It must be an election year! How do I know, because politicians of both parties are spouting talking points about the need for fiscal responsibility even while they do the opposite. These same politicians have set up themselves and the rest of us for what is being called the ‘fiscal cliff’ at the beginning of 2013.
The fiscal cliff is the consequence political evasion, ill-considered gimmicks and cynicism. Because the cost of enacting the ‘Bush tax cuts’ on a permanent basis was seen as politically unacceptable without also cutting spending by like amounts—also seen as unacceptable, Congress did neither. Instead Congress jumped into the pot of cold water and turned on the heat by adopting the Bush tax cuts, giving them an expiration date, never expecting the water to boil on their watch thus engaging in the age old sport of driving up the deficit while complaining about all the spending. This was not the finest hour for Republican leadership not because they got the policy wrong but because they bungled the execution and accountability. Had Republicans made the Bush tax permanent there would be no tax cliff. Had they adjusted spending to match revenue the deficit would be substantially smaller today even counting the first round of stimulus spending. And ten year later Republicans in Congress are still on shaky grounds preaching about fiscal responsibility.
The other part of the fiscal cliff is made possible by another politically correct but imminently silly gimmick called sequestration. This scheme allowed for the extension of the Nation’s debt ceiling sufficient to pay the bills but ordered automatic cuts in spending divided equally between defense and non-defense programs. The Democrats agreed to this because they had no choice if they wanted to get the President’s debt ceiling measure approved in a divided Congress. The Republicans agreed to it because it exacted a pound of flesh from the President’s backside because he needed something and decided to take the beating to get it. Longer term, the Republicans believed they would win the next election and (avoid having their frog boil) by undoing sequestration for at least defense programs to avoid the cliff even if they sacrificed a few nondefense programs to claim they were cutting the fat out of the budget.
President Obama and the Congressional Democrats made the consequences of the tax cliff manifestly worse than the Republicans by driving up government spending, programs, staffing levels and industrial policy grants to favored players. In typical Washington fashion any discussion of slowing down the INCREASE in Federal spending as a percentage of GDP is labeled as a ‘cut’ and YouTube videos of Paul Ryan pushing grandma over the cliff in her wheelchair suddenly appear.
“A Pox on Both Your Houses!”
That is the American public’s reaction to these stunts. But here we are—careening down the 2012 election highway way above the speed limit heading toward the cliff.
In 2008, we voted for Barack Obama because we wanted to believe in his message of hope and change. We wanted to be part of a historic presidency that celebrated to the world everything we cherished in the American dream. We wanted to demonstrate that America was still the world’s leader and superpower. We wanted to again reinvent America to face our economic problems squarely and to be that beacon of hope and change that a desperate world in 2008 desperately needed.
But President Obama has disappointed us instead by playing bait and switch, divided us by endless class warfare, apologized abroad for America’s vision of freedom and world leadership, and undermined our sense of optimism and American exceptionalism that drives Americans to confront challenges with a ‘yes we can’ spirit. The challenge for President Obama in the 2012 election is America still longs for the 2008 hope and change historic Presidency he promised. But President Obama abandoned hope and change—and us—after the 2008 election. We do not like this ‘new normal’ and we don’t want four more years of what he’s given us. The President has lost the benefit of our doubt and he has very little time left to try to change our minds.
The Republicans are set to nominate Mitt Romney. He has the business experience a recovering America desperately needs. He has the executive management and leadership experience the President lacked and we’re now paying for our ‘hiring mistake. We are persuaded that Mitt Romney will be a good manager of America’s programs, services and finances. The problem for Mitt Romney is so far he has been unable to ‘close the sale’ with us because while we need a good manager for America’s economic recovery—we still want a hope and change leader to restore America’s potential, self-confidence and global leadership.
Having been baited and switched once before on hope and change we are reluctant to sign up for another ‘squishy promise’ even one of competence and business savvy. To close the sale Mitt must be more than the un-Obama. He must inspire us more. He must reveal his strategy in more detail so we can KNOW this time what is in the bill before we vote for it.
