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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Ryan’

Obama the oblivious; and Boehner’s blowup

by Mojambo ( 134 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Health Care, Healthcare, Republican Party, Tea Parties at December 13th, 2013 - 2:00 pm

As someone on another blog wrote  I think Krauthammer can finally be forgiven for his initial indulgence in the Kool-Aid. He, along with millions of Americans, could not grasp the idea that such an unqualified buffoon could be elected to the highest office in the land. The degree of stupidity in this country was way underestimated.”

by Charles Krauthammer

In explaining the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, President Obama told Chris Matthews he had discovered that “we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly.”

An interesting discovery to make after having consigned the vast universe of American medicine, one-sixth of the U.S. economy, to the tender mercies of the agency bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service.

Most people become aware of the hopeless inefficiency of sclerotic government by, oh, age 17 at the department of motor vehicles. Obama’s late discovery is especially remarkable considering that he built his entire political philosophy on the rock of Big Government, on the fervent belief in the state as the very engine of collective action and the ultimate source of national greatness. (Indeed, of individual success as well, as in “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”)

This blinding revelation of the ponderous incompetence of bureaucratic government came just a few weeks after Obama confessed that “what we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.” Another light bulb goes off, this one three years after passing a law designed to force millions of Americans to shop for new health plans via the maze of untried, untested, insecure, unreliable online “exchanges.”

This discovery joins a long list that includes Obama’s rueful admission that there really are no shovel-ready jobs. That one cameafter having passed his monstrous $830 billion stimulus on the argument that the weakened economy would be “jump-started” by a massive infusion of shovel-ready jobs. Now known to be fictional.

[……]With alarming regularity, he professes obliviousness to the workings of his own government. He claims, for example, to have known nothing about theIRS targeting scandal, the AP phone records scandal, the NSA tapping of Angela Merkel. And had not a clue that the centerpiece of his signature legislative achievement — the online Obamacare exchange, three years in the making — would fail catastrophically upon launch. Or that Obamacare would cause millions of Americans to lose their private health plans.

Hence the odd spectacle of a president expressing surprise and disappointment in the federal government — as if he’s not the one running it. Hence the repeated no-one-is-more-upset-than-me posture upon deploring the nonfunctioning Web site, the IRS outrage, the AP intrusions and any number of scandals from which Obama tries to create safe distance by posing as an observer. He gives the impression of a man on a West Wing tour trying out the desk in the Oval Office, only to be told that he is president of the United States.


Obama’s discovery that government bureaucracies don’t do things very well creates a breathtaking disconnect between his transformative ambitions and his detachment from the job itself. How does his Olympian vision coexist with the lassitude of his actual governance, a passivity that verges on absenteeism?

What bridges that gap is rhetoric. Barack Obama is a master rhetorician. It’s allowed him to move crowds, rise inexorably and twice win the most glittering prize of all. Rhetoric has changed his reality.  [………]

That’s why his reaction to the Obamacare Web site’s crash-on-takeoff is so telling. His remedy? A cross-country campaign-style speaking tour. As if rhetoric could repeal thatreality.

Managing, governing, negotiating, cajoling, crafting legislation, forging compromise. For these — this stuff of governance — Obama has shown little aptitude and even less interest. Perhaps, as Valerie Jarrett has suggested, he is simply too easily bored to invest his greatness in such mundanity.

I don’t write code,” said Obama in reaction to the Web site crash. Nor is he expected to. He is, however, expected to run an administration that can.

Read the rest – Obama the oblivious

John Boehner for whatever faults he has, actually gets it.  The Republicans can only do so much as they  only control 1/3rd of the government (the House). Rand Paul also gets it. Closing down the government was suicidal as all it did was make the Republicans look like extremists, it failed as it never had a chance to defund ObamaCare,  and it took the emphasis off of the failed roll out of ObamaCare.

by Jonathan S. Tobin

It was a short sound bite but it was replayed endlessly yesterday, angering some conservatives and leaving liberals chortling. When House Speaker John Boehner was asked during a press conference with other Republican leaders about criticisms from conservative activist groups of the budget deal struck by Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan, he exploded:

REPORTER: Mr. Speaking, most major conservative groups have put out statements blasting this deal. Are you –

BOEHNER: You mean the groups that came out and opposed it before they ever saw it?

