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.
And when can I start volunteering for him?
A generic Republican candidate now holds a four-point lead over President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election matchup. It’s a fifth week in a row that the GOP candidate has been ahead and the widest gap between the candidates to date.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds a generic Republican candidate earns support from 46% of Likely U.S. Voters, while the president picks up 42% of the vote. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.Last week, the Republican held a 45% to 43% advantage.
Forget T-Paw vs Mittens, or Cain vs whoever. Looks like the fireworks in the GOP 2012 fight are between
Rollins Bachmann and Palin:
Michele Bachmann’s new top consultant, Ed Rollins, began his tenure with scathing criticism of potential Bachmann rival Sarah Palin.
“Sarah has not been serious over the last couple of years,” Rollins told Brian Kilmeade on his radio show, Kilmeade and Friends. “She got the Vice Presidential thing handed to her, she didn’t go to work in the sense of trying to gain more substance, she gave up her governorship.”
I understand that this is what campaign consultants do, and Ed Rollins is all about Ed Rollins more than Michelle Bachmann. But but can anyone really disagree with his criticisms of Palin here? Palin fell out of favor with me after she resigned as governor of Alaska. She built some decent political capital, had a decent approval rating, etc. And not for nothing, but she has done a disservice to herself over the past few years and her ugly poll numbers will be tough to overcome.
UPDATE. The story gets a bit more interesting.
It’s barely Tuesday and it’s already the worst week ever for the Gingrich campaign. Will Gingrich flame out before the campaign is even a week old?
[South Carolina Governor Nikki] Haley, whose promise to endorse a presidential candidate has made her a key power broker in the Republican primary fight, joined in the chorus Tuesday and said she is “terribly disappointed” in Gingrich.
“What he said was absolutely unfortunate,” Haley told CNN in a phone interview. “Here you’ve got Representative Ryan trying to bring common sense to this world of insanity, and Newt absolutely cut him off at the knees.”
“When you have a conservative fighting for real change, the last thing we need is a presidential candidate cutting him off at the knees,” she added.
It’s easy to figure out Newt’s Road to the White House from here. Let’s see now:
1) Piss off Iowa Republicans? Check
2) Piss off South Carolina Republicans? Check
4) President Gingrich!
A sincere hat-tip goes to Governor Haley, especially for the last sentence in that excerpt. Paul Ryan has done what most politicians would never dare to do–formulate and actually present a plan to reform our disastrous entitlement programs. The President, the Democrats in Congress–not one of them is proposing anything. And certainly not Newt Gingrich. He’d rather
see what the polls are saying and play to the elderly vote “have a conversation” about entitlement reform. That’s not leadership, Mr. Speaker. That’s more of the same crap. Which is what we don’t need nor want.
Call it ignorance or call it brazen. Either way, you have to call it dumb. Haley Barbour makes his case for his potential candidacy:
But let me just make this very plain. I’m a lobbyist, a politician, and a lawyer. You know, that the trifecta. And I am willing to have my record in front of everybody.
Meanwhile, as a lobbyist, he and his firm pushed for amnesty:
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour made the case Sunday on Fox News that his career as a high-powered federal lobbyist for domestic corporations and foreign governments would be an asset if he ran for President in 2012.
Barbour may be eager to showcase his record, but one of Barbour’s foreign lobbying clients could cause him some troubles in the 2012 Republican primary, if he decides to run. According to a State Department filing by Barbour’s former lobbying firm, The Embassy of Mexico decided to retain Barbour’s services on August 15, 2001, to work on, among other things, legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for foreigners living illegally in the United States—what opponents of immigration reform call “amnesty.”
So there you have it. Barbour’s literally sold out on behalf of shamnesty, while admitting that he’s a bona fide lobbyist/politician. Meanwhile he’s trying to win the hearts of conservatives and Republican voters, in the middle of a Tea Party revolt that is shunning career politicians. And he’s also an older, white and portly Mississippi native with a deep Southern accent.
Good luck with that.
UPDATE. Behold a Memeorandum thread!
UPDATE. Robert Stacy McCain on Barbour’s previous endeavors:
That will go over real good with GOP primary voters in Iowa, I’m sure.
