Skip to comments.In Praise of the Establishment: McConnell and Boehner have steered us right for a few months now.
Posted on 02/14/2014 12:10:39 PM PST by neverdem
The federal government is, indeed, too big; it spends far, far too much; it taxes and borrows an awful lot more than it should; and it intrudes habitually and without fanfare into what should of right be the business of the states. The president is guilty as charged increasingly lawless and typically dismissive of anybody who dares to protest and his still-unpopular signature legislation is not only creaking under the weight of its own contradictions but is the proximate cause of our current political trench warfare. And, as ever, the whole sorry mess appears to be rolling on inexorably, without the reverse gear ever being engaged or the ratchet dismantled and thrown away.
Equally correct is the Tea Partys insistence that the Republican House should use its power to try to effect a change in course. President Obama and his acolytes may trade in whatever insults they wish, terming recalcitrant legislators nullifiers or terrorists or hostage-takers or neo-Confederates or what they will, and they may do so as loudly as they see fit. But they cannot change the fact that the House is not only allowed to disagree with the White House and with the Senate, but that, in questions financial including whether or not to raise the debt ceiling it is intended to be prime. This, both the Constitution and the Federalist papers tell us plainly, is what the body is for, and no amount of rhetoric can change it. As such, you may mark it down at the outset: The charges that conservatives routinely level against Washington are fair, and they have in me a staunch ally. Laminate my dissenters card and add me to the rolls, Mr. Adams.
Still, all of that notwithstanding, many conservatives have of late demonstrated a worrying tendency to believe that the virtue of their grievances and the legitimacy of their pursuits must automatically translate into political victory and that if these do not, that this is the fault of the leadership of the Republican party. I appreciate that this is difficult for some to hear, but I would venture that the opposite is the case. In my estimation, the only thing of which Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have been guilty in the past few years is to have worked tirelessly within political reality and to have reacted sensitively to the hands that they were dealt. The hysterical epithets and acronyms, the witless talk of the amorphous Establishment, and the lucrative fundraising e-mails all to one side, there is little that either man could have done differently while their party controlled just one half of one branch of government.
Insofar as last years shutdown served a purpose at all, it was to reveal how fragile is the GOPs hand, how extraordinarily determined to stand firm was Harry Reid, and how tricky it is to play offense from a position of weakness. Budgets and continuing resolutions, remember, still need the agreement of the Senate and of the president both of which are staunchly opposed to the Republicans agenda and they rise or fall by the say-so of the public. In October 2013 at least, it was the Democratic party that enjoyed popular support, not Republicans. This is to the discredit of the American electorate, certainly, but that being the case does not render it untrue. Scream all you like about veterans memorials being closed and childrens cancer treatment being canceled and the executive branch being capricious and petty; these things did little to change the dynamic. Instead, the Republican partys popularity dropped to record lows, its members started to fracture into inchoate subgroups, and the medias attention was taken away from the most profitable story Republicans have enjoyed in a decade: Obamacare. One can regret that President Obama and Harry Reid behaved as they did, as I do. One can regret that the American people were not more upset with the White Houses peevish and indulgent behavior, as I do. One can regret that the present economic malaise has not caused more of a backlash, as I do. But one cannot deny reality.
As during last Octobers shutdown, much of the current griping from the right is predicated upon a false dichotomy of precisely the sort that those of a Burkean disposition are supposed to abhor. When a progressive stands up and compares the status quo to his best intentions or suggests that anybody who disagrees with his preferred tactics must be against his aims, too conservatives rightly roll their eyes and sigh knowingly. Alas, of late a number of us have fallen into precisely the same trap as tends to ensnare our friends on the Left comparing difficult reality to promised (often wholly imagined) future victories, and celebrating how brave we are for opposing the way things currently are without outlining a workable means of changing it. There is, Im afraid, a touch of Occupy Wall Street about much of the Rights insurgency an unlovely propensity to believe that if a small group just wishes hard enough for a particular outcome, it will be able to achieve it. The most risible thing I saw during my time in Zuccotti Park was the participants perpetually misguided belief that they were representing a silent majority. The people united shall not be defeated, they would cry, without doing anything at all to indicate that they were indicative of anything of the sort. I have recently encountered a similar tendency among people with whom I politically agree.
