Friday, 15 July 2011


The Establishment is heard from

Megan McArdle, concern troll:

Jonathan Podhoretz reads a Quinnipiac poll showing that by a margin of 48-34, the public is going to blame Republicans and not Obama if we don't raise the debt ceiling, and joins the ranks of the Washington sellouts:
At some point, those who believe it will be acceptable to go to August 3 without an increase in the debt limit, as well as those who believe the politics favor the Republicans, are going to have to reckon with the fact that there are no data points supporting their beliefs.
Wrongo, Jonny Boy.  I’ll see your poll, and raise you one.  Here’s Gallup:
Despite agreement among leaders of both sides of the political aisle in Washington that raising the U.S. debt ceiling is necessary, more Americans want their member of Congress to vote against such a bill than for it, 42% vs. 22%, while one-third are unsure.
A follow-up question finds Americans more sympathetic to the Republicans’ argument than Obama’s.  Specifically, when asked to say which is their greater concern, 51% say raising the debt ceiling without plans for major future spending cuts concerns them more, while 32% are more concerned with the risk of a major economic crisis if Congress does not take action.
...and here’s Gallup, again:
Registered voters by a significant margin now say they are more likely to vote for the "Republican Party’s candidate for president” than for President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, 47% to 39%.  Preferences had been fairly evenly divided [earlier] this year...

Oh well, back to Megan:
I know I’m beating a dead horse at this point, but I continue to be mystified by what the base, the activists, and the politicians who are pushing the "no new revenue” stance hope to accomplish.
Stop the spending, maybe?  Get the budget under control?  Save the country?
Let’s start by pointing out the obvious: the Democrats do not show any signs of caving.
Therefore, Republicans are supposed to roll over?
They have offered what seem...
(note that word) be very attractive deals, and been turned down.  Think you’re going to get a more attractive deal?  Every time another poll like this comes out, your bargaining position gets worse.
According to...?

Anyway, Megan goes on to explain (at great length) why every last item in the current federal budget is absolutely untouchable, and that, regardless of what they do, Republicans will be "blamed" for whatever happens:
Voters are telling pollsters they’re going to blame the Republicans for the shutdown. And the spending cuts you're going to do won't even be that popular with the tea party, who aren’t much more enthusiastic about Medicare/Medicaid cuts than the rest of the country.
Winding up with the Horrible Conclusion;
To me that sounds like "huge Democratic victory in 2012".
Oh dear.  Its hopeless.  Why, if only those Republicans understood what is possible, if only they knew their place.  The whole situation is unsolvable, so might as well give it up.

Sound familiar?

It should.  What’s going on here is that we’re starting to hear (indirectly) from what used to be called the "Eastern Establishment:” all those individuals and groups whose income or existence leeches off an ever-expanding federal government.  You know: The beltway lobbyists and their clients, the "independent" groups that trade government grants for agitation for more government power,[1] the corporations protected by a webs of regulations... those guys.  They’re worried that any move toward a smaller, less intrusive federal government could mean loss of their perks, bennies, and power[2] and right now protecting those perks, bennies, and power means convincing the Republicans to - again- forget their principles and cut another good old Standard D.C. Compromise, i.e., Give the Democrats What They Want.  So they’re calling on their beltway-press buddies to help.  And so we’re seeing pieces like Megan’s.

The perennial question of why on earth the Republican party should be taking advice from a press that is increasingly an arm of the Democrat party is above my pay grade (for today), but from my seat out here in the heartland it sure looks like "Republican intransigence” is excactly what the public is asking for, and the presidential polling is reflecting it.

Now if only the Republicans can figure that out...


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