REPORTER: Are you worried –

BOEHNER: They are using our members and they are using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous. Listen, if you’re for more deficit reduction, you’re for this agreement.

This is not the first time Boehner has responded to criticism with anger and frustration. But it was a dramatic change of tone on the part of the convivial and often-teary-eyed and sentimental House speaker when it came to the conservative groups and their Tea Party supporters within his caucus.  [……..] Though no one should expect Boehner to be a changed man from the indecisive speaker of the shutdown crisis, he may have learned at least a couple of important lessons from that difficult experience. The days of the Tea Party tale wagging the House Republican big dog appear to be over.

The incident and the debate about the budget deal are bringing out into the open a conservative civil war that had previously been conducted behind closed doors, at least as far as the House leadership was concerned. Prior to the shutdown there was little doubt that Boehner wasn’t happy about the way some House conservatives and, even more importantly, advocacy groups like Heritage Action and FreedomWorks were helping to limit his options in negotiations with the Democrats. Though he made it clear enough that he knew the decision to try and force the defunding of ObamaCare was doomed to failure and that it would hurt his party, Boehner wound up bowing to the demands of Heritage, Ted Cruz, and the rest of the suicide caucus in the House.

The thinking then was that Boehner worried that if he thwarted those who believed such radical tactics were the only possible response to the health-care law’s implementation, the House Republican membership would be irretrievably split and his speakership might be threatened. What followed was a disaster that not only materially damaged the Republican Party but, just as importantly, served to obscure the ObamaCare rollout fiasco for three weeks as the mainstream media focused instead on those who had warned him against letting himself be buffaloed into a futile shutdown.  […….]

However, the conclusion of this drama also exploded the myth that Heritage and company really had the power to thwart any effort to pull back from the brink. When Boehner finally concluded a deal that was little more than a face-saving surrender to end the shutdown, the activists screamed bloody murder and warned they would back primary challenges against any Republican who went along. But the tide had shifted against them and few heeded their threats. By the time the dust settled, even some on the right like Senator Rand Paul were admitting the whole thing had been a mistake.

The speaker emerged from this trial chastened by the experience but perhaps also realizing that the bark of the Tea Party caucus was worse than its bite. Many Republicans will oppose the Ryan deal that more or less formalizes a truce with the Democrats on budget issues for the next year and Heritage and others will, as they did with the shutdown, try and make it a litmus test of conservative bona fides. But Boehner and even a conservative deep thinker like Ryan have rightly come to the conclusion that the agreement with Senate Budget Committee chair Patty Murray is not only as much as they can reasonably hope to get. Even more to the point, they understand that paralyzing the government and Congress with manufactured crises, in order to push for more deficit reduction and the entitlement reform the nation needs but won’t get so long as control of Congress is split between the two parties, is a critical mistake. The nation as a whole and even most rank-and-file Republicans have had enough of the shutdown mentality. Three months ago, it may have seemed as if Boehner had no choice but to accede to the demands of the Tea Partiers. The shutdown may have convinced him that he doesn’t have to do that anymore.

Having methodically worked his way to the leadership over the course of a long career in the House, Boehner is no pushover.  […..] But the events of the last few months may mean that he will never again be bullied into taking a course of action that he knows is mistaken. This week he has called the Tea Party’s bluff in exactly the manner that many in his party wish he had done back in September. If he sticks to this resolve, both the Congress and the Republican Party will be better off for it.

Read the rest – Has John Boehner learned his lesson?

Sometimes Punting Is The Proper Play

by Flyovercountry ( 165 Comments › )
Filed under Debt, Democratic Party, Economy, Republican Party, taxation at December 12th, 2013 - 7:00 am

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

“The fault Dear Brutus is not within our stars, but within ourselves that we are underlings.”

