By Brent Allen Parrish
On today’s episode of “Shutdown Theater,” the president remains steadfast in his refusal to negotiate on anything, despite all his flowery rhetoric about “bipartisanship” and “compromise” in previous episodes.
We got us a shutdown, folks! The GOP first offered a deal to delay Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) for one year but was rebuffed by the White House. The GOP then offered a deal to repeal the Medical Device Tax. But, once again, no go. Finally, the GOP offered to sign off on funding if the Obamacare exemption for Congress was removed. Seems fair, right? Besides, “fairness for all” is a mantra repeated constantly by the Obama Administration. Surely the president would agree to such a reasonable request.
Fuh getta bout it!
Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has shut down the government. Of course, it’s all the Republicans fault–according to the administration, Democrats, progressive Republicans and the state-run press. Well, actually, it’s the fault of a certain faction (cf. Tea Party) in Congress, according to Obama. Amazing how that works, considering the left claimed the Tea Party was dead. But I digress.
It was always the president’s plan all along, in my opinion, to shut down the government and blame the Republicans. Obama did the same thing with the sequester–blame the Republicans, despite the fact it was his idea in the first place. More than likely, the president believes he will win the PR war over a government shutdown, since he has the power of a state-run press gleefully cheerleading for Obamacare.
The GOP has been making piecemeal efforts to end the stalemate, such as funding to keep parks and memorials open. But the president has stated he will not accept any piecemeal funding deals. House leader Eric Cantor argued for a delay for the individual mandate. But I doubt any proposal from the Republicans will be approved by the president at this point.
“The Congress must pass a budget with no partisan strings attached.”
– Barack Obama
I find it more than a bit ironic that the president insists the “Congress must pass a budget with no partisan strings attached.” The president has failed to pass a budget for the entire time he has been in office. Every budget Obama has submitted to Congress has overwhelmingly been voted down by both Republicans and Democrats alike. But, once again, as I have stated so many times before, the left always accuses its enemies of the very same crimes they themselves are committing.
Furthermore, the entire Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare) is an entirely partisan bill in the first place, not one Republican voted for it. So to say that “no partisan strings” will be attached to a budget funding Obamacare is, in my opinion, Obama’s way of saying that there will be absolutely no compromise with Republicans in any way, shape or form. Apparently Obama’s version of negotiation is to call Speaker Boehner and tell him that there will be no negotiation, period. Does the title “king” come to mind?
Obama is not budging; he won’t even agree to removing the Obamacare exemption for Congress. The arrogance of the president to provide waivers to his cronies and exempt himself, his staff and Congress from the very law that he has touted as a healthcare panacea for all people really tells me everything I need to know. Obamacare has nothing to do with improving healthcare and providing free insurance for all; it is about socializing a large sector of the private sector; it is all about increasing federal power and control.
But now we see some Republicans–like Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee, for example–fighting back against a law that I believe will do untold harm to the healthcare industry, and the entire economy as a whole. And it does not surprise me that the progressive elements of the Republican Party are highly critical of their “Tea Party” colleagues. The conservatives are putting up opposition to the incredibly destructive economic policies of the administration, while GOP “moderates” (i.e. RINO’s) only wish to provide an alternative and criticize their rebellious colleagues.
The one thing I do know is that Sen. Ted Cruz forced the issue of Obamacare into the spotlight. Cruz et al. are also seen by the Grassroots as engaging in the fight against socialized healthcare. Conversely, many progressive Republicans–like Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, for example–are seen as capitulating and throwing in the towel at the drop of a dime. Sen. McCain, in particular, seems more than willing to reach across the aisle, only to pull back a bloody stump, yet he keeps reaching across the aisle.
There are obviously different opinions regarding the strategy being employed by the Republicans. Pundits like Charles Krauthammer believe it is political suicide for the Republicans to continue with a government shutdown if the White House is demanding a clean continuing resolution (CR). Krauthammer believes the fight should be on the debt ceiling–believing the president would be almost forced to negotiate.
I understand Krauthammer’s position and do believe it has some merit, especially considering the sycophantic relationship the main-stream media has with the Democrats and the White House. Anything the state-run press can do to blame Republicans for the shutdown, they will do it. But that’s why I believe one must aggressively oppose the liberal progressive agenda. The liberal press will never shine a favorable light on the Republicans or conservatives. The only time the MSM gives favorable press is when the right is committing political suicide by foolishly going along with the progressive liberal agenda. So, as far as I’m concerned, the right might as well do whatever it has to to do to defeat the progressive left … damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!
