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One common argument we’ve heard this election cycle is that people are angry at Republicans because of the GOP’s fecklessness and unwillingness to reign in the Obama Administration. But based on this data, that anger may have been misplaced:
A president’s budget proposal tends to be a curious document that acts as part wishful thinking and part a projection of hope into the future. For example, Bush’s last budget proposal showed a federal government that was on track to produce a balanced budget within a few years. Obama’s budget, on the other hand, anticipated a massive spending increase in the first year (due to stimulus spending) followed by pretty typical increases of about 6 percent per year. That “6 percent” is important because in 2009 it was the rate at which federal spending had grown year over year for almost 30 years. So that is the number the Obama team used as their standard for how quickly spending should keep growing. But after Republicans took control of Congress in 2011, despite what you may have heard, they really did put a brake on federal spending. A really good brake. In fact, since 2011, federal spending has increased at only 1.3 percent per year … the slowest rate since the aftermath of World War II.
That looks pretty good to me, and it translates into some serious money:
Exhibit A: Marco Rubio Since leaving the presidential race, Marco Rubio has basically been out of the national limelight. He’s been busy working on a number of issues in the Senate and hasn’t said too much about the ongoing primary process. Recently, though, Rubio has done a few interviews in which he was asked some […]
Speaking at Stanford today, former Congressman and Speaker of the House Boehner described Senator Cruz as “Lucifer in the flesh,” the former Speaker said. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” … “Throughout […]
In an article titled “Ted Cruz’s Cowardly Anti-transgender Stance,” the following appears: Remarkably, Cruz’s anti-trans addition to his stump speech was only the second most offensive thing his campaign did in the past week. The No. 1 spot belonged to an ad released shortly after Cruz opponent Donald Trump said he disagrees with the North Carolina […]
With Kevin McCarthy out, Rep. Paul Ryan is — inevitably — under immense pressure to run for speaker of the house and to give Boehner a way out of it. Ryan, however, has made it abundantly clear for years that he does not want the job.
Every politician under the sun talks about their family when choosing not to run for some higher office, so it’s no surprise that Ryan says he wants to be based in Janesville, Wisconsin and see his three kids as much as possible. But every remotely fair-minded reporter I’ve read ends up convinced that Paul Ryan actually means it and isn’t merely being coy.
He also means it when he says — as he has for years — that he’s a policy guy, not a political guy. He doesn’t want to round up votes; he wants to focus on ideas. He’s in his niche right now, and not easily replaced. Forcing him into a job outside his natural talent could destroy his ability to be the party’s de facto policy leader, and he knows it. And yet, if he were persuaded it were his duty for the good of the country, I think he would do it.
Long story very short: the president will almost always beat the speaker. To win the presidency, the Right needs not barn-burners but fire discipline. To understand the Boehner fiasco — and for conservatives, it has been a fiasco of our own making — we need to understand a bit of history. We need some perspective, and it would help to start with the first modern speaker, Tip O’Neill.
Tip O’Neill reinvented the House of Representatives. Previous Speakers, like Sam Rayburn, had been effective because they were able to put together large bipartisan coalitions to pass bills. But O’Neill put a partisan stamp on the House: he weakened the committee chairs and did his best to pass bills on party lines. O’Neill’s revolution wasn’t widely understood at the time, however, because O’Neill usually lost legislative battles to President Reagan. Why? Because when the president and speaker fight, the president nearly always wins. The president speaks with one voice, while the speaker frequently gets drowned out by the loudest and dumbest members of his caucus. National Review was right to note that Tip O’Neill shut down the government, but Stiles forgot to mention that O’Neill mostly lost those battles to Reagan.
Newt Gingrich continued the trend that O’Neill started. Gingrich liked to compare himself to British Prime Ministers, who very nearly elected dictators. But when Gingrich tried shutting down the government, the blowback forced him to yield to President Clinton. In Lessons Learned the Hard Way, Gingrich made a rueful admission:
The announcement of Speaker Boehner’s sudden retirement has mostly been met with joy, and I am not sorry to see him go. But we should temper our enthusiasm about how radical a change will come with a new speaker.
The reality of the House, in my opinion, is that it is not made up of two parties. It is made up of three.
Our weepy, ineffectual Speaker of the House went on Face the Nation this morning and trashed Conservatives in his own party. (Criticize Democrats? Of course not.) Boehner ticked off the biggest legislative victories he had in the House ‘all voted against by my most conservative members’ because, as the Speaker put it, the bills weren’t […]
Nobody really likes government shutdowns, including me. But sometimes you have to make a point. Send a message. Show voters what you really believe. Take a stand.
With John Boehner set to resign at the end of October, many believe the outgoing speaker can team up with House Democrats to avoid a government shutdown on October 1. Ace Washington watcher Dan Clifton of Wall Street firm Strategis reports, “The risk of a government shutdown next week has been eliminated.” And he expects Congress to pass a short-term continuing resolution that will fund government appropriations through December 11.
That would be a clean bill that does not defund Planned Parenthood. More Democrats than Republicans would support it. And Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell stands ready to pass a similar clean resolution.
