Free Markets, Free People

GOP

Irony– liberals not happy with deficit commission report because liberals “not at the table”?

Seriously – that’s essentially the Matt Yglesias take on the recommendations published by the co-chairs of the president’s debt commission:

I’m not surprised that liberals don’t like the Simpson-Bowles proposals and I’m not surprised that people who aren’t liberal disagree with liberals about that. But I am surprised that there are people out there professing to be surprised that liberals are hostile to the proposal. But what are liberals supposed to think? It’s a proposal hashed out between a conservative Republican and a moderate Democrat. So of course liberals don’t like it. Imagine the conservative reaction to a deficit proposal written by Lincoln Chaffee and Russ Feingold.

Or instead of a hypothetical, how does Yglesias think the GOP would feel about a health care law written only by Democrats? To use his words, “if you want Republicans to like a deal, you need to invite Republicans to the table”. The irony, however, seems to have escaped him.

That’s not to say that pursuing a conservative-moderate deal was a bad idea. Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals by a large margin and moderates are a much bigger force in the Democratic coalition than in the Republican one. So if you want a deal, appointing an orthodox conservative Republican and a moderate Democrat from North Carolina makes a lot of sense. But it also makes sense that liberals won’t be happy with the results.

But when the GOP was unhappy with the health care law, it was because they hated poor Americans and were the lackeys of the insurance companies, right?

~McQ

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Election post-mortem

An incredible election night by any measure.  The obvious question that pundits will be concentrating on is “what does it mean”?

Well I think there is consensus on both sides that it doesn’t mean that the voters love Republicans.  Even establishment Republicans are acknowledging that fact.  And Marco Rubio made that clear in his acceptance speech where he called this a “second chance” not an embrace of the GOP.

So that leaves us with a number of other options to consider.  What needs to be kept in mind is this is the third consecutive wave election and in each case the party holding the White House suffered losses.  That’s unprecedented.  And this particular midterm is the largest shift of seats since 1936 (update: House numbers now have a projected 242 seats on the GOP side, a net of +64 – historic or as one Democrat strategist said, a defeat for Democrats of “biblical proportion”).  So one meme that isn’t going to fly is this election is “no big deal”.  Democrats got spanked and got spanked hard.  They have a lot of work to do to win back voters.

Another thing that seems to be a developing narrative is that this is a repudiation of the Obama agenda.  I think that’s true to an extent.  The biggest driver of the dissatisfaction with Democrats is the health care law as  indicated by polls. And they are certainly mad about the deficit spending.  But as Charles Krauthammer said last night, “this isn’t a failure of communication by the Democrats, this is a failure of policy”.  So it would seem that at least part of the vote was a repudiation of the president despite claims by some on the left that its only about the economy.

That said, part of it is also about the economy.  Historically the party in power doesn’t do well in a down economy.  So that too must be factored in to the formula.  While much of that is beyond government’s control, that which it could impact was perceived as poorly done.  Very poorly done.  That exacerbated the loss.  And, with the focus on health care reform, most Americans thought that the legislative priorities were wrong as well.  Voters have historically turned to the GOP to handle economic matters. But this is still no mandate for the GOP.

Finally voter anger hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s just taking a breather.  Again, watch the direction of the country polls over the coming two years.  It’s an interesting set up in DC now.  Democrats actually would have been better off if the Senate had gone to the Republicans.  They still control it and the Presidency and that leaves the onus on them as we head toward 2012.  It also gives the GOP a free hand to pass whatever it wants in the House, regardless of where it goes, if anywhere, and make the case that they tried to reform what the people wanted reformed and Democrats (in the Senate and the President) stood in their way (reverse the “obstructionists” claim).

I think, after last night, that 2012 is definitely in play.  It will be interesting to see how both parties react.  I’m eagerly awaiting the Obama presser at 1 pm today when we’ll hear the first reaction from the President.  But as always with him, judge him by his actions, not his words.  His words have become empty rhetoric that many times doesn’t support what he ends up doing.

~McQ

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What a strange election

Democratic Rep Jim Marshall from here in GA (GA08) has an ad out which says it all:

"Georgia is a long way from San Francisco," drawls the narrator, over images of dancing hippies.

"Jim Marshall doesn’t support Nancy Pelosi," says the narrator, citing a finding that Marshall voted with Republican leaders 65% of the time."

