Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cloward-Piven from the Right

Angry anti-GOP mobs are rampaging across the internet, screaming that this budget deal is the worst betrayal in US history, right up there with Nixon signing the Paris Peace Accords, The Compromise of 1877, and Art Modell's betrayal of the city of Cleveland

We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

How would these critics of Boehner and the GOP have reacted after the battle of Lexington that began the Revolutionary War?  Would they have gone home in defeat because there were still British left standing?  This is just an early skirmish in a long war to reshape the federal government.  We still have the debt ceiling fight coming up in May.

Republicans wrapped up a deal that takes us through 2011 while cutting $38 billion, and thank God for that.  It folds the tents on this nickle-dime DC circus sideshow (they were arguing over less than 1% in cuts) and clears the field for debate on Paul Ryan's long-term strategy for cutting Trillions from the federal government, and enacting fundamental reforms.

Don't be a Sore Winner
For reasons unfathomable, some on the right are angry with Boehner.  I'd like for someone to explain how a government shutdown would have helped the GOP, who the American people still view with mistrust.  Here is what he and the GOP did, despite Democrat control of the Senate, the White House and the news media:
The history of offers on this bill goes something like this. Democrats first offered no cuts, then $4 billion, then $6.5 billion, then $33 billion, then settled at $38.5 billion.  (Fox News)
The spending cuts amount to $78.5 billion below what Mr. Obama had requested for 2011. (Washington Times)
 " estimated $38 billion in reductions — represented the “largest real dollar spending cut in American history.” (NY Times)
With the DC kabuki agitprop out of the way, Paul Ryan can now conduct an adult conversation based upon stark facts.  This is harsh terrain for unserious liberals who rely on the usual freakshow histrionics.  Americans are ready for a serious debate on ending our profigate ways, and the Republicans are the only ones discussing it seriously.

Do you want to reform government spending, or do you just want to burn the damned thing down?

It's a serious question, and if your answer is the latter, you are in the camp of the libertines who turned the French Revolution into a violent rampage that forever knocked that nation off of her powerful and glorious perch.  Such a sentiment also puts you firmly outside the camp of the founding fathers.  They had righteous anger, but they channeled it into constructive projects that built the greatest nation in the history of the world.

By clamoring for a shutdown, we feed into the left's stereotypes that we are a rabble of anarchists with torches and pitchforks clamoring to burn down government.  The broad middle does not respond well to such wild displays.  Ask "Pitchfork Pat" Buchanan, the latest in a long line of failed American populists.

Fiscal conservatives on Capitol Hill need the support of patriotic Americans who follow the example of our original revolutionary patriots.  Screaming libertines and bloody guillotines provide propaganda fodder for the leftwing statists struggling to preserve the status quo, and end up working against government reformers like Paul Ryan and Tom Coburn.

UPDATE:  American Thinker editor and publisher Thomas Lifson declares, The GOP Did Just Fine.  It is a great wrap-up.

Tea Party Activists Give Boehner Nod of Approval
Lefty Ezra Klein is all Pouty
Fox News - Who Won the Shutdown?
Salon - Boehner Won
WaPo - Boehner Gets $39 Billion, Reid Gets Nothing


Finntann said...

Let us put this in a perspective more of us can relate to, all I am going to do is knock eight zeros off the numbers.

You make $21,700 a year and have a $140,000 dollar mortgage.

You make $1800 a month and spend $3200

You are adding $1400 in credit card debt every month to make ends meet and you just saved $380 dollars.

Are you going to start dancing in the streets?

Would you give me a loan?

This is &@#&'ing ridiculous.

No wonder we have a foreclosure problem.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Thank you Finn, "This is &@#&'ing ridiculous" just about sums it up.

Silverfiddle said...

My point is that the GOP was in no position to do any more. They were lucky to get what they got given the political environment.

Here's a different analogy.

If you are facing off against an enemy that is two times larger than your army, do you charge that hill anyway, or do you nip at their flanks and snipe them one by one, attriting their forces and living to fight another day when conditions are more favorable?