We want to hold our President accountable to deliver what he promises to deliver.
There are worse fates than a competent, but boring President. But we have waited so long for hope and change and we don’t want to settle for less.
The polls tell us the campaign is a dead heat. I believe the polls are REALLY telling us that Americans still want to believe in the 2008 hope and change Obama. But Obama must persuade us that he still believes in hope and change. We’re listening! But if the 2012 Obama keeps giving us more of the same class warfare, hyper partisan, left of center rhetoric with continuing bad performance results, Americans are more likely than not to vote for competent but boring Mitt than take a chance of four more years of Obama under-performance.
The heat has been turned up under the Congressional frog with the tax cliff. But like it or not the President and now Mitt Romney are also in the same pot as the Congressional frog. Whoever proposes the most rational and achievable political strategy to avoid the fiscal cliff, rescue the nation and jump start our economic recovery will win our votes. A deal that avoids the tax cliff BEFORE the election is what we expect, but if we don’t get one there will be plenty of frog legs on the menu.
- Democrats seek leverage as fiscal cliff looms (cnsnews.com)
- Lawmakers signal deep ‘fiscal cliff’ deadlock in Congress (mercurynews.com)
- Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan Reveals His Core Vulnerability (tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com)
- America Held Hostage (snspost.com)
- Voters Must See Candidate Plans for Avoiding Fiscal Cliff – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
While most of the speculation about an October surprise has revolved around the probability of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear capability, or a financial collapse in Spain or Italy that drags the Eurozone to the depths, it could be that we already know the October surprise but are either ignoring it or hoping, against hope, that it is not true.
We got a surprise this week with the announcement that JPMorgan Chase lost $ 2 billion in a risk management strategy gone bad. We saw oil prices decline on news of lower than expected economic growth in China, the defeat of President Sarkozy in French elections, and similar results in Greek elections further undermining confidence in the Eurozone. But this is May not October.
What is our October Surprise?
The realization that the US is back in recession. That now seems the most likely scenario for the US economy given the anemic pace of US GDP growth, persistently high unemployment, a declining work force shrinking because more people quit looking for work and thus are no longer counted and continued polls telling us Americans think the country is going in the wrong direction.
But don’t take my word for it. The Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) a New York City-based independent economic research think tank said May 9, 2012 that year-over-year growth in US real personal income has been lower for the last three months than it was at the beginning of each of the last ten recessions. The ECRI has correctly predicted three of the last three recessions. In September 2011 the ECRI said it saw this pattern emerging and now it is reaffirming its analysis telling us that “this is what personal income growth typically looks like early in a recession”.
Some would argue the US feels like we have been in recession or worse since 2008, but data tells us we came out of recession in mid-2009 but our deficit spending levels, fiscal and monetary policy has not produced the kind of robust recovery previously seen. So it is tough to see how digging our fiscal hole deeper with more deficit spending will change things now.
We could tax the rich—if we can find them. California is the poster child —or basket case for that strategy with a deficit now looming to $16 billion from $9 billion at the beginning of the year. California is not only bleeding red ink, it is bleeding people. From 2000 to 2009 California lost a net 1.5 million resident to other states. Only New York lost more—1.6 million residents. Think about that— 1.5 million people is a city the size of San Diego voting with their feet. Yet, on the June primary ballot is a new tax increase on cigarettes and on the November ballot we face the prospect of two dueling income and sales tax increase measures.
So the October surprise is that it may all hit the fan starting in October as voters realize not only is our economy back in recession but that we are staring in the face the prospects of a tsunami of new taxes at the beginning of 2013 from the end of the Bush tax cuts, the end of the payroll tax cuts, the prospects of higher taxes on both the Federal and State levels. Meanwhile it will be obvious to every voter that our current policies are not working.
This is not what President Obama and Governor Jerry Brown want to hear, but it is the reality we all face. The challenge for the President and Governor of California is to define a message and a policy that is something other than more of the same—because that is going to be a tough sell.
The challenge for Republicans now is to present the country with a policy vision they think will work better. Being opposed to everything President Obama is doing is not sufficient and will not overcome our belief that both parties are guilt of the same sins.
They both spend too much of other people’s money and pander to the pet causes of their base. They all lack ‘day jobs’ that force them to live with the laws, policies and regulations they impose on the rest of us. They forget whom they were elected to serve and the longer they are in Washington the more disconnected they become from Main Street. These are the manifest symptoms of confidence lost.
Senator Richard Lugar lost his first primary election challenge in more than 36 years in the US Senate from Indiana to a Tea Party activist this past week. The Democrats said this was the ugliness of the Tea Party cleansing the GOP of moderates. But one of the reasons Lugar was defeated was the realization by Indiana voters that Senator Lugar sold his house in Indiana years ago taking up permanent residence in Washington DC and has not truly been a Hoosier for quite some time.
- Long Time Senator Richard Lugar Loses Primary Election (lezgetreal.com)
- Lakshman Achuthan Boldy Defends His Recession Call (businessinsider.com)
- Lugar has biting words after loss (cnn.com)
- Ousted Richard Lugar’s “Scathing” Farewell Letter Details America’s Partisan, Ideological Mire (themoderatevoice.com)
- Long-serving Sen. Lugar loses to tea party challenger in Indiana GOP primary (mcclatchydc.com)
I really start to worry when I find myself agreeing with Paul Krugman. I know he has a Nobel Prize but mostly I find his views on spending and the role of government in our society too intrusive. But he said recently that the markets don’t think the US is Greece (yet!). Nor do they think the US will default on its debt. But they do worry that there are too many downward pressures on growth to get much of it and that is our biggest problem.
Krugman is not recommending that we roll back ObamaCare, or some of the EPA regulations that spew daily from its printing presses. But both those things would be a good start. But even that will not be enough.
As Dan Drechsel said in Accurate Reality the debt deal did not do nearly enough to signal the markets that we are serious about reducing our deficit and debt. He’s right, of course. Washington speak for “cut” really means they are reducing the rate of growth not actually cutting anything. So the debt deal peddled as a cut in spending actually adds $7 trillion more to the national debt net over the next ten years.
The S&P downgrade of US credit ratings to AA+ from AAA is another wake-up call. Will we roll over and hit the snooze button one more time or actually wake up and do something constructive?
When the markets are persuaded that the government is serious about growth we will see business start to spend its hoard of cash and create jobs. Private sector spending (not government spending) and its ripple effect across the economy will turn the tide. But the 2012 election is a long time away and our politicians seem unable, unwilling and unresponsive to our real need for growth.
We need action now—the ship of state is going back into recession. The panic that caused this week’s 513 point meltdown in stocks is driven by the fear that our government is feckless—just like Italy in facing up to our realities. The bright spot is that the global search for safety brought many to US Treasuries in a fervent prayer that America will wake up, get up and find a way to grow again—as we have always done before in times of crisis.
- Paul Krugman: The Wrong Worries (economistsview.typepad.com)
- Newt Gingrich Accuses Obama Of Being A Follower Of Paul Krugman, Which Would Be News To Paul Krugman (huffingtonpost.com)
- WATCH: Krugman Slams Obama, George Will Slams Krugman (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Debt-Ceiling Debate is Dead! Long Live the Debt! Or, Will ObamaCare Cover What Krugman’s Smoking? (reason.com)
- Paul Krugman And Ron Paul Agree, Debit Ceiling Offers Nothing But “False Promises” (inquisitr.com)
The soap opera playing out over raising the US debt ceiling is more politics than reality. Neither political party wants to go into the 2012 elections with responsibility for more red ink on their shoes. The United States is not going to default in our payments of principal and interest on our debt and everyone knows this. That is why the markets have watched this debate with relative calm and baked into the numbers a presumption that some last minute face-saving deal will be done once enough mud had been slung on the face of the opposing party.