This is an actual story at Politico. When the pundits scratch their heads as to why Congressional approval ratings are at all-time lows, its partially due to things like this:
Momentum is building to mix the traditionally partisan seating arrangements at the State of the Union later this month, even though there’s no clear plan for how to actually make that happen.
Several Senate Republicans have signed on to the effort, along with a few key House leaders, who have endorsed Democratic Sen. Mark Udall’s proposal to head across the aisle – literally – and sit with members of the opposite party during the annual address on Jan. 25.
All told, more than two dozen members of Congress have publicly endorsed the idea.
Congressional seating is open at the State of the Union on a first-come basis, so anyone can sit anywhere — outside of the first few rows reserved for cabinet officials, Supreme Court justices and certain congressional leaders.
The real test will come the evening of the address, when members will choose to sit with their parties or mix it up. But at least on paper, Udall’s request for a “symbolic gesture of unity” is gaining support.
Unemployment is over 9%. Economic growth is anemic, and the housing market is in a double-dip. But Americans should be comforted in the fact that our elected overlords are making progress on Congressional comity and seating arrangements all in the name of bogus “unity”.
The alternate title for this post is “Glutton for punishment attempts another flushing of donors’ contributions down the toilet.”
Sources close to former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani confirm to CBS News that the Republican is talking to his political advisers about mounting another presidential bid.
Giuliani, whose 2008 presidential campaign fell flat, has learned from his mistakes, a source says, and will retool his strategy, beginning with a strong start in the early primary state of New Hampshire.
The New York Post first reported on Giuliani’s moves Friday morning. According to the Post, Giuliani is optimistic about his chances, predicting a Republican primary populated with far-right candidates like Sarah Palin. That would allow him to stand out as a moderate candidate with strong national security credentials. The Post reports Giuliani will meet with voters in New Hampshire next month.
I’d like to know who these “political advisers” are and, if I ever run for President, immediately burn their business cards.
Seriously, is he really considering this? In the wake of an election that saw conservatives all over the country organize and assert themselves as the driving force in the party, one which propelled Republicans into majority status in the House, Giuliani really wants to paint himself as a moderate savior for the GOP? Really??
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
“The goal, backers said, is to underscore the limited-government rules the Founders imposed on Congress – and to try to bring some of those principles back into everyday legislating.
“It stems from the debate that we’ve had for the last two years about things like the exercise of authority in a whole host of different areas by the EPA, we’ve had this debate in relation to the health care bill, the cap-and-trade legislation,” said Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, who proposed the reading. “This Congress has been very aggressive in expanding the power of the federal government, and there’s been a big backlash to that.”
Setting aside time at the beginning of the congressional session for the reading is just one of the changes to House rules that Republicans say are designed to open up the legislative process. They say the new rules also will try to bring some restraints to lawmaking after decades in which both Republican and Democratic leaders whittled away opportunities for real legislative give-and-take.
The biggest changes would make it easier to cut spending and harder to create entitlement programs, while imposing restrictions that could keep leaders from jamming massive bills onto the House floor before lawmakers have had a chance to digest them.
This is all well and good, but reading the Constitution is one thing. Governing based on its principles is quite another.
Voters need to keep an eye on what our representatives do in Congress, as well as what they say. I’ve read that the Republican party is on probation in this Congress, and I agree with that.
The Tea Party is the proverbial tail trying to wag the Republican Party dog, not the other way around. And to paraphrase Bart Simpson, Washington D.C. is a hideous bitch goddess. Tea Partiers in Congress are only human after all (with the exception of Congressman-elect Allen West) , and are susceptible to its free-spending and corrupt ways. These things can happen in spite of the symbolism of reading the Constitution out loud.
That being said, I am as cynical as they come, and I would love to be proven wrong.
[Hat Tip: Hot Air Headlines]
UPDATE. When the House Republicans are done reading the Constitution, they may want to figure out how to fight and beat the Obama adminstration on political battles like this:
When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.
Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.
Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.
The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.
More to the point of my original post, does the new House majority have the backbone to go to the mattresses on these issues?
Ed Morrissey writes:
This is just the opening gambit of a strategy Obama will use throughout the coming year in order to achieve through regulation what a Democrat-run Congress could not deliver through legislation. The new Republican House will have to use its power of the purse to stop this autocratic imposition of regulation, and remain vigilant in doing so on all fronts. Let’s hope the GOP gets used to fighting this process over the next two years.
