Friday, September 20, 2013

On the Sorry State of the Nation in General and the GOP Specifically

As we sail forward into yet another seemingly insoluble political and financial mess attending to 1) the federal budgeting process 2) the federal debt limit and 3) the imposition of Obamacare, I find myself agreeing with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who the Washington Post believes "has a lot to learn about politics" but who I find to be fairly insightful on the state of things:  "My view is that the system is set up to avoid making catastrophic mistakes. And right now, the country is actually really divided and therefore few things should get done — except for the things people really agree on."  Pretty sound reasoning, all in all, and not bad for a college dropout.

We are a really, really divided country.  What we see on the Hill is simply a function of where we are as a country.  And as I've written many times before in this space, we have the government we deserve.  The concept that somehow Congress is out of touch and isn't responsive to the people is ridiculous.  That's actually the problem.  They respond to the people and do not govern. They spend insufficient time thinking and legislating for the future of the country and way too much time on short term political gain designed to fire up the people who keep them in office.  We have the Congress we deserve.

And yes, we have the GOP we deserve.  There's a very interesting battle brewing in the Party, with the incendiaries from the Class of 2010 continuing to have the temerity to insist that they were elected to make a difference.  The quixotic campaign to "defund" Obamacare by tying it to raising the debt ceiling is creating a lot of heat but very little light.  It ain't gonna happen.  And as I've written here before, the best thing the GOP can do is get out of the way and let Obamacare happen.  They don't have the votes to stop it and by delaying it they only insulate its pain from voters.  Stand clear and let it come.  Ultimately though, I think Boehner has to go, and I think he will; he will not survive the year as the Speaker of the House.  It's like when you go to the second string QB when the team isn't moving the ball.  Everyone knows the guy isn't as good as the starter, but sometimes changing things up makes a difference.  This is why the GOP will throw over Boehner-who I actually think does a pretty good job with the hand he is dealt.

Ultimately, what moves this country beyond periods of malaise and stasis is leadership.  We simply are not going to get it from this President, so we'll have to see what 2016 brings us.  I am enormously intrigued by Rand Paul's very public stance on legalizing marijuana and the possibilities that brings with regard to a certain slice of the voting public.  Additionally, I think his foreign policy stances are going to be relatively popular....we'll see. Things are going to get interesting.


Tubby Danger said...

You seem to have this tolerance for liberals that I just can't fathom. So perhaps one of them can answer this question: When Obama said about health care, "If you like your plan, you can keep it".

Did the Obamunists really believe that? Or did they realize he was full of crap, but that if that's what the people needed to hear in order to support his plan, the ends justify the means?

The Conservative Wahoo said...

See Rand Paul's comments for a sound reading of the strategic landscape.

"The Hammer" said...

CW you're overlooking the fact that Obamacare is designed to fail. Once the present heath care system is destroyed, then the only option will be full blown single payer socialized medicine. There will be nor can there be any turning back. So you premise that it will fail is a given, but that's all part of the plan.
It's either stop it now or live with it.

LL said...

The best way to deal with ObamaCare (in a more perfect world) would be to have a veto-proof Senate and House after 2014.

The debt limit is always a problematic way to fight anything.

CPG said...

Great post CW. Who do you think will become the new speaker? As to the Rand Paul statement, are you saying Libertarians (liberty seekers or people who are just sick of the failing war on drugs) or Pot Heads as a voting block you are interesting in earning? Last point, I want to thank you for the constant vocab improvemnt. Today it was "temerity." Thank you

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Libertarians and Potheads (though I may repeat myself) :)

As for who the Speaker may be, my sense is it would be someone not currently in leadership but I can't do any better than that.

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