GOP Victory In 2014?

Standing On Principle Might Win

Posted: October 22, 2013

After more than two weeks of posturing, name calling, and anything but negotiating between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, our government reopened late last week after President Obama signed a hastily crafted and passed 11th-hour “compromise.”

And what did this grand compromise bring forth? Nothing. After all of the vitriol spewed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and President Obama against those who dared to challenge Obamacare and seek to put a lid on the out-of-control federal spending, Congress agreed to keep doing what we have been doing for another three months.

The government is funded until early 2014, and the debt ceiling is lifted until early February, at which time the Treasury Department may well pull out some of the hocus pocus that only accountants understand, in finding ways to extend our borrowing and increase our nearly $17 trillion national debt.

It is only fitting that the next deadlines will be within striking distance of Groundhog Day. This type of behavior seems to repeat itself over and over and over again.

Pundits want to talk about winners and losers in this political fight, but the clear loser in this battle, time and again, is the American people. The inability of our elected leaders to come together and do the job they were sent to Washington to do seems to be the ending paragraph of every story written on fiscal matters in Washington.

Kicked off the front pages during this high drama were the “glitches” in the rollout of Obamacare. These “glitches” were blamed on the high demand for the program that led to increased traffic on the website set up to enroll people. Proponents of Obamacare rationalized this failure by claiming it reinforces how many people were waiting for this wonderful new opportunity, or by pronouncing that the actual programs, once implemented, will be worth the problems.

Given that sites like Amazon and eBay handle millions of more transactions than were claimed by the government (and noting the government’s infinite resource of taxpayer money to build the infrastructure needed), do you really trust the government that set up this rollout to have a bigger say in your health care?

After the government funding and debt ceiling dustup was temporarily settled, the President continued his full court press against the Republicans. In remarks made Thursday, he offered this gem: “Because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the first government shutdown in 17 years is now over.”

So, those 144 Republicans in the House and 18 in the Senate who stood firm on conviction are irresponsible? That’s a great way to start the next round of negotiations, if that is what the President and Democrats really want.

Mr. Obama correctly noted, in the same speech, that “the American people’s frustration with what goes on in this town has never been higher.” Precious few believe that any real progress will be made between now and the next “deadline,” which likely will end with another 11th-hour “compromise” that pushes the problem out a few more months.

But as Obamacare moves forward at the beginning of the year and the reality of insurance sticker shock hits Americans, perhaps that will set the stage for change. At this time, public opinion polls are bleak for the Republican party, which does need to be united in its message. But, come spring, they may regroup and rise as the American taxpayer begins to realize the bill of goods he has been sold.

And as that happens, the recalcitrant members of the GOP may not look so bad in the eyes of many. Maybe just in time for the 2014 elections.

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