Id be willing to risk losing the Senate if we could keep America, Mitch McConnells primary challenger, Matt Bevin, told Glenn Beck this morning. What an astonishingly incoherent and misguided sentence that is. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? asks the King James Bible. A fair question, yes, but politics is a different game altogether, and, in this case, the alternative isnt an otherworldly victory or spiritual advancement but simply more loss. The question for Bevin must be for what shall it profit a man if he shall lose another debt-ceiling fight and lose his partys shot at the Senate as well? And the answer is not at all. If this is what we are to expect from the revolution a host of nihilistic, suicidal, performance artists who would rather be outside of the control room screaming than inside and in charge then give me the cynical calculations of a Mitch McConnell any day of the week.
Any time, you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, Ronald Reagan complained in 1964, were denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us were always against, never for anything. Could this sentiment not be applied currently to some slices of the Right? After all, pretty much every single Republican agrees on the question of Obamacare. Pretty much every single Republican agrees on taxes and spending and the size of government. Pretty much every single Republican agrees on the debt. They disagree, however, on tactics. And tactics matter. Make no mistake: For all the bluster, the Democratic party and the wider progressive movement is absolutely terrified of Obamacare, which has been a liability for almost five years now, and which is not going away. As I noted yesterday, the majority of the elections this year are going to yield fights between a candidate who wants to repeal the law completely and a candidate who is critical of it in at least one way. There is nothing that the president would like more at this moment than to play last October over again to paint the GOP as an extreme, risk-taking, rump party holding the country hostage. McConnell and Boehner were right to recognize that handing him that opportunity this year would have been a disaster.
Back in October, I made three predictions: That Obamacares rollout would be a mess, leading to a bump in the Republican partys fortunes; that while conservatives had failed to secure a delay to any part of the law, President Obama would continue to serve them up illegally; and that, if conservatives could resist the temptation to dress up and play Light Brigade, they could hold the line purely by passing a clean spending resolution and a clean debt-ceiling hike. On the first two counts I was correct. On the lattermost, I was partially correct: We got a clean debt-ceiling hike, thus avoiding a protracted fight that, in their current situation, Republicans cannot win, but we did not quite get a clean spending bill instead, there was a grand compromise, which, although imperfect, preserved much of the sequestration that the Tea Party liked and denied the Democratic party anything approaching the spending levels that they wanted and, just a few years ago, had expected to achieve.
For a party that enjoys such little power in Washington, this has been pretty good going and, unfashionable as it is, I feel that I should buck the trend and praise the party for playing a difficult round adroitly and with foresight. Well done, McConnell. Well done, Boehner. Now win the Senate in November, and give em merry hell.
Charles C. W. Cooke is a staff writer at National Review.
McConnel is being primaried. OF COURSE HE IS APPEARING TO BE ON THE RIGHT.
Stick a fork in both of ‘em and make Charlie eat the leftovers. He already drank the kool-aid.
Cooke is very confused.. his optimizer is broke..
He has a broken optimizer... i.e. delusional optimist..
Putting a good “Spin” on Boehner or McConnell is AGITPROP..
We don’t need a Third Party....
WHats needed IS A SECOND PARTY...
Boehner and McConnell have financed ALL of Obama’s projects..
ON PURPOSE.. Cooke is part of the problem... (OR a shill)..
Another establishment apologist.
Note to self: Never ever read anything by Charles C. W. Cooke, gOpE.
The 5 year long, lopsided power struggle still continues on the now shredded Congressional Field of Battle in the District of Corruption, along the muddy banks of De Nile River.
The single simple goal of the much-praised Left Team, also called Democrats, as stated by their team captain B. Hussein Soetoro-Obama is to Fundamentally change the United States of America.
