Let’s go to the tape, shall we?
Andy McCarthy’s not impressed.
A mere four months ago, the big controversy in conservative and Republican circles was whether the GOP had reneged on their vaunted pledge to cut $100B in spending in the current fiscal year because they had seemingly come down to $61B. As I noted at the time, there was no question that, if you looked at the fine print of the pledge, the commitment was $61B — but that if you looked at reality, both $61B and $100B were laughably unserious. No matter. Folks around here pooh-poohed my criticism and insisted that a $61B pledge was a sober first step, showing real fortitude about getting our fiscal house in order.
So now they’ve stopped short, significantly short, of that purportedly serious step, and the reaction is, “We won!” You’ve got to be kidding me. The only thing Boehner won is future assurance that GOP leadership can safely promise the moon but then settle for crumbs because their rah-rah corner will spin any paltry accomplishment, no matter how empty it shows the promise to have been, as a tremendous victory.
And what’s the rationale for settling? Why, that these numbers are so piddling — that the $21 billion difference is so meaningless in the context of $14 trillion — that it’s best just to settle, make believe the promise was never made, make believe we didn’t flinch, and put this episode behind us so we can begin the “real work” of the next promise, the Ryan Plan.
Regarding that plan, you’re to believe that the captains courageous who caved on $21 billion — and who got elected because of Obamacare but don’t even want to discuss holding out for a cancellation of $105 billion in Obamacare funding — are somehow going to fight to the death for $6 trillion in cuts. Right.
It strikes me that Boehner caved when he had — as Hugh Hewitt describes it — a “veto” on all spending. Won’t the Democrats feel emboldened during the upcoming fights over the debt ceiling, the FY 2012 budget, and entitlement reform? Boehner eliminated a couple of days’ worth of deficits, and got two symbolic votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate on Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. Why should the GOP base (much less the Tea Party) feel encouraged?
As an aside, I’m getting really sick of the “1/2 of 1/3 of the government” talking point. It’s a weak excuse. Besides, the Judicial Branch isn’t even involved in spending decisions whatsoever; Boehner actually runs 1/2 of 1/2 of the spending process.
6:00 PM Update: I just came across Mark Levin’s take:
John Boehner has said over and over again that the Republican House is only 1/2 of 1/3 of the government – even though, by the way, no spending or taxing bill can pass without the House, period. He has also said that the Republicans will not shut down the government. So tell me, what is his strategy going forward with the debt ceiling and the 2012 budget? If he is already saying House Republicans are too weak to do much, and that we are not going to shut down the government, what is his leverage when these big battles take place? I don’t think the man has a strategy at all.
My reaction: *yawn*
Really? This is the best the GOP leadership can do? I can understand why Erick Erickson’s upset, since this document is as tuned into the American people’s concerns as a TV with bunny ears trying to catch HBO. Suggestion for Boehner, Cantor, and pals: stop fooling around and take Doug Ross’ advice.
2:45 PM Update: Some call it a pledge to nowhere, some call it stupid, some call it milquetoast, some call it timid, some have a pithier alternative … and then there’s the plan involving bacon and giant robots.
Cash For Clunkers is Betty Sutton’s baby. She touts the wasteful program as the crown jewel of her dubious achievements in office. Under normal circumstances Cash For Clunkers would be a big fat target for any Sutton opponent to hit, but unfortunately our nominee seems unable to pull the trigger.
Judging from his lackluster performance to date, it will take a minor miracle for car dealer Tom Ganley to erase his earlier praise for the program:
Tom Ganley, owner of the Ganley Auto Group, estimates the government owes him $3 million for the cars he’s sold.
“In essence, I and other car dealers are loaning money to the federal government, interest free,” Ganley said. “I feel for some of the smaller dealers across the country. They could actually sell themselves out of business.”
And despite being owed millions, Ganley called the program an overwhelming success.
“It has certainly primed the pump and accelerated auto sales,” Ganley said.
That’s bad. Blatant flip-flopping for political advantage is worse, and that’s exactly the accusation that the Sutton campaign will use to tar her opponent. The Ganley campaign has so far made one weak attempt to backpedal:
Ganley and Renacci both maintain the sales program was a clunker and that they only participated to meet customers’ expectations. They said it sparked a temporary sales spike followed by a slowdown, and had negative long-term effects on the industry and used-car consumers who could have bought trade-ins the program destroyed.
