Just caught this on AOL. Isn’t it the president’s job to reach out to the leaders of the opposition:
Perhaps like me, you’re enjoying this great new TV show I just found on C-SPAN2 called Mr. Paul Goes to Washington where my favorite Senator is currently filibustering President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan. As I write this, he’s currently about to ring in his sixth hour. The goal of Senator Paul’s soliloquy is, as he has stated several times since I’ve been watching, simply to elicit one thing: A straight-forward answer to the question, (to paraphrase) ‘Does the president believe he has the legal authority to execute through drone strike non-combatant citizens on American soil?’
Brings up a very interesting point: For eight solid years, we heard screeching and gnashing of teeth from the Left about how George W. Bush wants to kill us all and eat our babies and of course shred the Constitution through wars based on lies and the horrible PATRIOT Act. But in the end, who is it who’s actually standing up for these ideals? Well, so far I’ve seen Senator Paul in exchanges with Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Pat Toomey. Odd, don’t you think, that it’d be these ‘Tea Party right-winger knuckle-draggers’ who are actually doing the work that the Bush-haters allegedly wanted done while the leaders of their nominative party are lining up with their president in his expansion of Bush’s ‘unitary executive’ policies?
Clearly it’d be expecting waaay too much for the addlepated adherents to the Bush-is-Satan school of political thought to recognize the irony of the situation, let alone find that realization a great opportunity for self-reflection. Sad, that.
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)
NB: I had originally written the paraphrase of Sen Paul’s question as “power” to execute. Clearly that’s within the president’s power, but I’ve clarified (I hope) by changing my original post to read “legal authority”, which I think is likely more to his point.
In an article posted today on the Natonal Review’s website, Mona Charen quips that there “are two major parties in the United States: the party that wishes to govern, and the party that wants only to campaign.”
And to show that the latter party is that of the incumbent President of the United States, one need not turn to the commentary on various conservative blogs, but instead to the reporting of the left-of-center Washington Post:
After delivering his election victory speech in November, Obama walked off the Chicago stage and made two phone calls related to his political plans — one to Israel and one to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), the last Democratic House speaker.
Israel said Obama told him “how focused he would be on winning a House majority for the Democrats,” many of whom complained that the president did not do enough during his first term to help members on the Hill.
In other words, in the immediate aftermath of his election victory this past November, the president already started looking ahead to the next election. Since the people didn’t elect the Congress he wanted, he chose to start focusing on electing that Congress, even if the 2014 elections were two years hence.
No wonder he is blaming the sequester on the current Republican House even though he made little effort to work with the leaders of that chamber after it passed the “fiscal cliff” legislation at the end of the last Congress, delaying the sequester until last week.
Charles Krauthammer suggests that the GOP House play it small:
Can you govern from one house of Congress…shrink government, restrain spending, bring a modicum of fiscal sanity to the country when the president and a blocking Senate have no intention of doing so?
…The more prudent course would be to find some offer that cannot be refused, a short-term trade-off utterly unassailable and straightforward. For example, offer to extend the debt ceiling through, say, May 1, in exchange for the Senate delivering a budget by that date — after four years of lawlessly refusing to produce one.
Not much. But it would (a) highlight the Democrats’ fiscal recklessness, (b) force Senate Democrats to make public their fiscal choices and (c) keep the debt ceiling alive as an ongoing pressure point for future incremental demands.
Read the whole thing. Agree/disagree?
Two days ago, the Washington Examiner’s Byron York reminded us of a Democratic failure our friends in the legacy media tend to neglect:
Lawmakers are required by law to pass a budget each year by April 15, but there’s no provision to punish them, or even slightly inconvenience them, if they don’t. In [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid’s case, the Senate last passed a budget in April 2009, 1,351 days ago as of Wednesday.
Not quite sure how to refine a google news search to compare the number of articles written about and amount of broadcast “news” time devoted to Todd Akin’s crazy comments on rape and those on the failure of Reid’s Senate Democrats to meet their legal obligations in passing a budget.
