October 18, 2010

Why I am Not As Optimistic As Some

Those who have visited this blog since those long ago days when it was updated regularly know that  I lean a bit to the "right" on the political spectrum, and so one might think that I'd be absolutely giddy about the current political winds. However, I am actually rather concerned about the long game.

This upcoming election is looking good, but is not in the bag to the extent that some seem to think. For one thing our ground game sucks. This is partly because of the rights more individualist nature and the fact that our GOTV efforts are mostly voluntary, but also because rural and suburban areas pose much more challenging problems to any block captains than the urban areas that are the lefts places of power. 

More thoughts along these lines can be found here.

Still,  the signs bode generally well for November second. My big concern remains what comes after.

The challenges the nation faces are daunting.

The choices available to us are all unpleasant. Some things will have to be cut and most of those things are very near and dear to the people who have allowed themselves to become dependent on them.

The new congress will spend two years trying to set the nations fiscal policy on a sustainable path. That will involve cutting or eliminating a lot of programs, most of which are very popular and have strident and motivated constituencies.

Doing the correct thing fiscally will also involve reducing taxes to the edge of the Laffer Curve in an attempt to boost the economy....this will not punish the rich who invest and create the wealth and jobs, it will support them in these endeavors. Petty or desperate people who resent anyone who has more than them will be enraged by this.

...and the president will veto it all.

He will set himself up as the guardian of your entitlements...whoever you may be. He will be aided in putting forth this narrative by most of the press.

Nothing will get fixed. The nation will go farther into ruinous debt and the new congress will be blamed by the base who elected them for not doing what they promisied....which they will be unable to do if they can't override a veto.

It gets worse.
There is actual spending that needs desperately to be done. Thousands of dams built as public works projects during the depression are now past their design lives and menace untold Americans. Bridges and other infrastructure need to be repaired and replaced.

This was nearly all ignored in the first stimulus in favor of kickbacks, bike paths, blatant corruption and "shovel ready projects". Now the president is talking about a second stimulus to actually deal with these real problems.

Dealing with these issues is part of the legitimate and necessary function of government, so there is a very real possibility that the only thing the congress will get past Obamas veto will be infrastructure projects...that will be very necessary but will just add to the debt even more.

This could cause the Tea Partiers to either become unhinged and form a third party, or sit on their hands out of disgust in 2012, turning the whole thing over to the Dems again, who will then be basically unstopable before the nation turns into a really big version of Greece...but with no one to bail us out.... and then collapses utterly into a huge Hobbsian version of the Balkans after selling all of our mineral rights to the Chinese.

That would be bad....most can agree on this, but avoiding it will require that the tea party folks and the newly chastened Republican establishment work together and keep their eye on the ball.


Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:45 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 I'm even more depressed than you, as I don't think the Republicans are chastised enough.  They are obviously planning to win big based on one thing: they're not Obama and Co.  That's all.   Then they're going to posture a lot up front, but wheel and deal behind the scenes to get spoils for their buddies.  A few genuine reformers will break through, but the party system will treat them like interlopers and freeze them out of any meaningful posts.  They'll have trouble even getting office furniture (Did you know the office infrastructure is under the control of the party whips?).

The anti-third party rhetoric only applies to the reformers.  We have several cases of party hacks doing the third party thing, if primaries didn't go their way -- if any of them win (Tancredo's looking good) how is the GOP going to react?  Open arms, you bet. 

And don't assume any big victories.  Here in Harris county Texas, the oddities are already piling up:  SEIU attempts to fraudulently register 17,000 new voters and gets caught, the next week the warehouse holding all the electronic voting slates for the county burns down (total loss), Democrat office-holders try to browbeat poll-watchers into leaving early voting sites, the Dems sue tea parties that helped uncover the registration fraud and supplies volunteer poll watchers, and guess what? Reports have surfaced that some of the replacement e-slates are changing "straight ticket GOP" votes to "straight ticket Democrat" or showing up with Democrats pre-checked.

I'm not clear what 2012 is going to be like yet, but "political bloodbath" is the first term that comes to mind.  I just hope it's only political.  If we have anything like the Al Franken "victory" happen this year...

Posted by: ubu at Fri Oct 29 12:37:33 2010 (i7ZAU)

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