I’m going to take a contrarian position today, both from one which my fellow conservatives are taking, and from the position that I myself would usually take. Here is my position, we should go for the Ryan/Murray deal, and we should go for it quietly. I know that most of you reading this will blast me for my heresy, and let me state for the record, I agree in advance with most of what you’re going to say. I only ask in advance, that you consider my arguments at least a little before passing your judgement.

First off, our current predicament is entirely due to the fact that we have not won sufficient elections recently to establish our will, nor even to adequately represent our wishes upon the national scene. That is a fact of life. Elections have consequences, and what we have happening in Washington right now is just the brutal reminder of the beautiful truth behind that statement. There is a second part to this however. Until we start winning elections, and winning them in bulk, we will never again get our way, no matter how passionately we state our well reasoned arguments. While I agree that we are far too often duped by some pretender or traitor, there are also some good people from our side who have stood up for their principles and done what was promised, and those people deserve our support.

The next point I’d like to make is that while this deal sucks, the current spending level can only be described as insane, and we are well into the period of time when according to the last deal, and the one before that, and the one before that, and the one before that, promised that the future cuts would be taking place, we both know that this was where we were going to end up anyhow. No matter how fiercely our brave House Members fought, and no matter how tight a budget they passed and sent to the Senate, it would be DOA. The Senate would reject it, Harry Reid would strip up the version sent over, the Senate Democrats would have passed an amended version that would have been this monstrosity or worse, and the GOP in the House would have caved like cheap suits. After a long protracted fight in which this bill or worse would have been signed into law, we would have all been left feeling violated once again, and wondered what in the world they even bothered for anyhow.

Another thing that I’d like to mention is this. The entire process is nothing more right now than one giant squirrel, as in the variety that I warned about yesterday. Barack Obama is bleeding, and any budget fight right now would represent a fierce distraction from his bleeding carcass, and one by the way that would almost guarantee his regaining popularity, at least amongst his base. Winning elections should be our top priority. Obamacare is the gift that will do that for us, or at least be a major help. By November of next year, the employer mandate will up the number of previously insured but no longer able to afford it Americans to about 150 Million pissed off people. All of the above will be searching for their pitch forks and torches. We can spend the next year helping to keep them focused on the one single issue that will help us rid our Universe of the Marxists for at least a generation, or we can allow ourselves and our fellow citizens to become distracted, throwing away the gift that reality and Team Obama have so thoughtfully given. Paul Ryan’s budget was a political maneuver, and while many of us do not like those, losing the tactical war has been part of our downfall for a very long time. Frankly, I’m happy to see that at least one member of the GOP finally gets that, and has done something about it.

Like it or not, this is the price to be paid for those protest votes, purity tests, staying home on election day because you didn’t like that your guy lost and the other guy’s candidate won in the primaries. As Jimmy Johnson told his Dolphin Team during a playoff game in which they got beat by over 50 points, “if you don’t like it, do something about it.” There is only one something that can be done about it. Yes, our guys got slammed tactically when they controlled the Senate, House, and the White House, and they let us down by continuing to act like Democrats. Since then however, there have been 80 or so worthy Tea Party House Members elected and a few in the Senate. The answer is not to stop supporting them, the answer is to get more of their kind elected, so that they can make a difference.

Ryan’s punt may seem like a purposeful throwing of the game, but it is not. He is a policy wonk, and is playing chess, while others are playing checkers. What he is trying to avoid, and succeeding at avoiding by the way, is 8 weeks of headlines in which the GOP is blamed for throwing grandma off of the cliff, starving puppy dogs, while the Obamacare disaster takes to the back pages, all for the grand prize of having an even worse deal passed in the end anyhow. He has punted with the wind at his back, and has decided to let his defense try to force the fumble, and right now, their offense has shown that they are prone to fumbling the ball. The best and only path to having your way right now is the exact path that Paul Ryan has chosen to take. We need to have our guys win in both 2014 and 2016. Without that, cutting spending will be nothing more than a pipe dream, no matter how loudly we all proclaim to want that.

