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May 02, 2017

Republicans' Complete Surrender on Budget Has Democrats Feeling, for Some Unexplained Reason, That They Can Bully Republicans Into Surrendering on All Other Agenda Items Too

Failure Theater -- it's what's for breakfast, elevensies, brunch, lunch, late lunch, early dinner, late dinner, and late night coffee and pie.

Steven Hayward asks who needs #TheResistance when you have Republicans writing the budget?

The Democrats are so confident of their eternal whip hand in budget disputes that they openly threatened to shut the government down if their demands were not granted this time around, without bothering to conceal the threat at all. They know Republicans believe they will be held responsible for any such crisis. It doesn’t matter how many red-ink-stained Democrat fingers are on the shutdown. It wouldn't matter if Democrat senators and representatives were caught on video running around Washington and pulling the plugs out of government computers. Terrified Republican leaders are convinced the media will never, ever frame the crisis as "Democrats Shut Down Federal Government to Protect Illegal Alien Criminals."

The GOP Establishment just emerged from a presidential primary in which Donald Trump bulldozed a huge field of top-shelf Republican contenders, in no small part because the public was furious with Republican inability to make progress on a conservative agenda despite holding both House and Senate. They seem to have learned nothing from the experience.

The GOP promised that if voters gave them the Senate in 2014 -- an outcome deemed extremely unlikely going into the election cycle -- they would march over former Majority Leader Harry Reid's political grave and get things done at last.

That didn't happen. We were told the power of President Obama's veto pen was unbeatable. But Obama didn’t even have to use that pen, because the revolutionary new GOP Congress immediately set about giving the Democrat minority near-total control over the budget. The first item on the Republican leadership agenda in 2015 was sidelining every young Republican representative who took all that balanced-budget limited-government stuff seriously. By the end of the year, Democrats were crowing that House Speaker Paul Ryan and his allies "gave away the store."

It's funny how having a Republican president doesn’t slow down Democrat budget priorities a bit, isn't it? In 2009, Republicans said they were helpless without congressional majorities. In 2010 they won the House, but said they were helpless without the Senate. Then they took the Senate, but said they were helpless without the White House. Democrats today are basically where Republicans were in 2009... but they're not helpless at all. They’re still writing the budget and treating the GOP leadership like Harry Potter's house elves. Paul Ryan can only hope that one day Nancy Pelosi will mistakenly give him a sock and set him free.

In 2009-2010, the Democrats demanded that their at-risk House members vote for the unpopular Obamacare even if it meant most of them being wiped out in the midterms, which most of them were. Nevertheless, they dutifully walked the plank in service of commitments they'd made to their voters.

And what do we get, when we have the same situation? We have a budget-giveaway to make sure Barbara Comstock doesn't lose her meaningless blue-ish district seat by having to vote on anything that could upset "moderates."

If I don't blog about actual politics much anymore, it's because I don't see any real politics to argue about. I see a lot of kabuki theater designed to keep Republican politicians safe, while doing nothing to advance conservative agenda items.

If Republican office-holders are done with even pretending to care anything about their phony-baloney jobs and paying off their friends in the lobbying and influence-peddling industries, why should Republican voters continue pretending we care whether they keep their jobs or not?

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posted by Ace at 03:49 PM

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