Even today, after five very long years of Obamanation, their hatred of the former United States of America can still be detected in the arrogant, and always deceitful, teleprompter speeches of their Top Leaders: President Jarrett; Gestapo General Holder and BoyToy Dictator Soetoro-Obama.
The multiple, and very complex goals of the Right Team, as yet unstated but consistently acted out by Special Wrongway RINO Defense Squad Co- Captains John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Pete Roskam is to DO NOTHING that will irritate the Left Team.
The Right Team is also known by the name Republicans, a nostalgic name from a long-past time when there was Liberty and Justice for all.
The Left Team has a single Offense Squad with All Democrat Stars from many Schools of Higher Government Learning, to name just a few:
* Department of Gestapo Justice, (DOGJ);
* National Spy On U., (NSOU);
* Interrogate Ream Sue U., (IRSU)
* Reid Barrycade Senate Universal, (RBSU).
The Left Team always runs down the Congressional Field of Battle together, and has been admiringly nicknamed District of Corruption, United.
The Right Team has NEVER allowed the younger, highly-skilled Constitutional Offense Squads onto the Congressional Field of Battle, due to well-timed and strongly worded objections from many RINO luminaries such as Loser Emeritus, Wacko Birds McCain.
After a recent weekend, group-hug, bonding session, many caucus meetings, and private deal-making, Lead Co-Captain John Doormat Boehner picked up the ball on February 11 th, and ran up the Congressional Field of Battle to score a goal for the Left Team.
Thanks to the quick RINO Defensive actions of Wrongway Boehner and his gang of 27, an additional 1 to 4, (nobody is really sure), TRILLION taxpayer dollars will be added to the National Poverty Debt Game Clock.
Co-Captain Wrongway Boehner was assisted by 27 Members of the Special Wrongway RINO Defense Squad.
All of their team effort comments to the Left Stream Media were hopeful, but guarded.
The journalists with the Left Stream Media surprisingly did not ask if Wrongway Boehner would receive an engraved invitation for a gratitude lunch with Toy-Boy Dictator Soetoro-Obama.
Needless to say, Wrongway Boehner and his gang of 27 made no contact with any of the Left Team Members.
Most of the Left Team so-called opponents, (wink, wink), generally approved of the marginally satisfactory speed at which their best friend across the aisle ran to score the goal that Most SENSIBLE Americans agree with.
Time will tell if donations of time and money given to the Special Wrongway RINO Defense Squad, (SWRDS), will increase or decrease before the Championship Game in November, 2014.
Reporting live from the now snow covered, shredded Congressional Field of Battle, along the muddy banks of De Nile River is yalls Free Republic reporter Graewoulf, signing off on this Global Cooling, Valentines Day.
While that is literally true, the fact is that different Men in those positions could have a great deal more leadership qualities, more imagination how to deal with the leftists, and less mouse qualities, that the current occupants of the two offices, speaker and minority leader, happen to have.
Budgets and continuing resolutions, remember, still need the agreement of the Senate and of the president
Not so. The House is the sole owner of the power of the purse, and as such, either propose a new direction, or they shut things down. The House is the people's voice, but they are acting as the POSOTUS/Reed(sic)'s voice instead.
Budgets and continuing resolutions...
What we have now, lasting for the next 13 months, is NO budget, NO continuing resolution other than having NO cap whatsoever on the debt. The feral govt can spend WHATEVER it wants, without any voice from the people, the taxpayers, GOP-e, and certainly the GOP-TP. If the feral govt wants to raise the debt to $20 Trillions, so be it. If it deems to raise the debt to $200 Trillions, so be it as well. Makes no difference to the spenders... it is owed by our children and our children's children. And we all will bear the brunt of a collapse.
LoL.. Go get em wolfie.... Growl....
The thin shrill call of the mortally wounded, obsolete RINO could still be heard throughout the Land:
- - - If you follow an all or nothing strategy you usually end up with nothing! - - -
While on Cruz Mountain is heard:
THOSE WHO STAND FOR NOTHING WILL FALL FOR ANYTHING !
Just another article written by a RINO appeaser.
