Obama will compromise only if cornered — and a rising Ohio congressman’s House Republican Study Committee knows it.
The first major speech of President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign will be given tomorrow night before a joint session of Congress.
The White House — through its media avatars such as the New York Times — have begun setting the narrative for the campaign. According to the narrative, Obama is the second coming of Bill Clinton, craftily morphing his liberalism into centrism without alienating his liberal base, eager to move the nation forward in compromise with the Republicans returned to power in November.
It is a fiction: Obama is not moderating in any respect, and he won’t compromise except to the extent that he will be forced to do so by the Republican House.
As the Times “reported” yesterday, Obama’s purported moderation “…means emphasizing job creation, deficit reduction and a willingness to compromise in a new period of divided government. But it also means a willingness to make the case for spending — or investment, as many in his party would prefer to call it — in areas like education, transportation and technological innovation when it can be justified as essential to the nation’s long-term prosperity.”
Barry will be playing a fiscal con game in his State of the Union address. Barry’s game isn’t a Ponzi scheme: his fiscal con game is the budgetary equivalent of one of those diets that promises you’ll lose weight no matter how much you eat. Spend more, he will say, to reduce our deficit.
(If only one of the Republicans were a ventriloquist. He could sit next to Harry Reid or Dick Durbin, shout “You Lie!” at Obama, and make it sound as if it came from Dick or Harry.)
Obama will compromise only when cornered. As part of any deals with the House Republican majority, he will insist on increasing the size and cost of government as much as he is allowed to get away with. To beat this, the Republicans need to have better ideas.
They usually do, but the Obama media don’t report them. How many times did the media bemoan Republican “obstructionism” on healthcare, telling American voters that the Republicans had no alternative to it? The simply refused to talk about the conservative healthcare reform bills Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) had introduced because the ideas in those bills were solid and didn’t include nationalizing 16% of the nation’s economy.
Now, of course, the media won’t report — except to criticize in passing — the conservative ideas for spending cuts which should be the price extracted from Obama in any legislation to raise the federal debt ceiling: the House Republican Study Committee’s forthcoming bill to slash federal spending.
Ohio’s Jim Jordan, the new House Republican Study Committee Chairman, isn’t yet well known, but he will be soon. A champion wrestler in his high school days, Jordan is one of those quick, wiry guys who has enough energy to propel a medium-sized ship. He sizes up issues and people quickly and — in what I’ve seen of him over the past few years — he’s an effective leader. He and his Senate counterpart — Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) have precisely the right idea at the right time: to cut $2.5 trillion off the federal spending tree over the next ten years. Their proposals, to be introduced this week, don’t just freeze spending at an already-too-high level. They take the Federalist approach to get the federal government out of many of the parts of our society in which it just doesn’t belong.
A spokesman for Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, called the proposal “radical.” Thank heaven it is.
Shortly after the November election, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told me that we need to have a serious conversation about federalism, and that conservative governors — himself and Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, among others — were going to work with Congress to devise a way to get the government out of the parts of our economy and our culture in which it has no constitutional mandate to intervene.
That theme is reflected in the RSC and Senate proposals. They would halt any further spending of the “Obama stimulus” money (some $45 billion still in the kitty), eliminate federal control of mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (saving about $30 billion) cut from the federal budget and eject the government from a host of areas it shouldn’t be involved in.
That point is the most important ideologically and the one that will resonate most strongly with American voters.
Many of these terminated programs are totems of Washington liberalism: they are so perfectly unrelated to the constitutional purpose of government that every federal dollar they spend is an affront to every taxpayer. They include, among many others, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the liberal government broadcasting arm, and the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, Amtrak subsidies and the Legal Services Corporation.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?