It's not the $1.6 trillion Federal deficit this year that's "extreme" - it's the Republican proposal to trim it by a mere $61 billion. Obama's own 2012 Budget projects $7 trillion in new debt. But what's "radical" is defunding the Nevada Cowboy Poetry Festival.
This is one Conservative who has become totally frustrated - even to the point of disgust - at the effortless ease with which Democrats are controlling the budget narrative and trampling over Republicans.
The Democrat strategy is becoming clear: force a shutdown and pin the blame on Republicans.
Where the hell are Boehner, Ryan, and Cantor? Why isn't Mitch McConnell standing on the floor of the Senate with his hair on fire ripping into Reid and the Democrats with the fiery passion of a General George Patton?
The ghosts of 1995 are coming back to haunt Republican leadership. Boehner has conceded the GOP will get the blame for a shutdown. He may be right, but only because he and his leadership have been playing nice while Reid, Schumer, and Pelosi have taken slash-and-burn politics to a new level. Republicans are still playing defense against an all-out blitz by an aggressively-attacking Dem offense.
That needs to change.
A recent Gallup Poll indicates that only 13% of the public views debt/deficits as the most important issue facing the nation. That strongly suggests the average American doesn't understand the seriousness of the debt crisis and what their future will look like if the Democrats' insane spending habits cannot be stopped.
Republicans have an opportunity to draw the public to their side, but they must be forceful and relentless. And they must have a coordinated, consistent message that attacks on two fronts.
First, paint a dark, scary, "doom & gloom" portrait of the future we can expect if spending is not contained. Explain why a collapsing U.S. Dollar will give us $7 gas, sky-high interest rates, and double-digit inflation that will erode the purchasing power of all Americans. Make it ugly enough to scare the pants off everyone. Talk about the inevitable massive tax increases that are coming to pay off the debt and the resulting loss of many millions of jobs. Don't let up. Let Harry Reid whine about fear mongering all he wants, but keep pounding the message home.
Second, force Reid to explain his plan to pay back the $6 trillion in new debt they will have accumulated by the end of Obama's first (and hopefully last) term. Put him on defense. Make future budget/spending negotiations contingent on Reid's plan to pay off the new debt.
It's time to start passing out nasty pills to Republican leadership. They can't go into the rink with boxing gloves while Democrats are bringing switchblades, chains, and brass knuckles to the fight.
Playing nice won't get it done.