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Friday, July 15, 2011

The death of the Republican Party?

So let's see if I've got this straight:

House Speaker John Boehner (Agent Orange) and Obama worked out a "Grand Plan" that called for $4 Trillion in cuts over 10 years, and tax increases on oil companies, corporations, and the top 2% of wage earners in this country.  Boehner took the plan to the House, and the freshmen members of his party said "no deal." So he backed off.  The Speaker of the House doesn't have the ability to line up his party members in the House.  So he has no power.

Senator Mitch McConnell (the Cowardly Lion), minority leader of the Senate, has come up with a plan that essentially says that the Congress will hand over its authority to regulate the financial debts of the USA (A prerogative clearly delineated in the Constitution, Article I, section 8) to the President of the United States, so Republicans can go back to their constituents and say: "We didn't raise the debt limit."  Apparently because he doesn't believe that he can get his party members to line up in support of another deal.  So the minority leader of the Senate has no power to influence his members. And he's willing to remove a constitutional prerogative from the entire legislature rather than do something politically unpopular/risky/dangerous.  Coward. He has a six year term precisely to insulate him from this pressure so that he can do what is right, rather than what is popular.

House Majority leader, Congressman Eric Cantor, rapidly emerging as the "Dr No." of all of this, appears to believe that the freshmen representatives in the House have a better view of how budgets should be balanced.  Thus, he is blowing up the spot of the Speaker, arguing disrespectfully with the President, and is generally pitching a fit about not getting his way.  The idea he is advancing is basically shrinking government to the point of non-existence, while cutting taxes, and thus not needing to raise the debt ceiling. He apparently forgets that the Articles of Confederation failed precisely because it could not generate revenue, and the US nearly defaulted on its debt to France and Holland. Thus, the consensus for the last 200 years has been to have a strong federal government, funded by the citizens...

Meanwhile, the Republican candidates are advancing all kinds of different plans ranging from Michelle Bachman's "only pay the soldiers" debacle to Romney's carefully defined plan that does and says nothing...

I don't think the GOP has been this fractured since TR became a Bull Moose.

Unmentioned by the press are the divisions in the Democratic Party over the issues of cuts to the entitlement programs.  It seems that despite their other faults, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are smart enough to stay out of the spotlight with their party's disfunction while the Republican "leadership" proves that they are actually not leaders at all, but are squabbling high school students.  Still, when the vote happens, it will be interesting to see who in the Democratic Party does what...

I wonder when/if the GOP upperclassmen are going to start laying some hurt on the Freshmen for speaking out of turn...The Tea Party doesn't have a lock on the Republican population, either in terms of ideology or in terms of numbers, so their strangle-hold on policy-making leaves me baffled.  Never thought I'd say this, but the party of Reagan needs to return to their roots and be fiscally responsible, not held hostage to an ideological fringe of their party.  Or they could self-destruct and we'll see a total retrenchment of the nation's conservative wing.

Meanwhile, I'm gonna invest in gold...

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