In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Take These Republican Candidates Far Away From Me

What to say of these GOP presidential candidates?

Sure, the debt ceiling deal is a travesty, but it does at least reduce spending, and any tax increases that may get included by the “joint committee” – which will outline the next tranche of cuts – will be limited.

It’s not perfect for conservatives, but Republicans aren’t going to get perfect, because they only control the House. That’s reality. The alternative is to destroy the American economy by allowing a default.

The Republican version of “What would Jesus do?” is “What would Reagan do?”

I believe Reagan succeeded because he was a take-no-prisoners ideologue who was also a mature and responsible leader. I believe he would have reluctantly accepted the deal and vowed to turn Washington on its head the minute he got there.

But as for this current group . . . to paraphrase comedian Henny Youngman whose signature line was – “take my wife . . . please” – I ask that someone take these Republican presidential candidates from my view and put them in the open GOP slots in dog catcher races around the country.

Take Michele Bachmann, please.

Here’s her false bravado from the well of the House:

Throughout this process the President has failed to lead and failed to provide a plan. The ‘deal’ he announced spends too much and doesn’t cut enough. This isn’t the deal the American people ‘preferred’ either, Mr. President. Someone has to say no. I will.

How very easy, Michele. You will say “no.” Only brave, principled you. I’d say at least you have the courage of your convictions, except your convictions are in this case so wrong. Please give all those whose lives are wrecked by the subsequent economic meltdown coupons for discounts at your husband therapy shop.

Take Mitt Romney, please.

Boy, I really never thought I’d be letting Bill Burton, the former White House flack who now works at some outside pro-Obama group, speak for me on this website. But now that Mitt Romney has taken his finger out of the wind, decided he couldn’t let Michele Bachmann get too far to the right of him, and opposed the deal, I think Mr. Burton has it about right.

At a moment that calls for courage and leadership, Romney has buckled to the furthest right wing of the Republican Party, undermined John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and given aid and comfort to those who prefer default over compromise.

A man who claims strength in his ability to lead our nation’s economy would let it default for the first time in its history. Do his supporters on Wall Street and at Bain Capital know that their candidate would allow the United States of America to stop paying its obligations?

At best his capitulation is a phony concession to extremist members of the Republican Party. At worst it is proof positive that Mitt Romney will say or do anything to win this nomination despite the consequences for the country he is running to lead.

Though he claims to support cut, cap and balance, Romney’s real position is better described as wait, waffle and wimp-out.

Or take Sarah Palin.

She’s gotten herself neatly on both sides of the issue, not expressing support or opposition but reminding Republicans how important it is to reduce spending. How inspiring.

Take Tim Pawlenty.

The former Minnesota governor, who is aggressively seizing the “wimp” mantle once bestowed on George H.W. Bush, says merely that the deal is “nothing to celebrate.” So he doesn’t like it but won’t really say he’s against it. Tim, YOU are nothing to celebrate.

Take Newt Gingrich.

If the ultimate result of this deal is a tax increase and/or debilitative cuts in our investment in national security, it will be a destructive failure.

Another criticism without exactly opposing the measure. And you, hypocrite, who struck the 1997 Balanced Budget agreement with Bill Clinton.

Take Ron Paul, please.

He said:

I have never voted to raise the debt ceiling, and I never will.

Then you too would consign the economy to the garbage heap, just more frequently than the others.

Take Jon Huntsman too, even though he backed the deal, because he’s a former employee of Obama’s who should be running in the Democratic primary in 2016.

Take them all, please, and give us . . . give us a man or a woman with principles, courage, and common sense. Is that so hard to find in this great country?

47 thoughts on “Take These Republican Candidates Far Away From Me”

  1. Come on Keith, honestly nobody knows WHAT would happen if we don’t raise the debt ceiling tonight, however, on thing any HONEST person knows is that we wouldn’t actually be DEFAULTING. There is no default until we fail to service our debt, which is well within our capability from ongoing tax revenues. Please, I wish people would quit calling it a default. Instead, call it what it is: we have to decide which programs we pay for and which ones we don’t AFTER we’ve paid the interest on our debt.

  2. Using your phrase “consigning the economy to the garbage heap”, that’s where our economy is now located. We’re broke. We owe trillions of dollars that we don’t have on hand. We’ve allowed our elected officials to spend our money without any regard to fiscal responsibility. It’s time to end the spending of borrowed money and live within our means.

    We don’t deserve a AAA rating, we’re deadbeats who borrow from Peter to pay Paul.

    The Repub candidates are speaking to the same people who made 2010 a historic election year. We’re still here and we haven’t changed our minds.
    If MrsBachmann isn’t going to vote yay on the sham that the Speaker calls a budget, then she’s holding true to her values.
    MrPaul has been singing the same tune all along. We should have listened.
    The rest of the candidates are speaking from the same script.
    We’re used to that.

    We’re not looking for a wizard to make all this go away, we’re looking for someone to stand at the helm and slow it all down. Someone who will speak the truth. We’re adults, we can take it.

