprung up after Barack Obama?s election? Where were these guys in 2004, after George W. Bush launched off-budget wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, hiked education spending, forced through a costly prescription [not to mention unfunded] drug benefit, and won reelection because of the unprecedented enthusiasm of the GOP's conservative base?

I have to admit, I think that the larger Tea Party movement, while not exactly being an "astroturf" movement, does have some suspiciously odd timing. Yes, there are many "Tea Partiers" whom I know had issues with Bush's spending, but they still voted for him in 2004.

The biggest issue I see is that as soon as Obama was elected, Fox News went from defense to offense, immediately doing everything they could to lay the deficits and increased debt squarely at the feet of a new administration. Unfortunately, they were quite successful convincing their followers (they're not just viewers anymore) that President Obama was the reason that the debt had increased more than 1000% since Reagan's inauguration

Mr. Beinart is correct I think, the Tea Party (at least the ones I know) are focused on returning the GOP to it's Goldwater-era dedication to libertarianism, and that scares the establishment Reagan/Bush Republicans to death. The one thing that is missing is the social libertarian streak that Goldwater had, unfortunately the movement we have today is the bastard child of Goldwater's fiscal libertarianism and George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism". It's the small, limited government that still gets to tell you what to do, who to love and what you can/cannot do with your own body. 

Thursday
Sep302010

Pew says: "Very Conservative" = Old

Conservatives Dominate Republican Party, Skew Older:

There are few demographic differences between Republicans who call themselves "very conservative" and those identifying as simply "conservative." However, both conservative groups differ significantly by religious identification and by age from moderate and liberal Republicans, more so than on any other demographic characteristic analyzed.

What I find most interesting is that nearly 30% of the Republicans surveyed self-identify as either "Moderate/Liberal". That's a pretty big group of centrists that have to be feeling like the GOP has left them out in the cold as they move farther to the right.