Thursday, April 7, 2011

Republicans Lose in a Government Shutdown

It’s an old joke, but those who want a government shutdown should ponder its deeper meaning...

Two bulls stand upon a small hill, gazing down at a herd of heifers.  The young one shouts excitedly to the older one, “Let run down there and get us a cow!”  “No,” says the wise elder, “let’s walk down and get them all.”

Ryan's 2012 Budget is the Prize
Conservatives with torches in hand and blood in their eyes need to stay focused on the long game, which is Paul Ryan’s budget proposal for 2012 and beyond.  Running the government off of continuing resolutions for the rest of the year provides a predictable outcome favorable to Republicans; shutting down the government would be a wild crapshoot with an unpredictable outcome.
Conservative commentator Fred Barnes explains the advantages of running out the year with a string of CRs…

In the meantime, the incremental strategy is working. Republicans have passed two short-term measures to keep the government in operation since early March while slashing $10 billion in spending. At this rate, they would achieve the target of GOP congressional leaders of lopping off $61 billion from President Obama's proposed budget in the final seven months of the 2011 fiscal year.
The GOP, surprisingly, has done a good job so far framing this issue and controlling the debate. 
Even reliable liberal outlets like CNN, the NY Times and Washington Post are essentially saying, “OK Dems, you hate Paul Ryan’s Plan, and we are certainly not defending it, but what’s YOUR plan?  Where’s the president?”  The GOP had now moved the debate from If we should cut to How Much

The GOP is offering comprehensive solutions, but it’s also about tone and tenor
Republicans are proposing cuts of historic proportions, and a shutdown would provide an opportunity for liberals to level a charge of reckless irresponsibility on top of the current charges of cruelty, child-starving and geriatricide.  

I just don’t know if the GOP can overcome the blame game.  Liberals are really good at squawking and screaming, and the noiser the contretemps becomes, the better for them.  It distracts from the fact that we are in this mess because overwhelming democrat majorities failed to govern and pass a budget in the last congress.  It also distracts from the fact that the GOP only controls one half of one branch of government.  The blame clearly falls upon Democrat irresponsibility, but all of these facts would get drowned out in a noisy New York Times, MSNBC-fueled rage-fest.  

Reasoned debate will advance the conservative agenda, which is why Democrats want to avoid that at all costs.   

If the Dems are fer it, I’m agin’ it!
This is a PR fight the GOP does not need right now, especially since they are controlling the agenda.  This is a sideshow; Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget is the main event, he’s got the spotlight, and we don’t want him to lose it.  Serious Democrats like Alice Rivlin and Erskine Bowles may quibble with some of his details, but he essentially has their backing.  

A government shutdown would shift the debate back to the Democrat’s home turf of raw emotion and unhinged outrage.  This is the reason the Democrats are drooling over the prospect of a shutdown, and that is why I am against it.


Anonymous said...

They are going to level charges no matter what we do. We need to get real cuts and we need them now. What do you think will happen when we feel the impact of Japan not being able to buy our debt?

Unknown said...

"Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget is the main event"
And forcing the House to continue to pass CR's will delay this and other bills that would start creating a good job environment. The Dems will use this to say 'The Republicans in control of the House, can't get anything done'.

I say pass the 2011 budget figures as they stand, in the House and drop it in the laps of the Senate Democrats and if they refuse to vote on it or pass it, a government shut down sits on their heads.

Silverfiddle said...

Trestin and Mark: I can see your side, but they are quibbling over billions, which in the end is chump change (They are arguing over less than 1% of the budget!).

Ryan is talking Trillions over the next 10 years. Can't you see this for what it is? The dems are the little kid throwing a temper tantrum because they don't want to take a bath.

Trestin: Even if the GOP got every last thing they wanted for the rest this fiscal year, it would not even make a dent. You can win the battle but still lose the war.

This is a long-term game that requires some strategery.

Anonymous said...

True, but I would still love a shut down. It might help wake people up on the dangers of being dependent on the government. Who knows, if it goes long enough some dead weights might get off their couches and try to find a job.

If we cave in on this budget, there will be no hope of getting Ryan's budget approved before 2012. You really think Obama is going to give in to trillions in cuts if he won't accept 30 billion?

Silverfiddle said...

There is no way a shutdown would go long enough for deadbeats to actually get up off their asses and get a job.

Looting would happen first. Every death would be cataloged against the evil GOP.

I do see your second point, that Obama will never concede to trillions in cuts, but that is where the line needs to be drawn, not here over nickles and dimes.

Pamela Zydel said...

Silverfiddle: But if all we say is “that’s only nickel and dimes”, how does anything ever get cut? Eventually those “nickels and dimes” add up. Don’t they? Shouldn’t we at least start somewhere? Or am I not thinking correctly?

Unknown said...

Silver, I am all for Ryan's plan, don't get me wrong. What I am warning is this (my previous comment) is how the Dems will use this to their advantage.
Passing CR after CR, trying to clean up the mess of the 111th, only delays getting to real work on Ryan plan for the next 10 years.
It's brilliant of Ryan and would love to see it enacted, but the Dems are standing in the way of a serious, pressing issue that they didn't take care of.
They maybe quibbling of 1%, however if the the Reps don't stand firm on what they said they would do for the 2011 budget, the Dems will use that in 2012.
You know Ryans plan is not going to get far with the Senate and the WH being held by Dems.