“The program was, at its basic level, an unnecessary intrusion of government into the private business sector,” says Ganley campaign manager Jeff Longstreth, contending that the government payments helped car buyers, not dealers. “It was unnecessary federal spending that is indicative of the current administration’s policy of spend, spend, spend.”
The argument’s right on target, but how does Ganley plan to credibly criticize a program that reportedly paid him $20 million for selling somewhere north of 800 cars? Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. If he intends to pursue the “it was a temporary spike” line of attack, he’ll have to cast doubt on a Maritz Automotive Research Group report that suggests otherwise (hint, hint). Ganley’s campaign site makes no mention of the Maritz report, which was released three months ago. Nor is there any mention of Cash For Clunkers. Is the Ganley campaign waiting for an engraved invitation to deal with the elephant in the room?
Tom, I’ll be blunt. You’re a used car salesman looking to become a politician. That means you’ve got more than the usual public relations handicap to overcome. Unless you stop deluding yourself that you’ll win simply because you’re not Betty Sutton, and do it soon, you’re doomed. A lazy campaign is a losing campaign. Get off your butt and convince your potential constituents that you’re worth our votes.
He says he might run.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gives President Barack Obama only a 20 percent chance of being reelected — and says he might be the one to give Obama the boot.
The former speaker said there is “more of a possibility now” that he’ll run for president than when he was considering the idea ahead of the 2008 election. He said he’ll decide in February or March of next year and will base the decision partly on whether there is “a potential to raise the resources to be a serious, major candidate.”
Gingrich said he and his wife, Callista, will base the decision on two top factors: “Is the case for basic change clear enough, and powerful enough, that articulating it and carrying it is a legitimate part of my role as a citizen?” and “Is there a potential to raise the resources to be a serious, major candidate.”
He’s delusional if he thinks he has a prayer of winning the Republican nomination.
This document is purportedly a copy of a mailer from the Medina County Republican Party. Look for the section headed by “Had enough hope & change?” and read the second bullet.
Medina County GOP mailer on Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH)
Here’s the text:
- Let’s replace Pelosi’s Puppet John Boccieri with a good solid conservative. Let’s see — he was against ObamaCare before he was for it!
- Let’s take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen!
- Let’s fire Harry Reid from his job as Senate Majority Leader by putting Republicans in the majority!
- Let’s put Governor Strickland in the unemployment line by electing a fiscal conservative who will tear down the barriers to job creation in Ohio!
If this is a real mailer, then the people who approved it need to be tossed out on their ears. This is 2010, geniuses, not an episode of “Mad Men.”
First of all, homemakers deserve honor and respect. Wise cracks about sending a woman back to the kitchen are just plain offensive. Claiming that a move from Congress to “the kitchen” is a demotion has it precisely backwards. To say that I have more respect for the average homemaker than for the average congresscritter is an understatement on a par with saying I prefer strawberry ice cream to cockroach soufflé.
Second, this is just dumb politics. Only an oblivious tool would think that the contents of a public mailer will never get into the opposition’s hands. Even internal documents (especially the stupid ones) find their way to the press. This was a public mailer, you morons. Way to play right into the Democrats’ stereotype of Republicans as knuckle-dragging misogynists. All they need is one juvenile and insulting wisecrack from you and they’ve got ammo for attack ads all summer long. Never mind that the conservative movement is home to Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Liz Cheney, Laura Ingraham, Star Parker, Anita MonCrief, Michelle Malkin, Jill Stanek, S.E. Cupp, Kathryn Jean Lopez, and millions upon millions of women just as independent and hard-working as they are. The media and the Democrats are longing to play the victim card to defend Betty Sutton’s uncertain seat in the House, and now they think they have an excuse.
Way to go.
4/29/10 Update: It took him a week, but Tom Ganley finally responded to the uproar.
Instead of talking about creating jobs, Betty Sutton wants to talk about a newsletter sent out by the Medina County Republican Party. I’m sure you all have heard about the newsletter and the idiotic comment about Betty Sutton included in the newsletter. For the record, I had nothing to do with the newsletter or the comment. My campaign, along with several other candidates, paid for an advertisement in an insert included in the newsletter. No one involved in our campaign saw the comment until it appeared in a Plain Dealer article last week. This is the equivalent of buying an ad in a newspaper and then being held responsible for the editorial content the next day. Further, we have not been endorsed by the Medina County GOP or the Chairman Bill Heck, and we have made it abundantly clear to them we do not support this kind of inappropriate language.
