The Fiscal Cliff Deal and GOP Pretzels
Talk about putting lipstick on a pig. Republicans and their conservative enablers are, of course, trying to put the best spin on an abominable deal to avoid tumbling over the nation's fiscal cliff. Speaker Boehner, along with eighty-five stalwart Republicans, waved the white flag days and days ago and gave the president what he wanted: tax increases and token spending cuts.
"Boehner's Boondoggle" means taxes go up for three-quarters of the nation's households for an average of $1, 635.00 per. Sounds like chump change,? Well, not when you multiply that sum times tens of millions of American households. Those are dollars being sucked out of the economy and dumped into Uncle Sam's pockets -- the same Sam who credit card binges and is loading unimaginable debt on your kids, grandkids, and theirs.
The kicker is that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the Fiscal Cliff deal alone will add $4 trillion to the nation's deficit over the next decade.
Speaker Boehner's performance in negotiating with the Democrats' Il Duce, Barack Hussein Obama, earns him a chapter in an updated version of Profiles in Courage, don't you think? And given how the Peter Principle so dominates the Party of Lincoln, anticipate that Boehner will be reelected speaker by his GOP colleagues by near-acclamation. But miracles do happen; maybe House conservatives will find the cojones to dump Boehner.
Federal government spending, taxpayers are informed, will come later. Yep, that's when the speaker and his GOP Rough Riders will finally get tough and storm Mr. Obama's debt Everest to significantly cut borrowing, slash spending, and make historic reforms to entitlements. If you believe that, Mitt has truckloads of Romney-Ryan tee-shirts that he'll sell you cheap and that'll make you a fortune on EBay.
Then there's the DC crowd -- the so-called conservative DC crowd -- that's circling the wagons around Boehner and House Republicans. The editors at National Review Online write this bit of inspired rationalization:
Conservatives have every reason to be dismayed by this picture, and to seek to change it. It would be a mistake, however, to regard the fiscal-cliff deal that has just passed Congress as an important cause of these destructive trends. The deal actually makes federal budget policy slightly less disastrous.
Let's parse the NRO editors' Buckley-like brilliance, shall we?
Correct. The current Republican U.S. House didn't cause Washington's destructive fiscal trends. Those began long ago under FDR. But Republicans, starting back in the 1930s, have along the way, in fits and starts, contributed more than their share to the mounting dire fiscal predicament that the nation finds itself in. Lest the editors forget that GOP Congresses during George W. Bush's tenure were a spendthrift bunch -- not to the extent of their Democrat successors were under Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, but reprobate enough. As Boehner confirms, the Republicans, at best, remain the dutiful managers of the liberal welfare state. Bean counters, ledger-balancers (sometimes), and diligent green eyeshade scolds - that's the modern legacy of the Republican Party.
Of course, NRO editors add that the Fiscal Cliff deal "makes federal budget policy slightly less disastrous." Get that? "Slightly less disastrous," as in a 7.0 earthquake does less damage -- hopefully -- than an 8.0 shaker. Ain't that a sweet consolation prize?
Even the usually redoubtable Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform) twisted himself into a pretzel trying to rationalize the GOP's failure to stand on principle and negotiation failure. Norquist said this about congressional Republicans and their no-tax pledges:
"It's technically not a violation of the pledge," he said, adding "but I understand why a lot of Republicans said, 'look, even though what's happening is the tax cuts disappear, we're restoring them for most people. So we're not raising taxes, we're actually cutting taxes.'"
"Technically," Grover? What happened to bedrock principles? Where's the spirit of revolution that's supposed to motivate conservative Republicans to want to make historic change... to fight for dramatically less government and liberty? Never mind your spin, Grover. Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave. It now seems that the Reagan Revolution was a Roman Candle, brightly burning in the dark night of statist America, only to extinguish as the 1990s began.
Starting with G.H.W. Bush, Republicans have trudged back to the familiar and comfortable role of Democrats' caddies, and GOP caddies don't even get much say in what clubs the Democrats swing.
This reality hasn't -- but soon will -- catch up with establishment Republicans' perceptions (and that includes fellow-traveling DC conservatives): the GOP is going the way of the Whigs -- or Dodo Birds, those ungainly creatures who humans and varmints made short work of. It's Mr. Obama and Republican Dodo Birds who are doing-in the Grand Old Party (imagine any species driving themselves into extinction)?
There's no walking back Boehner's and the GOP's failure to fiercely fight Mr. Obama this time. If anyone thinks that three million conservatives sitting home in the 2012 presidential contest was troubling and costly, wait to see what happens in 2014 and 2016 -- unless the current crop of establishment Republican leaders in the House, Senate, and the national party are tossed out on their rears. Otherwise, the clock is ticking toward a not far distant GOP doomsday.
The conservative movement either takes control of the GOP quickly, or grassroots conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Party patriots are scramming. Mark those words.