EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for December 2, 2011
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On Monday, President Obama announced to the people of Europe that the United States stands “ready to do our part” to help Europe resolve its debt crisis.
If only he were so ready to do his part to solve the U.S. debt problem.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the report from the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission, the 18 member group the president tasked with finding a path to deficit reduction. But after establishing the commission himself, the president brushed their recommendations aside and continued with his record spending.
Over the last three years, President Obama has proven that while he may talk a good game about debt-reduction, he’s unwilling to truly lead on the issue. He once promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. And then he produced three annual budgets with record deficits.
When the deficit-reduction supercommittee struggled to fulfill its charge last month, did the president step in to offer leadership? No, he simply refused to get involved. It was politically inconvenient, his team warned.
ne of the biggest pick-up opportunities for Republicans next year is going to be in Wisconsin, where the Democratic Senator Herb Kohl is retiring. There is a three-way primary, and the Club for Growth PAC has already endorsed one candidate.
That candidate has already been endorsed by Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservative’s Fund, Senator Rand Paul, and Senator Tom Coburn.
His name is Mark Neumann, and he was tea party before being tea party was cool.
Erick has written many times on here about how conservatives need to “hold the freaking line”. Mark Neumann’s already been there in Congress as an original member of the class of ’94, and he’s done it under enormous pressure from the big-spending establishment.
Here’s one example: in 1995 Mark fought against a Republican spending bill, and Republican leaders, including the uber-powerful Bob Livingston, informed him they were going to kick him off the Appropriations Committee as punishment.
Before you ask: I was raised in a union household. I know precisely what that word means, and I am using it precisely as my late father the local union president would have used it if he had lived to read this Wall Street Journal article by former SEIU boss Andy Stern. Let me summarize said article: I, Andy Stern, am a cheap date* who can be easily persuaded to publicly abandon support for the most successful economic/fiscal system in human history in exchange to a free trip to the Great Wall of China. But ignore for right now Stern’s unfortunate (for him) timing in writing a remarkably servile paean to the planned Chinese economy at precisely (I’m fond of that word this morning, it seems) the moment when the Chinese economy is looking alarmingly fragile to the rest of the world. Let’s instead talk about the state of organized labor in the People’s Republic of China, shall we?
Last year, the American people voted overwhelmingly for a Republican House of Representatives. Based upon their campaign pledges, the prevailing expectation of a “Republican House” was a body of revitalized Republicans who would not fund Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, downsize Freddie/Fannie, oppose appropriator-concocted omnibus bills, and fight for at least some of their priorities in the Ryan budget.
A year later, the prevailing sentiment amongst the GOP ruling class within the House is antithetical to those ideals. First it was the minibus; then it was the omnibus; now there’s talk about a megabus (coupled with unemployment benefits and tax extenders). Instead of demanding that Democrats pass a proper budget and allow both chambers to vote on one bill at a time, they are willing to genuflect before Harry Reid and Senate Democrats. The fact that we are running late on appropriations is not the fault of Republicans, and the American people know that. Why reward Democrats for their insouciance towards our budget process by granting them all the major policy riders and spending levels?
Let’s stipulate upfront that the Muslim Brotherhood’s Reagan-like domination of Egypt’s Parliamentary Elections is probably an international setback to the United States, Israel and most of Southern Europe. Results thus far encompass areas that were probably most friendly to the Facebook Revolutionaries and the Western World they represented.
Amongst the cosmopolitan voters over at Starbucks, the Muslim Brotherhood holds leads in 50% of the seats. Their closest competition is an Islamist Party that caters to the Salafi School of Islam. The votes taking place in the coming days will be in the Egyptian countryside where The Muslim Brotherhood may well play Mitt Romney to a way more traditionalist Salafi alternative. The Facebook Revolutionaries will have gone from overthrowing a military junta to depending upon the Egyptian Army to protect them from being beaten down like a bunch of Coptic Christians.
We are a month away from the actual horserace, but it has been going on a while. I have said repeatedly that the race is Mitt Romney’s to lose. It looks like he just might lose it.
The race is Romney’s to lose because the race has settled against his favor. The race has settled in “Not Romney’s” favor. The problem, though, is “Not Romney” is not on the ballot. Because the 75% of Republican voters who do not want Mitt Romney cannot settle on an alternative, Mitt holding steady at second place benefits him. The 75% will divide up around him while his 25% holds steady.
But few of us, including me, could see Newt’s resurgence. Brought on in an unusually debate heavy campaign season, the money has started pouring in and Newt has risen to replace Romney. Not only that, but Newt’s rise has seen Romney’s numbers start to fall. There is panic in the Romney camp.
Herman Cain’s implosion has prompted more consolidation away from Romney toward Gingrich.
The question now is can Gingrich overcome his Sisyphean legacy? Gingrich historically has reached the top of the political pile only to spectacularly roll back down it. Conservatives in the 90?s came to loath him as an obstruction to conservative dominance. During the George W. Bush years, Gingrich charted a third way that is now starting to come back on him.
If Gingrich can weather the storm for the next three weeks, it becomes Newt Gingrich’s race to lose. History is against him. The voters, so far, are for him. Waiting off stage for his second close up should the voters break out the hook for Gingrich is a governor from Texas — the man who inherited Gingrich’s original campaign team.
We’ll get into it all in today’s Horserace.