      1. Here’s what she said on the Sean Hannity show:

        “If I were in Congress, I would not vote to incur more debt,” she asserted. But she also said, “We cannot default.” But then she also said: “We cannot afford to retreat right now.”

        Kind of all over the place…

  3. Debt ceiling, smet ceiling. The POTUS and VPOTUS and Congress should be drawn and quartered. Sorry that might be a little to harsh. Tar and feathering probably would be more appropriate.

    1. OK, look, I really don’t want readers attacking each other on this blog. Attack everyone else, argue strenuously with each other, but no personal attacks to each other. It just degenerates too quickly. DR, you provoked this by calling everyone corpses, which of course is a terrible thing to have to be. So let’s try to be nice to each other, okay?

      1. Sorry Keith. I meant cadavers, which are useful to society and represent the generous spirit of those who have contributed themselves to science.

        You know what we need? A visit from Gabrielle Giffords.

  4. Disagree with you Keith. I’ve never associated Reagan with Jesus so that must something the media cooked up. The big spender sitting in the WH could never compare to Ronald Reagan. One huge difference is that Reagan loved this country and he loved her people.

    Realize you are quoting Mr.Burton, but he is full the same BS that infests all the liberal media. I’m tired of conservatives being called ‘extremist’ or ‘furthest right wing’ just because we believe in a smaller government . My opinion is that this whole debt “crisis” was manufactured. Just like every other manufactured emergency we’ve had since TARP. We will never know whether Geithner was telling the truth about our financial situation because he never released any hard facts to Congress. We do know that this $2.4 trillion increase is the largest debt hike in the history of America. Next in line for that historic label was the February 12, 2010 hike of $1.9 trillion. Our credit rating will be downgraded, which will result in higher interest rates and higher costs for everything. CBO has added this unbelievable amount of money to our phony baseline that is automatically raised by 7% each year. There will be no actual cuts until 2013. CBO figured the expiration of the Bush tax cuts into their pie in the sky figures. Obamacare taxes are set to deliver the double whammy in 2013. Republicans control the House but the Democrats have an equal number of votes on this super congress committee that takes the heat off these crooks so they can start campaigning. I’ll wager a bet there will be more than a few RINOs appointed to that committee.

    Yes, let the establishment pat each other on the back and have a big party after this passes. We the people are the losers. More jobs will leave America and more families will lose their jobs, businesses, or homes all over flyover country. Things are booming in DC right now, so capitol hill is living in a bubble. Hopefully we get a new president, a new congress, and new congressional leaders in 2012. Just remember on January 1, 2013, right before the inauguration of our new president, we are set to get hit with the largest tax hike in this nation’s history. I hope we make it that long. This must be how the Roman empire fell.

  5. This is what happens when we the people fail to exercise due diligence before voting! We have let Congress spend us into oblivion for years…

  6. yes! how about Christie-Rubio?

    not only is this a great ticket, but it sounds like a hot Cuban chick, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

  7. I sympathize with many of your comments and disagreements with me. I just think this is the best deal that Republicans could get at this time, and I feel because of the potential consequences to good people we can’t test out a default.

    I’m just not impressed by this group. Can’t help it. Doesn’t mean I disagree with all their ideas. I just think Republicans can do better.

    But SpySmasher, you have a point. If I’m claiming to be a realist, one has to play with the hand one’s got.

    1. Keith, I agree. At least the young guns in Congress got the conversation started. Without the Senate and Presidency, probably the best deal they could get. By being a realist, you will receive criticism from the ideological right. I think that the persons I admire the most are Rep West (R-FL) and Sen Rubio (R-FL). But I doubt either will run. Gov Rick Perry has shown that he has the executive experience to be successful in Texas and would probably do the same for the country with a majority in Congress. In addition, he has prior military experience (AF C-130 pilot) which I think is essential to be successful as Commander-in-Chief. I agree with the Tea Party principles with a dash of realism!

      1. J20 – yes, the Tea Partyers did what they had to do by finally forcing this issue. Obama would never otherwise have noticed. They’ve gotten something done, and started the debate, and the playing field is spending cuts and not taxes. It’s a major achievement, but at this point it could only go so far without burning down the house.

        1. And–the issue does not get snatched off the board never to be seen again–he may get some borrowing auth thru the election, but he will have to drone through many of these discussions in the interim.

  8. I think there have been many people go to Washington that were principled and had courage. Fitzgerald of IL was a good example. He voted well, stuck to his principles, got three hardline federal attorneys into IL that broke up a lot of corruption, including a republican governor and when he came up for reelection, the republican party ran 3 millionaires against him in the primary, wouldn’t give him any republican money, so he walked away, which, by the way, led to Obama winning the Senate seat.

    Peter would not sell his soul and wanted out after 6 years because he was afraid of what he’d become, so he once told me. I’m sure others have gone to DC only to be sucked in to the abyss.

    By the way, your last characteristic is common sense. Why would anyone with common sense put themselves thru what the media and the two parties will do to them if they run and run against the very system that is corrupt in both parties and DC.

