In the early 16th century, Hernan Cortes and his army of conquistadors were prepping themselves to invade, and ultimately conquer the Aztec empire. As the soldiers prepared for battle, their ships sat anchored off the coast of what is now Veracruz, in plain sight of his anxious troops.
If all else failed, they thought, they could make a quick getaway to the ships and sail to safety. Cortes realized that some in his crew where getting uneasy, and ordered that the ships be scuttled. Knowing that they would be faced with only two options—fight to survive, or die.
On Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the majority opinion to uphold Obamacare, writing that the individual mandate is equivalent to a tax, and therefore, constitutional.
For months prior to the ruling, as Mitt Romney made his way through the GOP primaries, the debate over both Obamacare and Romneycare loomed as a political sticking point for his campaign (and for the Obama campaign as well).
As the case against the law made its way through the federal courts, speculation built that it would head to the supremes and the belief that the court would strike down the individual mandate, and thus, the entire mess of it, grew stronger.
Personally, I felt that if the court struck down the law, it wouldn’t be the dominant issue that Romney had to deal with during the campaign. I’m sure this suited most conservative s and Republicans just fine.
I didn’t see how Romney could honestly make a case against Obamacare after his Romneycare experiment in Massachusetts. Making this argument eventually would end up doing more harm than good for Romney.
But John Roberts scuttled our ship. With the stroke of a pen, the lines in our political battle were redrawn.
The campaign is now about (or should be about) those who want to repeal Obamacare in its entirety, and those who want to embrace and keep this monstrosity of a law, along with its onerous regulations, bureaucracy and a price tag of over $1 trillion.
This makes things interesting for Democrats this election season. Democrats now have to make the case for defending Obamacare and embrace this law during their town halls and campaign stops this summer and fall. All this with high unemployment, an anemic economy and a toxic President. Good luck with that, Democrats.
If this is going to be an honest debate, I encourage the Democrats defend all aspects of the law. But of course, they’d rather talk about the long list of Obamacare ‘benefits’, and not about the reality of its costs. And certainly not the fact that Obamacare is about more government control and numerous new taxes, taxes that eventually will be paid for by the majority of taxpaying Americans, which is to say, the middle class. In fact, despite the court’s ruling, the White House is already trying to twist the truth.
As for Republicans and conservatives, I agree with Paul Ryan. This is our last chance. Democrats have their hands full, but as a party the GOP have to have the right conditions–the White House, a majority in the Senate, and build on gains in the House. On top of that, the Republicans need leadership with intestinal fortitude to make the right decisions when all of that is obtained. Remember, repealing Obamacare was a priority of the 2010 campaign also.
Repealing Obamacare means catching lightning in a bottle and it needs to happen within the next year. If all the conditions are met, there should be no reason why it can’t happen over the next twelve months. I for one, don’t trust politicians enough to play a waiting game. The repeal process is like cement, the longer we wait, the harder it is to remove. Just like the conquistadors, there is no turning back. The America we know is at stake.
I never really bought into the notion that there’s a friendly peace between the Obamas and the Clintons. Sure, Bill Clinton is campaigning for Obama, Hillary is the Secretary of State, and all appears to be tranquil in Democrat land. But I still don’t buy it.
I’m old enough to remember the political cage-match that was the 2008 Democratic primary, with its ugly charges of racism, the ‘pimping’ of Chelsea, the whole bit. Despite her bitter loss, Hillary still wants to be president, and I have no doubt that she will make another go of it. (I’ll leave the speculation as to whether she replaces Biden on the ticket this year or makes a solid run in 2016, for another time).
All that being said, there’s a literal endorsement battle between the two for Democrat candidates down ticket, one specifically in a congressional race here in New Jersey:
A top Obama campaign adviser is taking sides in a member-versus-member primary in New Jersey, with senior adviser David Axelrod set to campaign for Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), according to a national Democratic aide.
Rothman faces Rep. Bill Pascrell in a North Jersey district that was merged by redistricting.
Bill Clinton endorsed Pascrell this month, making this race the seventh in which he has supported a Hillary-endorsing candidate against an Obama backer.
The Pascrell campaign thinks so highly of Clinton, he made it to their latest campaign ad:
For what it’s worth, Pascrell’s district is a predominantly middle class, blue collar constituency, whereas Rothman’s former district included a sizable portion of the more affluent Bergen County which is closer to Manhattan, consisting of upper-middle class NYC commuters, and a growing immigrant population. Demographically, there’s a noticeable difference between the two, but both districts are solid blue Democrat.