For the record, here’s what the Heritage Foundation had to say about it.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Pre Veep Debate Predictions.

by Flyovercountry ( 89 Comments › )
Filed under Elections 2012, Politics at October 11th, 2012 - 6:00 pm

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

First, enjoy some Bidenisms from the days of yore.

Prediction number one, unfortunately, the above pictured Joe Biden will not make an appearance at the debate. They gave Joe and unprecedented 7 days off from the rigors of electioneering so that he might be able to sober up and prepare for this event. For anyone who watched the 2 hour piece of dishonesty entitled, “Game Change,” that was produced by HBO Films know exactly what this means. You can always tell, eventually, what tricks Democrats pull. Eventually, they will accuse Republicans of pulling these tricks, unfortunately it will be before we had even heard of it or though it possible. Nancy Pelosi’s term Astro Turf is one example of this. Nancy labeled the Tea Party, “Astro Turf,” which no one on our side understood, until she explained that it meant manufacturing the appearance of support by busing in paid protesters, supporters, and falsifying news reports in order to fool the public into believing that there existed a bandwagon effect. Sure enough, about a week later, Andrew Breitbart was able to elicit a confession at a protest that the activists a)had no idea what they were protesting, and b) were paid a decent wage by an ACORN group, which still exist by the way, for their protesting services.

In the movie, “Game Change,” Sarah Palin was accused of memorizing 45 minutes worth of script in order to merely pivot to her prepared remarks as the answer to any question, and then just recite what she had been taught to recite, similar to a trained monkey who had mastered somehow the miracle of speech. Remember, in the game of, “is the Republican evil, old, or stupid,” nothing fits Sarah Palin except for the label of stupid. After watching the movie, I took a stroll down memory lane and watched the debate again. Guess what, if anyone appeared to have simply answered questions with prose that existed irrespective of the questions entirely, it was Joe Biden. I do not remember if Joltin Joe needed a full week to prepare in 2008, but it would not surprise me at all. Joe is a polished professional politician with decades of experience. He knows how to hold it together for an hour and a half when he needs to.

This debate will be the same format as the debate we saw last week, but the time segments, supposedly, will be 5 minutes shorter. There were several times during the first debate where Jim Lehrer was accused of losing control and not doing enough to stop the beating that Barack Obama was taking, but that is what the open format is designed to do. It is the candidates being thrust headlong into a substantive discussion where they themselves have control over which parts of their message they feel important to put forward according to the issues that the campaigns feel are important to discuss. It eliminates the ability to plant narratives by either campaign, and allows a more reasoned response to the opening premise of the segment, even if that opening premise starts off slanted.

Prediction number two, Paul Ryan will shine regardless of the preprogrammed memorized speech of Joe Biden. This is the exact type of format that lends itself to the wonkish intellect of someone who is a budget hawk. Paul Ryan has always shone like the sun when discussing facts, figures, and any subject where detail is warranted. His destruction of Barack Obama’s fairy tale world of the Obamacare’s impact on the budget is still one of my favorite YouTube clips of all time.

Prediction number three, Joe Biden will try to land his knock out punch with the foreign policy discussion. After last week’s ass kicking suffered by his boss, the pressure will be on Joe Biden to land some heavy blows against the R squared ticket. Joe has engaged in some trash talking this week, as the entirety of Team Zero realize the damage done last week. The problem is, where to attack Paul Ryan. A man who’s true calling may very well have been as an accountant, there is perhaps no one in Washington D.C. who can go toe to toe with Ryan on substantive facts. He is a wonk’s wonk if you will. Biden attempting to follow up on the promises of his trash talk in those areas where Ryan is strong can only end in another disastrous evening for the Democrat Party as a whole. There are enough competent Democrat Party apparatchiks left to see the folly in this. If Ryan has a perceived weakness in this debate forum, it is in the realm of foreign policy.