Silverfiddle said...

Christopher. Please spell out the logic of your position.

Finn and Christopher. I agree with you that this is chump change, but the GOP is not in position to force anything through. Are you just going to stick your fingers in your ears and go "lalala" or will you at least address my argument?

Did you see the link at the bottom? Even Tea Party activists are saying Boehner did better than expected given the circumstances.

Again, I'll ask you, and anyone else visiting here, to get past outrage and talking points and please address my larger argument.

Finntann said...

You play the same role with the federal government that your banker plays with you.

You refuse to allow them to spend almost twice what they take in. If that means shutting them down, by all means shut them down.

If you asked me, I'd say they were so frantic last night to pass a continuing resolution it wasn't because of the impact of shutting down the government. I think their greatest fear is that the public would soon find out how non-essential most of them are.

I'm not gonna cry in my cups because 50 kids from Colorado can't go visit the Washington monument (Fox News, Greta VanSusteren).

If I ran my finances like the government runs theirs, my driveway would be littered with Ferrari's and Bugatti's.

Silverfiddle said...

No argument, Finn. The GOP is just not in a position to set thing aright.

Even Ryan's plan will probably go down in flames this year, but it will frame the debate for 2012, when the GOP has a chance to gain a majority in the Senate. Then the real deal begins.

Having said that, there is still some hope on the 2012 budget. Even our lib senators are working with Coburn to craft some kind of spending cut deal.

The more adult and responsible the GOP looks, the better their bargaining position. It's not just about facts, it's also tone and substance.

Finntann said...

I disagree, the GOP should have upon achieving a majority (what was that? four months ago?), simply stated that no deficit budget was going to pass the house.

What have we achieved? A vote on 330 million of Planned Parenthood funding? Pass or fail it doesn't make a damn bit of difference in the big picture... it's a pixel not a brush stroke.

May will roll around, Republicans won't want to raise the debt ceiling, Democrats will throw out a number like 20 Trillion and we'll settle on 16.5 Trillion.

We are on an unsustainable path, arguing over whether to apply leeches or herbs to the gangrenous leg because we don't have the balls to cut it off.

$2 Trillion Budget, any surplus services the debt. It's like a band-aid, the slower you peel it off the more it's going to hurt.

Silverfiddle said...

Again, I share your ends, but the GOP, needing 60 senators and a liberal president to agree to their plan, does not have the means.

Always On Watch said...

I say that the budget cuts are not deep enough.

But how could Boehner have brokered a better deal without greatly damaging the GOP's chances in 2012? Also, the Senate and Obama's veto powers stand in the way. And no way will the mainstream media allow BHO's veto of a budget to take the blame for furloughed government workers, closed museums, etc., etc.

Furthermore, seriously curbing the federal budget will require painful cutbacks. Each vested group -- the military, recipients of Social Security, lovers of various entitlements, etc. -- will scream bloody murder if they suffer.

Let's recall that BHO may be claiming victory, but his proposed budget was severely axed by over $78 billion. For the first time as POTUS, he is facing serious opposition. And he knows it: just look at his blanching and body language.

Now, if Boehner is smart, he'll tighten the screws between now and August.

Always On Watch said...

Addendum: I see no way for their to be a real victor in this budget battle or any ensuing budget battle.

Silverfiddle said...

AOW: Serious democrats in the house and senate (and yes, there are some) are talking of dems and repubs locking arms and jumping over the cliff together when it comes to real spending reform, and that is what it will take.

Ryan could get it done. I am not yet willing to give up hope on America. I do think that if Ryan's plan fails we are through as a nation, with perhaps one last chance once we hit bottom, if the Vandals and Goths don't completely sack us before we get it back together.

Finntann said...

I still think we are playing our hand too conservatively.

If the House passes 12 budgets and the Senate doesn't... there is not much of a way to spin it where it doesn't lay in the lap of the Senate.