Yes, let’s hope.
Senate Democrats have filed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would fund the government through fiscal year 2011, according to Senate GOP sources.
The 1,924-page bill includes funding to implement the sweeping healthcare reform bill Congress passed earlier this year as well as additional funds for Internal Revenue Service agents, according to a senior GOP aide familiar with the legislation.
The package drew a swift rebuke from Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
“The attempt by Democrat leadership to rush through a nearly 2,000-page spending bill in the final days of the lame-duck session ignores the clear will expressed by the voters this past election,” Thune said in a statement. “This bill is loaded up with pork projects and should not get a vote. Congress should listen to the American people and stop this reckless spending.”
Just a complete and utter disregard for the will of American
Oh, and did I mention they’re Democrats? By that I mean, there are Republicans in the mix too:
Despite strong opposition from Thune and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), several Senate Republicans are considering voting for the bill.
“That’s my intention,” said retiring Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) when asked if he would support the package.
Bennett said earmarks in the bill might give some of his GOP colleagues reason to hesitate but wouldn’t affect his vote.
“It will be tough for some, but not for me,” he said.
GOP Sens. Kit Bond (Mo.), George Voinovich (Ohio) and Susan Collins (Maine) also told The Hill on Tuesday they would consider voting for the omnibus but want to review it before making a final decision.
Hey Senator Bennett, don’t let the cloakroom door kick you in the backside on the way out. Did I mention that these people are all a bunch of lying, sanctimonious douchebags?
Senator McConnell says he’s trying to stop this insanity:
“I think there are many Senate members who have provisions in it for their states who are also actively working to defeat it. This bill should not go forward,” he said. “And regardless of whether members had some input in the bill much earlier in the year when the bills could have been moved to the floor bill by bill by bill, it is completely and totally inappropriate to wrap all of this up into a 2,000-page bill and try to pass it the week before Christmas.”
“It’s completely inappropriate. I’m vigorously in opposition to it. And most of the members of the [Appropriations] committee are as well,” McConnell added.
For some reason, Mitch McConnell vowing to stop the bill from coming to a vote doesn’t fill me with any sense of confidence whatsoever.
If you’re looking for reasons why the American people are sick of politicians and don’t particularly care about the political process in this country, this whole episode is a prime example of one.
We’re still too far out from 2012 to put credence into any poll, but this McClatchy-Marist survey is not good for Obama. It’s so bad in fact, that Mitt Romney would win in a potential matchup:
President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have sunk to the lowest level of his presidency, so low that he’d lose the White House to Republican Mitt Romney if the election were held today, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.
The biggest reason for Obama’s fall: a sharp drop in approval among Democrats and liberals, apparently unhappy with his moves toward the center since he led the party to landslide losses in November’s midterm elections. At the same time, he’s gained nothing among independents.
“He’s having the worst of both worlds right now,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York, which conducted the national survey.
“As he moves to the center, he’s not picking up support among independents and he’s having some fall-off among his base. If his strategy is to gain independents and keep the Democrats in tow, it isn’t working so far.”
Once again, Republicans have a chance to win by default. Not because their candidate is so much better, but because the Democrat just sucks that much more.
Plus, there’s this bit:
[President Obama] easily defeat Republican former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, however. He’d get 52 percent of registered voters and she’d get 40 percent, if the election were held today.
The key in each matchup is independents.
Romney had the best advantage over the president among independents, preferred by 47-39 percent. Independents break for Obama over Huckabee by 42-40 percent. Palin fares much worse among independents. They favor the president over her by 52-35 percent.
For the record, I’m of the belief that the President is doing irreperable harm by
punching the hippies sticking it to his core base of supporters–the progressive/liberal left that mobilized en masse during the 2007-2008, along with various others who were duped by the Greek columns.
That being said, pissing off these people means that Obama is moving towards the center, which is more in tune to where the majority of Americans stand. Nobody really knows how that will affect his bid for reelection.
As for Sarah Palin, I’m pretty much convinced that the best role for her would be as head of the RNC. My
web surfing casual observance of various polls over the past few months show little if any positive news for her if she ran in a national campaign. Her favorables are typically below where they should be, and she rarely fares well in head-to-head matchups with the President. But again, 2012 is a long way off.