We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
These tributes to Obama's political genius are all very scary, until one realizes this is the same "trap" Obama and the Dems set for 2010 elections.
Wll the Republicans have to be careful in how they propose to handle entitlement reform? Sure. This is a democracy, after all. And what alternative is Obama proposing?
Is there rioting in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida because their governors turned down Obama's high speed rail money? Has NY's Governor Cuomo's popularity plummeted because he says he is going to fight NY's entitlement/union culture? Are tax increases popular? Do poll results show favorable responses to increase the national debt high enough to guarantee national impoverishment?
I'm not terribly worried. Barring some massive political cataclysm, the Republican presidential candidate is a shoo-in in 2012. Sure people said the same thing about Clinton in 1994, but Clinton adapted immediately to the Republican electoral take-over. Obama is doubling down on a failure.
The true struggle is going to be holding the Republicans to the political commitments they will make to win their elections.
"Obama’s team attempted to use the Tucson massacre in the same fashion that Clinton used the Oklahoma City bombings, to discredit the GOP. Obama is acutely aware of the Clinton playbook. This is another re-run."
That failed miserably and made Democrats look foolish and callous. Even my liberalest of liberal friends admitted that the shooter was just nuts and politics had nothing to do with it.
And Obama's transparent attempt to "set a trap" with the budget will fail as well. First, it's too obvious. Second, he's clearly playing games with the budget, which people won't like due to the dire situation. And third, the Republicans actually appear to have a plan to deal with it. The first stage is for everyone to go out and point out Obama's abject failure in taking the lead. He's abdicating his role as leader. He's weak, cowardly. After Democrats insist he is leading, the next stage will be to accurately accuse him of playing political games with the budget while we're facing national bankruptcy. We weren't facing bankruptcy in 1995. It is much more serious now, and everyone knows it.
And one final thing, the Republicans can turn around the sob story tactic too. Obama's budget brutally cuts some areas of discretionary spending while leaving entitlements completely untouched. So when a bunch of people get canned as the SBA and other agencies take 40% cuts, the Republicans can retort: "Look, if Obama had some political courage, this wouldn't have to be happening. We need to spread the cuts much more evenly across the entire budget instead of eviscerating small sectors of the budget out of fear of touching a single penny of the much larger expenditures."
Until Republicans stop allowing Democrats to set the terms of the debate, they will always lose. In the case of the budget, the word “cuts” will be inevitably be seen as a pejorative term. A better strategy for the Republicans would be to only discuss the budget with respect to prior years’ spending. Thus, for example, it might be said that the Department of Education shall be funded in 2012 at 100% of the last Clinton approved budget for that department.
Chazz, in this case we actually do need cuts...real cuts...not just reductions in the rate of increase...we need real cuts, reductions in the federal regulatory structure, in the numbers of bureaucrats, and in their paygrades.
It's been done with DoD in the past...it needs to be done with Education, EPA, and so many others. Defunding the CPB/NPR propaganda organization is only a tiny baby step in the right direction...and a flat tax would eliminate most of the need for an IRS.
C.Cook is right, you have to overwhelm an ambush if you don't want to be slaughtered. turn to run and you're dead.