How desperate is that?

If those two things are important campaign issues, then electing someone from the GOP should easily maintain the non-support of Pelosi and most likely up the percentage of votes with the GOP leadership, shouldn’t it?

Heh …

~McQ

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GOP’s Pledge? Just words …

That’s my initial reaction. Can’t help it. Been there, done this.

Sure, I understand the urge to be something other than the party of “no”.  I understand the desire to tell the American people what you stand for, and not necessarily only what you’re against.  Ok … got it.

But until and unless substantial change is enabled and accomplished by the GOP, this is just another in a long line of promises that ended up on the ash heap of history.

Oh certainly, much of it sounds wonderful – on the surface.  In fact, to the right, this is much like the sounds the left heard from the Obama campaign.  The reality, as they learned, isn’t anywhere close to what was promised.

Then there’s the recent GOP history.  An all Republican Congress led by a Republican President gave us Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind among many other things which would be directly opposed to what is promised in “A Pledge to America”.

Steven Taylor does a good job of hitting most of my objections to a quick read of the “Pledge”:

I would take the whole affair far more seriously if the Pledge contained even the outline of real plan to deal with the country’s structural fiscal problems.  Caps on spending, especially ones that seems to partially exclude security-based spending, always sound good, but aren’t a solution to the problem (not by a long shot).  I am willing to accept the notion that one has to start somewhere, but this is nibbling around the edges.  This pledge does not seriously address the major issue facing the country.

As Taylor points out, it’s mostly warmed over GOP talking points, which, to this point have mostly remained talking points vs. action.  And the “Pledge” does indeed seem vague in a lot of areas.  Perhaps instead of calling it a “Pledge” or a “plan” it would be better to call it a “blueprint” or “outline” – detailed plan to follow.

Certainly this will please much of the base – but frankly, they didn’t need much pleasing.  They’re already eager to hit the polling booths.  What one has to wonder – especially with the obligatory social con stuff thrown in when it wasn’t necessary – is what the independents will think.  Certainly they have been seen by polling data to at least be abandoning the Democrats – but does that necessarily mean they’ll embrace the GOP?  The social con inclusion in what should have basically been a small government plan sort of argues against the whole premise of small less intrusive government, doesn’t it? 

It will be interesting to see how indies respond.

I’m going to be reading the “Pledge” more closely and will respond with more detail, but at the moment, those are my thoughts.  How about yours?

~McQ

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GOP’s Pledge? Just words …

That’s my initial reaction. Can’t help it. Been there, done this.

Sure, I understand the urge to be something other than the party of “no”.  I understand the desire to tell the American people what you stand for, and not necessarily only what you’re against.  Ok … got it.

But until and unless substantial change is enabled and accomplished by the GOP, this is just another in a long line of promises that ended up on the ash heap of history.

Oh certainly, much of it sounds wonderful – on the surface.  In fact, to the right, this is much like the sounds the left heard from the Obama campaign.  The reality, as they learned, isn’t anywhere close to what was promised.

Then there’s the recent GOP history.  An all Republican Congress led by a Republican President gave us Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind among many other things which would be directly opposed to what is promised in “A Pledge to America”.

Steven Taylor does a good job of hitting most of my objections to a quick read of the “Pledge”:

I would take the whole affair far more seriously if the Pledge contained even the outline of real plan to deal with the country’s structural fiscal problems.  Caps on spending, especially ones that seems to partially exclude security-based spending, always sound good, but aren’t a solution to the problem (not by a long shot).  I am willing to accept the notion that one has to start somewhere, but this is nibbling around the edges.  This pledge does not seriously address the major issue facing the country.

As Taylor points out, it’s mostly warmed over GOP talking points, which, to this point have mostly remained talking points vs. action.  And the “Pledge” does indeed seem vague in a lot of areas.  Perhaps instead of calling it a “Pledge” or a “plan” it would be better to call it a “blueprint” or “outline” – detailed plan to follow.

Certainly this will please much of the base – but frankly, they didn’t need much pleasing.  They’re already eager to hit the polling booths.  What one has to wonder – especially with the obligatory social con stuff thrown in when it wasn’t necessary – is what the independents will think.  Certainly they been seen by polling data to at least be abandoning the Democrats – but does that mean they’ll embrace the GOP?  The social con inclusion in what should have basically been a small government plan sort of argues against the whole premise, doesn’t it? 

