EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for September 16, 2011
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I think it is painfully obvious to everyone who is paying attention to anything that is happening in America that the economy will be the deciding factor in the 2012 elections, absent a major terrorist attack or other unforeseeable game-changing event. I don’t know of anyone who thinks at this stage of the game that 2012 ought to be primarily a referendum on abortion. That having been said, the claim has been made by some who purport to represent the TEA Party movement that social issues are divisive and should be avoided completely in favor of massive slashing of government spending. These individuals typically push the argument that if the GOP would just adopt wholesale Randianism, the GOP would be primed for electoral success. CNN just released a new poll (.pdf warning) which shows that these beliefs are not only untrue with respect to the American population at large, but also untrue of the TEA Party rank and file.
In the first place, CNN asked of all adults whether they favored eliminating the Department of Education, a stump speech staple of so-called TEA Party candidates and leaders. The American public overwhelmingly rejects this idea by a whopping 24-74 margin. That is not to say that eliminating the Department of Education wouldn’t be a good idea; the point is that it’s a surefire electoral loser in all 50 states. If we are going to talk about an issue that should be backbenched for the sake of electoral expediency, the “eliminate the Department of Education” rhetoric would be a good place to start.
By way of contrast, CNN’s poll reveals that the American public is broadly supportive of vastly more restrictions on abortion than are currently in place today. Only 37% of respondents indicated that abortion should be either “legal in all circumstances” or “legal in most circumstances.” 62% of respondents indicated that abortion should be either “legal in a few circumstances” or “illegal in all circumstances.” Given that abortion is effectively “legal in all circumstances” in America today (a position supported by only 25% of respondents), the idea that imposing additional restrictions on abortion would doom the GOP is completely unsupported by anything other than the fatuous projections of people who want to appear smart and enlightened before the media.
I feel like a broken record, but it is just very hard to give some people the benefit of the doubt. It is one thing after another, day after day. House Republican Leaders are on a crusade to cave with the President.
Never mind that in the opinion of nearly every main stream political analyst the President is on the ropes. My inbox is flooded with news articles about his declining popularity in blue states and the aftermath of this week’s GOP special election victories. But House Republicans modus operandi is still to avoid the fight.
This week, it was their insistence on a continuing resolution (CR) at levels far above the Paul Ryan-House passed budget in order to align with the bad debt deal they passed earlier in the year (because they were unwilling to fight). Then it was their shadiness in passing a six-month highway extension at levels far above the same Paul Ryan-House passed budget without a roll-call vote. They’re only now beginning to criticize the President’s new stimulus plan such that the President’s only glimmer of hope is that the public still doesn’t know how bad or unworkable it is. Why? Because Republicans are afraid of being the party of no. I thought we put that meme to bed last year.
And now we find that tucked into the recently unveiled CR is the provision to bail out the Postal Service, which I wrote about yesterday. Who knows what else is in there.
As the Solyndra scandal continues to unfold, Americans are clamoring for the President to take responsibility. With more suspicious details coming to light, multiple entities have launched investigations—the FBI, the Inspector General of the Energy Department, the Inspector General of the Treasury Department, and the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee. From what we’ve seen so far, the verdict seems pretty clear: the White House recklessly propped up Solyndra to please campaign backers and stage a political photo op.
Now that the White House has finally released some 900 pages of emails, it’s obvious the White House was playing favorites. As the New York Times reported, one White House official emailed Solyndra to say “we’re cheering for you.” Other emails include messages from Solyndra officials that misrepresented the state of the company’s affairs, saying things like “things are going well” and touting themselves as “a true success story.”
One of my favorite groups in Washington is Heritage Action for America. A major indicator of their success is that the Washington GOP Establishment planted a story in Roll Call about their lack of influence.
The article was clearly planted by House Republican leadership staffers, the same staffers who planted a story about me in the Washington Post at the end of July about how I have no influence and nobody listens to me. Two weeks after these House leadership aides declared, anonymously, that I had no influence I introduced Rick Perry at the RedState Gathering where he declared his candidacy for President.
No influence. It is the same with Heritage Action for America. You know a conservative wields influence when House leadership staffers push out stories about the conservatives’ lack of influence, but are too chicken to go on record about it. Nobodies don’t get booed.
Kicking off the attack was Congressman Geoff Davis of Kentucky (HAFA Score: 63%) telling Ginni Thomas at the Daily Caller that “Heritage Action is a self-interested fundraising organization led by a former Giuliani staffer who is not taking counsel from real conservatives … It is a worthless organization to the conservative movement. I’ll be the first to say that.” Congressman Davis, who opposed social security reform, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform, and offshore drilling while supporting farm subsidies, cash for clunkers, green energy subsidies, the AFL-CIO, and NEA spending, was the only person willing to go on record attacking HAFA.
In the latest blow to “consensus”, Dr. Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Laureate, has resigned from the American Physical Society over the group’s position on global warming. His resignation letter minces no words.
For some time now, I and others have been documenting the relentless assault on economic growth by the EPA under President Barack Obama. I feel like a broken record at times trying to beat this drum and get people to realize that while Obama doesn’t keep all of his campaign promises, destroying the coal industry is one that he has done everything he can to stay true to.
For anyone that paid attention during the 2008 presidential cycle, Obama made it clear that it was his intention to bankrupt the coal industry through regulation and legislation. Think it’s hyperbole? Listen to it from the horse’s mouth.
Obama’s dreams of green jobs have run into some snags lately. The bankruptcy of solar panel company Solyndra, which received half a billion dollars in loan guarantees, is not good for the goal of greenifying our lives. Objectively speaking, there is one simple reason that companies like Solyndra just couldn’t make ends meet: the prices that they need to charge for their products are simply too high to create true market demand.
However, market demand can also be altered by a lack of choice. For instance, if there was a cheaper form of liquid that could fuel my car, I’d most certainly gravitate towards it as opposed to the $3.50 per gallon price I’m currently paying for gasoline.
Unfortunately for me, no alternative liquid exists that is as cost effective as plain old gasoline, and unfortunately for the green industry, gasoline exists.