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    Spare me your self-defeating self-fulfilling prophecies

    Spare me your self-defeating self-fulfilling prophecies

    A frequent commenter quoted this post by Erick Erickson at RedState:

    A week ago, the United States House of Representatives sent a bipartisan measure to the United States Senate where it fell five votes short of a majority.

    Today, John Boehner sent over legislation that couldn’t even get all the Republicans to support it, didn’t get any Democrats to support it, and will get less support in the Senate than last week’s plan.

    And now the Democrats have a talking point they didn’t have with last week’s plan — that this plan is not bipartisan and also that Boehner had to appease the far right, all of which was lined up behind last weeks plan in even greater numbers.

    Adding horror and humor upon humor and horror, now Boehner syncophants are telling the Democrats that they’ve got to do something since the GOP has finally done something.

    Were these people asleep last week when the GOP did something with Democratic help?

    Oh, and some of the same people on our side who’ve been pooh-poohing those of us who said to stick with Cut, Cap, and Balance, suddenly, after the Boehner vote, are lamenting that something wicked this way comes.

    Lord, please give me smarter enemies within my own tent.

    That analysis is superficial.

    First, the only reason Cut, Cap and Balance passed the House with “bipartisan” support (i.e., 5 Democrats voted for it) was that it was far enough in advance of the August 2 so-called deadline that Nancy Pelosi didn’t feel the need to hammer her caucus the way she did against Boehner 3.0.  Pelosi was able to allow some — but not too many — Democrats to give themselves electoral cover.  If CCB was brought to a vote yesterday there isn’t a single Democrat who would have had the guts to vote for it.  That “bipartisan support” meant absolutely nothing, as the CCB bill immediately was tabled by Harry Reid, who proclaimed it “perhaps some of the worst legislation in the history of this country.”

    Second, the reason that Boehner 3.0 didn’t have total Republican support in the House was that 22 House members at the urging of Erickson and others opposed it even after the Balanced Budget Amendment was added back in.  As to the Senate, six Republicans, in the face of opposition to the bill from Erickson among others, voted with the Democrats to table it.  There was no reason — on the merits or strategically — for those six to vote to table the bill; they could have voted against it later if they wanted after debate.  The opposition to Boehner 3.0 by people like Erickson gave Harry Reid a public relations gift, which oddly enough now is being used by Erickson to attack “Boehner sycophants.”

    Third, Erickson has the narrative completely backwards as far as “appeasing the far right” goes.  The difficulty Boehner had in passing 2.0 resulting in 3.0 actually gives an argument that this is the best deal available, and that Boehner’s plan — but for the BBA — is disliked by the “far right.”  And, who is the “far right” Boehner was trying to appease?  Well, it’s people like Erickson.

    Erickson’s arguments simply don’t hold up.  Erickson and others created the very problems which they now use against “Boehner sycophants.”  I don’t disparage their views the way Erickson disparages the views of the “Boehner sycophants;” as I indicated yesterday I agreed with them on the ultimate goal but disagreed as to how to get there.

    I don’t know which strategy ultimately will or would have been vindicated.  Perhaps none of them, since Harry Reid was going to table whatever came out of the House.

    But please, don’t use your own self-defeating self-fulfilling prophecies in an attempt to prove that you are smarter than the rest of us.

    There is one thing Erickson says with which I wholeheartedly agree:  We need smarter enemies within our own tent.


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    @ retire05. What you say about working within the GOP will not work without some type of reliable on-line “clearing house” or blog that accurately lists each GOP incumbent’s position vis-a-vis big v. small government, etc. Suggestions?

    Third Coast | July 30, 2011 at 11:21 am

    The Tea Partiers, Rush, Erick, Hannity and the rest of the echo chamber crowd are correct strategically, but wrong tactically. Accept that the way the Congress and White House are currently configured, the best we can get is going to be less than ideal. That’s the way our system works. All of this hoopla over the debt ceiling is much ado about nothing. It’s a sideshow as nothing can be done that will change the dynamics of the debt situation. The best that can be hoped for is to raise awareness of the issue in the portion of the public that doesn’t pay attention to politics. We have to keep our eyes on the big prizes; Obamacare and the 2012 elections. Anything that detracts from our pursuit of those items is not worth doing. To use a WWII metaphor, Erick and the rest should quit fighting the Battle of the Huertgen Forest and keep driving toward Berlin.

      Taxpayer1234 in reply to Third Coast. | July 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      Well said. With all the railing against Boehner, it’s easy to forget he’s the general on the ground. At some point, the boys in the War Room have to adjust to the battlefield realities and help him reach the real goal.

      WarEagle82 in reply to Third Coast. | July 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      What was the excuse when we held the Presidency and the House and the Senate for large parts of the previous 20 years? They spent like crazy and ran up the debt and increased the size and scope of government on unsustainable programs, with idiotic regulations, refused to balance the budget or change the tax system or address social security and medicare?

      There will never be a “good time” with a permanent political class in charge…

        Third Coast in reply to WarEagle82. | July 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm

        That was then, pre-Tea Party, this is now. Boehner can’t deliver what’s not possible. Let’s win the 2012 elections and then see what we can do. Stomping your feet and running around with one’s hair on fire is not a plan. Thomas Sowell had a recent column that better explained what I’m trying to say.

        aguyfromjersey in reply to WarEagle82. | July 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

        That was during the “Go Along to Get Along” time and “Compromise Is How Washington Works” era. To be able to defend ourselves, we had to go along with No Child Left Behind, To make us look better, to show compassion, it was the Perception Drugs Plan.
        We have entered a new era, T.E.A, “Stop The Spending” and “Lead or Get Out Of The Way”

    Viator | July 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    +$3.8 trillion, largest tax increase in American History in Reid’s bill

    “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that his debt ceiling bill, in a bow to Republicans, includes no tax increases. But does it really?