Happy Halloween, Ricochet, America, soon to be former Speaker Boehner! Speaker Boehner has announced he will step down just before Halloween This is the right thing to do & the timing is no doubt intended to suggest all hell is breaking loose. Maybe you can have the pope back to anoint the next one, just […]
Via the NYT:
WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner will resign from Congress and give up his House seat at the end of October, according to aides in his office. Mr. Boehner was under extreme pressure from the right wing of his conference over whether or not to defund Planned Parenthood in a bill to keep the government open.
Update 10:38 ET: Live stream here:
Yesterday, a federal court ruled that the House of Representatives could pursue its claim against the Obama administration for spending billions of dollars on Obamacare that had never been appropriated by Congress. US District Judge Rosemary Collyer — a George W. Bush appointee — rejected the arguments that the House lacks “standing” to sue and that the lawsuit was too political to be heard in the courts.
“Despite its potential political ramifications, this suit remains a plain dispute over a constitutional command, of which the Judiciary has long been the ultimate interpreter,” the judge wrote in her ruling. The constitutional command is unambiguous: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law …” (Article I, § 9, cl. 7).
So now the lawsuit heads toward trial and the inevitable appeals process. Of course, the constitutionality of Obamacare itself is not at issue in this suit — rather it is the constitutionality of the unilateral executive actions taken to implement the law. Still, the case could be an opportunity for the courts to smack down Obama for his abuse of executive power. Or it could be another opportunity for Chief Justice Roberts to rewrite the law once again.
The most common form of contemporary conservative electoral argument is flawed in its premise. They argue that we don’t win elections because we don’t follow their advice (give up on social issues / double down on social issues / the same for fiscal issues and/or foreign stuff / use stronger language / use more moderate language / educate the public on abstract issues / stop talking about abstract issues / talk about gaffes more / talk about gaffes less).
In fact, we win elections. We run the legislature in most states, reaching a level of (small d) democratic control rarely seen in American history. We have most governor’s mansions, again, right at the edge of the historical record. We have the House; after decades of suffering from Ike’s neutrality and Watergate, we got it back in 1994 and we’ve mostly kept it. We have the Senate. Even presidentially, we’ve lost just five out of the last twelve races, with the “always losing” argument often resting on the last two. If you decide on the basis of receiving two tails after tossing a coin twice that the coin must be faulty and have no heads on it, you’re probably excessively predisposed that belief.
When people tell you that we’re losing and the only way to win is to buy their snake oil, whether classy snake oil like Arthur Brooks’ or off-brand oils like Mike Murphy’s or Mark Levin’s, they’re wrong in two ways. Firstly, we’re winning, and secondly, many of those who are winning are not from their faction of the party. Ron Johnson and Pat Toomey win in blue-purple states while being unapologetically socially conservative, whatever Murphy might prefer; while Graham, McCain, Murkowski, Capito, Cochran, and Alexander can win in red states despite Levin’s assurances that their path is doomed to fail.
Friday morning saw something rare on the floor of the United States Senate. It was badly needed for the sake of the American people and — like most good deeds — will probably not go unpunished if the GOP leadership, leftist media, and Beltway insiders. In fact, the reprisals began almost immediately.
Dear Representative Ryan,
This is in response to your email inviting me to take the 2015 Congressional Policy Survey because “This survey is one of the best ways for your voice to be heard.” Being asked for my opinion on leaders who spend more time unilaterally disarming themselves than engaging in the battles that I and others sent them to Washington to fight on our behalf is a dicey proposition, after all. It’s rather like being asked, “Aside from the obvious unpleasantries, how was your voyage on the Titanic?”
My first inclination was to print the email out so I could experience the exhilaration of physically tossing it in the garbage, but I thought better of it. You want my voice to be heard? Fine. Here we go:
Well, knock me over with a feather. It appears that Speaker John Boehner is showing some spine. A few months ago, the GOP developed a plan in response to Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty: Fund the rest of the government, then pass a separate spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security that would deny Obama the funds to implement his amnesty. The House did their part, and passed the bill. Now, as expected, Senate Democrats are filibustering it. What is a pleasant surprise is that the House leadership is standing firm, in the face of inconstant Senate GOP leadership and hostile media coverage.
So how to overcome the opposition? Hugh Hewitt argues that Republicans should follow in Harry Reid’s footsteps, and eliminate the filibuster. He writes:
Speaker Boehner has been on something of an interview tour the past week or so, but I’ve just now caught up on some of the video. When I watched his Fox interview with Bret Baier, I was struck by a number of things, but they all seemed to be represented in two areas: #1: Disposition: […]
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king. You may not like Sen. Cruz, may not trust him, may not support him, but he has consistently provided leadership from his new-guy chair where the GOP thrones have been — at best — incompetent.
Cruz and Rep. Lee Zeldin sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry asking for details on the administration’s apparent intrusion into Israel’s internal politics:
“Has President Obama launched a political campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu and his representatives?” Sen. Cruz asked. “This administration’s relentless harassment of Israel is utterly incomprehensible. The Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing the deadliest weapons on the planet, and there can be no doubt that their first target will be Israel, followed by the United States. This administration should be focusing its animosity on the very real enemies we face, not on our staunch allies.”
For all the Boehner bashers out there: John Boehner Invites Israeli Prime Minister to Address Congress Next Month Preview Open