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Monday, December 20, 2010

Demoralizing The Troops

I'm not talking about DADT or the military troops.

I'm talking about the political troops who worked their rear ends off to take back the House of Representatives and narrow the gap in the Senate, only to watch Barack Obama and Harry Reid run circles in the closing weeks of the lame duck session around Republicans on everything except the Omnibus bill and the Dream Act.

Nothing of a non-emergency nature should take place in a lame duck session, and Republicans should have stuck to their original guns.  It is absurd and illegitimate that the fate of the nation for years or decades to come is being decided by people who have been thrown out of office.

The "tax deal" bizarrely has become Obama's feather in the cap, and the pledge by Republicans not to allow any votes until both tax rates and a budget resolution were passed was reduced to a "read my lips" moment. 

Several Republican Senators who will not be in the Senate in two weeks were a weak link exploited by Reid to the breaking point.

Maybe it's that the daylight has been getting shorter until tomorrow, but it's been a demoralizing December.

Update:  Is there a light at the end of December?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a warning for Democrats seething over his shrewd political tactics: Get used to it.
“There’s much for them to be angst-ridden about,” McConnell said with a chuckle. “If they think it’s bad now, wait ‘til next year.”

Emboldened by Democrats’ decision to scrap an omnibus funding bill and extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, McConnell is ready to deploy his larger Republican minority next year, insisting that Democratic leaders will need to bend to his party’s will – particularly on spending issues.
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  1. It isn't all bad, they are getting some things right.

    For example, Republican opposition is stirring against Joseph A. Smith, Obama's nominee to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the agency that regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The Obama admninistration is trying to pressure Fannie and Freddie (and, through them, the entire American banking system) to extend a bailout to "underwater" homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth by reducing the principal owed on their mortgages.

    These aren't the "distressed" borrowers you hear about, who can't afford their mortgages due to job loss. These underwater homeowners can afford to pay their mortgages, but they often choose not to.

    This kind of a bailout creates moral hazard, an ethical death spiral, and is deeply offensive to those of us who pay our debts.

    Joseph A. Smith seems inclined to force Fannie and Freddie to perform the write-downs if he is made head of FHFA, and Richard Shelby is calling attention to the unjust redistributive nature of this bailout.

    It isn't a terribly sexy issue, doesn't get a lot of press, but it's very important, and it's heartening that some folks in D.C. are paying attention to it.

  2. I agree that it's been bad. The Republicans have NO excuse either not being present or having had their names stuck on pork-additions in the budget or being part of the horrible tax bill which was another 800 billion in spending. Then to get beat on DADT. Unreal. If this next bunch starts acting like this, it's over. And I'm worried, because already I see TEA Party favorite Kristi Noem speaking in favor of that horrid tax bill.
    Not looking good...

  3. What needs to happen is a change in the Constitution. When it was written there was no lame duck session because it took the length of time from November until January for the new congress to convene(travel was surely inconvenient back int he day). But in today's modern world the Congress can reconvene within hours. It is time to force a change and pass a law, outlawing this usurpation of the people's power. The new law should read that Congress after election day may not pass any laws except funding the government until a new session is sworn in. The actions of this lame duck session smacks of extreme hubris,the disregard of the people's wishes. It's almost as if they nullified the November election and have tried to remain in power as would any fascist.

  4. Not demoralizing at all. Now the prosecutions start!

    Treason against the Constitution.
    Without consequences, there is no constraint on the lawless.

    Stop the Looting. Start the Prosecuting.

    The country has been raped. It's time to go aggressively hunt down and punish the rapists.

  5. I agree with @sofa and @Independent. I've read that this lame duck session might be unConstitutional, given the 20th Amendment. True? Do you have any knowledge on this? If you see anything on your fav legal blogs, please pass it on to us. Remember - this will help to keep the Tea Party-ers fired up to make The One a 1-term president, and to kick out the feckless, spineless RINOs - along with the leftist socialist Dems. Remember....we have not yet begun to fight!

  6. What does it take to make you people happy? What a bunch of whiners! I expect that in the comments, but I'm surprised by the Prof. This of defeatism when you are up 3 to 0.1 is just silly.

    BTW: Krauthammer is just about the only person who thinks Obama "won" on the tax deal. Would you please explain in detail exactly why you think Krauthammer is correct? Please?

    Then I can utterly demolished the arguement and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Krauthammer
    and any opinion's based on his nonsense are completely without merit.

    And then I think you will feel much better.

  7. Glad to see that update. You need to consider that seriously. The real point here is that losing in the lame-duck session is much worse for the Dems than having those bills pushed off to the next congress and having them defeated there.

    If that had happened, the Dems would have had the cover of being in a much weaker position.

    As it is, they just had their collective ass handed to them on the 3 most important things on their agenda, while still owning both houses of Congress and the Presidency!

    McConnell has it exactly right: this was bad for them and it going to get worse. The RPO faction have shown they do not handle adversity well, and it looks like McConnell (and his ilk) are prepared to exploit that.

    This is no time to whine. To paraphrase of one history's greatest generals: Stop worrying about what they might do to you and start thinking about what you are going to do to them!

  8. I beg to differ Mr. Johnson, and it is not whining.

    The Republicans agreed to hundreds of billions in spending with no offsetting spending cuts in return for avoiding tax increases for 2 years?

    The Dems would never have allowed them to go up anyway! They've been playing negotiation games with a lame duck and do not understand their own cards.

    Over at Hugh Hewitt's site Orrin Hatch, who I respect, tries to tell Hugh why passing the tax deal was anything but silly. His argument is illogical IMHO. To his credit, he is the only Republican who agreed to talk about it.

  9. What's wrong with the Repubs? Don't any of them play Texas Hold'em?

  10. Today I got a call from the NRSC, asking for me to resubscribe for 2011. I said "call me next month, since I'm really ticked off over the so-called 'food safety' act".

    He tried 4-5 times to change my mind. Each time, I said "tell Cornyn and his gang that I'm upset over crap like this, and call me next month". I hope the NRSC gets a similar messages from others.

  11. Whiskey Jim:
    First, you exagerate the spending amounts.

    Second, the Republican-dominated house will create a budget next year. If that budget fails to have the necessary spending cuts in it, I will join you at the barricades.

    In the meantime, it would be best to hold your fire.