Archive for republicans

A Look at the Government Shutdown

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 6, 2013 by Cannon

Byron York has some information on the shutdown.  Maybe it’s more of a semi-shutdown.  To wit:

I asked a Republican source on the Senate Budget Committee for an estimate. This was the answer: “Based on estimates drawn from CBO and OMB data, 83 percent of government operations will continue. This figure assumes that the government pays amounts due on appropriations obligated before the shutdown ($512 billion), spends $225 billion on exempted military and civilian personnel, pays entitlement benefits for those found eligible before the shutdown (about $2 trillion), and pays interest costs when due ($237 billion). This is about 83 percent of projected 2014 spending of $3.6 trillion.”

Not to minimize the pain and/or inconvenience some are experiencing, but this whole ordeal has been blown up by politicians and the media.  Why are open-air attractions being blocked off?  It’s an effort to convince the public that those of us who prefer less instead of more government intervention are crazy, uncaring extremists.  It’s infuriating to say the least.

In a separate article, York shines some light on how the Republicans “stumbled” into the Obamacare fight.  This from an unnamed Republican House member:

As the congressman told the story, as August progressed — and Cruz, along with a few Senate colleagues, the Heritage Foundation, and others, ran a high-profile campaign to stir public opinion against Obamacare — the House GOP leadership was mostly unaware of what was going on. “They got surprised a little bit by the Obamacare thing,” the lawmaker said. “This was something that blew up in August. Nobody really saw it coming — probably should have a little bit, I’m not being critical of anybody in that regard, on either side of this — but it just happened.”

The result of Reid’s intransigence, coming after multiple Republican miscalculations, was that both sides dug in. Whatever chance there had been of a settlement before — and there really wasn’t much of one, once the events of August began to unfold — there was zero possibility of a deal as September 30 approached. So the shutdown that House leadership never expected came. And it lasted more than the few days some predicted. And it is still going on as the October 17 deadline for raising the nation’s debt ceiling approaches. The crisis that House Republican leaders didn’t see coming is now consuming them, with unpredictable consequences. “We’re not in a situation that has been planned out and war-gamed and plotted, OK?” said the congressman. “We stumbled into a situation like Gettysburg that nobody planned, and all of a sudden each side is feeding more troops into it, and it’s turning into a much bigger deal.”

In a way, all this, if true, is a little scary.  However, it’s refreshing to know that not everything that goes on in Washington is a made-for-TV drama that’s been poll-tested over and over again.  I believe there’s certainly a theater element to all of this, but hopefully there are some standing on principle, fighting against conventional political wisdom.

Hat Tip:  Drudge Report

Awful Blogger

Posted in Conservatism, Politics with tags , , , , on May 22, 2010 by Cannon

Yep, that’s me. It’s like I’ve fallen off the face of the blogging earth. Luckily, I don’t have a ton of fans to disappoint. I must do better. I blog about as often as Eric Holder (a.k.a. Stedman) reads the legislation he criticizes. I heard someone on TV saying today that if Alberto Gonzalez had done such a thing he’d be labeled a stooge. So true.

What about Richard Blumenthal? Though he has caught some flack from leftist media types, he would have been drawn and quartered if he were a conservative. Republicans really don’t have it together yet, though. They let John Murtha’s old seat slip through their hands. It seems the public is breaking right so to speak. All Republicans have to do is be coherent and tenacious. In other words, they have to do a better job campaigning in November than I’ve done at blogging as of late. And that my friends is not a huge hurdle to clear.

Demonizing Republicans and Tea Partiers

Posted in Health Care, Media, Politics with tags , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by Cannon

Most media outlets (and I use that term loosely) have been less than subtle in trashing the tea party movement ever since they identified it as a threat to their collective left-wing agenda.  Since the passing of ObamaCare, that effort has only intensified.  However, with Republicans working to integrate much of the tea party element into their own base of support, these outlets are also doing their best to make the GOP look like those “crazies” whom they associate with the tea partiers.  We’re talking about the minuscule outer fringe.  Timothy Egan of the New York Times (surprise, surprise) illustrates my point by engaging in this rather trite exercise:

From the leader of the opposition, at least, was expected a level of decorum. But instead, Rep. John Boehner, the Republican who wants to be the next speaker of the House, predicted “Armageddon,” and shouted “Hell, no!,” his perma-tan turning crimson in rage.

Most of these vignettes are isolated incidents — a few crazies going off in a vein-popping binge. But the Republican Party now has taken some of the worst elements of Tea Party anger and incorporated them into its own identity. They are ticked off, red-faced, frothing — and these are the men in suits.

Having welcomed Tea Party rage into their home, and vowing repeal, the Republicans have made a dangerous bargain. First, they are tying their fate to a fringe, one that includes a small faction of overt racists and unstable people. The Quinnipiac poll this week found only 13 percent of Americans say they are part of the Tea Party movement.

I suppose Egan should get some credit for acknowledging that the most distasteful of his examples are “isolated incidents.”  Like his characterization of John Boehner’s speech, the Times writer’s assessment of the GOP opposition is completely off the mark.  While Egan sees Republican opposition as a hurdle in front of the liberal quest for better health care through the strong arm of the federal government, much of the country sees that quest for what it is:  a fantasy.  More specifically, it will cost trillions of taxpayer dollars, further empower the federal government and likely damage the positive aspects of the current health care marketplace.

WSJ.com’s James Taranto takes on a supposed examination of the right-wing fringe contingent that’s taking over the Republican Party:

“Scary New GOP Poll,” reads the headline at The Daily Beast. In the article, “Wingnuts” author John Avlon declares that “Obama Derangement Syndrome–pathological hatred of the president posing as patriotism–has infected the Republican Party.” The poll, he claims, “demonstrates the cost of the campaign of fear and hate that has been pumped up in the service of hyper-partisanship over the past 15 months. We are playing with dynamite by demonizing our president and dividing the United States in the process.”

There’s another methodological problem, which points to the nexus between the science and the art of polling. The survey includes only people who actually answer the crazy questions asked. So if your reaction to the guy on the street at the top of this column was to step up your pace and get away from him (which corresponds to saying “this is nuts” and closing your browser window), your opinion would not affect the outcome–but if you happen to be a Republican, Harris’s methodology imputes to you a likelihood of holding crazy views.

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the survey was designed to make Republicans, and only Republicans, look unhinged. The press release states: “The very large numbers of people who believe all these things of President Obama help to explain the size and strength of the Tea Party Movement.” This presupposes that the tea-party movement centers on crazy beliefs about Obama, a view that the poll provides no evidence to support.

For balance, such a poll might have included a series of crazy statements about polarizing Republican figures like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin. This would at least give some indication of whether Republicans have a greater propensity than Democrats to believe “scary” things.

For better or worse, there will always be people at each end of the political continuum with over-the-top views on certain matters.  What I see in the conflation of the right-wing fringe with the core of the GOP and, really, most who oppose ObamaCare, is an effort to discredit the legitimate arguments against a vast government intrusion by slandering those who are putting forth said arguments.  I mean, that’s a whole lot easier than actually debating the opposition directly, especially if one doesn’t have an answer for their opponents.  This entire left-wing slander initiative should be filed under “if you say it enough, most voters may believe it to be true.”

Paul Ryan’s Health Care Alternative

Posted in Health Care, Politics with tags , , , on March 21, 2010 by Cannon

One of the rallying cries utilized by the Democrats has been that the Republican Party in is “the party of no.”  Certainly, this is correct when discussing the ruling party’s current health care plan.  But to say that Republican’s have offered no alternatives is factually incorrect.  Paul Ryan has worked, over the course of several years, on an alternative.  A short summary is available here.  There are links to more health care information at Ryan’s site.  I’ve become a fan of Ryan’s.  I intend to read more of the congressman’s work.

Though it looks like the Democrats are going to get the current bill through the House (Bart Stupak and others jumping on board as I write), they can’t sincerely say that it’s the only plan.  Democrats still have more to do to transform the bill to law.  We’ll see what happens.  Paul Ryan’s plan is solid and easily understood.  The addition of many moving parts isn’t necessarily a positive.  If you’ve seen Ryan in action, his tight grasp of the issues, especially ones concerning the budget, is obvious.  He’s the guy that Democrats don’t want to debate.

My opinion is that the Democrat plan is a huge mistake fiscally, and it will likely damage what works in our current health care system.  Despite what some liberal “strategists” are saying, the party looks to be in big trouble come election time.  It’s difficult to get the bulk of the American public to agree on much of anything, but Democrats have achieved public consensus in terms of health care.  The public’s disdain for their health care reform is quite apparent.