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March 16, 2017

OMB Director Mulvaney: This is a Hard Power Budget, Not a Big Bird Budget

Nice framing of the question:

"One of the questions we asked was can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs? The answer was no," he said. "We can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can't ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting."

One strange thing about Trump, which no one really knows what to make of yet, is that he is liberalish on some issues (like Trumpcare -- don't pin that all on Ryan), and yet is the embodiment of what the Establishment squishes deride as "Talk Radio Entertainment Wing conservatism" on the other.

The fact that they deride stuff like zeroing out NPR and the NEA s being Talk Radio Entertainment Wing conservatism -- despite having the candidates they work as consultants for parrot those same lines during campaigns -- a tells you a lot about their own brand of insincere conservatism. They like to posture as True Conservatives, but then, when a president pushes the very sorts of things they have instructed their candidates to insincerely campaign on, they start hemming and hawing.

They like trickin' the hicks while patting themselves on the back for being so much more clever and enlightened than the hicks to actually believe the crap they're peddling to the hobbit wack-a-doos.

This is why Trump's hucksterism and sometimes-painfully-obvious insincerity didn't bother some of us as much as it did others -- the GOP has been guilty of the same hucksterism and painfully-obvious insincerity for years.

Why should we deem Trump unfit for office because of his phony positioning, when we dutifully re-elect John "Build the Dang Fence" McCain every six years?

The people pretending to be the True Conservative Crying Eagle Brigade can't accuse Trump of peddling phony conservatism if they themselves join with progressives to block some fairly common-sensical (and long-promised) government cuts.

And I gotta give this much to Trump: He is at least attempting to move the Overton Window on many issues the True Conservative Crying Eagle Brigade has long pretended to want to move themselves, if only they could do so.

Well fellas, you have your opportunity now. Trump has pushed that boulder a little bit. Not enough to move it, but enough to rock it a little bit so that it can be moved if a few more shoulders start pushing.

Are you gonna start pushing the boulder up the hill, or are you gonna go where it's safe, standing beside the progressives and the media (BIRM) to keep that boulder stuck in the same place it's been for 60 years?

Trump has a mix of virtues and flaws that make him dangerous -- dangerous to many things, including himself, the country, the GOP, but also dangerous to the current intolerable Standard Operating Procedure of Washington DC.

He's brazen, too rich and too egotistical to be easily cowed by insults and media attacks, impulsive, and ambitious to make a mark. (Observe the large "T's" on the many monuments he's built to himself.)

You don't get many presidents who are not only willing but eager to serve as lightning rods for criticism. He seems to enjoy bad press as much as good press.

This was a guy that few conservatives expected much from, and who will definitely disappoint us on many things. (Trumpcare being one; entitlement reform probably being another.)

But on the first hand -- not the other hand; this hand should be the first to be counted -- he is shockingly willing to defy the established liberal order and propose things that no conventional politician ever would.

I certainly did not expect him to propose some kind of Rand-Paul-like Stunt Budget as one of his first moves.

Are alleged conservative elected officials going to seize upon this moment -- which might never come again, as it's never really come before -- or are they going let it slip by, claiming, as they always do, "Well we really want to do that but (fading muttering about "political realities" and "the media")..."?

Obama was brazen. He was doctrinaire ideologue, as Paul Ryan called him, and he lied his way into imposing state-run health care on the nation, as his socialist party had been determined to do for 30 or 40 years.

It did cost him, no doubt -- he did lose the Congress.

Remember the spectacle of vulnerable Democrats begging Nancy Pelosi to be one of the handful of Democrats permitted to vote "no" on Obamacare? A few (like 7 or 12) got free passes to vote "no;" the others were ordered to fall upon their swords.

And they did fall upon their swords.

Obama and the Democrats seized that moment and risked the seats of their vulnerable members to make a change that, sadly, America will probably be at least partly saddled with forever.

They lied to the country, sure. But they kept all the promises they meant to keep.

So are we ever going to do that ourselves, or are we going to keep right on going with the plan to Make America Safe for Republican Incumbent Congressmen Again?

We don't even have to lie. We just have to actually follow through on things we've claimed to support for 30-40 years.

So: Do we really support these things, or not?

Because if you finally have the opportunity to get the things you claim you want -- or at least fight desperately to get them -- and you decide instead to let the country continue drifting towards socialism, you really don't get to run on these claims in the future, ever again.

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posted by Ace at 04:31 PM

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