I believe the comment was very offensive, and I do not support it. I also think it was offensive how Betty Sutton’s first response was to send out a fundraising letter. I hate stereotypes, and I do not tolerate them. As I am not an elected official or a member of the Central or Executive Committees and do not have any influence over the Medina County GOP, I cannot control what they decide to do about this situation. The only thing I can control is how my campaign conducts itself, and I am very proud of the race we are running. This will serve as our last comment on this subject. We should be talking about creating jobs, not this fake outrage.
Good reply, but way late.
Is Michael Steele trying to kill the Republican National Committee?
How else do you explain his love-in with Al Sharpton?
Over at Hot Air, they made Ron Paul (the Republican Party’s version of Dennis Kucinich) the subject of yesterday’s Quotes Of The Day thanks to his speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
I’d say this parody comment by MadisonConservative aptly sums up the diminutive dingbat’s political outlook:
Obama is pro-business, North Korea and Iran are harmless, and Israel is the new Nazi Empire. Hitler was misunderstood, Truman was a war criminal, and Lincoln is the anti-Christ. Plus, the Joos run everything. You should read this book called The Protocols. Have you ever heard of John Birch?
Leaked video of a night at Dr. Paul’s house:
Watch the clip and you’ll see yet another example of an elected official who doesn’t bother to understand his job.
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Shame on Frank LoBiondo for not even having a pocket U.S. Constitution handy. Nobody would have objected if he had pulled out a copy of the document, because it would have demonstrated that he cared enough to check it. What a fool.
I hope moments like these happen at every town hall meeting in America for the next ten years.
Good grief. This is nuts.
According to two knowledgeable sources, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele once raised the possibility of using party money to buy a private jet for his travel.
The RNC explains that Steele charters jets only when commercial service is unavailable, or when his tight schedule requires it. “Anytime the chairman has taken any private travel has been a either to a route that doesn’t exist or because of connections and multiple travel to where he just wasn’t able to do so,” Heye said. Yet Steele’s office repeatedly refused to explain in specific terms the circumstances of the February charter flights.
Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.
RNC trips to other cities produced bills from a long list of chic and costly hotels such as the Venetian and the M Resort in Las Vegas, and the W (for a total of $19,443) in Washington. A midwinter trip to Hawaii cost the RNC $43,828, not including airfare.
And the GOP wonders why I refuse to donate when they call.
11:42 AM Update: Sorry, GOP. Nowhere near good enough.
2:30 PM Update: Good volley, Mr. Carlson.
5:33 PM Update: Michelle Malkin collects another round of rejected RNC solicitations.
6:08 PM Update: We don’t call it “The Stupid Party” for nothing.
Good grief. Again with the moooooderate canard? Michael Medved writes:
Republicans may be the immediate beneficiaries of the Democrats’ clumsy misinterpretation of the supposed mandate for change, but they run a very real risk of making similar mistakes. Polls show disillusionment and distrust regarding the Obama agenda, but that hardly signals an impassioned appetite for a conservative counterrevolution. If the GOP pledges massive, wrenching, systemic change — cutting back, for instance, on cherished, widely popular government programs on which millions of Americans depend — it will meet the same resistance and skepticism that confronts Obama and his liberal colleagues.
In other words, the people would welcome a concerted effort to “clean up the mess in Washington,” but they don’t want Washington cleaning up the mess in their private lives because they don’t consider their personal status a mess.
Yes, the Democrats miscalculated by underestimating the deeply conservative nature of the American people, but the Republicans may yet miscalculate themselves by interpreting that conservatism as ideological rather than temperamental.
The public wants pragmatic, commonsense, problem-solving leadership more than purist dogmatism of the right or the left. Voters don’t yearn for stirring 10-point programs, or radical readjustments of governmental institutions, or definitive demonization and defeat of opponents.
Ever since Medved sided with Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham on
amnesty “comprehensive immigration reform” a few years back, and especially once Medved started pimping McCain’s and Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaigns, I’ve had a hard time listening to him.
Hey, Michael, we don’t want “radical conservative change” anytime soon. Let’s start by rolling back federal spending/taxation/regulation to August ’08 levels. Then maybe we can shoot for Reagan-era levels. After that, we can aim further rightward. ‘Kay?
As other Republicans threw their support behind Hoffman’s momentum, Gingrich argued that the party needed to be more inclusive of moderates if it had a hope of retaking the majority.
He told The Associated Press he was disappointed, and “deeply upset” that Scozzafava endorsed Owens.