Foreign Policy gravitas was always supposed to be the strength that Joe Biden brought to Team Zero. He spent much of his decades long career on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Never mind that Joe has been wrong on every single issue which presented itself, including a proclamation that the War in Iraq was lost. There are some really dumb people out there who believe that perception is reality. Biden will want to avoid every other area of debate, but will feel that he has an insurmountable advantage here, and is just dumb enough to believe that perception really is reality. So, even when the Obama foreign policy has so obviously collapsed to the point where each day’s horrendous news only serves to bury Team Zero even further, look for this to be the topic upon which Joe makes his stand and attempts to land the veritable hay maker.

Prediction number four, Paul Ryan will make Joe Biden look pretty silly with that attempted hay maker. Just like in the real world of boxing, when a fighter lands the hay maker, it can be pretty devastating. When he misses, it has the opposite effect. The problem for Joe Biden and his expertise on all things relating to foreign affairs, the policies enacted by his team have resulted in nothing short of unmitigated disaster. Yesterday we learned that Christopher Stevens’ request for more security to help deal with the tensions in Benghazi actually resulted in the Obama State Department’s removal of the security personnel that did exist there. Over 50 U.S. Embassies have been torched over the past month. We learned that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a group of unemployed social workers looking for people to help. We also learned that the assassination of Osama Bin Laden did not signal the end of the war on terror, even though this promise has still been asserted as recently as today.

Prediction number five, Martha Raddatz will be much quicker on the uptake to come to the aid of Joe Biden when he needs a life line. Twice during the Bamster’s first debate, he needed to suggest to Jim Lehrer that perhaps a particular topic was not worthy of his taking a beating over, and suggested that Lehrer move things along. Raddatz will have been briefed ahead of time I’m sure, as to how important it is to team Obama that she not allow Joe Biden to take too great a beating, and that she should intervene when ever it looks like Paul Ryan may be able to land a second blow in any exchange. Raddatz will likewise join the debate as an Obama team surrogate who will actively participate in the challenges of any statement made by Paul Ryan.

In case you’re interested.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Mitt Romney’s White Collar Suburban challenge

by Phantom Ace ( 3 Comments › )
Filed under Conservatism, Elections 2012, George W. Bush, Headlines, Republican Party at August 27th, 2012 - 7:34 pm

The Affluent White Collar suburbs were once the bastion of the Republican Party. Since 1992 the Democratic Party has been dominant in the GOP’s former strongholds. In 2010, the Republicans riding the Tea Party wave made inroads back into the wealthy suburbs. Now Mitt Romney seeks to bring the suburbs back to the GOP. His challenge is convincing them that the Republican Party represents their interest.

Mitt Romney has long faced charges of lacking empathy, but, ironically, his greatest challenge in the campaign’s final months may be winning the voters who he most resembles: well-educated, white-collar white suburbanites.

Romney captured the GOP nomination largely on support from those voters—in places like Oakland County, Mich., the leafy Detroit suburb where he was reared (as he noted, with his awkward comment about his birth certificate).


omney’s challenge in white-collar America underscores how thoroughly a “class inversion” has reshaped the electoral landscape. From the Depression into the 1970s, Republicans were the party of white-collar whites and Democrats the party of whites who worked with their hands. Every Democratic nominee from Adlai Stevenson through Jimmy Carter ran substantially better among noncollege than college-educated whites. But in his two victories, Bill Clinton did as well among college-educated as noncollege whites. In 2000, Al Gore ran 4 points better among those well-educated whites; the gap widened to 6 points for John Kerry in 2004 and to 7 for Obama. This year, a gaping class inversion runs through not only national measures like the NBC/WSJ poll but all of the recent Quinnipiac CBS/New York Timesswing-state polls.

Other measures find the same trend. As The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman and I have calculated, Ronald Reagan in 1984 won 82 of the 100 counties with the highest proportion of college graduates. But Democrats have taken at least half of those counties in every election since 1992; Obama captured 78 of them, receiving a resounding 62 percent of their combined votes.

Mitt Romney is the type of Republican who can appeal to these White Collar workers. He is one of them. Paul Ryan’s seriousness on economic and fiscal issues appeal to these voters. This is the first ticket since the Reagan era that is aimed squarely at these voters.