A nauseating and prolonged pep talk for the “Me Too” party. 2nd Place is 1st Loser. All indications are the GOP is content to remain so.
"A picture is worth ten thousand words.."
Sorry, NR, but the GOP is no more! It has ceased to be! Its expired and gone to meet its maker! Its stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! Its off the twig! Its kicked the bucket, its shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARTY!!
We’re saving our money to throw a party when McCrap and Bonehead assume room temp.
Hooooboy. That’s a keeper. Praise is not enough.
As Americans, WE are used to patiently, and silently waiting for solutions to problems to come from the top down.
This lazy attitude has been the basis for most Corporate and Political Management structures in America for most of OUR History.
WE now have the ultimate in lazy, top-down, political structure: a rouge dictator whom WE allow to be above OUR Constitutional Law.
WE will continue to have the current Obama Dictatorship as long as the Chief Impeachment Official, ( CIO ), the Speaker of the House, is allowed by US to permit Obama to continue as a OUR Dictator.
In all of Obamas public statements, he has told the truth to US only twice:
1.) We are only five days away from fundamentally changing the United States of America.
2.) I have a pen and a telephone, and I will use them to issue Executive Orders whenever Congress fails to act.
Obama has thus defined himself to be OUR Dictator, and formally gave US fair warning of his intentions to do so.
For reasons that border on High Treason to the United States of America, Boehner as Speaker of the House, has failed his Constitutional Duty to begin Impeachment Proceedings on B. Hussein Obama.
The Members of the US House of Representatives have refused to force Boehner to resign; then to elect a Speaker with the required Sense of Honor to do his/her Constitutional Duty to begin Formal Impeachment Proceedings on B. Hussein Obama.
If WE, the taxpayers, do not force the Members of the US House of Representatives to replace Boehner as Speaker with a new Speaker that will issue the necessary Articles of Impeachment on B. Hussein Obama, then WE, the lazy, silent majority taxpayers, deserve to continue to have OUR Liberties crushed by Dictator Obama.
The future of OUR Republic is, as always, in OUR hands.
DONT TREAD ON ME
Not sure, but I have the impression he’s an approximately 24yo Brit.
Even progressists leftists brag that we voted for Bush who happens to find progressism popular becuase “he started all those Obama languages of stimulus and other legislations”, making conservatives the black sheeps.
It is obvious the GOPe is seeking liberal votes during primaries stabbing conservatives and their language in the back.
Jeb Bush is also paid by authoritarianists at Johnson And Johnson to favor common core to prevent competition and quashe down people who would jump through the hoops outside the box.
My, what would be America today if the Founders thought that way, it would be England, nay, Germany.
The battle against debt was lost earlier at the battle against spending increases.
Giving Leadership a pass on losing that battle is absurd.
The guy started a thesis and then invented conjectures to support his thesis, Climate Changist style.
The GOPe are completely moronic. They are not steering anything right, and certainly not Obama who has become more and more brazen because of their inaction in their reaching accross the aisle.
How about reaching out to the American people for a change? To people voting liberal? instead of to the Democratic party.
This is the difference between Reagan and the stupid Bushes “me to reagans.”
Reagan talked to people and made the case to them and compromised with them, not with another corrupt party funded by terrorist groups like Hillary in Ben Gahzi.
Thus the result is they reach not to democrat voters and they crap on conservatives. What a strategy for total party implosion!
That seems like a long, long way to go just to tell us TEA Party types to STFU.
Indeed.whores to the feds. It is like it is not permissible now for the Tparty to campaign Reagan style reaching out to the people who voted left and right. Instead we do party to party and feds compromises.
Wow. Steering to oligarchic corruption is more the word.
So now we cannot campaign and bypass their Pc “Common Core” approach pf asking Democrats, lawyers and other party hacks permissions first in order to talk to each other as a people.
Whoever came up with that idea is obviously a traitor abandoning custodies, nay, forbidding America from self custody and determination.