It will be interesting to see how indies respond.

I’m going to be reading the “Pledge” more closely and will respond with more detail, but at the moment, those are my thoughts.  How about yours?

~McQ

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Let’s see how savvy the GOP really is …

POLITICO points out that the House Republicans are planning to announce their election agenda within the next two weeks.  That ought to be an interesting exercise.  This is supposedly a result of their “America Speaking Out” initiative, an online, grass-roots effort to build ideas from voters across the country. 

Two things that have leaked out sound great but most likely will have about the same impact as PAYGO:

One of the GOP proposals would require bills to have a specific citation of constitutional authority, on the heels of criticism that Democrats breached their constitutional limits in Congress with big-ticket bills like health care reform. If a member questioned whether the House had constitutional authority to pass a bill, that challenge would receive debate and a vote.

The second major initiative would encourage — though not require — members of Congress to read bills before they vote. According to a senior House GOP source, Republicans plan to push for a new rule that would require the House to publish the text of a bill online at least three days before the House votes on it, also giving the public an opportunity to review legislation.

The first is like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.  That nag fled decades ago.  Obviously I’d like to see the Constitution followed as it should be, but I find it highly unlikely that a body of lawyers would have any trouble rationalizing almost anything they come up with as “Constitutional”.  I mean, look around you.

The second is, well, window dressing.  While it sounds great, I have little confidence that a 2,500 page bill posted on line for 3 days allows anyone enough time to read it much less understand and react to it.  I cannot think of any bill that Congress considers and debates that couldn’t wait a month for enactment (other than perhaps some funding for a natural disaster, etc).  In that time a real reading could be done, and the appropriate debate among “the people” could take place.  What effect even that would have on the House is unknown, however, it certainly would raise the visibility of the debate to much different levels than now and provide a little accountability so sorely missing. 

We’re still digging horse apples out of the ObamaCare law.  It was passed in haste precisely because of the crap it had hidden inside.  Yet there is no reason whatsoever that bill couldn’t have been available on line for 30 days prior to House action.  None.  Making that a requirement (and if there’s a schedule that the House feels it must keep on certain reoccurring items like the budget – adapt.  Move the House work schedule for that bill back a month) would certainly go a lot further to keeping House members honest and between the ditches than anything.

The rest of the agenda remains veiled in generalities:

Other bills and initiatives that are likely to be launched alongside the agenda include tax policy proposals, health reform proposals and jobs-related measures, though GOP aides involved declined to release any specifics ahead of the unveiling.

POLITICO says some of them will be designed to appeal to the Tea Party vote.  The first is obviously designed to do that – but is it really something which can and will be enforced?  And if it is, will it actually have an effect.  Again, you’re asking a body of lawyers to vote on their interpretation of what the Constitution says, and most are going to fall back on “precedent”, i.e. the fact that in the past what many say is an unconstitutional expansion of government – see Commerce clause – has been upheld by the Supreme Court.  How in the world would this change that?

Anyway, given my dissatisfaction with the first two, the GOP does indeed need to roll out reasons to vote “for” them, rather than just against Democrats.  And most importantly, if they’re able to successfully appeal to the voters to vote “for” them, they better damn well execute.

~McQ

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GOP still clueless – it’s not about majorities, it’s about fundamental change

Nate Silver is someone I’ve come to enjoy reading when it comes to election analysis.  He knows his business.  But he too seems to have missed the significance of the New Hampshire and Delaware senatorial primaries, casting them only as elections – if they go to the “insurgent” Tea Party backed candidates – that could cost the GOP a majority in the Senate if the insurgents win.

Of course, that’s not the point, at least as I see them.  While Christine O’Donnell may not be the ideal candidate for the US Senate, she’s at least fiscally conservative.  Mike Castle, the GOP choice on the other hand, is described by Silver like this:

… Michael N. Castle, who has held elected office in Delaware for 30 years as its governor, lieutenant governor and lone United States representative. … Mr. Castle — a moderate who is unambiguously a member of the establishment …

Are any lights flashing and horns sounding in your head right now?  Silver describes Castle in terms that make him part of the problem, not part of the solution.  He’s a perfect plug-in to the Congress the country as a whole seems so unsatisfied with and is on the verge of changing.