But while this may be politics as usual there are instructive lessons about new realities resulting:
- Our Negative view of our Elected Leaders is confirmed. As voters we have tolerated the slovenly behavior of our elected officials and the way they spend our money. The debt ceiling has been raised scores of times in the past without much debate. This time it has become a big deal because while Democrats and Republicans are using it to score points, the rest of us are using it to measure the people we elected by their approval ratings in the polls. Congress scores worse than the President, but his ratings are racing to the bottom to match them.
- It’s the Debt, Stupid. The debate in Washington may be about raising the debt ceiling. The debate on Main Street is about the enormous size of the accumulated debt and the reckless willingness to keep spending. We’ve lost confidence in our leaders because we see them weakening our country, undermining our values, and stealing from our children to play politics.
- President Obama is a Disappointment. We elected Barack Obama because he inspired us to live into our aspirations as a great nation. We demonstrated once again de Toquiville’s 200 year old observation that America has the capacity to reinvent ourselves for the challenges we face. We hoped that the change the President spoke of would lead us there. But he baited and switched us reverting to the most corrosive form of class warfare, entitlement expansion and free-spending liberal instead of the centrist we thought we were choosing. We needed the president to help fix our broken economy but his policies have made it worse. So “Yes We Can” is turning into “Oh, No We Won’t” as the president misread his mandate and no longer seems a good fit for our needs, as the voters might say as we hand him his pink slip.
- Democrats and Republicans are both the same, but the TEA Party member have scruples. This is the ‘pox on both your houses’ lesson we seem to keep relearning. The partisan differences are real and debating them is good but we’re losing confidence in both parties because we have come to believe their debates have more to do with scoring points than principles. While the President and Democrats have trashed the TEA party candidates and tried to discredit those who were elected a funny thing has emerged. The TEA party members are the only group that has remained true to the principles they told us about as candidates. TEA party members in the House have given speaker Boehner fits with their unwillingness to cave into demands for compromise over spending cuts. While their resistance has delayed a settlement of the debt ceiling issue, it fundamentally frames the 2012 election debate around the core issue of spending, overspending and more spending that got us into the debt overhang we face. Thank you!!!!!
- Whose Country is this Anyway! This debate has been a constant reminder of our core values and the choices we face as a nation. We’ve been slackers as citizens coasting along letting our elected representatives get away with bloat, blather, and balderdash on our behalf and with our checkbook. It is like groundhog day only we are watching the movie Network and the line keeps being repeated over and over again:
“We’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore.”
The 2012 election is a referendum not only on President Obama and our overspending ways. It is also a referendum on incumbents and most will be found wanting. It won’t be a good year for candidates, we’ve been tricked before with uplifting speeches. We’re looking for real people who share our values and will do what they promise once elected.
- Trey Ellis: Debt Ceiling Is Health Care All Over Again (huffingtonpost.com)
- Mitchell Bard: Lesson From the Debt Ceiling Negotiations: The GOP Is Now Run by Far Right Ideologues (huffingtonpost.com)
- Boehner’s two-step plan: Risky politics (capitolhillblue.com)
- The Future Of America, Or Politics As Usual? (trueconservatism115.wordpress.com)
- Armageddon clock ticks down on debt deal (fullcomment.nationalpost.com)
- Boehner delays vote on his debt-ceiling measure (seattlepi.com)
- Death To The Debt Ceiling Negotiations! (huffingtonpost.com)
- Analysis: The politics behind Boehner’s two-step debt hike – Reuters (news.google.com)
- US debt ceiling crisis: Why Republicans won’t compromise | James Antle (guardian.co.uk)
- Tea party to Boehner: Stand firm (capitolhillblue.com)
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled the House leadership proposal for the 2012 budget calling for reduction in Federal spending and entitlements of $6.2 trillion over ten years. Compare that to the Obama Administration’s proposal to cut spending $1.1 trillion over the same period and you begin to see the stark contrast of views that will not only frame the debate ahead but the 2012 election as well.