Is Pat a RINO too? As a simple analysis, it's not that hard. Do you want the debt downgraded? That's different from the question of wheher McConnell and Boehner should be replaced.
Cooke admitted in 1996 at the GOP convention in San Diego for Bob Dole that he was a mercenary.
He’s GOPe because they pay his bills and keep his girth about the size of Jabba the Hutt.
Don’t give him even a smidgen of your time.
Truth is, the debt should have been downgraded long ago when the same Rinos got us there by hiding the situation.
let Democrats and only the Feds and Democrats bear the responsability for it. Any other way is political suicide, carrying their waters, getting the blame, while they get the power and e excuses.
steered us right . . . . right over a cliff,
If Pat is right, they only thing left that we can control is to be prepared.
The SHTF is coming. Can’t control what these DC morons do, but can
stock up on the things I need for food and protection.
The reality is big government has been the norm since our country
was founded. Only a few years here and there has the country turned
to conservative governance.
Boner and McConnell are indeed the Vichy republicans...
and with a good amount of other elected republicans supporting them.. they are entrenched..
I wish there was another way other than Civil War...
but alas there is NOT... not even succession.. or Mark Levin’s way..
All that................ and you KNOW Obama is lusting for an excuse for Martial Law..
Cloward-Piven DEMANDS IT... is geared for it.. pressures for it..
And Yet.. many still think an honest election is even POSSIBLE..
In a few places it is.. BUT very few.. even fewer in 2014 or 2016..
I think... MOST still don’t GIT IT!...
Even though the progressives openly said it to your face, and mean it..
“Fundamental Transformation of America...”......
I wouldn’t have believed it.. but am watching it happen daily..
And all people do is bitch... of course the TSHTF eventually..
The wise will prepare for it NOW...
Cloward-Piven is deadly serious and is happening like clockwork.. with barely a whimper..
Demote him of Minority Leader first!
Stoppit! You’re being nuanced again!
(You are correct, sir)
You’re on a GOP-E roll today. Sorry, nobody’s buying it.
Indeed, the debt will be downgraded whatever they do.
These nitwits do not see that Obama will not yield from making America into another irrelevant banana member of the UN.
The world is not going to rely on us, period, thus will not buy our debt, period. There is zero substance return in what we do when we give freebies abroad instead of maintaining our integrity. It is a ponzy scheme.
Downgrade that sucker!
I have been on this forum for many years and read many of your posts. I just wanted to thank you for all your great insight and wit. You truly are a blessing to this forum and this country.
You want higher interest rates and more inflation. That's just brilliant! /s
I am a subscriber to the NR dead tree. Except for Steyn and a couple of exceptions these are Republican-drumbeaters.
Is that the same Charlie Cook? I thought the NR had a young one from the UK.
Pat’s his own animal, but I have a hard time imagining him swooning over Boehner and Cantor like this.
The roofs eventually going to fall in anyway, so let it happen sooner rather than later. I no longer care with this lousy government and the clowns in charge.
Thank you for correcting my error. Yes this is a different Cook(e) but it seems they are cut from the same cloth.
The debt should indeed be downgraded but only after new blood gets control of House and Senate or the Article COS gains serious substantial power to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Then a debt downgrade with the budget resolution should be a wash.
It can’t keep going the way it is now; it just can’t. To guard the currency, we need real discipline and determined resolution.
How is he swooning? He wrote:
"Yet Boehner was holding a losing hand. Had he added a GOP wish-list bill to the debt ceiling, Harry Reids Senate would have rejected it. President Obama would have denounced it as putting at risk the full faith and credit of the United States.
"Big Media would have piled on. The markets would have been rattled. The Dow would have begun to swoon. Corporate America, cash cow of the Republican Party, would have begun to howl.
"A clamor to pass a clean debt ceiling bill or risk a new recession would have arisen. And the House Republicans would have caved, as they finally had to cave on the budget bill last fall."
If I didn't agree with his analysis, I would have linked the roll call votes when they were available after the votes. The pubbies were probably going to lose the PR war. Why lose for nothing?
So what did they win by surrendering?