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.
New documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious guns operation as far back as July of 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.
On May 3, 2011, Holder told a Judiciary Committee hearing, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
In Fast and Furious, ATF agents allegedly allowed thousands of weapons to cross the border and fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. It’s called letting guns “walk,” and it remained secret to the public until Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered last December. Two guns from Fast and Furious were found at the scene. And ATF agent John Dodson blew the whistle on the operation.
Corruption abounds in this White House and the media is complicit in trying to hide it all.
No hope here. But lots of change, and for the worse, in a poll taken last week:
Eight of 10 say the economy is in a recession, and nearly as many say it hasn’t improved over the past year. Even more ominous: Six in 10 predict the economy a year from now will be the same or worse than today, a downturn from the public’s views last year and the year before.
In the USA TODAY survey, the public’s economic expectations were reversed from where they stood two years ago, soon after economists calculated the recession officially had ended. In September 2009, 65% predicted the economy would be better in a year; 35% said it would be about the same or worse.
Now, 37% say things will be better in a year; 61% say they will be the same or worse.
While a third of the respondents still attribute some of the blame to President Bush, that particular Democrat talking point is fading:
Twenty-four percent say Obama deserves a great deal of the blame, up 10 points since 2009. For the first time since he took office, a majority of Americans — including six in 10 independents — say he deserves a great deal or moderate amount of blame for the nation’s economic woes.
“The blame-it-on-my-predecessor line is of decreasing help to an incumbent,” says political scientist William Mayer of Northeastern University. “It was perfectly fine when he took office, and even reasonable a year or two in, but eventually, increasingly, it becomes Obama’s economy.
I think Obama pushed the blame-it-on-Bush string much too long. About two years too long. When you campaign on vague promises of hope and change, as the savior of an economy that was teetering on disaster, there had better be solid improvements in people’s economic well-being, relatively quickly. Especially after you made it a point to tell everyone that your predecessor’s economic policies failed, with the implication being that yours are so much better.
So much for that.
This is either scraping the bottom of the ideas barrel or the president is light years ahead of the rest of us, and knows something we don’t:
Mr. Obama, in a bit of political salesmanship, will call his proposal the “Buffett Rule,” in a reference to Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained repeatedly that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than do middle-income workers, because investment gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages.
Mr. Obama will not specify a rate or other details, and it is unclear how much revenue his plan would raise. But his idea of a millionaires’ minimum tax will be prominent in the broad plan for long-term deficit reduction that he will outline at the White House on Monday.
So for the second time in a month, President Transparency proposes a literal blank slate of legislation, and is encouragin its passage. Kings have had harder times in mandating edicts.
What is this nonsense if it isn’t class warfare, and a desperate attempt to start discord among Republicans? After a disastrous few weeks for Obama and the Democrats, this is most definitely be his desired goal. The president knows that the proposed tax is dead on arrival in the House. He knows this. And anyone with a brain knows that this does nothing to create jobs, and is a drop in the bucket with regards to deficit reduction.
But Republicans will have to defend not endorsing it, and the administration, along with Democratic congressional leaders, will go on the offensive. But as the weeks drag on, and the government continues to pump out report after dismal report on the state of the economy (the September NFP report is out in a little over two weeks), it might not make a difference for the administration.
After yesterday’s special election loss in NY-09, the fallout is only beginning for Democrats:
Even before the polls closed, the recriminations — something short of panic, and considerably more than mere grumbling — had begun. On a high-level campaign conference call Tuesday afternoon, Democratic donors and strategists commiserated over their disappointment in Obama. A source on the call described the mood as “awful.”
“People feel betrayed, disappointed, furious, disgusted, hopeless,” said the source.
Less expansive but equally telling were the remarks of House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, who in a conversation with reporters Tuesday morning said bluntly that Obama would take some blame for the two special election losses.
“I think every election reflects on the person in charge, but do I think it is an overall statement on the president alone? No,” said Hoyer. “Do I think it will be interpreted as being a statement on Obama? That’s probably correct.”
A senior Hill Democratic aide was more direct in attempting to explain the New York loss: “The approval ratings for the guy at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue cratered.”
A Turner consultant, Steve Goldberg, validated that assessment: “It was all Obama — not even a thought of anything else.”
Got that? Democrats are feeling “hopeless”. HOPELESS! This under the tutelage of an empty suit, who brought nothing but styrofoam Greek columns and empty promises of Hope and Change to the table of our political discourse. If it wasn’t so damaging to the country, I’d encourage Obama and the Democrats to keep doing what they’re doing. Because it’s working wonders for the Republicans.
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: