Capitulation & a Pork King… not a good start for the GOP [Reader Post]

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Voter turnout in the United States is an embarrassment. For a republic that is supposed to be the vanguard of democracy around the world, when 55% of eligible voters casting ballots is considered good, that’s rather dismaying. Of course, seeing what happens when the uninformed vote, we may want to consider putting some hurdles in place. Perhaps we should force voters to pass the same test we require of immigrants seeking citizenship.

One reason voter turnout is so low is that many voters feel that regardless of who they vote for, nothing is going to change. Given the amount of time and energy that goes into picking candidates that might seem a bit odd. For federal offices campaigns can start two years before the actual election. Primaries start out sometimes with a dozen or more contenders that frequently represent a wide spectrum of ideas within the party. After months of back and forth voters in each party nominate their standard bearers to face off in the general election. (Sometimes it’s the case that the nominees are almost mirror images of one another, as happened in New York’s 23rd Congressional district in 2009.) The election is then supposed to decide between competing views and the victor heads off to Washington. Despite all of that effort every two years, many people feel like nothing ever changes.

The 2010 election was supposed to be different. Anyone with a pulse could see that 2010 was unusual. The Tea Party movement had taken on a life of its own and became a national story throughout the cycle. The mainstream media and much of the Democratic Party spent most of the cycle telling lies about the Tea Parties and spoofing their members. On the Republican side you had candidates tacking to the right in order to gain the support of various Tea Party groups.

When the dust settled on November 3rd one might have thought that the universe had been turned upside down. The Republicans picked up 63 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate. In the matter of two years the Democrats went from having an overwhelming majority in the House to having the fewest seats they’ve held since 1947. They lost their filibuster proof majority in the Senate in January when the nominally Republican Scott Brown won in Massachusetts and on election day they lost six more seats. Come January 2011 one might imagine that America had actually turned off the Road to Serfdom and decided to pursue prosperity.

Then again maybe not… Unfortunately, if the events of the last week are any indication of what’s coming prosperity may be delayed somewhat. Two events demonstrate that the voters who abstain from voting because it doesn’t matter who’s in power just might be right.

The first involves the hierarchy in the House. On Wednesday the Republican Steering Committee assigned the chairmanship of the single most powerful committee in House: Appropriations. The House Appropriations Committee controls essentially all federal spending. Simply put, it doesn’t matter what Congress or the President say or do, if Congress doesn’t appropriate money for something, it’s not likely to get done, and almost all appropriations must come through the House Appropriations Committee. And so, in this atmosphere of change where voters stood up and demanded fiscal restraint, who did the GOP put in charge of the purse strings of almost 30% of GDP? One of the Young Guns who live and breathe fiscal restraint? No – although none of the three were on the Committee in the first place. A hardened veteran of the House with bonafide spending restraint credentials? No. Rather, John Boehner and the Steering Committee put Hal Rogers in charge. Who’s Hal Rogers? Just a 30 year house veteran known in his home state of Kentucky as the “Prince of Pork” for his success in sending American taxpayers money to the Bluegrass State. Just in the last three years Congressman Rogers secured 135 earmarks worth $246.4 million of your money. (He now claims he has seen the light and is swearing off earmarks…) If this isn’t a case of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse then the phrase has no meaning. In a universe where the government spends trillions of dollars it neither has nor should be spending in the first place, this appointment says much about what the GOP really stands for.

The second wound the GOP inflicted on America last week was the agreement with President Obama to extend the Bush tax cuts. While an extension of the tax cuts was important, the GOP needlessly gave away the farm in order to get it. Having come off a resounding victory where the country clearly voiced its desire for a change in direction and demanded a halt to government spending, there was no need for the GOP to capitulate to Democrat spending demands. Nonetheless, Mitch McConnell and his cronies did so and agreed to extend unemployment benefits for another full year – for a total of 3 years of unemployment benefits. What’s worse, before even making it to the House floor the bill has been loaded with an extension of ethanol credits (AKA subsidies to farmers), subsidies for energy efficient appliances and benefits for mass-transit employees. To an objective observer this is nothing but Washington as usual. The GOP had an opportunity to take a stand and send a clear message to the Democrats, and more importantly to the American people who will be voting in the 2012 elections. Had they demanded a clean vote on a full extension of the tax cuts, the Democrats, who still control both houses, would likely have refused or defeated it. Taxes would have then gone up on January 1st. At that point, with control in the House and a much stronger hand in the Senate, the GOP could have brought a clean bill to the floor and it would have passed. Despite his class warfare rhetoric, President Obama would have likely felt compelled to sign it. Either way, the issue would have brought to the fore a clarifying fight where the GOP would have won the day and eventually the cuts. But alas it seems that is not how things seem to work in Washington …

It’s often said that you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression. Conservatives can only hope that that is not true for the GOP because if last week’s actions a precursor of two more years of go-along-to-get-along politics as usual, then Barack Obama is going to be a happy man as he is elected to his second term when conservatives stay home after rightfully concluding that there is really little difference between the parties. If such a disaster occurs the GOP should be laid to rest with Abraham Lincoln and America should look for a national Tea Party to help rescue the Republic.

More here.

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Strange isn’t it . . . that we first complain about a prez that has zero experience . . . then we complain about putting a person with MAX experience into a position that needs experience.

Wow, is this confusing?

Then we demand a tax break . . . perhaps by only NOT allowing the old one to go back into effect . . . then we complain that the tax break is improper.

Wow, is this confusing?

We NOW must wait with jaded eyes to see what the future will bring.

If WE don’t like it . . . then the coming elections will provide the change . . .

It matters not the percentage of voters that exercise their responsibility to vote . . . only that those that do exercise their responsibility do so in such fashion as to protect what they believe in.

Ah, so we say . . . but what about that huge percent that don’t vote?

Figure it out . . . they DON”T FREAKING CARE and THEY AIN”T NEVER GONA CARE . . . YOU CAN NOT MAKE THEM CARE!!!! They don’t understand, period!

One of the reasons people don’t think it matters who they vote for might be because in the primaries- the first half of the voters (in the liberal east and north) cull the good candidates before the other half of the states get to vote.

I’m still pissed that when the primaries got to Texas all we had was John McCain and the other liberal light candidates to choose from.

Vote for use, we’re not them … er, ah, ummm

Vote them all out, keep voting them out, and then keep them out.

It’s the politburo vs the people.

The lame duck session is spinning out of control and the feckles Republicans, in both houses, seem oblivious, as if there weren’t a watershed election. Well, maybe there wasn’t. The Constitution is designed to make forming a new majority very difficult, and that majority must be sustained over several election cycles. The good news (besides the Tea Party candidates who will take office in January–can’t wait to watch their interaction with Leadershp) is that any continued cluelessnes on the part of the Republican leaders will only further fire Tea Party anger, sustaining it through 2012. We are at a tipping point where about half of the country doesn’t pay taxes, but consumes them, yet the engine of private prodictivity has been damaged. It is a race between financial crisis and social disintegration on the one hand (watch California), and political reformation on the other. I’d say it’s likely that the crisis will, must occur, really, before anything serious is done. “Testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure” is always an open question.

Oldschool;

I totally agree, we the people will only stand and watch for the next few months, perhaps the first 180 days of next year will define the extent of the crisis that we will face.

Certainly the tipping point has arrived, there is NO stopping it . . . the only factor of significance is the depth to which the crisis extends and the degree or severity of such, (depth and width). The question becomes . . . how wide is the ocean and how deep?

Some states, California, New York . . . have the honor of being the gauge . . . how far will such crisis extend in these states . . . perhaps to the point that a fed take-over happens? Can California be the next GM? LOL

The coming change of command in the branches of government will define the country for at least the next 90 years (3 generations).

There’s been debate about making the Budget simply a Continuing Resolution when time runs out on it, as it has this year.
But Dems wanted a larded up budget now that it is too late for anyone to read it all.

<a href="Omnibus2010 “>Well, here it is.

Or here.

Others are plowing through it.
Here are some, just a tip of the iceberg, of the pork they’ve found:

$247,000 – Virus free grapes in Washington State
$413,000 – Peanut research in Alabama
$125,000 – Fishery equipment for the Guam Fisherman’s Cooperative Association
$349,000 – Swine waste management in North Carolina
$277,000 – Potato pest management in wisconsin
$246,000 – Bovine tuberculosis treatment in Michigan and Minnesota
$522,000 – Cranberry and blueberry disease and breeding in New Jersey
$500,000 – Oyster safety in Florida
$400,000 – Solar parking canopies and plug-in electric stations in Kansas
$165,000 – Maple syrup research in Vermont

Here is another place where posters (and the Senator, himself) are posting the pork:
http://twitter.com/#!/senjohnmccain

The Congress is still under the conrol of the democraps until January 5, 2011. Dingy Harry, Nasty Pelousy, Nostrildamus Waxman, & Clyburn still reign supreme with huge majorities. The 90 or so congress critters who will be gone January are staging the last raid on the nation’s treasury and future generations.
Declaring that Republicans are now failing to change what has been going on in the District of Corruption for the last four years is the current meme of marxiststream media and nothing more.