Oh sure, he might nominally give the GOP another seat in the Senate – but to what end?  Voting with the Snowe/Collins Republicans and the Democrats on bills that expand government and spend more?

When is a seat not really a seat, or a majority not really a majority?  When you elect “moderates” of either party who are not averse to expanding the role of government. That’s part of the reason you see more and more polarization within the country.  Right now the left is having fun characterizing the right as “radical”.  But one only need look at the size of the liberal caucus in the House to know where the heart of leftist radicalism lies. 

I continue to harken back to polls which show the vast majority of Americans think the country is on the wrong track – in numbers which haven’t changed much in the last 8 years or so.  In other words, the people as a whole are dissatisfied with both parties and their representation.  And again, I’ll point back to the Ned Lamont/Joe Lieberman race where the left tried precisely what is happening on the right in states such as AK, NH and DE at the moment.

These movements to effect change are indicators.  What is described as “radicalism” from “political activists” are the surface bubbles of a molten core of unrest among the majority of Americans.  They’re thrashing around for ways and means of changing something that seems never to change.  The Tea Party movement is one of those bubbles.  The Daily Kos left was another.  But nothing much has changed, has it?  And the “wrong track” numbers continue to remain at a constant level. And the frustration builds.

This isn’t  about majorities in the Senate.  It isn’t about the horserace in November.  It’s about fundamental change – and not many seem to understand that. The people in Alaska have said “enough” with the Joe Miller primary win.  The fact that the GOP primary races in both DE and NH are as close as they are should be sending unmistakable messages to the GOP leadership – one’s even they can’t miss – that establishment moderates aren’t who the people want in the Senate.  Naturally, it seems the Republicans are as tone deaf as everyone else.

If the GOP only wins 7 seats instead of 9 in the Senate, that’s fine, as long as the 7 are of the type that are committed to paring government down – reducing its sized influence and cost.  Those 7 are enough to keep the Snow/Collins branch of the GOP from pushing the numbers over to the Democratic side.  As it stands, in fact, not having a Senate majority is probably better for the GOP than achieving one right now – they’d just blow it and, as Mitch McConnell once said, being minority leader in the Senate is one of the most powerful positions in Congress.  And besides, we’d have to listen to Obama whine for 2 years about the “Republican Congress”.

Nope, the hand writing is on the wall if the GOP (and for that matter, the Democrats) would just pause long enough in the partisan bickering and bomb throwing to read it.  This isn’t about either of their parties, or them.  It’s about changing the direction of the country.  The party that first manages to absorb that message and then elect candidates that actually work toward that end is the party that is going to be in power for quite some time.  In principle, that should be the GOP.  But as usual, in their normal clueless way, they continue on the same road that put them in the minority two years ago believing instead that all this excitement about the midterms is actually because people are embracing their candidates over the Dems.  How they have missed the fact that the Tea Party insurgency indicates they couldn’t be more wrong still amazes me.

So continue on your merry blinkered way, GOP, and fight the movement and candidates who’re all but lighting the way with the platform you should be embracing.  Continue to put up your moderate establishment candidates and then wonder why, in two years time, you’re back on the other side of the wave as Democrats are again swept into office while you are pushed out.

It is the usual short term view that drives politics today and drives me crazy.  The belief that winning a majority is all that’s important because then the party can act on its agenda.  No – it can’t.  Not if those it has elected aren’t in tune with the principles of the platform.  Not if those elected are “moderates” who have no problem with big government, subsidies, entitlements and high taxes. 

If returning to the fundamentals of Constitutional government is “radical” then the GOP needs to become the radical party.  Until they absorb that, embraces that “radicalism” and runs candidates who believe in that fundamental principle, the wrong track numbers will continue to remain constant and the GOP will continue to be the clueless lesser of two evils, but not by much.

~McQ

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The bigger story about the Murkowski defeat

You remember Ned Lamont, don’t you?

You don’t?  Well Ned was the posterboy for the Kos Kids effort to change the dynamic within the Democratic party.  They wanted “progressive” candidates and Joe Lieberman of CT just didn’t fit the bill.  So the Kossaks and others like FireDogLake, backed their candidate, raised money and did their best to oust old Joe.  And they had some limited success.  I say limited in that they beat Joe in the Democratic primary, but then independent Joe whipped Ned’s rear in the general election.