Democrats are already lining up with every special interest sacred cow to call these cuts in spending draconian and accusing Republicans of sending grandma to the poor house so millionaires can keep tax breaks.
Congressman Ryan seems to understand what many others are still in denial about. The US Government faces a red ink problem that is profound and staggering. The excuse of the recession to continue spending at unsustainable rates is wearing thin. And the American people chose a mid-course correction in the last election to restore a sense of balance and proportion to our budget and our national policies.
Ryan and the house leadership had no choice but to propose a budget and lay out policy options that give the people what they want, even if they must give it to them hard. The question is whether this proposal will be seen as a serious program of reform and recovery or political grandstanding to create an issue for the next election.
We will know the answer to that question soon enough. But we do know this—Paul Ryan has done more to help restore America’s financial strength in this one action that anyone else in the last five years across both administrations.
By forcing America to look into the mirror and speak truth about our fiscal and policy realities we unleash the best in America—common sense, air play, and optimism about the future that has made us the greatest nation on earth.
There is one more truth we all know—-no serious budget or reform proposal can evade a serious discussion of the unsustainable realities of health care costs including Medicare. An entitlement is worthless if the nation is bankrupt. Piling on more unsustainable costs will not solve the problem only competition among service providers across state lines, choices among benefit levels rather than government mandates, an end to automatic increases regardless of cost, and restoring the basic soundness of our economy so that more revenue flows into the government treasury will turn things around.
So thank you, Paul Ryan, for framing the debate and the decisions ahead in terms that are practical, realistic to our needs, and honest.
- The 2012 Budget War (civicchoices.wordpress.com)
- Must Read of the Day: Paul Ryan: The GOP Path to Prosperity (bigcitizen.wordpress.com)
- GOP Budget Plan to Cut $6 Trillion (foxnews.com)
- GOP’s Ryan Prepares Medicare ‘Premium Assistance,’ Medicaid Block Grants In Budget Proposal (kaiserhealthnews.org)
- Democrats Warn That Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan Would Reduce Federal Health Care Spending (reason.com)
- David Brooks Is Excited: Paul Ryans Kicks the Elderly While Protecting the Wealthy (businessinsider.com)
- GOP to Unveil Budget Plan Cutting More Than $6T Over Next Decade – Fox News (news.google.com)
- Now THAT is cutting the budget! (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- Paul Ryan budget hard-headed or inhumane? (politico.com)
By approving Proposition 20 assigning the independent California Redistricting Commission the authority to apportion Congressional as well as State Legislative District lines, the voters are sending a clear message—-the good old days are over for entrenched politicians of both parties. Voters also changed the primary election rules so that the top two vote getters—no matter what party—advance to the general election ballot.
California’s 53-seat delegation in the US House of Representatives includes 34 Democrats and 19 Republicans, but the population estimates tell us that people are moving eastward in the state out of the Bay Area and Los Angeles to the Central Valley and Northern California. That population shift within the state could also have profound effects on district boundaries. It seems highly likely that many of California’s entrenched Democrat legislators could feel the heat. In the 265 House races in California since districts were last redrawn, only two incumbents seeking re-election have been voted out.
For the first time in its 160 year history California will not gain a seat in Congress after this census because more people are moving out than moving into the Golden State. This itself is a biting indictment of California’s current predicament and it exacerbates a range of policy and other problems ranging from the budget deficit, school funding and economic growth and jobs creation.
The Independent California Redistricting Commission is taking shape as the pool of candidates is winnowed down in a lottery like drawing. Legislative leaders had an opportunity to exercise preemptory challenges in the first cut list, now the second draw has been completed by the state auditor, the final six commissioners will not be selected the same way by those chosen so far to complete the panel of 14. The Redistricting Commission is expected to complete its work next summer.
Other things legislators must worry about in 2012 include—-Florida voters also stripped the Legislature of the redistricting authority assigning it to an independent body and population estimates suggest Texas will pick up as many as 4 new Congressional seats at the expense of Northeast states like New York and Pennsylvania where the population is moving south and west.