Silverfiddle said...

The GOP has already gotten real cuts, as Fred Barnes says.

My point is that Ryan has touched the third rail, and serious people are chiming in, framing this as a serious issue.

A government shutdown turns the whole thing into a screaming freakshow that the left will expertly exploit to maintain the status quo.

Those of us who are plugged in need to remember that most in the broad middle are not. They catch some headline news or whatever, but they do not dive into every nuance. That is the court of public opinion where these battles are won or lost.

We are playing 3D chess, not checkers. We need to think more than one move ahead. Raging against the Government Machine may be cathartic, but it can end up wrecking the fiscal agenda.

Think of it as the GOP is ahead on points in the 2011 budget game (they are $20 billion in cuts 'ahead' of the dems). All they need to do is run out the clock.

2012 is the championship game, and Ryan can call serious people to testify in budget hearings that we need the cuts he is advocating to save us from financial ruin.

Go into a shutdown and the game changes in unpredictable ways.

Lisa said...

The president,the one who is suppose to be leading is out there campaigning using sob stories telling people the middle class needs to come together?
Last time I checked he is the president ,not one of those little kids who won't take a bath.
With a democrat president,democrat control of both houses they couldn't get a budget done because they were too busy filling their "wish" list like those kids again at Christmas.

The Observer said...

Maybe this is just what is needed to show the power that the republican party has gained in November.

Anonymous said...

You frame your argument vey well, Silver. I would really like to believe in your approach, however, I fear it will only lead to aslow agonizing death of the American Dream. If Obama and the Democrats have their way, the country will die faster. Sorry, but today I'm not very optimistic.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

This is not the 90's, people are awake and the blame will go to the socialists where it rightfully belongs no matter what the MSM or polls say,,,SHUT THE DAMN THING DOWN!

Silverfiddle said...

Conservativesonfire: Thank you for the compliment. I am just as alarmed at the spending and debt as you and the others who have posted here. I think we're all in agreement on that, even including the mushy middle.

It's really a matter of strategy. If we go into a shutdown, the political situation becomes very unstable.

Sam Huntington said...

We should be concerned about who is framing this debate. I fear that once again, with the memory queue among most Americans being about the same as a gnat, American voters will remember longest what they heard last. And if the press continues to tell the lies often enough, pea-brained persons will accept it as the verifiable truth.

One of the largest portions on the Speaker’s plate is public relations; so far, I am unimpressed. Nancy Pelosi took the podium the other day and said that thanks to Republicans, six million old-aged people will starve to death —so far, no one has corrected her. A five percent cut in that program will not lead to the starvation of anyone. Nevertheless, the point is that if this is how the GOP intends to win the war of ideas, we’re all in deep trouble —including the pea-brained morons who proudly admit they voted for a communist in 2008.

~Leslie said...

I suspect few people realize how serious our financial situation is. Since 2006, Democrats have spent this nation into bankruptcy. In the past two years, Obama and his democratic majority produced deficits of $1.4 and $1.25 trillion; the president’s budget for 2012 adds another $1.6 trillion. Our children’s children will face the $15 trillion debt created by de facto communists who are making fundamental changes to the United States of America. Right now, the government is collecting $2.2 trillion and spending $3.7 trillion; 40-cents of every dollar is borrowed from China. We are borrowing $4 billion a day.

Most of these numbers are far too large for most people to understand. $40 billion is a drop in the bucket when we are talking about $6 trillion … but I agree with SF that we need to get to the Ryan plan quickly. The GOP need not play the game according to Reid or Schumer’s rules and I think Sam is right about the PR game.

Trekkie4Ever said...

I am hopeful, at this time, that we are seeing at least a little action on the part of the GOP but it's going to take a whole lot of effort and wrestling down the Dems, they are not going to let this go without a struggle.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

so far, it appears to me that no matter what the GOP proposes, Obama keeps threatening to veto and Reid wants no part of, so it seems that those of us on the right can never seem to win no matter what we do.

Jersey McJones said...

Still, it's understandable for people to be nervous. Jewish people have always had to keep a sharp eye on everything, all the time. They have been targeted by a wide variety of disparate yet powerful groups for thousands of years. Even here in the "good ol' US of A."

It's wonderful that this seems to have nothing to do with antisemitism, but it remains terribly sad that Jewish people should still, to this day, in this modern republic, have to live in understandable fear.


Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: What in the hell are you talking about?

Are you some kind of answerbot that roams the internet doling out random comments?

Anonymous said...

SF: Jersey has been getting more and more bizarre lately. I assume that this is just the final, complete disconnect from reality.

As for the actual topic, although I well understand the way that a shutdown (however tiny it will actually be) can backfire, I still have a hard time finding a combination of three words more beautiful than "federal government shutdown."

Always On Watch said...

Once this budget matter is settled, BHO will go on another "much needed vacation."

Somehow, I think his taking all these vacations isn't going to play very well in Peoria; a lot of people are still losing their jobs.

Finntann said...

4/8/11 9:30 ET 39 Billion in cuts? Don't do us any favors that's like me saving a penny. Shut'em down.