Seems the Missouri Republican fit the legacy media narrative about Republicans being fringe characters, but somehow Mr. Reid’s inaction is at odds with their conviction about the Democrats being the more responsible party.
Just a thought.
So Barney Frank wants to be appointed Senator for Massachusetts if/when John Kerry is
relieved of duty confirmed as Secretary of State.
Now, I know it’s not as simple as one person bearing total responsibility, but there is no person in America who is more responsible for the 2008 financial collapse than thankfully former Congressman Barney Frank.
My first thought: Well, Massachusetts deserves him, so why not?
My second thought: Wait, a second, never has there been a better personification (well, maybe not never) of the sort of corruption and simple wrongness of Washington, DC than the undistinguished gentleman from the Fourth District. If Massachusetts deserves him, he should be governor!
So what about it, Deval? How about stepping aside for someone your constituents can really be proud of?
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)
I didn’t want the post below to be the lead item on what is a very historic day for my state. So I want to add some brief personal thoughts about Tim Scott.
He is an awesome pick. Unlike most of the politicans who embraced Tea Party, limited government principles AFTER the movement forced them to, Tim Scott already possessed those principles. He is a smart, funny, engaging guy who has a way of making everyone around him feel included.
I daresay that he will rival some of the more notable Senators as one who will go into the history books based on his record and accomplishments.
I had the unfortunate pleasure to follow US Rep. Tim Scott at the October 18 Charleston Tea Party rally. He had the crowd on its feet, singing and full of energy; he was a hard act to follow.
It is worth noting that Tim Scott is the only black Senator from the Confederate South since Reconstruction. And the only black Senator from the South since the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed. Only Illinois and Massachusetts have had African-American Senators in modern America.
. . . will be the only man ever appointed to the Senate by an Indian American woman. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, reports, Ed Morrissey
will appoint Rep. Tim Scott to replace Senator Jim DeMint in the US Senate, making Scott the upper chamber’s only African-American member, and give him a boost in the 2014 special election for the rest of DeMint’s term. ..
(Via Instapundit.) Oh, and Scott is a Republican. Just as there are no African-American Democratic Senators, there are no Indian-American or Hispanic Democratic governors. Two of the three Senators of Hispanic background are Republican.
Some news reports notwithstanding, Scott will not occupy the Senate seat once held by Strom Thurmond. Lindsay Graham sits in that chair.
Just caught this in a Washington Examiner editorial on Nancy Pelosi’s determination to stay on as House Democratic Leader:
Just look at Pelosi’s record as speaker. When she first took the gavel on Jan. 3, 2007, the federal government was on track to spend just $2.7 trillion that year. The federal deficit was a mere $160 billion, and the cumulative national debt was $8.7 trillion. Only 7 million Americans were unemployed, and the nation’s unemployment rate was just 4.6 percent.
Four short years later, when Pelosi handed the gavel back to the Republicans, the country looked a bit different. Spending had soared to $3.6 trillion. The federal deficit was $1.3 trillion, and the national debt was $14 trillion. Fourteen million Americans were unemployed, and the unemployment rate had almost doubled to 9.1 percent.
Wonder why Democrats don’t hold this politician to account for her record.
“Sometimes,” I blogged, quoting Amartel, a commenter from Ann Althouse’s site, “knowledge has to be obtained empirically“, that is, only when Obama’s are fully implemented, will people realize how bad they are — and become upset enough to vote his fellow partisans out of office. (No wonder he delayed implementation until after the 2012 elections.)
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal‘s Stephen Moore, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spells out how Obamacare not just increases the expense of the federal government, but also how it creates complications for health care providers in his state:
Any tax and entitlement deal would likely leave unresolved the newest budget-busting entitlement: ObamaCare. “It’s the single worst piece of legislation that’s been passed in modern times,” Mr. McConnell says, “and the single biggest step in the direction of Europeanizing the country. It can’t possibly work.” Democrats don’t understand that now, he continues, but “people are going to be coming at us in hordes asking for us to revisit it” and fix the mounting problems.