Now, it’s not clear that will happen in Alaska.  Rumor has it that Murkowski, sensing defeat to the Tea Party backed Joe Miller, reached out to the Libertarian Party of Alaska, wondering if they’d be willing to adopt her as a candidate.  The libertarians said, “no way, no how, Lisa”.  She might be a viable candidate, but she’s no libertarian.  But that caused some to believe she’ll run now as an independent.

And, in Florida, you see the same sort of scenario being played out with Charlie Crist and the TP backed Marco Rubio.  Crist, the establishment GOP choice has been reduced to running as an independent – and he is.

The whole point of course is getting establishment candidates ousted in a primary is only Step 1.  As Ned Lamont and the Kossaks learned, the important step is Step 2.

If the Tea Party is to be taken seriously as a force for making the GOP more fiscally conservative and Constitutionally aware, it has to win the Step 2 contests as well.

~McQ

Where are the "adults" in government?

That’s the question Rich Lowery asks and answers in a piece today at NRO. By "adult" in government he means, "political leaders who make tough choices, take on problems directly, and combine principle with pragmatism in a manner consistent with true statesmanship."

What he doesn’t mean is political leaders who push an extremist agenda regardless of the reality of the situation that surrounds them – such as what we have today.

Unsurprisingly, he finds his adults in government not at a federal level, but at the state level.  Two in particular are making both waves and progress against daunting problems.  And they should be the new proto-type GOP candidate for federal executive office:

Look in particular to New Jersey and Indiana, where Govs. Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels are forging a limited-government Republicanism that connects with people and solves problems. They are models of how to take inchoate dissatisfaction with the status quo, launder it through political talent, and apply it in a practical way to governance.

Christie has just concluded a six-month whirlwind through Trenton that should be studied by political scientists for years to come. In tackling a fiscal crisis in a state groaning under an $11 billion deficit, he did his fellow New Jerseyans the favor of being as forthright as a punch in the mouth. And it worked.

Christie traveled the state making the case for budgetary retrenchment, and he frontally took on the state’s most powerful interest, the teachers’ union. He rallied the public and split the Democrats, in a bravura performance in the lost art of persuasion. At the national level, George W. Bush thought repeating the same stalwart lines over and over again counted as making an argument, and Barack Obama has simply muscled through his agenda on inflated Democratic majorities. Christie actually connected.

He matched unyielding principle (determined to balance the budget without raising taxes, he vetoed a millionaires’ tax within minutes of its passage) with a willingness to take half a loaf (he wanted a constitutional amendment to limit property taxes to 2.5 percent, but settled with Democrats for an imperfect statutory limit). He’ll need an Act II to get deeper, institutional reforms, but New Jersey is now separating itself from those other notorious wastrels, California and Illinois.

What Chris Christie has done, if nothing else, is prove the point that a) voters want to hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, unvarnished and without the usual nebulous rhetoric. And b) tell them what is necessary to fix the problem in the same manner.

Voters, given the problem and his plan, have backed him as he’s tackled what was considered previously untouchable and insolvable.  And he’s made progress – much more progress than anyone previously and against two powerful entities, the teacher’s union and the Democratic legislature.

It is my opinion, given the present situation in the White House, that voters are going to insist on two things.  One is they’re going to want executive experience as a “must have or no deal” criteria for the next president.   And two, they’re going to insist the media actually spend the time doing their job vetting the candidates vs. taking on a cheerleading role as they did in the last election.

Speaking to the first point, this new breed of tough, small-government conservative politician emerging in some of the states may be the prototype for the GOP’s next successful challenge.  Mitch Daniels of Indiana may be another one to look at:

He inherited a $200 million deficit in 2004, which he turned into a $1.3 billion surplus — just in time for it to act as a cushion during the recession. He has reformed government services and rallied his administration around one simple, common-sense goal: “We will do everything we can to raise the net disposable income of individual Hoosiers.”

What most voters don’t want is the current crop of GOP front runners.  Whether anyone viable (I’m even upbeat about Bobby Jindal again) will actually show up in 2012 remains to be seen, but the Romney (damaged goods), Palin (too partisan and not enough exec experience), Gingrich (too much baggage), Huckabee (scares the hell out of me) cabal is not what will win, or if one of them does, won’t keep it long.

