Budget Update: White House STILL thinking ‘I won.’

I think that this quote by Dave Camp, House Ways and Means Chair, helps illustrate the exact nature of Obama’s fairly disastrous gaffe Wednesday:

“But then I thought, maybe if I can’t figure out who to call, they need to call me,” he said. “It’s their agenda they need to get through the House.”

Background: as my readers probably remember, Camp, House Budget Chair Paul Ryan, and House Republican Conference Chair Jeb Hensarling were all invited Wednesday to President Obama’s combined collection of platitudes/attempts to bully his political opponents.  As the three Republicans were not expecting the latter – it’s bad form to attack other people when they’re in a position where basic politeness requires them not to answer in kind* – they’re kind of ticked off.  Ryan in particular has not been shy about saying so; and at this point it’s starting to look like any input by the White House into the upcoming budget negotiations will be as welcome as Nancy Pelosi’s – which is a polite way of saying that the White House’s input will not be welcomed at all.


Continue reading Budget Update: White House STILL thinking ‘I won.’

Obama retreats on tax hike.

We won.

It looked that way earlier in the day, and it’s now confirmed.  The ‘deal’ will be that the White House ‘delays’ raising taxes for two more years in ‘exchange’ for getting a thirteen-month extension on unemployment benefits*.  That last is problematical, but given the Democrats’ moral weakness thus far the GOP might still be able to keep pushing a little and get offsets in federal spending elsewhere to make up the difference.  Besides, it’s Christmas: the optics are bad.  Even if we don’t get that, everybody who matters is going to breathe a huge sigh of relief.  The Democratic establishment will have a fig leaf for their cowardice and the Right will have successfully kept the Other Side from delivering another kick to the groin to the US economy; it’s not perfect, but it’ll keep things from getting worse until 2012.

By the way, ‘deal,’ ‘delay,’ and ‘exchange’ were all in scare quotes because this wasn’t really a deal; more like the Democrats finally admitting that they didn’t have the guts to raise taxes in the middle of a sour economy.  And the White House isn’t delaying raising taxes; even assuming that Obama’s in a position to raise them in 2012 he won’t dare do it then, either.  And it’s not an exchange; as noted above, the GOP can give ground on this topic readily enough, particularly if we can take the opportunity to gut some useless spending elsewhere.

In other words, it’s pretty much all over except for the gloating.

Moe Lane (crosspost) Continue reading Obama retreats on tax hike.

There’s no such thing as a permanent political majority. #rsrh

Do tell.

Nice to see folks catch up:

…some of the same unlikely states that Obama put in his party’s column 15 months ago feature Senate, House and governor’s races with Democratic candidates in grave danger of losing in what is quickly shaping up to be a toxic election cycle.

While off-year and down-ballot elections are inherently different than presidential contests, the rapid reversal in Democratic fortunes in the very places where Obama’s success brought so much attention suggests that predictions of a lasting realignment were premature.

And it’s raising the question of whether the president’s 2008 win was the result of a unique set of circumstances that will be difficult for him to replicate again and perhaps downright impossible for other Democrats on the ballot to reprise.

The great danger for the Republican party, post-2008, was always that President Obama would manage to resist the temptation to give into the encouragement of his sycophants and act like unto a demigod. Unfortunately (speaking as an American), he didn’t: he instead combined passivity and arrogance to a degree that mainstream political scientists are just now starting to understand. Me, I knew, starting in December 2008 (and the GA/LA elections), that Obama’s touch wasn’t a cure-all. When they write the books on the 2010 elections, they’ll probably start with those races, and why the Democrats shouldn’t have eased up on them…

Moe Lane

Again: they’re *angry*, not afraid.

Dan Collins – who has by the way moved Piece of Work In Progress: update your links – has a post about the opposition to the President that shouldn’t be excerpted, but must be.  A taste:

…they get stonewalled at town halls packed deliberately with union supporters, or find that their Representative has literally decided to phone the meeting in, and they are accused of being astroturfed, even as they watch people from out of state bused in to support the health care fiasco.  They see Lyndon LaRouche wackos carrying Obama Nazi signs characterized as right-wingers.  They hear that their concerns are those of a small and demented minority.  They see videos cropped to make it seem as though they’re racists. They are told that their opposition to Obama’s policies springs from racism on talk shows and in editorials.  They receive unsolicited emails from Axelrod after being told that their information’s not being kept by the White House, and then it’s blamed on advocacy groups across a broad political spectrum.  They recall that there were 8 years of BusHitler rhetoric that went unchallenged in the MSM, which suddenly is up in arms about the extraordinary incivility of such comparisons.


Oh, yeah, they’re angry.  But it’s not because they’re stupid.  It’s because “Trust us; we despise you” isn’t really very civil, is it?

Read the whole thing, and let me add one more of my own: Continue reading Again: they’re *angry*, not afraid.

Rasmussen: Majority of country worries government will do too much.

I would quibble with the results here: it implies that the notion that we’ve already done too much already to fix the economy isn’t a legitimate answer. Still, this report will not be welcome news for the administration:

52% Worry Government Will Do Too Much to Fix Economy


The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of the nation’s Likely Voters now worry that the government will do too much. That’s up from 50% a month ago and 43% in mid-February. It’s the highest level of concern measured since Barack Obama was elected president.

The number who worry that the government will do too little has fallen sharply to 31%. That’s down nine points from 40% a month ago and 12 points from 43% two months ago.

…which is only fitting. When the economy went into a tailspin last fall, the current administration presented itself as the best choice to repair our financial problems. When they were elected, the expectation was that they would actually engage in activities that would repair our financial problems, and in a nonpartisan, inclusive manner. Instead, we got: Never Waste A Crisis. I Won. The Democratic Party’s Pork Wish List. It’s Not Our Fault. Tax Hikes On The Lower Class*. The Great Expanding Budget Deficit. Let’s Repeat That Last One AgainOne More Time, So That It Sinks In. Continue reading Rasmussen: Majority of country worries government will do too much.

178 + 50 > 218.

This political equation was brought to you by the letters “O” and “I,” and the number “1.”

Feel free to check my math:

Dems warn leaders to resume regular order

A group of more than 50 House Democrats has penned a letter to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) imploring him to “restore this institution” and see that the House returns to a “regular order” process of legislating.

The letter, signed by a large number of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition and the centrist New Democratic Coalition, has not yet been sent. Members are still gathering signatures in an effort to send the strongest signal possible to all top House Democrats that the caucus is up in arms over the top-down method of legislating employed by Democrats since late last year.

Hoyer, and not Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was chosen as the recipient not because he is viewed as the prime enemy, but “because this group has no better friend in this fight” than the majority leader — who is widely respected across the ideological spectrum for his adherence to rules and procedures — an aide said.

Continue reading 178 + 50 > 218.

Yes, Mr. President. You won. How’s your debt bill coming along?

I would like to thank both the President of the United States of America, and the liberal Democratic group Americans United for Change, for their plans to remind three critical swing states that the Democratic Party is pushing a debt package that only 42% – and dropping – of the country believes in, and that a majority of independent voters oppose. But there’s something even odder about this strategy: Continue reading Yes, Mr. President. You won. How’s your debt bill coming along?