Pathetic is more like it.

‘Historic’ deal to avoid government shutdown
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Perilously close to a government shutdown, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders forged agreement late Friday night on a deal to cut about $38 billion in federal spending and avert the first closure in 15 years.

Obama hailed the deal, a bit more than an hour before a midnight deadline, as “the biggest annual spending cut in history,” and House Speaker John Boehner said that over the next decade it would cut government spending by $500 billion.

“This is historic, what we’ve done,” said the third man in the talks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Yes, I am glad that Sub Spike will not be furloughed (he works for a contractor which receives funding from the federal government, and this afternoon, he and Mom were joking about subsisting on beans and weenies), but let’s remember that these cuts only amount to a little more than 2% of this year’s budget deficit.

Because Math Is Hard – especially when we’re dealing with astronomically large numbers – allow me to conceptualize it this way: Let’s allow $1 to represent $100 billion. According to estimates I’ve seen, this year’s deficit would therefore equal $16-$17. During the 2010 campaign, many current members of the Republican House ran on a promise to knock off just $1 of that deficit. Since January, however, that number has gradually fallen until, tonight, we’re handed a measly $0.38 in cuts. Can you imagine what would happen if you personally owed someone $17 yet handed him $0.38 and demanded that he be grateful?

We can’t keep going on like this. Eventually, our creditors are going to come knocking and then we’ll really be in trouble. We have to stop pandering to the masses and start thinking about what is truly essential.

And while I’m at it: The Republicans desperately need to learn how to manage the optics. It absolutely enrages me that the lying left still has the power to set the media narrative, and I don’t understand why politicians on our side consistently fail to go after that narrative in venues where ordinary Americans will hear them. Every time I turned on the radio or the television this week, I should’ve heard or seen Republican-sponsored ads raking the Democrats over the coals for their failure to pass a budget for FY 2011 despite their super-majority and their control of the White House. And Republican leaders should’ve held their noses and braved the talk show circuit to explain why we need to make cuts, why the Republican proposals make sense, and why – given the sheer size of our budget, our deficits, and our debt – a reduction in federal spending of tens of billions of dollars is not “too much too fast.” How can we ever hope to win the debate if we don’t ever engage the enemy on his own turf and challenge his emotional reasoning and his illogical declarations?

Ugh. I just hope someone on the right in Washington wakes up before we have to do battle over the FY 2012 budget. The continued health of the American experiment depends upon our ability to breach the media wall.

3 thoughts on “Historic?

  1. I'm gonna have to disagree with you on this one.

    Although I agree that in an ideal world, more should have been cut…I think you're reacting to an unrealistic set of campaign promises just as Dems are reacting to Obama's wildly idealistic promises before his election. I think we don't have control of the government enough to make demands yet. We have a tenuous grasp on the House and are behind in the Senate…with a democrat in the White House and the media still firmly drinking that President's Kool-Aid.

    They know they cannot possibly get everything they want yet…IT'S TOO EARLY. Timing is CRITICAL in politics – the art of the possible. The GOP did the right thing…they bullied the conversation on the Hill for a very long time…down to the wire…made the Dems nervous enough to get small concessions…whatever concessions they could…and then made the deal they could make.

    Do you honestly believe that a govt. shutdown would have been good for incumbent republicans? The way the story was playing out in NEW YORK was…the evil republicans were going to start clubbing seals and forcing women into back allies to get OBGYN care and the Dems fought a heroic battle to prevent this upstart House from undoing years of hard work at progressing out of the stone ages in one short year. That's the hill we have to climb as social conservatives. Asking for conservative miracles right away will get us all killed.


  2. I understand the reality of the situation. I understand that this was probably the best they could do at the moment. However, I don't think I need to celebrate the deal as “historic” when it is, at best, a stop-gap measure.

    And by the way, the fact that your fellow New Yorkers believe the GOP is out to club baby seals is not new. New York is a blue, blue state. And where you are, deep in the heart of academia, it's even bluer. No offense, but I don't think many people up your way are likely to be convinced no matter what we conservatives do. If people actually believe the insane and malicious lie that we conservatives wish to deny women their preventative health care, they are not people who are ready for a rational debate.

    As I said, the problem, as I see it, is that the Eeyores within our own movement have too easily ceded the media narrative to the left. A shutdown would not have been suicidal if the Republicans were actually willing to do the work of convincing the American people. Instead, whenever the Democrats roll out their psychotic claims that we are attacking women, children, and the poor and squeal that we are meeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaan, the Republicans completely wuss out. We are never going to get anything substantive done if we let that continue. That is what I was trying to say in my original post.


  3. I knew what you were saying in general…I get the frustration…my point is that I think this strengthens our hand as a party. They can't stop us next year if we gain control of the Senate, and I think right now, the GOP is in position to make gains in that direction. THey have to bide their time a bit…I'm not ready to conclude that Boehner et al have wussed out…maybe they have, and I agree that it would be nice to see conservatives defend themselves in liberal strongholds, but we probably shouldn't try waging that war until we have the power to force the hand of the left.


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