Guys (and gals) like Christie and Daniels should be groomed carefully by the GOP and convinced to consider a run on a national level.  And others who fit their profile should be identified as soon as possible and supported at the state level to get the experience, exposure and the resume together that will put them in a position to go national as well.

Thanks to Obama and friends, this is a real opportunity for the limited government, fiscally conservative majority in this country.  And that’s plenty to run on, given this mess we’re in.  What the GOP has got to do is stay away from the social con nonsense that always polarizes the electorate and drives independents to distraction and into staying at home (or voting for the other team) on election day.

~McQ

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Why The GOP Remains A Minority

About a week ago, amidst all the hoopla about the health care bill and then missed when the atrocity of Ft. Hood occurred, was this:

Even as a Senate global-warming bill remained in limbo with Democrats refusing to delay a committee vote until an economic analysis was completed, hopes rose for a potential bipartisan compromise.

The Senate, meanwhile, appears to be moving away from the bill, authored by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., which would require a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 and would have the government sell the right to emit carbon dioxide.

Even as Boxer conducted an unusual one-sided hearing on her bill in the Environment and Public Works Committee, Kerry, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., held a news conference to announce they are working on a compromise that might attract GOP votes and has earned a tentative endorsement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

So, here we have a Republican, sort of, lending a hand to the Democrats and buying into the premise that a) this cap-and-trade economy killer of a tax is valid and b) needed. He just wants to modify it a bit:

Kerry, Lieberman and Graham released few details about the new bill, but said it would include a cap and trade proposal. They said it would also address increasing nuclear energy, more drilling and clean coal technology, all initiatives that are high on the wish list of Republicans willing to work on a climate change compromise.

Of course this is the sort of legislative formula which is killing our country. This is exactly how the lousy legislation gets through the system. Republicans like Graham buy into the premise of cap-and-trade, try to get it reduced just a little bit to make it more palatable, and then  attempts to sell it by including things that Republicans want – more drilling, nukes and clean coal.

The problem, of course, is with Democrats in charge, you can count on cap-and-trade being implemented, but for some reason, you can bet that more drilling, nuclear power and clean coal just won’t see the same urgency to implement found among majority Democrats. So in essence, what Graham is proposing is tantamount to selling out the GOP’s principled position for the 30 pieces of silver offered in promises for things Republicans want.

You’d think by now, having watched the Democratic shenanigans with drilling (are we doing so yet or are they still “slow-walking” the process) they’d know better.

The Graham capitulation has been noticed by his home state party.

The Charleston County Republican Party’s executive committee took the unusual step Monday night of censuring U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham for stepping across the GOP party line.

County Chairwoman Lin Bennett said the unanimous vote “is an effort to get his attention. They (party leaders) are just fed up, and they want him to know they’re fed up.”

The resolution mentions Graham’s cooperation with U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on a bipartisan energy bill, and his support for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program and the time he called some opponents of immigration reform “bigots.”

Sure it’s only one county doing so, but it is an unusual step. And frankly, I think it is a long overdue one. Graham’s actions, as far as I’m concerned, are one of the main reasons the GOP is in the shape it is in. There is a time to work in a bi-partisan manner and there is a time to stand on principle. The GOP supposedly believes we’re over taxed, a position I happen to support as well. So why is a member of that party stepping across party lines and lending support to what everyone, even Democrats, acknowledge is a new huge and burdensome tax?

Why should anyone ever believe Lindsey Graham again when he says he’s against new taxes when he’s involved with Democrats proposing one? Why should anyone ever believe Lindsey Graham when he says he’s against excessive spending when he voted for TARP?

The answers to those two questions tell you precisely why even the GOP’s base doesn’t trust Republican legislators and why their collective poll numbers remain dismal. Calling Graham to account for his position is both healthy and necessary if, in fact, the GOP is serious about its principles. And, if the Tea Parties are any indication, it is clear the base is. And apparently the GOP’s grass-roots are willing to stand up as well as indicated by this county organization’s censure of Graham.

I wonder if Graham will get the message or arrogantly dismiss it as he’s been known to do in the past? The reason the GOP is in the minority right now isn’t because it is a conservative organization that appeals only to old white men in the South. It’s a minority organization because its own base doesn’t trust it to live up to its own principles. How do you generate the enthusiasm necessary to turn out the vote if what the base is left to vote for is a version of Lindsey Graham’s Democrat lite?

~McQ

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