What I find revealing about the left’s unhinged and hyperbolic reaction to the growing opposition against Obamacare is the fact that it appears well-rehearsed and purposeful. It certainly is nothing new. My belief is the more the left howls and moans with their signature off-the-charts, hyperbolic rhetoric, the more it makes me believe the Republicans are doing something right.
Senator Dick Durbin claimed the Republicans are “holding a gun” to his head over Obamacare. The White House also echoed this same sentiment by stating they won’t talk with the GOP when they have a “gun pointed to our head.”
President Obama has doubled-down by asserting “extreme” Republicans are trying to “extort” him. Apparently trying to negotiate a deal is akin to extortion and asking for a ransom, as far as Barack Obama is concerned.
The Daily Beast’s Tina Brown called Republicans “suicide bombers.”
Congressman George Miller screamed on the House Floor that Republicans are on a “Jihad” against Obamacare.
Democrat Rep. Joe Garcia smeared Republicans as the “Taliban.”
To add insult to injury, RINO Rep. Devin Nunes called his GOP colleagues “lemmings with suicide vests.” When Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked if the White House would condemn referring to Republicans as “terrorists,” he doubled-down by labeling them “suicidal lemmings.”
This calm and rational criticism of the GOP over the shutdown is exemplified by liberals like Stephanie Miller, who railed the GOP is “trying to blow up your children … they are suicide bombers.”
The incendiary rhetoric from the left doesn’t end with comparisons to “terrorists” and “murderers.” Some rabid progressive liberals are even willing to let their hatred of the GOP extend to children. Allan Brauer, Communications Director for the Sacramento Democratic Party wished Amanda Carpenter’s children slow painful deaths from incurable diseases (via Twitchy):
Amanda Carpenter is a speech writer and communications adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz.
The leftist rag The New Republic suggested Obama should violently crush GOP dissent like Boris Yeltsin did to Soviet communist hardliners 20 years ago.
Laughably, staunch party apparatchiks like DNC Chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz insist it is the “Tea Party Extremists” who are “unhinged”; and Barack Obama claims he uses “calm rhetoric,” unlike Republican “hostage takers.”
Of course, this sort of vile and repugnant behavior by radical leftists is nothing new. It appears to be the norm. Recently a University of Kansas journalism professor, David Guth, tweeted that “blood is on the hands” of the National Rifle Association following the Navy Yard Massacre. Guth tweeted, “Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters … Shame on you. May God damn you.”
Naturally, such comments create a lot of righteous anger. So why do leftist radicals regularly spew forth such puerile filth against their political adversaries? I believe it is purposefully done to incite and goad their opponents. From my own experience with individuals who engage in this sort of petulance, the purpose seems to be to distract and deflect. When one retaliates in kind, an endless back and forth ensues, which typically ends up going nowhere. But a lot of time, sanity and energy is expended, with nothing to show for it in the end. So the one who incited the reaction ends up holding the real power.
My answer to this nonsense is not to allow myself to be sucked into an endless back and forth with such rabid individuals. I don’t believe in getting mad; I believe in getting even. The left’s whole purpose is to incite anger to the point where their opponent will lash out in anger and rage, in my opinion. The hope is their political adversary will say or do something that they can use against them.
Another reason I believe the left engages in calling their political opposition “terrorists” and “murderers” is to influence and persuade their base that anybody who opposes their collectivist policies is akin to a “terrorist”–a veritable “suicide bomber” who wishes to blow up “progress.” And who wants to be labeled a “terrorist” or a “murderer”?
But when one comes down from the left’s mountain of spitting moralism, catches their breath, and walks in the valley of reality, it becomes clear the radical left’s invective is truly vile, repugnant, hyperbolic, incendiary, irresponsible and nonconstructive.
The Obama Administration refers to the GOP as “hostage takers” and refuses to negotiate, yet the administration has no problem negotiating with real-life terrorists and murderers like the Taliban and the Muslim Brotherhood. Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in.
The whole “GOP are terrorists” meme is particularly pathetic in light of the recent terrorist attack that occurred at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. The Islamic terrorists that attacked the mall were unusually sadistic. The main-stream media barely reported on the intense violence perpetrated by the merciless and brutal al-Shabaab terrorists.
Gateway Pundit reported:
Details are beginning to emerge about the sadistic horrors perpetrated by members of the religion of peace at the Westgate Mall in Kenya. (h/t Rantburg)
According to doctors called to the mall after the end of the siege and from recollections of photos in our possession, the terrorists removed the balls, eyes, nose and ears of hostages. They forced the hostages to use their chopped off hands to write their names.