  9. Oh come on, don’t be such a drama queen. Every time I turn around, it’s Armageddon deja vu. We keep making awful, desperate decisions around these frequent “emergencies” and Michelle Bachman is shooting straight when she says there would be no default. We have plenty of cash flow to pay our bills, but we’d finally have to knuckle down and BUDGET like every other American who doesn’t work for the government.

  10. I am outside of this and really have no say but as many things in the US affects other countries I can have an opinion ( besides, my two children are proud American citizens ). I am glad there was a deal and I am glad that the right wing Republicans put their print on it. There is a new agenda in Washington DC ! I am also glad that this has weakened Obama and that it is much more likely now that the US will have a new leadership 2012. If there is a downgrading it will be tough but maybe it will help the turnaround that slowly is on it´s way, I am sure. The US is a great inspiring country with great people. They have lived with austerity before. It´s called Kartoffelperiod here ( a German and Danish term , it means potatoetime ).

  11. This happens too often we can’t find one really dynamic strong candidate?
    Generic is the best we can do? So I made up a ticket of three yes it will take 3 to undo this kind of damage . Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. Laugh if you want but none of the above is what I am looking at now:(

  12. Hmmm, I think that you are a little too steeped in the beltway. The deal is a bad deal. It is typical of any congress present or past to send the hard decisions to a ‘Blue Ribbon’ commission.

    We were not going to default. I refuse to accept that failure to spend money on some ear mark is a default of the US government. I saw projections of $90mm to $123mm in tax receipts for the month of August. Interest payments would have only been $23mm. The question about Social Security were manufactured in two ways, one the SS trust fund has treasuries that could have been presented to the Treasury department for redemption, the Treasury could have sold these on the market for cash without surpassing the debt limit. The second way is that SS checks go out all through the month now. It is based on the day of the month that the recipient was born. I am sure that because of statistical anomalies it is not an even distribution but it is definitely better than sending each and every their check (direct deposit) on the 3rd.

    Yes I would have opposed until some reality could be brought to bear on the budget method. We have the deep problem now because of the baseline method of budgeting. This method where the $900mm stimulus is now part of the baseline. So, congress with one bill in 2009, raised the yearly baseline by nearly a trillion dollars. That is insane. Certainly not the way an individual or a corporation can budget and spend. Take us back to a pre-stimulus base line and the future budget deficit looks much better. Better still take us back to the 2008 baseline and we can really make headway on this problem.

    None of those suggestions can be considered by even the Republican leadership because it represents a surrendering of power. And we all know that is what politics is ultimately about.

    This one of the few things I have ever read on you site that I totally disagreed with. So, keep up the pretty good work!

    1. Thanks Gray, respect your opinion though we disagree. My reading just told me this would end up very badly, very quickly. Remember also the markets – they operatie on perception, and they were headed down. A crash is an awful thing to climb out of, and there was a real prospect of it.

      1. I do understand that argument. I think that investors are pretty sophisticated, and have already built the whole ponzi scheme that is the US budget into their calculus. However, as my wife all too often points out I have been wrong before on big decisions.

        So, We everyone up there be taking August off like they usually do?

      2. Good point, Keith. You had only to look at the markets last week to see what was coming. No one was thinking about average investors and where their savings were headed.

  13. Back to the “lively” discussion earlier: I guess I’ll have to take the bumper sticker off my truck that says:

    CORPSE 2012

    -and if God forbid, BHO wins, I can print:


    1. At least if BHO read your bumper sticker he would be pronouncing it correctly. I have never understood how, as the president of the United States, he can mispronounce Corps!

      1. RE: The “list” of GOP candidates: As a journalist/op-ed-cartoonist, they’re all a gift that keeps on giving. As a Father and a guy who’d like to live out my days in some slightly recognizable iteration of the America I grew up in? whoa mule…

        fwiw: I pray I don’t have to print the second one. But I will.

  14. Palin August 2nd 2011

    “Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Monday’s House vote to lift the debt ceiling was a victory for the tea party, proving that conservative activists had shifted the conversation in Washington.

    “We shall take this victory and make sure our politicians in office today are learning from this victory,” Ms. Palin said Monday night on Fox News, where she is a paid contributor. “It’s not a 100% pure genuine victory. We just handed the most liberal president, I believe, in U.S. history a $2.4 billion debt increase.”

    and in April 2011

    “In an interview Friday on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” Palin told host Bret Baier she wouldn’t support raising the debt ceiling.

    “Hells no, I would not vote to increase the debt ceiling,” Palin said. “Otherwise it just shows the American people we’re not serious yet. We’re still going to incur more debt. And we don’t have to increase the debt ceiling in the next few weeks. It turns my stomach to hear the assumption articulated that we have to, despite the fact we’re raking in, the federal government, $6 billion a day. Take that money and service our debt first and pay down some of that debt. Make sure that we’re showing the international financial markets and our lenders that we’re serious about getting our debt and deficit problems under control.”

    1. I agree with Keith on the candidates are just nothing to sing about (or even worth talking about) but I don’t agree with raising the debt ceiling.

      1. I am assuming (and yep I know what assume really means HA!) that since she said the vote to lift the debt ceiling was a win for the Tea Party that she would have voted for it.

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