Quote of the Day 8/08/11

“U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused the Republicans of trying to make it a crime to be an illegal immigrant. She sees a conspiracy. First Republicans want to say that illegal aliens are illegal, then next they’re going to want to take away their voting rights.” – comedian Argus Hamilton

GOP Leadership Never Took Deficit Reduction Seriously By: Christopher G. Adamo

Now that the debt ceiling deal passed in Congress and was quickly signed by Barack Obama, key players from both major parties will no doubt want immediately to change the subject. In an inconvenient epilogue to all of the demagoguery from the left and empty promises from the right, even a cursory examination of the actual measure that was spawned will reveal it to be nothing more than “business as usual” from Washington.

“Mainstream” Republicans are doing their best to characterize the debt-ceiling increase as a worthy “first step” down the long road to fiscal stability. Yet any investigation of its contents reveals that it is nothing of the kind. Consider that, as a result of this single federal action, in the next sixteen months America’s financial liability will be increased by an amount equivalent to the entire national debt accumulated from the year that the Constitution was ratified until 1986.

Nevertheless, the nation is being treated to hysterical caterwauling from liberals that as a result of Republican callousness towards the dependent class, “draconian cuts” are impending. With only a little scratching below the veneer of this bill, it quickly becomes apparent that those “cuts” are projected for several years down the road, when the Congress will be under no obligation to honor the symbolic and meager restraints placed upon it. Who would honestly contend that the current Congress ponders, for even a second, the ludicrous notion of abiding by caps imposed on it in a 2002 budget measure? In grim contrast, the fiscal feeding frenzy is inevitable and will of course commence immediately.

With the outcome of this controversy now settled as it is, the question needs to be asked, “Why did the GOP even bother to contest the debt hike in the first place? If Obama ultimately got the money he wanted, and the only “limits” on the ensuing spending binge are slated to occur well after he leaves office, why should America have been forced to endure the charade of Republican adversity to the current situation?

Upon signing the debt-ceiling increase into law, Obama chastised recalcitrant Republicans by asserting that America did not need “this manufactured crisis.” And in a profoundly sad sense, he was right. If the end result was always going to be that he got his way, the matter should have been handed quietly over to him by willing accomplices “on the right” weeks ago, with no pretense of fighting his long-term agenda of endless bureaucratic bloat. And in truth both Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R.-OH) have over time revealed that they would rather have done it that way.

Of course they are both claiming credit for incorporating last minute modifications that ostensibly improved the measure, in order to garner the cooperation of conservatives in the House and Senate who otherwise would not have signed on. Yet the mere fact that the initial monstrosity was wholly unacceptable and had to be improved under duress, but nonetheless had their support in each circumstance, proves that their goal was to get it off their backs at the earliest possible opportunity.

The contorted posturing and compromising by both Boehner and McConnell cannot be construed as anything other than their best effort to thread the needle between giving the Democrats whatever they wanted (This, we are told, is just how they do things in Washington) and feigning enough resistance to convince those on the right that they had indeed attempted to achieve the best possible deal. Somewhere in the distant past, any real recognition of the dire financial straits facing the nation, and the need to take tangible action to avoid such a fate, was completely abandoned. America now continues careening towards fiscal catastrophe, and it can take little encouragement from the insipid assurances that, some time well past the middle of the decade, Congress will suddenly start making those tough choices that it refuses to make at present.

But instead of owning up to this fiasco that they allowed, Republicans are insulting the nation with the latest, desperate RINO talking points. In no way should America be consoled by the excuse that they “did the best they could” under the circumstances, since they “only control one third of the government.” As the majority party in the House of Representatives, they are constitutionally mandated to be in 100% control of the nation’s purse strings. This should be firewall enough to prevent the sort of meltdown suffered by fiscally irresponsible European socialist states, and which increasingly looks to be this nations’ future.

It is true that they have neither the Senate majority nor the White House. But sadly, rather than rising to the occasion and fulfilling their role as the “worthy opposition party,” Republicans under the current leadership have degenerated into the “compliance party.”

Not surprisingly, while the bond ratings services have for the moment maintained the United States in the “AAA” category, they concurrently intone that this status faces a real threat of being downgraded. In other words, the immediate “crisis” has been diverted, but since no concrete action is being implemented or even proposed to avert inevitable further accumulations of insurmountable debt, the long-term prospects for a stable financial assessment of the nation are bleak.

Aside from giving yet another “transfusion” of borrowed capital to keep Obama from owning up to his criminally irresponsible actions of the past two and a half years, no substantive effort was made to abate the hemorrhaging of America’s financial resources. Thus, the ultimate outcome of this scenario is not in question. Only the timetable remains to be determined.

In an attempt to appear principled and resolved, Mitch McConnell contended as recently as July 12 that “As long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is unattainable.” Yet in light of the realities of the debt limit increase subsequently supported by himself and Speaker Boehner, abetted by their insipid and purely symbolic plans to reduce spending… someday, it is obvious that no fix is possible as long as the current Republican “leadership” or their accommodating minions remain in the Congress. America’s next opportunity to implement a real solution will be in the upcoming Republican Congressional and Senate Primaries.

Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming. He has been involved in politics at the local and state level for many years. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com

The Progressive Crisis By Walter Russell Mead

The debt ceiling compromise is the end of the liberal dream that the Obama presidency would do for the left what Ronald Reagan’s time in office did for the right.

