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Congressional Republicans should take a page from Democrats’ 2005 playbook

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:14 am - November 12, 2012.
Filed under: 113th Congress

Eight years ago, with the defeat of then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daeschle in South Dakota, Harry Reid took the helm as head of the Senate Democrats and soon became the obstructionist-in-chief even though his party held only 45 seats in the U.S. Senate.

Well, now he’s Majority Leader and perhaps expects the Senate to fall in line with the newly reelected U.S. President.  Given the similarities between the 2012 result and that in 2004 (save that this year the president’s party does not control the House), Paul Mirengoff contends that the

The 2012 results thus imply that the Republican tone towards President Obama should mirror the tone of congressional Democrats, including then-Senator Obama, towards President Bush after the 2004 election. They also imply that the deference of the opposition party to the president should be same. In other words, the default level of deference should be zero (which is not, of course, the same thing as always opposing the president and his positions).

But no president should be treated as nastily as congressional Democrats treated George W. Bush. Instead, Republicans should grant Obama zero deference but do so with a nicer tone.

And Senate Republicans can just say they’re following in Mr. Reid’s footsteps.

Do hope Senator McConnell’s staff have been busy collecting Senator Reid’s remarks from that year — and the various editorials (particularly from the New York Times) praising the Nevada Democrat for his intransigence.

They would serve to remind the Democrats of the merits of Republican “obstruction” (for that it was the Democrats will call a Republican adoption of their strategy).

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16 Comments

  1. Well said — whether they deserve it or not, the Republican House is the last wall of defense protecting the 52% of America that voted for Obama as well for us. His agenda is not something we should be hastening to embrace.

    Comment by Victor — November 12, 2012 @ 1:33 am - November 12, 2012

  2. Here is what I think Obama is going to try to do:

    He will offer to keep the Bush tax cuts for people under $250K/yr income, raise taxes for those over that and slip in a debt ceiling increase with that and maybe postpone sequestration.

    If the Republicans resist, it looks like THEY are raising taxes on the middle class and the people get upset at them. This puts the House Republicans in a double bind. If they agree, they are in trouble with the far right wing for capitulating on the taxes that would hit a lot of small businesses. If they dig in their heels, they are in trouble with the entire population of the US.

    Right now the Republican House is in a pretty weak position.

    Comment by crosspatch — November 12, 2012 @ 2:05 am - November 12, 2012

  3. Now, having said all that, if I were Boehner, I would say ok. Have it your way. What happens then is Obama’s tax increases, particularly the capital gains tax increases, will slow economic growth. Obamacare will cause small businesses to shrink. Many will cut hours for employees. The economy will go into a tailspin. Cutting taxes on people making $250K/year doesn’t grow the economy. People making that kind of money do not build factories and warehouses or employ dozens of people. It is the tax cuts on the rich that would spur the economy.

    This is a teachable moment and Boehner should approach it that way. He should tell Americans that he is going to allow Obama to have his way but that the tax increase on the rich will not help a soul but will cause many to lose their jobs or prevent people entering the workforce from finding jobs as the creation of them will be curtailed. It will make people FEEL better because a pound of flesh is being taken from “the rich” but the net impact will be worse for the middle class and poor than it will be on the rich. After paying those taxes the rich will still be rich and the poor will be out of a job.

    He should approach it like a father or grandfather talking to a young person who is about to make a very big mistake but is going to let them do it anyway in order for them to learn a lesson.

    Then when the crap hits the fan around the holiday season in 2013, he can say “I told you so”. They key to this may well be in the Senate where they could be forced to use the same process used for the Bush tax cuts so that Obama’s cuts are temporary (maximum 10 years). If the Republicans win the Congress later, they can always act to change/extend them.

    If I were Boehner, I would not dig in my heels, but I would acquiesce with a strong “this is going to hurt more than it helps” caveat.

    It is really the only option the House has to salvage anything.

    Comment by crosspatch — November 12, 2012 @ 2:16 am - November 12, 2012

  4. I really think Rush is right on having Republicans vote ‘present’. The teachable moment has more impact on our views of their idea of recovery. It will seem like a victory to Dems at first….
    But, in 2 years no one is hurt on Republican side for reelection. And, when there is no true growth, it is apparent which side gets economics.

    Comment by AplMom — November 12, 2012 @ 2:37 am - November 12, 2012

  5. “Cutting taxes on people making $250K/year doesn’t grow the economy.”

    Meant “Cutting taxes on people making less than $250K/year doesn’t grow the economy.”

    Comment by crosspatch — November 12, 2012 @ 2:53 am - November 12, 2012

  6. Obstructing a President’s agenda when that agenda involves torture and wars is quite a bit different than obstructing a President’s agenda that is trying to repair the economy. Especially so since the people holding things up are the ones who broke the economy in the first place.

    And besides all that, the Democrats went along with Bush anyway. He said he had the evidence, he said we had to go to war, Democrats believed him in a bipartisan gesture, and Democrats have largely let them off the hook after they took over. Republicans prefer to put the government into cold storage during a huge recession just because they hate the President.

