Thursday, April 7, 2011

Risk, and Reward

The US Government seems headed for a shutdown.  And, according to a WSJ/NBC poll, it's looking grim for Republicans.  It's those darn tea parties.  If only Republicans would let "independents" determine their policies, there'd be peace in the world, or at least in DC.
With Congress and the White House in marathon talks to try to avoid a government shutdown, Republican lawmakers are caught between the demands of their conservative base insisting they hold their ground on deep budget cuts and the wishes of political independents they will need in the 2012 election who are pressing for compromise, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

The article has links to the full poll results.  The gist is that tea partiers want the Republicans to hang tough rather than compromise (68% v. 28%); Republicans overall want the same (56% v. 38%); independents want the GOP to compromise (66% v 30%).  Combined, 48% want compromise, while 47% want Republicans to stick to their guns.

Democrats and independents want Democratic leaders to compromise by a larger margin (71% v. 23%) than tea-partiers want Republicans to stick to their position.  So, combining the wall of opinion confronting both parties (+1% for Republicans to compromise; +48% for Democrats to compromise), a deal should be reached along largely-Republican lines.  

The President says he will veto a Republican plan to keep the government open for another week.  So, a shutdown is something he's willing to accept.  Planned Parenthood funding,  new environmental regulations, ObamaCare funding and a $7 billion difference with Republicans are that important to him and the Democrats, even though they say that a shutdown will have deleterious affects on the struggling economy.  They refuse to compromise along Republican lines.

It's hard to argue with media spin, which has a self-fulfilling quality about it.  If talking heads say it enough, people will believe it, and act accordingly.  Life imitates art.  That said, this poll indicates to Noman that independents will have a gripe with both parties if there's a shut down, but especially with the Democrats.

Should they recoil from Republican "extremism," which seems to be the media's intention, independents will have something to hold against both parties.  Against Republicans, they can weigh an excessive zeal for (1) cutting the size of government, (2) eliminating job killing regulations, (3) slowing the onset of a health care overhaul that was unpopular from conception to passage, (4) defunding the blood-stained vanguard of the sexual revolution, and (5) performing the thankless task they were put in place to accomplish just five months ago.  

Against Democrats they can weigh the past two year's imposition of (1) an alarming expansion in the size of government, (2) the nation's first trillion dollar deficits, (3) a nearly trillion dollar pork stimulus, (4) the aforementioned health care bill, which was passed using every legislative artifice and slimy gimmick known to man, (5) a stagnant economy that produces profits for mega-corporations but no jobs for workers, (6) a bevy of un-nominated and unconfirmed Czars running every aspect of government, (7) American weakness on the world stage, (8) an oil drilling moratorium that will dramatically curtail the nation's oil supply and increase the price of gas at the pump...  Need Noman go on.

Independents will make their choices in 2012.  Republicans and Democrats will make theirs now, when it counts to steer the direction of the nation.  Time is running out, and independents will have to decide whether they're willing to pay alarmingly higher taxes and live with much more regulation than they've ever had to--the Democratic plan--or whether they'd prefer keeping more of their own earnings, freeing the economy from the grip of progressive ideologues, and living with the fact that the government will no longer be pushing and funding the sexual revolution--the Republican plan.  The choice seems clear to Noman.  But, then again, he's a conservative Catholic, not someone who vacillates from pole to pole depending on how media reports strike him on any given day.  Like the President intimates, our problems, and times, call for grown ups.

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