    An analysis from the Republican Senate Budget Committee staff shows that Reid’s bill includes gimmicks that, if passed, would account for approximately $3.8 trillion in revenue — or tax increases.

    The maneuvering is complicated; but when explained properly, it becomes clear.

    Reid’s proposal includes a provision that “deems” budget resolutions for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, but Senate Democrats have not yet produced a 2012 budget proposal, much less one for 2013.

    Within those anticipated budget resolutions lie the tax increases, according to the analysis, and here is where it gets tricky.

    When the Congressional Budget Office scores a proposal, it uses either current policy or current law as its baseline. Reid’s bill is based on current law, which assumes certain tax breaks will expire according to pre-determined scheduled. That is a big deal.

    The 2001–2003 Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of 2012. And some business tax breaks, “death tax” cuts, and the patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax expire at the end of 2011. Reid’s proposal assumes that Congress will not act to renew or extend those expiring tax breaks.

    The Alternative Minimum Tax patch is a tax that runs parallel to the regular tax code for high-income Americans. If a taxpayer falls within the right bracket (a high one), he must use the AMT to calculate his federal tax. The AMT targets items that are write-offs or tax-exempt for people in lower income brackets.

    Congress acts to “fix” or raise the AMT patch every year, in order to ensure that it does not inadvertently include middle-class families.

    Reid’s proposal assumes Congress will not act to fix the AMT at the end of 2011.

    All told, the expired tax cuts would cost $3.8 trillion.

    According to the Republican staff analysis, the baseline is not the only gimmick in Reid’s proposal, but it could be the worst.”

    <a href=""Daily Caller

    foxlets | July 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    My representative was one of the 22 no’s. He voted the way he promised when he ran and the way a vast majority of his constituents wanted. He did so in the face of outrageous outside pressure for him to vote yes. He was the only Republican representative from our state to vote no. The others voted against the way they ran and against the wishes of a majority of their constituents. Some may suffer a primary opponent for this. That also is the way our system works. You can talk strategy and tactics until the cows come home, but, remember, that at Huertgen it was a handful of Rangers that decided it by taking via direct assault and holding Hill 400 while the regulars cowered in their bunkers.

      Third Coast in reply to foxlets. | July 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      God save us from “victories” like the Huertgen. 33,000 casualties out of 120,000 engaged. If you think it was a victory, it certainly was of the pyrrhic variety.
      Charles B. MacDonald—a U.S. Army historian and former company commander who served in the Hürtgen battle—has described it as “a misconceived and basically fruitless battle that should have been avoided.”
      Gen. Gavin of the 82nd Airborne called it “the battle that should never have been fought”.
      It sounds like the kind of debt ceiling battle going on now. Lots of possible political defeats and bad publicity in pursuit of something that can’t be won with the forces at hand.

    As we’ve come through this, I am inclined more an more to believe that they should have stopped with CUT, CAP & BALANCE. I sort of agree that in the subsequent plans they seem to be negotiating down with themselves, and nothing they do is EVER going to get approved by the Democrats.

    I see really disastrous end results in that the Tea Party got attacked and marginalized, and for that, I think I blame McConnell. Once he put that idea of giving Obama extra powers, however delicious the thought that he would then own the debt may be, on the table, he caused the rest of the debacle.

    On the whole, though – I don’t know when it became partisan to believe that government officials entrusted with the budget should act in a fiscally responsible manner – keep spending under control, outgo under income, and maintain a healthy financially secure nation, leaving future generations with a well-run household rather than one that is mortgaged to the hilt and that will bankrupt them.

    When did that become evil-rightwing?

    It SURE says a lot about the #*%&!!#* Democrats that this even had to be fought at all.

    Yes, both parties are to blame for getting us in this mess – but when you realize you are in trouble, the answer isn’t to go out and take out more loans.

    If that is seriously what Democrats believe – they have lost their way so severely that they will be walking over the cliff into the abyss.

    You have a credit card. You have a credit limit. You want them to raise your credit limit so you can make your mortgage payment this month.

    You ask the credit card company to raise your borrowing limit so you can make that mortgage payment.

    They’ve already raised it 25 times, so that you could buy the new car, the new refrigerator, the new dishwasher, the new lawnmower, the vacation to Cancun, etc. which is why you can’t make the mortgage payment in the first place… What should the credit card company do?

    Really the question is – what should you do? Even if they will give you the increase, should you take it?

    Or should you get a grip on your spending, so that you can afford the mortgage payment without borrowing to make it?

    It’s time to do the responsible thing. It’s long past time. Have you seen the clip where REAGAN talks about the need for a BALANCED BUDGET?

    For crying out loud, we’ve known about this for decades. Obama’s bundlers certainly knew about it when he ran, and he was supposed to be coming in with this great team, not just the Clinton retreads, but “the best” and “the brightest” – well – where the #*&! are they? you’ve got Turbo-Tax Timmy calling the shots and Obama’s goons are slamming the tea Party… It’s a mess.

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