    Comment by Levi — November 12, 2012 @ 3:36 am - November 12, 2012

  7. Levi, go check your history books. It wasn’t just obstructing torture and wars. It was obstructing reforms he proposed and judge he nominated.

    No, Republicans don’t put government in cold storage just because they hate the president. They want to put it in cold storage because they believe it exacerbates the recession.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — November 12, 2012 @ 3:41 am - November 12, 2012

  8. Obstructing a President’s agenda when that agenda involves torture and wars is quite a bit different than obstructing a President’s agenda that is trying to repair the economy. Especially so since the people holding things up are the ones who broke the economy in the first place.

    And again our little liar goes off.

    First, let’s not forget Obama attacked Libya and is involved in plans to attack Mali and sent troops into the Congo. Between that and Gitmo being still open, Obama’s administration is “involve[d in]] torture and wars”. But Levi continues to cover for him. Just like he blames Bush for 9/11 but adamantly states there’s no cover-up for Benghazi.

    As to ‘policies created the mess’ Levi is unable to name one. When asked to name one deregulation under President Bush, Levi is left speechless.

    Now hush Levi, the adults are talking.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 12, 2012 @ 7:54 am - November 12, 2012

  9. Dan,

    You give LEvi too much credit by conceeding torture. the EIT isn’t torture. And Rendetion is a policy continued under President Bush, inherited from President Clinton. Just like regime change.

    Oh, and don’t forget, Both Levi and Obama support mutilating women.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 12, 2012 @ 7:56 am - November 12, 2012

  10. And… to pile on more.. Levi trots out the meme that is really a lie but has been accepted as “fact” by the left becuase they repeat it so much, which is that Bush created the mess. While GW was not a fiscal conservative by any stretch, the mortgage crisis created by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by lending to those who shouldn’t have received mortgages in the first place was hugely instrumental in eh financial collapse. And who backed Fannia Mae on those policies? Maxine Waters, and Barney Frank, and the Dems. Why this is not in the media more, I’ll never know… oh, wait..I forgot the media is in the tank for the dems

    Comment by RedInaBlueState — November 12, 2012 @ 8:34 am - November 12, 2012

  11. Who broke the economy, Levi, and exactly HOW?

    Specifics, please.

    Comment by drjohn — November 12, 2012 @ 8:56 am - November 12, 2012

  12. [...] So: EricksonThe Edge of the Abyss: SteynObama Wins by Going Negative and Turning Out Base: BaroneSenate GOP should take a page from Dems’ 2005 playbook: GayPatriotHow Immigration Ruined The Californian Republican Party: CDNThe GOP Is Nearly Dead In [...]

    Pingback by Larwyn’s Linx: See, I Told You So | Preppers Universe — November 12, 2012 @ 8:59 am - November 12, 2012

  13. Obstructing a President’s agenda when that agenda involves torture and wars is quite a bit different than obstructing a President’s agenda that is trying to repair the economy. Especially so since the people holding things up are the ones who broke the economy in the first place.

    The little puke has to blame the social welfare system that has grown like cancer on Bush. Not FDR, not LBJ, not Nixon, and not Carter. When Clinton cut back on the Welfare Circus and his deficit spending tapered to near budget balance, the Statists and socialists squawked like geese. Then the hated Hitlerchimpmonkey Bush laid unfunded prescription drugs for seniors on us and the Statists and socialists screamed like banshees because he didn’t do fancy, convenient math to make it appear like it was totally free. And when Bush tried to get Social Security on the table to fix its funding, the demagogues when after him hammer and tong for trying to turn it over to his Wall Street buddies even though not a single day had been spent on studying the problem at the Congressional level. And then Obambi pulled off Obamacare with every sort of budgetary and legislative sleight of hand ever seen and the Little Levi Puke has nary a word to say about all of the unfunded entitlement liability except that it is the fault of G.W. Bush.

    Well, Levi, when you come knocking at the door for a blanket, I will tell you to go get your damn blanket from G.W. Bush or George Soros, because I have mine and now you can get yours.

    That is how moral relativism works. When you teach the host you leech on that you only want more and more without any responsibility, the host is going to finally join your level of moral relativism and tell you to go do an unnatural act on yourself and point a gun at you while informing you.

    So much for the Golden Rule. Helping your brother steal from you is not part of the concept.

    Comment by heliotrope — November 12, 2012 @ 11:56 am - November 12, 2012

  14. Heliotrope,

    When Levi comes to me for a blanket or protection, and asks for a gun to defend himself, I’ll give him the Floyd Lawton answer.
    “Bullets first.”

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 12, 2012 @ 1:15 pm - November 12, 2012

  15. Oh look… Levi will ignore this too.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 12, 2012 @ 8:14 pm - November 12, 2012

  16. [...] Senate GOP should take a page from Dems’ 2005 playbook: GayPatriotHow Immigration Ruined The Californian Republican Party: CDNThe GOP Is Nearly Dead In California: OTB [...]

    Pingback by Larwyn's Linx: See, I Told You So — November 15, 2012 @ 3:33 am - November 15, 2012

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