He says that in the towns he visits in Kentucky, “the health-care providers who are dealing with patients on a daily basis—big hospitals, rural hospitals, nonprofits—are all freaked out about virtually every aspect of the Medicare cuts that affect today’s seniors and today’s providers. Seven of nine justices on the Supreme Court said the Medicaid part of it is genuinely optional. Smart states won’t take this additional burden.” Employers are dropping their coverage. He predicts the law will come apart on its own.
Emphasis added. Sounds like we’ll have to wait until it’s implemented to see those people coming at us in hordes. Read the whole thing; shows how reluctant the president is to work with Congress.
Wonder why that didn’t come out in the campaign.
The San Francisco Democrat announced today she’s staying on as House Democratic Leader. Ed Morrissey thinks this “sounds like a pretty bad idea for a couple of reasons“:
First, the most likely successors to Pelosi will come from current leadership within the caucus, which isn’t exactly a youth movement. Steny Hoyer has the inside track for Pelosi’s job, and he’s 73 years old, one year older than Pelosi herself. Jim Clyburn might make a bid for the leader position and become the first African-American to chair a House party caucus, but he’s 72 years old. John Larson, the caucus chairman, is a relative youngster at 64 years old. None of these leaders will gain much more than pension benefits by waiting another two years.
Second, another two years gives Republicans another two years to make Pelosi the face of the party. Every Democrat in a purple-to-red district who votes for another Pelosi term will end up having to defend that vote in the next midterm election. Without Obama at the top of the ticket, the turnout in 2014 is going to look somewhat different than 2012, and some of those new freshmen coming into the House on a platform of change might not be able to explain why their first vote was to support a sclerotic and failed status quo within their own party.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Contrast the ages of the House Democratic leadership with that of the House Republicans. Speaker John Boehner at 62, is the oldest, two years younger than the youngest Democrat in their leadership. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is 49. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is just 47.
UPDATE: Writing before Mrs. Pelosi decided to stay on for another term, Townhall’s Guy Benson offered that he’d “be amazed if she stays on as minority leader. She’s unpopular and polarizing, and she’s presided over two consecutive unsuccessful cycles for House Democrats.” Well, the unpopular and polarizing leader is staying on.
“The president,” wrote Jennifer Rubin yesterday, “who ran with no agenda and is now a lame duck, has not distinguished himself by tackling tough problems.” His reelection campaign made his, as his campaign manager put it, the party of “the micro stuff“.
(Perhaps Mitt Romney would have won last week had he been better at articulating the bigger picture.)
WIth such a small ball focus, Obama doesn’t seem willing to address the big challenges facing our country, notably the coming insolvency of entitlements, out-of-control federal spending and the increasing burdens of the regulatory state.
The sound and fury will be over big fights on taxes and spending. They will look like replays of the last four years and not end up accomplishing much. The big changes to our economy will be the metastatic expansion of regulation, let by ACA, Dodd-Frank, and EPA. There will be no change on our long run problems: entitlements, deficits or fundamental reform of our chaotic tax system. 4 more years, $4 trillion more debt.
Why? I think this follows inevitably from the situation: normal (AFU). Nothing has changed. The President is a Democrat, now lame duck. The congress is Republican. The Senate is asleep. Congressional Republicans think the President is a socialist. The President thinks Congressional Republicans are neanderthals. The President cannot compromise on the centerpieces of his campaign.
Result: we certainly are not going to see big legislation. Anything new will happen by executive order or by regulation.
Read the whole thing. And this is what is truly sad. We need real reform right now, big changes to address fiscal problems looming beyond the cliff. We have a debt problem. And a regulatory problem. And yet now we have an administration committed to moving us in the opposite direction, writing ever more regulations and increasing the costs of compliance to job creators. (more…)
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).