Honestly, I think we do this backasswards, every single one of us has to take our salary and make a budget. How long do you think you would last if you went into your bosses office with all your bills and said just need to pay me $20,000 more this year?

Joe said...

"Do you want to reform government spending, or do you just want to burn the damned thing down?"

(Read Like Jack Benny's response to "Your money or your life") I'm thinking about it!

You make some very good points.

If Republicans had said, "We're not going to give in...YOU give in," then a government shut down would have been in the laps of the President and the Dems, who would have had to decide.

Time will tell whether this plays out well, but given the Dems' ability to spin like a top, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Mark my words: they will proclaim victory after the dust has settled, and they will successfully blame Republicans for future deficits, setting the stage for their re-take-over of the House of Representatives.

I hope I am wrong. I would really love to be.

Silverfiddle said...

Time will tell Joe. It's all speculation now as to who would have prevailed in a shutdown.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the circus will continue until after the 2012 elections. Assuming we sweep, the first real attempt to modify government spending habits won't be until the 2013 fiscal year. Rayan proposes to cut $4 T. At least he is talking T's instead of B's. But with this Republican leadership that we currently have, they be lucky to come out with $1 T. I don't have yoyr optimism, Silver. Sorry.

Silverfiddle said...

I'm not expressing an optimism so much as challenging anyone to tell me how they thought a shutdown would magically produce a cut of trillions to the 2011 budget.

Anonymous said...

>the left's stereotypes that we are a rabble of anarchists with torches and pitchforks

I object to that stereotype. I don't own a single pitchfork!

Joking aside, I may have come across in other posts as opposing or disagreeing with what you're saying, but I believe that you're right that the GOP was in no position (or at least not that strong of a position) to do much more. They're up against a leftist president, Senate, judiciary, and tens of millions of greedy citizens and non-citizens wanting their share of other people's pots.

The problem is that success on this path rides on the GOP's effectiveness and willingness to do bold and dangerous things. Unfortunately, the GOP has a very well established history of wimping out, even when it has the upper hand, of compromising with the devil (and the devil always wins in those cases), and of generally betraying the principles of conservatism that it often claims to espouse.

I was tricked for too many years (decades) by the GOP's claims of little victories that will somehow magically turn into a meaningful step toward the return to the principles of liberty. I've seen a long list of people that were supposed to be the next big thing that would turn the GOP and the conservative movement around. Ultimately, they've all been flops, mediocre and weak (only seeming attractive when compared to the Harry Reids and Nancy Pelosis of the world), raising hopes then turning into the compromising milquetoasts that I loathe so much.

Every step forward is combined with two or three steps backward.

I hope it's different this time, but at a certain point, after years and years of repeating the same thing and getting the same results (insanity anyone?), the only thing left to do is to surprise the giant enemy army with a wild-eyed frontal assault. We're getting killed anyway. A slow death is still death. Why not die with our boots on?

Silverfiddle said...

Bastiatarian: You and Finntann make very good arguments. That is what I look for out here in Blogistan.

Unlike many in Left Blogistan, we don't all march in lockstep and we don't berate those who disagree with us.

As I wrote this yesterday I knew my fellow conservatives and libertarians would disagree, and there's nothing wrong with that.

I posted this over at Free Republic, and talk about pitchforks and torches!

My bottom line is I just don't think the GOP was up to winning this frontal assault. I think Ryan has a better chance. I don't know if he will succeed, but it's the best (and perhaps last) chance this nation has to turn from the path of fiscal insanity.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Silverfiddle, the problem I have is that ever since the days of Woodrow Wilson, every time the GOP negotiates and compromises with the left, even though the GOP might win a few concessions, in the end, the left always wins everything they want. That, I believe is what has many in the GOP and the Tea Party ticked big time and very leery every time the GOP settles for less then what they originally wanted.

Silverfiddle said...

Reverend: You express a common sentiment.

Anonymous said...

Hi! First time here. I was watching videos regarding Michelle Malkins missing cousin and during the Fox interview, prior to discussing her cousin, they spoke politics and this situation of course.