They ripped noses using pliers and cut fingers with knives and hanged some of the hostages instead of shooting them dead. They also sent chopped limbs down the escalator to people eagerly waiting to rescue hostages.
The terrorists hid behind tinted window panes only to open fire on civilians who were being rescued. When they were being attacked, they used hostages as human shields. [MORE]
This is what I find so disgusting about the radical left and the administration: they will go out of their way to appease and legitimize real-life terrorists who slaughter their innocent victims. The administration is reluctant to even refer to such butchers as terrorists. But they have no problem referring to law-abiding Americans who disagree with their political agenda as “terrorists” and “suicide bombers.” One must be spiritually and morally bankrupt to believe in such foolishness, despite one’s political affiliation. It truly is reprehensible.
One of the more troubling examples of ratcheting up the rhetoric to danger-high levels is the president’s dire warning of a possible default on the national debt if the Republicans don’t meet his demands unconditionally and reopen the government. This is utterly reckless and irresponsible. The president is deliberately talking down the international markets and warning Wall Street that they should be “concerned.”
Here are the facts: the Social Security Trust Fund revenue keeps rolling in; it’s separately paid for by our F.I.C.A. payments. It’s a general fund. If the general fund cannot cover the payments, then it dips into the general treasury. The interest on the debt is between 6-10% of all revenue coming in. The federal government took in $3.0 trillion–more than enough money to pay the interest on the debt for the entire year. Why would the president threaten not paying the interest on the debt if not for some nefarious ulterior motive? Besides, there’s a big difference between hitting the debt ceiling and technically defaulting on the national debt. Any deadline (i.e. “red line”) is arbitrary and the president knows it.
Let’s just look at the worst case scenario: The federal government doesn’t have enough revenue on hand to pay the interest on the debt. There are options, albeit not optimal, but real options nonetheless:
1) The Treasury can stop putting money in the Federal Employee Pension Trust Fund.
2) The Federal Reserve can borrow money for the Treasury (doesn’t necessarily count against the debt ceiling).
3) The Treasury can prioritize its payment. It’s called a “budget.” Why not sell the TARP assets? The Treasury has non-restricted cash on hand ($113B) and gold.
These are not rosy scenarios. But it’s better than a technical default on the debt. It is what it is. The point is the government brings in enough revenue to pay its bills. For the president to threaten a default on the debt when there hasn’t even been a discussion on the debt ceiling yet (Oct. 17) is truly a very disturbing and threatening tone.
Any raising of the debt ceiling without significant or, at least, proportional spending cuts is only kicking the can down the road. The president seems to blame his predecessor for all the nation’s economic woes, yet the administration enacted the biggest entitlement in human history–Obamacare. Obama has added over $6 trillion to the national debt, created trillion dollar-plus deficits, flooded the money supply, spent $815 billion on a failed stimulus package, spent over $70 billion in new regulatory costs, increased public compensation to a point where it now far outpaces private sector compensation … it’s all unsustainable.
The problem with our federal government is massive unconstrained spending, not a lack of revenue. Our government needs to take concrete steps that have teeth to rein in this wild, insane, out-of-control discretionary spending.
Bottomline: We are approaching a ratio of near 100% debt as a share of GDP. We are approaching uncharted waters. This is why I am so concerned. We’ve already seen a credit downgrade on Obama’s watch. Will a default be next? I have no doubt that should there be a default on the debt the president will blame the Republicans and exonerate himself from any responsibility whatsoever. But there is no excuse should the president allow a default on the debt just to gain political advantage.
As Shutdown Theater continues to play here in the States, foreign investors are becoming increasingly concerned about the state of the American economy. While our leaders engage in endless political gesturing, nothing is being done by our leaders about the very real economic problems that are facing us–like our $17 trillion national debt, and the Fed’s endless printing of money. There’s even ominous talk of the US dollar being dropped as the world’s reserve currency if the profligate federal spending is not addressed.
The one question I’ve had about Barack Obama all along is whether he is intentionally attempting to collapse the economy–a longtime dream of many a leftist radical … the end of capitalism and free markets and the beginning of the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” The president never addresses spending, only the need for more “investment [spending] in America’s future.” Barack doesn’t even seem to care about the debt. As a matter of fact, he seems to become quite agitated if the subject is even brought up.
But the one thing that really convinces me the Obama Administration has nothing good in store for our economy are the recent words of his staunch supporters. For example, Democrat Rep. Jerrold Nadler accused Republicans of acting like “gangsters” and trying to “blow up the economy”; and Bill Clinton surmises the GOP is “begging for America to fail.” Why would this convince me, you ask? Because the radical left always accuses its enemies of the very same crimes they themselves are committing.