Our election roadmap is changing dramatically because of the natural forces of demographics and migration but those changes are being amplified by action of the voters to make their legislative contests more competitive as a consequence of legislative reapportionment.
The American political landscape is being redefined right before our eyes by the Internet and the lessons its use has taught us about how to quickly find information we need and act on it. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have redefined how we connect with each other and keep track of fast moving events in our lives.
Crowdsourcing will end up being the phenomenon of the 2010 Election and those that follow brought about by the growth in size and influence of a leaderless group of people who share common concerns and want to do something about it. It has enabled and empowered a leaderless TEA Party movement to redefine the issues of the campaign and force both parties to pay attention to our citizen “pain points.”
Crowdsourcing was first coined used by Jeff Howe in a June 2006 Wired magazine article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing“. Howe said that technological advances had driven down the price of consumer electronics so that the gap between the technologies we use at work professionals is no longer prohibitive for use of the same technology at home. In fact, since he wrote that in 2006 the fast rise of mobile web access with smart phones and other devices means individual users may actually be the early adopters well before corporate IT permits such things as iPhones or build the business apps for iPads. Howe described a marketplace of ideas where companies could take advantage of the talent of the public, and said that “It’s not outsourcing; it’s crowdsourcing.”
Fast forward to 2010 when the TEA Party movement exploded on the stage the Democrats referred to it as a rebellion inside the Republican Party. But that was only partly correct. It was a rebellion but it is affecting both parties and changing everything from the alliances in Congress on key issues to the shape of the election issues to the strategies used by candidates, lobbyists and the political consultants who thought they knew how to run campaigns—until now.
While the Democrats mocked her Governor Sarah Pail tweeted them back with a speed and razor sharp retorts that cut to the bone many of the traditional political concepts. The success of TEA Party movement candidates is not caused solely by the crowdsourcing power of the TEA Party itself but by the speed with which crowdsourcing itself has been used to refine and hone the message to bring along many other people who share the same fears, angst and aspirations. It did not take Gallup Polls to get the message right, it only took about 24 hours of tweets.
Now the Democrats have ‘beat cheeks’ out of Washington DC as if they feel burned by its proximity and think running for cover back to their districts will let them get away with their traditional campaign strategy when things are going bad with their message—negative advertising. Only this time the tweets of fact checkers and the crowdsourced judgment of constituents produces a raucous turnout at campaign events and town hall meetings ready to give incumbent of both parties a rough time.
Crowdsourcing is the worst of both worlds for politicians. At one in the same time it nationalizes the election by galvanizing the crowd around their common concerns about the “big issues” such as Federal spending, deficits, ObamaCare, unemployment, rising taxes and other consequences of the progressive agenda the Democrats have pursued. At the same time, crowdsourcing makes all politics local as never before galvanizing the home town crowd to turn out to speak out.
Republicans thought they could just blame all the problems of the country on Democrats and that would be enough to win. Democrats thought they could blame Republicans for having no new ideas as if that absolved them of their sins of overreach. Crowdsourcing has delivered the “pox on both your houses” message to both parties.
Thomas Jefferson would love this rebellion at work today among the crowd.
But the real challenge may not be winning the 2010 election for new faces with new ideas. The challenge is going to be governing and using the same crowdsourcing tools that make it easy to blow the whistle on a political miscreant to instead search for a common ground solution that brings people together around consensus for changes we can really believe in that will turn the country around while there is still time to fix it.
“It’s a mealy-mouthed sop to the tea party movement that is rife with platitudes and little on substance, I have yet to see one person who is wholly impressed with it.”—Andrew Ian Dodge, Maine state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.
That’s the consequence of raising expectations that the GOP has learned its lesson in the wilderness after being turned out of office four years ago. But while the TEA party movement is energizing the election process on both sides of the aisle, the Republicans have been thumped in their recent round of primaries because the independents who largely make up the TEA party movement just don’t believe many of these entrenched incumbents in reds states any more than they do the Democrats in blue states.