Malkin actually compared this to when the congress and senate were overseeing Watergate. Seems to me logically that the GOP as usual is making wild assertations just as the leftards do. If this continues there will never be any resolution to the mess before us.

I find this whole situation just so frustatingly sad. We can do better than this, yah think? ;-)

Always On Watch said...

I'm not expressing an optimism so much as challenging anyone to tell me how they thought a shutdown would magically produce a cut of trillions to the 2011 budget.

Somehow, people got the idea that the 2010 GOP victory in the House was a magic bullet. One of my non-blogging friends was running around the day after the 2010 election screaming, "We're going to repeal Obamacare." She had a hard crash from euphoria when I pointed out the following facts to her:

1. The Senate still has a Dem majority, and BHO has veto power.

2. There is not a big enough conservative majority (2/3 of both Houses) to override a Presidential veto.

Silverfiddle said...

AOW: Those are the political realities, and you stated them starkly.

All the more reason to elect more Republicans to the senate and then hold their feet to the fire!

Anonymous said...

I can see what you are saying, but lets look at some math everyone is ignoring.

BO's original budget had a 1.65 trillion dollar deficit. The budget they accepted has a 1 trillion dollar deficit for six months. How exactly is that a cut?

Silverfiddle said...

Good point Trestin. I'm not ignoring it, nor does my argument hinge upon the numbers, they are all so fuzzy anyway, with all the off-budget chicanery etc.

My argument is one of tactics. No one has been able to explain how shutting down the government would put us on the road to fiscal sanity.

Debbie said...

It's about keeping promises. You are right, this is something, this is a start, this is leading us up to the Ryan budget battle.

But the Republicans promised 100, not 40, not 38.5, 100. They didn't say that 100 would be a starting point, they promised to cut 100. Did they mean now, or did they mean later? Did they mean it at all?

We're sick of promises not being kept, we're sick of the old guard, we're sick of RINOs being forced on us giving us no choice except to vote RINO or vote Democrat.

We would like to vote for someone we can really like, someone with similar agenda. That's what the TEA Party is all about and what the 2010 election was all about.

We're seeing some of the newly elected keeping their promises and doing what they said they would do.

We are also seeing some of the 'Young Guns' like Ryan, stepping up to the plate.

It is important what the House does, even if they know it won't get passed in the Senate.

I see trouble ahead if the 2012 budget is not somewhere near Ryan's proposed budget, and it may not be good.

There are hints of a third party. There are also hints of more Republicans turning to Ron Paul, who still has a faithful following.

I fear this nation is in for a real dust up or come kind that will make the TEA Party of recent look tiny.

Should we be completely blasting the Republicans and Boehner now, no. But we should let them know that we are watching every move they make and we will not be satisfied with a return to their old ways.

Boehner could have started with a number of 150 or even 100, then settled on between 50 and 75 or better yet, start with 150 and settle on 100, which is what they promised. When you start bargaining too low, it's your own darned fault

Right Truth

Anonymous said...

>I knew my fellow conservatives and libertarians would disagree

I don't really disagree with the specific points you make. I guess the difference is just that I don't see any reason to believe that it will be different this time. I don't know. Maybe I'm too worn out (an inhumanly large translation project over the past two weeks has beaten me to a pulp) to force myself to be optimistic right now.

LD Jackson said...

Great post and great comments. I happen to agree that we need to give the GOP time to do what they were elected to do. Presently, I think they garnered about as good an agreement as they could, given the political reality that they don't have the votes to do much else. Thanks for pointing that out, as it seems to be a forgotten fact.

Silverfiddle said...

Thanks, LD!

Debbie and Bastiatarian: I spoke with Papa Silverfiddle last night and he said essentially what you guys and other said. He's tired of being told one thing and then see them do another once they are elected.

MK said...

One thing i've seen from observing politics and how things really work out, kick and scream for 100 Billion and you might get 50.

It's right that we shouldn't be screaming and shouting for anarchy, but keep the heat on, otherwise it'll just be more of the same.