Stanley Greenberg, one of the best pollsters anywhere and a leading intellectual light of the Democratic party, has a must read in the NY Times on the mysterious inability of Democrats to turn widespread public support on individual issues into a stable governing majority.

    It’s perplexing. When unemployment is high, and the rich are getting richer, you would think that voters of average means would flock to progressives, who are supposed to have their interests in mind — and who historically have delivered for them.

Yet they don’t. Why, Greenberg asks, do so many voters tune the Democrats out. And what can the Democrats do to win them back?

That he’s asking these questions at all is a testament to the colossal failure of Democrat hopes in the aftermath of the 2008 presidential election. The “transformational President” failed to bring about the Great Realignment Democrats thought they saw. Healthcare was a poisoned chalice; the debt ceiling bill was a disaster. The electorate keeps trending right and the Democratic establishment, more than thirty years after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, is no closer to solving the problem of the New Right than it was when Jimmy Carter turned the White House over to the Gipper.

Greenberg, a man who studies American voters with great care and who combines a deep knowledge of American politics with decades of experience interpreting the nuances of voter opinion, lays out a clear though incomplete vision of the Democrats’ problem. The difficulties he finds in outlining even superficially plausible ways for the party to recapture the political high ground illustrate the depth of the Democrats‘ crisis.

Greenberg diagnoses the problem as a crisis of legitimacy:

Read more from Walter Russell Mead’s Blog

Towering Wave of Alienation Threatens Both GOP, Dems in 2012 By Ronald Brownstein

In the shadow of the bitterly fought agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling, the independent voters who usually hold the balance of power in American politics are expressing astronomical levels of discontent with President Obama, Congress, and the Washington system itself.

This towering wave of alienation presages more volatility for a political system that has seen the public turn from Republicans in 2004 toward Democrats in 2006 and 2008, only to snap back toward the GOP with near-record force in 2010. Now, on several key measures, the public’s assessment of Congress is even more bleak than it was at this point in the last election cycle–even as Obama’s ratings have fallen to some of the lowest levels of his presidency, particularly among independents.

With each party hemorrhaging public support amid political polarization and economic stagnation, the implications for 2012 are complex and unpredictable. American history lacks a true example of an election in which voters turned out large numbers of incumbents from both parties, but to some observers that no longer seems impossible amid the declining support for both Obama and congressional Republicans. And while no serious independent presidential candidate has yet emerged, the numbers show an unmistakable opening for a Ross Perot-style outsider candidate who mobilizes voters unhappy with both major parties.

The stock market’s stomach-turning decline Thursday both parallels and reinforces the dismal verdict on Washington rendered in recent surveys: as the market Thursday tumbled almost as fast as the latest approval ratings for Obama and Congress, it seemed as if we were witnessing a simultaneous vote of no confidence from the public in both the American economy and its national government

Read more from National Journal

Tennessee State Representative Joe Armstong – Thought Policeman

Below is an email I sent to Rep. Joe Armstrong of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Mr. Armstrong, as you may be aware, was recently offended by a breath mint product called ‘Disappointmints’ that depicted our placeholder in the White House. On its packaging, it featured Little Barry and asked the question, “This is Change?”. As a result, he had the product removed from the shelves of the University of Tennessee bookstore. Mr. Armstrong can be contacted at 615-741-0768 or by email at rep.joe.armstrong@capitol.tn.gov

Joe Armstrong
Thought Policeman and Part-Time State Representative
Tennessee House of Representatives

Mr. Armstrong,

It appears, that much like your considerably thin-skinned, liberal brethren, you are easily upset. So whenever you’re offended in the bookstore, or for that matter, any retail business, is it your business as ‘product police’ to determine what can/cannot be sold?

Who are you to say what’s insulting and what’s not? You, sir, go well beyond ‘product police’ – you truly bring George Orwell’s concept of ‘thought police’ to life. We have a placeholder in the White House who is, by a combination of stupidity and left-wing ideological contempt for American values, freedom, people of ‘wealth’, and our Constitution, systematically destroying our nation. And yet, you have the unmitigated audacity to ask that products representing his ineptitude be pulled from a retail shelf – not because they are morally offensive, but because they don’t mesh with your own warped ideological beliefs and because they are “politically specific” and have “no educational value”?

What about the packages of candy bars that were undoubtedly nearby – what’s their educational value? What’s the educational value of soda, snacks, school spirit wear, fraternity/sorority spirit wear, beer steins, pennants, license plate holders, or anything else typically found in a college bookstore? Did you have the same reaction when the bookstore carried the similar product for George Bush? I’ll even bet that somewhere within the bookstore or hallowed halls of UT that there are posters depicting one of the placeholder’s heroes – Che Guevara. Any problems with the ‘educational value’ of products depicting, Che, Marx, Fidel, Mao, Louis Farrakhan, etc.? I’ll bet not.

You, sir, are a poor excuse for an American citizen, let alone a state legislator. It’s too bad that the bookstore director doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to thought-policing bullies such as yourself. I’d like to leave you with a gift, however, for the back window of your Prius –

By Rick who is On the Right Side of the Issues

SideBear: Something very strange happened the other day. When Rick submitted this article for publication there was a picture attached to it. The picture was of Obama with a title that said “Public Enemy #1″.

When I went to publish it I got a “Security Notice” that said I couldn’t publish this picture for national security reasons. I tried several times and the results where the same.

IS???? ……