And then there’s this–a source I know with knowledge of the Pascrell campaign implied that there was a financial strain on both camps because of the redistricting fight, but acknowledged the Pascrell got “a boost from the Clinton endorsement,” adding “…[Clinton's] favorables are much better than Obama, even in the cities.“
The primary’s on June 5th, and I’m thinking Pascrell wins the district, based on the demographics I mentioned and it could very well be that the Clinton endorsement puts him over the top. I’d be interested to see how the other Obama vs Clinton endorsements in other CDs go, and I’m sure the Obama campaign will be keeping an eye on that as well.
At a million-dollar San Francisco fundraiser today, President Obama warned his recession-battered supporters that if he loses the 2012 election it could herald a new, painful era of self-reliance in America.
“The one thing that we absolutely know for sure is that if we don’t work even harder than we did in 2008, then we’re going to have a government that tells the American people, ‘you are on your own,’” Obama told a crowd of 200 donors over lunch at the W Hotel.
“If you get sick, you’re on your own. If you can’t afford college, you’re on your own. If you don’t like that some corporation is polluting your air or the air that your child breathes, then you’re on your own,” he said. “That’s not the America I believe in. It’s not the America you believe in.”
You really don’t need to read any more to confirm that Barack Obama, the career community organizer, is just fine with Occupy Wall Street’s collective stamping of the feet. In fact, Obama has lifted the bar for populist rhetoric the past few weeks, offering student loan “relief” for college students (who have a big presence at the OWS clown parades) among other hand-outs and free passes to various freeloaders, in a pathetic attempt to buy votes.
Moreover, this is the kind of rhetoric that is red meat to the OWS crowd, and the overall base of the radical Democrat party. The politics of entitlement and dependence is a powerful opiate and will be tough for Republicans to overcome.
Indeed the Democrat fringe has used that weapon to enslave generations of blacks and minorities in a ruinous cycle of dependence. Republicans need to pound the message home about alternatives, and to point out these blatant truisms of the Democrat party.
The irresponsible leader of the irresponsible Democrat majority in the US Senate:
James Sherk clarifies:
Senator Reid is not just mistaken; he has his facts exactly backwards. If the recession has barely touched one sector of the economy, it is government. Since the recession began in December 2007 the private sector shed 6.3 million net jobs, while government payrolls are down by just 392,000.
That amounts to a 5.4 percent drop in private sector employment, while government employment has slipped only one-third as much (1.8 percent). Education-related government jobs have fallen even less, down 1.4 percent.
The majority of the American unemployed, those not employed by the public sector, will be glad to know that their Senate leaders are completely clueless about what’s going on in the real world.
This is certainly not surprising to learn, but it is amazing that Democrats are always this brazen about their hypocrisy:
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said taking money from a group doesn’t equate to supporting them. “It’s what you fight for and how you vote, it always has been,” Kerry said in a recent interview. “It’s hard to run for office and not have somebody in some sector or some industry have contributed to you; but the question is, are you voting commonsense and values and for the interests of the people, broadly?”
See? It’s ok to pander for money from greedy, Wall Street 1%-types, who, say some OWS clowns, should be executed, and throw them under the bus while on the campaign trail at the same time.
It’s also OK for Senator Kerry to dock his boat in Rhode Island to avoid his state’s onerous luxury yacht taxes. It’s all for the betterment of Massachusetts voters, and Americans in general. So, when will you ignorant Tea Partiers stop being such rubes?
The leftist MoveOn.org/union-sponsored Occupy Wall Street crowd is doubling down on the anger:
Several influential New York lawmakers have received threatening emails saying it is “time to kill the wealthy” if they don’t renew the state’s tax surcharge on the millionaires, according to reports.
“It’s time to tax the millionaires!” reads the email, according to WTEN in Albany. “If you don’t, I’m going to pay a visit with my carbine to one of those tech companies you are so proud of and shoot every spoiled Ivy League [expletive] I can find.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos reportedly received the email, as did Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari. The governor’s office did not tell the New York Daily News whether the governor himself received the email.
The email, with the threatening subject line of, “time to kill the wealthy,” was detailed and disturbing.
“How hard is it for us to stake out one of the obvious access roads to some tech company, tail an employee home and toss a liquor bottle full of flaming gasoline through their nice picture window into their cute house,” wrote the author of the email.
The email references terminology that has been used in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement – that of 1 percent super-rich exploiting the remaining 99 percent of Americans. The angry message demanded that Albany politicians “stop shoveling wealth from the lower 99% into the top 1%” and “set aside your ‘no new taxes on anybody’ pledge.” [...]
