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Playoffs! *updated, Houston Kills the Bengals | Main | Liveblogging the GOP NH Playoffs
January 07, 2012

Lefties Wet Their Pants Thinking about Post-Obama America
or, I Want What They Fear. [ArthurK]

Washington Monthly looks at what might happen in DC if Obama is out on his ass in 2013. It's the stuff of nightmares! Interestingly, there are little to no worries about the debt, deficit, unemployment rate, jobs... I guess they assume these won't be problems with a Republican President.

The selected quotes are not what I consider to be true or false but are what make these progs wake up screaming. This is what they're afraid of.

What If He Loses.

... there’s also a widespread assumption that extreme positions taken in the primaries will fade in the general election as candidates "move to the center," and will disappear entirely once the serious business of governing begins. Surely President Newt Gingrich would not get rid of child labor laws. Surely President Perry would not seek to eliminate three cabinet departments.

We don’t think that this year, with this GOP, those assumptions are warranted. And so we asked a distinguished group of reporters and scholars to think through the hitherto unthinkable: What if one of these people actually wins?

This Time It's Different

The failure of the GOP to shrink government the last three times it had power is precisely what motivates the anger of the Tea Party base - a force that still exhibits an amazing ability to lead the Republican Party by the nose.

The Tea Party’s whole MO has been about finding ways to lash their elected officials to the mast - be it through Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge or the threat of primary challenges.

That’s why things will be different this time if the Republicans sweep back into power,

the Tea Party only needs two years in power to make the changes they have in mind - changes that would be destructive, far reaching, and in many ways tamper-proof. Even if they then lose, their antigovernment agenda will live on.

Campaign Promises - What they say is how they’ll govern.

presidents usually try to enact the policies they advocate during the campaign

(evidence and examples in the linked article)

The Tea Party - Picking the candidates and writing the agenda.

It’s easy to think that the Tea Party is on the wane. ... But this is the wrong way to look at the Tea Party. After 2010, the movement evolved. Activists got jobs with newly elected Republicans. Political organizations ... grew their staffs and budgets.

This new, professionalized Tea Party may not have the numbers to pack the National Mall with tricorne hats, but it has proved itself spectacularly adept at two other tasks: exacting promises and submission from presidential candidates; and setting the Republican policy agenda. And in a representative government, at a time when a languishing economy and anemic voter turnout may turn the odds against Democrats, truly - what else matters?

The next Republican nominee will agree with the Tea Party on every issue of substance.

Romney: he endorsed the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" pledge. ... That’s just a taste of what the Tea Party has extracted from Romney.

The Tea Party Budget suggested where the movement will go next. It endorsed the elimination of four Cabinet agencies... privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ... Amtrak. It killed farm subsidies, ethanol subsidies, ($1t) worth of defense spending, and whatever might be left of TARP.

"Obamacare"? Gone ... Social Security? Optionally privatized for workers under thirty, ... the Tea Party expects Republicans to govern if they win. Anything less than a top-to-bottom rethink of post-1933 federalism is unacceptable.

The goal of government, come 2013, should be to erase what the government has been doing.

The movement’s ideal budget reform: zero-based budgeting.

Amazing that this (budgeting) is something that terrifies progressives.

Congress - The good news is, no more gridlock...

(During recent periods of GOP presidency and congressional control) During both these periods of GOP dominance, entitlement and other programs grew substantially. The question is, would this time be different? We believe the answer is yes ... even if the candidate who defeats Obama is Mitt Romney ...

a Republican victory in 2012 would do nothing to reverse or restrain the radically rightward march of the party. ... set upon blowing up policies and public responsibilities that enjoyed bipartisan support for many decades.

If McConnell can find fifty votes to pass through a bill that fundamentally alters the policy landscape, eviscerating or erasing health reform and financial regulation and changing Social Security and Medicare, and confirming a slew of forty-something conservative judges who will be on the bench for decades, there is a better-than-even chance that he would succumb to temptation and erase the filibuster rule by fiat.

The Courts - The conservative takeover will be complete.

Imagine a Democratic presidential nominee running on promises to reshape, remake, make over, hog-tie, or even just refinish the federal bench. It doesn’t happen.

They don't have to promise it - it's assumed.

Foreign Affairs - The "more enemies, fewer friends" doctrine.

Obama, in short, is a soft man in a hard world - which is pretty much what Republicans have been saying about Democrats since Vietnam.

the time has come to replace the gentle handshake with the clenched fist.

That's how they see ROMNEY!

The real difference between a hypothetical Republican president and Obama is that a Republican would be prepared to launch an attack on Iran

Rick Perry, harking back to hoary Cold War rhetoric in fact, to Marxist rhetoric - has proclaimed that "the communist Chinese government will end up on the ash heap of history."

Romney would increase defense spending by at least $50 billion a year

A Republican president would stand by the Israeli leadership even if it behaved in ways that inflamed the Palestinians, and the Arab world in general.

The U.S. under a President Romney - or Gingrich or Perry - ... will have more adversaries - including Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, and "Islamists," ...

Those are our adversaries NOW!

Washington might respond by defunding all or part of the (UN).

The Environment - The end of the EPA as we know it.

Crippling the EPA is now a consensus objective in the mainstream of the Republican Party.

(on the Senate) analyst Nate Silver, "it’s within the realm of possibility that they could gain a net of thirteen seats."

America’s environmental laws have faced threats before. But depending for survival on the tensile strength of Mitt Romney’s integrity? That would be a precarious position indeed.

Financial Regulation - Back to the good ol’ days of 2008.

every major Republican presidential candidate has pledged to repeal Dodd- Frank in its entirety. ... Most of the major presidential candidates have stated that they intend to repeal Sarbanes-Oxley,

Obamacare - It’s toast.

I’m wondering if a new president would really overturn the law...

With majorities in both houses, Republicans would surely try to pass a full repeal of (Obamacare) ... what leverage or incentive would President Romney really have ... to preserve elements of his predecessor’s signature domestic policy legacy?

(blocking repeal via filibuster) conservatives are already building the political foundation for slaying the ACA in reconciliation through a massive "repeal and replace" bill passed on party lines with no possibility for a filibuster. (the reconciliation turnabout)

Mitt Romney himself said that he favors repealing (Obamacare) via reconciliation

That this comes out less than 6 months after the "Summer of Obama" essay is vastly entertaining.

Also, I tweet at @ComradeArthur

digg this
posted by Open Blogger at 06:05 PM

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