@ Old One, #7:

Republicans seem to have forgotten their 2010 fiscal responsibility pitch even before their new majority has been seated. Just look at the deal they’re cutting to get two more years of tax breaks for the wealthiest 3% of the population. They could have held things up until early next year, had they really wanted to adhere to their stated principles.

@Greg:

Speaking of “adher[ing] to [] stated principles”…has Obie threatened to veto the earmark laden $1.1 Trillion Omnibus bill yet?

He did, after all, state that he would veto all earmarks.

Of course, we all know that all of Obies’ promises have expiration dates, eh?

Obama tells lawmakers not passing tax deal could end presidency, Dem says

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/133909-obama-tells-lawmakers-not-passing-tax-deal-could-end-presidency-dem-says

In urging lawmakers to vote for his tax deal, President Obama is using one of his go-to lines from the healthcare debate, according to a Democratic lawmaker.

Obama is telling members of Congress that failure to pass the tax-cut legislation could result in the end of his presidency, Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) said.

“The White House is putting on tremendous pressure, making phone calls, the president is making phone calls saying this is the end of his presidency if he doesn’t get this bad deal,” he told CNN’s Eliot Spitzer.

But the White House shot back late on Wednesday.

“The president hasn’t said anything remotely like that and has never spoken with Mr. DeFazio about the issue,” said White House spokesman Tommy Vietor.

Obama’s push shows that the president is going to the mat in order to push through Congress the compromise brokered with Republicans.

During the end of the healthcare debate, Obama reportedly told Democrats upset that the bill did not contain a public healthcare option that not passing it could put his presidency on the line and stall the liberal agenda for decades.

The White House has been aggressively selling the deal, which includes a two-year extension of all the expiring Bush tax cuts in exchange for a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits, to skeptical lawmakers and the public.

The Senate passed the $853 billion legislation by an overwhelming 81-19 margin, sending it to the House.

Though House liberals and some conservatives have voiced opposition to the deal, some opponents have conceded that the likelihood of the deal failing at this juncture is very low.

Still, DeFazio has not been sold.

“I don’t feel that way — I think this is potentially the end of his possibility of being reelected if he gets this deal,” he said.

Ok then, the End of his Presidency!!! ( :mrgreen: )…Yeah Why Not??? ( A WIN/WIN )

VINCE: HI, YOUR POSTS ARE ALWAYS VERY CHALLENGING, AND YOU GET SUCH GOOD SMART REPLYS IN COMMENTS, THANK YOU FOR THAT,
I might add something which is a bit that I find important ,
the DEMOCRATS will try by many tricks like they did to PRESIDENT BUSH,
TO CONFUSE A SITUATION AS FAR AS A BILL IS TO PASS. BY AGREEING TO THE DEMANDS OF THE OPPOSITE PARTY TO CONCEDE ON THE IDEA TO CHANGE, OR ADD OR TAKE AWAY , AFEW LINES ON THAT SAME BILL, WHILE THEY FILL UP THEIR OWN DEMANDS DEEP INTO THE SMALLEST CRACKS OF THAT MULTIPAGES PACKAGES,
SO BY SAYING THAT THE CONSERVATIVES MUST NOT CHANGES THEIR WAYS WHY THE PEOPLE VOTE FOR THEM IS DEFINITLY RIGHT OF YOU TO HAVE MENTIONED IT ON THIS POST OF YOURS, THEY WILL GET DECEIVED IF THEY FAIL TO FOLLOW THE LINES OF THEIR CAMPAIN
I still feel confident that they will along with the TEAPARTY ELECTED BEST, WHO NEVER SHOWED WEAKNESS IN THEIR STRUGLES BEFORE BEING ELECTED, AND WILL BE POLICING ANYONE KNOWN TO WEAK TO REFUSE A DEM OFFER.
BYE