Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Dec/10

17

A victory for the republic, and not the party?

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I worry obviously of the inability of the American public and political class to face up to our fiscal situation. But, I can respect this attitude:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — who recently claimed his goal was to deny Obama a second term — reportedly reacted with disgust when he read Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer’s recent suggestion that he oppose the package because it would lower unemployment “and easily be the difference between victory and defeat in 2012.”

Said one person close to McConnell: “We’re not going to bet against the economy. If it helps Obama, so be it. We’ll do it. Who gives a s–t?”

I think intransigent partisanship is too often dismissed. It may be a sign of a healthy political debate. But, at the end of the day politics is politics. It is not the ends, it is the means.

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7 comments

  • Polichinello · December 18, 2010 at 3:12 am

    I have to say I was rather annoyed with Krauthammer’s piece. The Ace of Spades blog was all over this as well.

    The GOP is far from perfect, but that they offered a reasonable temporary compromise on taxes was a good sign. The additional pork was bad, but it can be argued that it was necessitated by the purists on the right. To make up for their loss, McConnell had to offer tidbits to the more bribable.

    Another good sign is the imbalance in pork. If Byron York is right, then the GOP has taken the earmark message seriously. The mix was something like 50 billion to one billion, with only four GOP house members at the trough, two of those outgoing. The other was the incurable Don Young, and then Ron Paul, who’s never signed on to the anti-earmark crusade.

    Not to go overboard, since these are still early signs, but it’s a bit heartening. For now, let’s hope the DREAM dies tomorrow.

  • Clark · December 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Sadly it’s not just Krauthammer. There are a few congressmen who think the same way. I really worry that far too much Republican opposition to START has little to do with international relations and everything to do with just denying Obama any victory damn the consequences to the country. That attitude is hard to sympathize with.

  • Polichinello · December 18, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I agree that START should have passed the Senate. The GOP is playing silly games with it, and it should stop. Had the lame duck session focused on it and the budget issues, it might well have passed.

    One constitutional amendment I can get behind is the elimination of lame duck sessions. What other country allows a legislature to remain in the hands of a party that has been repudiated by the voters for months afterwards? I can understand a transition period for the executive, as you have hundreds (if not thousands) of appointments and replacements in several departments to accommodate, but that just is not the case with the Congress.

  • John · December 19, 2010 at 3:06 am

    The GOP had to compromise. Even if they waited until the new Congress took power, Reid is still majority leader, and Obama is still president. They were going to get something.

    As for the START treaty, once again, the GOP is doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. They are against it because they want to deny Obama victory, whereas they should be against it because arms treaties are stupid. The whole reason why we are armed is because there are players on the world stage that are not trustworthy. The problem with arms treaties is that the very people that you would want to follow the arms treaties are the very same people you can’t trust to follow them. A typical argument in favor of treaties is that they prevent arms races. To that, I would reply that the arms race mostly won the Cold War, and if we had had the sense to race 1930s Germany, the world would have been saved a lot of pain.

    “One constitutional amendment I can get behind is the elimination of lame duck sessions.”

    Sounds good to me.

  • Marty · December 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Is somebody being presumptuous? McConnell is the minority of Senate, not the majority.

  • Mark Tully · December 22, 2010 at 4:17 am

    I suspect that Americans in political positions (journalists, pundits, politicians) don’t understand the severity of their jobs. American government is like American Idol.

    A lack of gravity, of seriousness, and conviction about what’s right means that people like Krauthammer can assume that politicians would play games and will be right more often than wrong. Politics is entertainment now.

  • Clark · December 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Lame Duck sessions are pretty important – especially if there is an emergency after the election but before the new congress. Now I think we would do well to shorten the time between election and swearing in though.

    I think the Democrats were playing silly games with the lame duck though – attempting to avoid controversial votes before the election. Undoubtedly this backfired. (And surely it should have been obvious as early as August that it would have)

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