When the News Isn't Fit to Print ... Blog

GOP Sharpen UP! A Half Loaf Isn’t Enough

In Bowling for Dollars, Harvard Math, The Wrong Right Turn on 03/01/2011 at 08:05

I saw Neil Cavuto on Huckabee this weekend. I only watched, heard really, a couple of minutes because saccharin and Huckabee always leave a bad taste in my mouth. (What is it with these Baptist preachers—Jessica Simpson’s father also comes to mind—who get a mid-vocational jones and suddenly pimp themselves out to a better paying job? Okay, another topic for another day).

But Cavuto on the other hand is one of the few beans and numbers guys who hasn’t seemed to have lost his direction in the last two years (imagine my distress when Ben Stein jumped ship and called for tax hikes on the rich), and I usually listen when Neil speaks.

Anyway, they seemed to be on one of Huckabee’s favorite topics—compromise—when I surfed in, and I stopped for long enough to hear Huck praise Senate Republicans for one whopper of a compromise on the Bush tax cuts deal, and hear part of Cavuto’s response. As I said, I wasn’t paying much attention, but I did hear Neil loosely quote Reagan, when he said, “I would rather get the 80 percent of the loaf than no loaf at all.”

That was enough for me because I’d heard Cavuto speak on the subject with Senator John Ensign of Nevada, just a few days earlier. You can read or watch that interview here.

I was in the middle of The Long Goodbye—the book, not the Elliot Gould movie—and Raymond Chandler always drags me back to reality, so I turned off the set and went back to my reading. It was Chandler who said, “There is no trap so deadly than the one you set for yourself.”

I made a hasty retreat to my trusty Kindle in time to avoid pulling the TV out of the wall and hurling it into the next county.

Yes, Ronald Reagan did say he would rather get 80 percent of a loaf than no loaf at all, but when in recent times have we seen Republicans getting 80 percent of anything in Congress, except 80 percent of the shaft?

The year 2010 brought us Obamacare, Elena Kagan, a $14 trillion debt, billions of failed stimuli including Cash for Clunkers and the GM bailout—which brought us the astoundingly successful Chevy Volt at $10,000 more than the gas engine Ford people want to buy—gave the Chinese a strangle hold on our economy, left tens of millions out of work; and we learned that politicians know more about gays in the military than the generals who run it. The Navy seems to be okay with it but The Village People got in early.

How is any of this even half a loaf for Republicans, much less 80 percent?

To be fair, the Republicans couldn’t do much about most of this, but one has to wonder if they would have done a much better, had they been in a position to make a difference. They could have gotten a better deal on the tax cuts, and 2011 doesn’t promise us much better negotiations on their part.

Compromise is unavoidable with the White House and a big chunk of Congress still in Democrat hands. But some of the worst ideas to come out of Congress in the last dozen years have come from Republicans.

Who can forget McCain-Feingold and McCain Kennedy? Lindsey Graham has been promoting both a national ID card and cap and trade. These are not Republican ideas. Compromise on global warming, immigration, our energy costs, and national security should not be negotiable to the extent that any Washington liberal Democrat will accept.

A gray pall hangs over the 112th Congress before it even convenes next week. What the Republicans do now will determine the course of the nation’s future for decades to come. It is essential that they sharpen their negotiating skills and remain unbending on the core conservative principals of cutting spending and less government.

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