“How could she have accepted all that support?” he said, adding later: “I’m very, very let down because she told everybody she was a Republican, and she said she was a loyal Republican.”
Gingrich now backs Hoffman.
Gimme a break. Newt’s a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them.
How else do you explain stuff like this?
But if Hitler was out to conquer the world — Britain, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, South America, India, Asia, Australia — why did he spend three years building that hugely expensive Siegfried Line to protect Germany from France? Why did he start the war with no surface fleet, no troop transports and only 29 oceangoing submarines? How do you conquer the world with a navy that can’t get out of the Baltic Sea?
If Hitler wanted the world, why did he not build strategic bombers, instead of two-engine Dorniers and Heinkels that could not even reach Britain from Germany?
Why did he let the British army go at Dunkirk?
Why did he offer the British peace, twice, after Poland fell, and again after France fell?
Why, when Paris fell, did Hitler not demand the French fleet, as the Allies demanded and got the Kaiser’s fleet? Why did he not demand bases in French-controlled Syria to attack Suez? Why did he beg Benito Mussolini not to attack Greece?
Because Hitler wanted to end the war in 1940, almost two years before the trains began to roll to the camps.
Those pesky Poles and Joooos had it coming, huh, Pat?
The Other McCain has several good points:
The people who control access to Republican leaders go out of their way to prevent their bosses from ever having direct contact with any rank-and-file conservative who wants to help. It’s a tragically familiar story.
A key reason the [George] Allen campaign couldn’t fix the “macaca” problem was because they had no friends in the MSM — and this by design, rather than accident. Republican campaign operatives routinely and habitually treat reporters as the enemy. Somewhere, I believe, there must be a boot camp where GOP staffers are trained in an attitude of hostility and suspicion toward the press.
Republican leaders habitually blame media bias for all their woes, but rank-and-file Republicans need to start asking to what extent this media bias is fomented and exacerbated by the cluelessness of GOP leadership and the insulting arrogance of GOP political operatives.
So, whose fault was it that the MSM portrayed Sarah Palin as a ditzy bimbo? You can blame the press all you want, but at some point — if the Republican Party wishes to present itself as representing the principles of accountability and personal responsibility — the role of GOP campaign staffers in mishandling the media needs to be examined.
Read the rest. It’s quite thought-provoking.
Newsweek’s Katie Connolly interviewed former Massachusetts Governor (and former GOP presidential candidate) Mitt Romney about his experiences with health care legislation yesterday. When she asked him “What lessons can be gleaned from your experience in Massachusetts?”, Romney replied:
After we crafted the architecture of our plan, the first person I went to was Ted Kennedy. He and I met numerous times and what we fashioned was not perfect in either one of our eyes, but we worked together, because only together could we know that we would have the support of all the parties necessary to make it work.
The states are laboratories of democracy. Well, our state passed a bill. It’s been in place now for several years. Have they studied it? Have they spoken with the Republicans and Democrats in Masssachusetts? Have they spoken with hospitals? Doctors? Have they sent the GAO there to take it apart to see what is working well and what is not? Nobody has given me a call, except Republicans. I’ve received no calls from Democrats saying what do you think about it? What would you do differently if you were to do it today? There’s a whole series of things I’d do differently. And yet, there seems to be such a rush to act. I understand that President Obama wants to get this done in his first term, but more important than getting it done in the first year is getting it done right, before he is out of office. There is time here to get it done right.
What’s Obama supposed to ask Mitt to explain? How to screw up health care through rationing, high taxes, obscene spending, and over-regulation? Both men have mastered those skill sets already.
Connolly also asked Romney “In terms of the reform proposals before Congress, what do you see that you like and dislike so far?”
I’m not happy that the President wants to provide a so-called public option. There is no need for the government to become an insurance company. I’m convinced, as many before me have said, that this is a step towards a single payer system; that it will result in billions, if not hundreds of billions, of subsidies down the road and a new entitlement, which is one of the last things America needs right now. On the other hand I am happy that he is actually working to reform healthcare. It’s important for us to get everyone insured. It’s important that there be an effort made to reduce the excessive inflation in the healthcare sector.
This is just rich. Mitt Romney, the man who orchestrated Massachusetts government’s takeover of its citizens’ health care, is warning about a government takeover of health care?
I think Mitt’s been hitting the medical marijuana.
7:00 Update: We’ve got health care, yes we do! We’ve got health care, how ’bout you?