Democrats Lash Out

And The Demagoguery Continues

Posted: September 25, 2013

They supposedly hold the high cards  or at least those showing — in this showdown over a looming shutdown, but President Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill, by their behavior, show they by no means occupy the moral, or rhetorical, high ground. Or that they even know what it is.

Then again, when you’re saddled with legislation rife with unintended consequences — i.e., ObamaCare, yet again the focus of national debate — lashing out from a defensive crouch is a natural default position.

In other words, how do you defend a law, allegedly be-all and end-all, that threatens the tradition of a 40-hour work week? Well, as we said, you lash out at your political opponents as if they were the untoward cause of all things troublesome. Introspection has never been a fallback position for an administration so wantonly stuck on itself.

That’s what we took away from this past weekend’s round of political give-and-take — Democrats going demagogic. Erstwhile House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, fulminating on CNN’s “State of the Union,” set the tone when she called Republicans “legislative arsonists” intent on “burn[ing] down” all that makes this nation “great and competitive” — i.e., government “investments” championed by Democrats.

Mrs. Pelosi, noted fiscal analyst, also declared the budgetary “cupboard bare,” as in nothing left to cut. When you consider the federal budget has doubled in the past 12 years — from $1.9 trillion in 2001 to $3.8 trillion — and that Washington funds more than 50 welfare programs (including myriad redundant job-training initiatives), forgive us if we find this hard to believe.

Mr. Obama, the man who happily negotiates with Vladimir Putin but not with John Boehner, joined the fray, albeit a bit more subtly than La Pelosi. His gem for the weekend, tendered at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner: “We will not negotiate over whether or not America should keep its word and meet its obligations. We’re not going to allow anyone to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people just to make an ideological point.”

That latter sentence pretty much summarizes the GOP’s opposition to ObamaCare.

Speaking of that — as well as the high cards not showing — we continue to believe Republicans boast a better hand than now appears. That is, they have a card or two — and maybe an ace — other than the standard “defunding” deuces now in play. Maybe, as we said last week, it’s sequestration relief in exchange for a delay in implementing the individual mandate. Or perhaps it’s the extralegal ObamaCare exemption carved out for lawmakers and their staffs.

These — the individual mandate and the congressional cut-out — are “us vs. them” issues that resonate with the electorate. And, as such, are cards the GOP should not leave unplayed.

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