So the Pledge for America was designed to lay out a manifesto for what the GOP would do if voters just gave them another change. But instead of rolling out the Young Guns who symbolize the future of the party the GOP had John Boehner, the House minority leader—and would be speaker of the house—do the talking.
That was the sound of channel surfing as viewers and voters switched to something else. And then the comedians moved in with the ice picks to lay waste to the public relations gimmick. “Your fresh new ideas, sound slightly – I’m sorry, did I say slightly? – sound EXACTLY like your old ones,” said Jon Stewart slicing the GOP into minced meat.
This is not overconfidence by the Republicans that a landslide election result is already in the bag. This is worse—it is the voters’ worst fears that there really is NO DIFFERENCE between old donkeys and old elephants. That is why the TEA party has momentum.
So what should the GOP do?
Start fresh and dump the GOP leaders in Congress just like the Dems will surely do. Pass the leadership to the new generation of Young Guns with fresh ideas and a closer to Main Street sense of the public mood. Then republish the Pledge after fixing the missing or lame elements to demonstrate they mean business. The tea party contract calls for a balanced budget, repeal of the health care law, tax reform, an end to earmarks and a rejection of a cap and trade energy plan. That would be a good place for the GOP to say “ Me too!”
While the politicians in Washington and elsewhere try to figure out what the TEA Party is and how it affects them, America seems to have already made its judgment. The answer:
Those TEA Party people are just like me! And I’m mad as hell at the direction of the country too.
The Republicans in Congress hoped the TEA Party would help them swamp the Democrats boat and restore the Republican majority—-but they are learning the hard lesson that America often sees little difference between the two parties actual behavior once they are in the majority.
Election 2010 is one of those ‘a pox on both your houses’ near death experiences for both political parties as incumbents on both sides of the political aisle get washed overboard. Democrats are getting fired for doing a bad job. Republicans are getting fired for being too much like Democrats.
Thomas Jefferson must be cheering from his grave over this glorious rebellion.
But the GOP brass in Washington reacted to Christine O’Donnell’s defeat of long time Delaware pol Mike Castle with shock and shot back—don’t count on any help from us, sister! They call her a flaky candidate who cannot win—and worse risk the Republican win they expected from Castle to help take control of the Senate.
There is one problem with the GOP logic. O’Donnell beat Castle 53% to 47% for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat once held by Vice President Joe Biden. Castle’s problem with the voters of very blue Delaware was he voted for almost all of the Obama agenda the TEA Party members are railing about including ObamaCare and Stimulus programs.
If The Democrats agenda can’t win in deep blue Delaware they are in deep, deep trouble. And Castle got “fired” by Delaware Republicans because he behaved too much like the Democrats they are disgusted with and voted for their agenda.
Panic has set in not just on the Democrat side of the aisle but the GOP side too. The prospects of cheering crowds sweeping the good ole boys of the GOP back into power are giving way to the cold, stark reality that the young guns are at the door and the TEA Party faithful are right behind them locked and loaded to take back the country.
Call it a generational change, call it a rebellion, call it a great awakening—-the President’s bluff has been called and he has thrown away his aces in an audacious gamble that is failing. Maybe the President hopes that if he loses Congress to the good old boys of the GOP in 2010 he could blame them in 2012. But the independents that supported him in 2008 are moving in droves to the TEA Party.
The risk to the nation is that at a time when we crave stability and adult leadership we might just get angry, impassioned, but inexperienced leaders in Congress who act first and think about the consequences later. Or we could get good old Main Street business people who know how to make payroll, live within the budget, read the bills they are asked to consider BEFORE they vote on them, make common sense decisions to serve their Country then go home to go back to work.
What a concept!
Scenario Signpost: RELOAD
This is a signpost for the Reload: America’s New Industrial Revolution Scenario. The plot line of that scenario is a major swing in electoral focus toward restoring America’s economy and job creating potential by reindustrializing the US and expanding domestic energy production to support it.