“You’re going to do [renew the surcharge], or we are going to sow the kind of choas [sic] you are unequipped to deal with,” the email said. “And you’re going to find yourself in a country where you and your wealthy friends are gonig [sic] to be hunted.”
But this is not class warfare. No. That’s legitimate protesting right there.
Question for those Democrats in Congress who have not yet supported this protest–will you be denouncing the vagrants at Occupy Wall Street now, or after blood is shed?
Ladies and gentlemen, the second in command of the United States Senate:
Holding up a plastic debit card on the Senate floor this afternoon, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., had some advice for Bank of America customers angry about the new $5 monthly fee: leave.
“Bank of America customers, vote with your feet, get the heck out of that bank,” Durbin said on the Senate floor. “Find yourself a bank or credit union that won’t gouge you for $5 a month and still will give you a debit card that you can use every single day. What Bank of America has done is an outrage.”
Durbin said consumers are rightfully outraged about last week’s announcement.
“It is hard to believe that a bank would impose such a fee on loyal customers who simply are trying to access their own money on deposit at Bank of America,” he said. “Especially when Bank of America for years has been encouraging their customers to use debit cards as much as possible.”
Most basic checking accounts at Bank of America will see a 40 percent jump in monthly costs and the bank says the debit fee will be waived for customers who upgrade to “premium” accounts that require higher minimum balances.
The Dodd-Frank financial law this month lowers “interchange fees” that banks can charge retailers for debit transactions. Fees for retailers will shrink from 44 cents to a cap of 24 cents, which has led some debit card issuers to seek other ways to make up that lost revenue. Some people have blamed Durbin for his amendment, which capped the so-called swipe fees that banks can charge retailers.
You read that correctly. Senator Durbin is encouraging a run on the largest holder of cash deposits in the country. Am I the only one that finds this disturbing? This, in addition to the fact that Dick Durbin is entirely to blame for the amendment to the Dodd-Frank monstrosity which forced the bank’s hand in the first place?
Is anyone surprised? This is class warfare–pitting one group of citizens against another. But then again, it’s part of the weaponry there at the Democrat party.
So much for the “rich don’t pay taxes” meme:
The data tell a different story. On average, the wealthiest people in America pay a lot more taxes than the middle class or the poor, according to private and government data. They pay at a higher rate, and as a group, they contribute a much larger share of the overall taxes collected by the federal government.
There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. That, however, was less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.
This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.
Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.
Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.
Facts are difficult for the left to embrace.
With unemployment remaining over 9%, and Democrats providing nothing in the way of solutions, it’s no wonder voters are getting fed up:
[Democrat David] Weprin tried to adopt that strategy, warning that Turner would try to cut programs like Medicare and Social Security. But with unemployment still stubbornly high and voters upset with Washington over the debt ceiling negotiations, the pledge to protect entitlements was less resonant this time.
Democratic leaders trying to explain their bad night blamed it on the quirkiness of low-turnout special elections.
“The results in NY-09 are not reflective of what will happen in November 2012 when Democratic challengers run against Republican incumbents who voted to end Medicare and cut Social Security while protecting tax loopholes for big corporations and the ultra wealthy,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel of New York.
So Democrats are still sticking to the same talking points, despite a big denunciation of those talking points. Sounds like they have no solution that doesn’t involve wasting more taxpayer money. That’s a great strategy. For Republicans.
UPDATE. Mickey Kaus echoes what I wrote earlier on the failure of Mediscare:
After decades of pledging not to touch the two sacred programs, it’s beginning to look as if Democrats can’t just suddenly agree to pull trillions out of Social Security and Medicare and expect voters to maintain their reflexive loyalties. [...]
Scaring voters about Paul Ryan and the Tea Partiers’s entitlement cuts was what was going to save Obama’s party from being dragged down even if Obama himself goes the way of Jimmy Carter. Now it looks as if that life preserver won’t float. …
Read Kaus’ entire post. He’s citing a Dave Weigel piece, which includes this bit of tragedy for Dems:
It’s the start of a problem for Democrats, who have gone from attacking the Ryan plans for entitlement reform to vouching support for some undefined “everything on the table” entitlement reform. There might not be any way for Democrats to dodge this, and there’s no sign that they want to. And that leaves all of them in the position of Democrats in New York’s 9th. Their traditional base, weary of the recession, not sure what Democrats have to offer any more, are ready to be wedged.
For those who want a brief, succinct explanation of the stench of cronyism, the stench of political corruption that is the story of President Obama and Solyndra, here is a five-panel cartoon.
First one in the series: