November 4th, 2010

Why so gloomy, Republican victors?

This is why.

Obama is still president, and can veto anything they try to pass. Despite the huge scope of their House victory, the Democrats still control the Senate, albeit by a small margin. And Republicans are not popular with the American people; they were elected as an alternative to something even worse.

So, what can they do? They can’t pass legislation over a presidential veto unless they can get enough Democrats on board to help them override it. This is highly unlikely—unless a great many Democrats feel the hot breath of their own imminent departure from office in 2012 if they don’t get with the program. That’s also highly unlikely; many of the remaining Democrats in the Senate don’t even come up for re-election until 2014 or even 2016, and are immune to such a consideration, or are from true-blue states that would consider voting with Republicans to be a betrayal.

So this just may be the most sober tsunami election in history. Republicans may be able to hold off Obamacare through defunding; it’s unclear how that would work. What’s more, since they were elected to stop things rather than accomplish things, they can keep reminding people of what might have been passed (cap and trade, for example) if they hadn’t been elected. They can pass bills in the House and force Democrats to choose to vote yea or nay, while also getting Obama to go on record as vetoing some popular legislation. It’s possible Republicans can even drag enough Democrats on board to pass a few bipartisan (remember that?) initiatives such as tort reform, which Obama may hold off from vetoing, and thus Republicans could actually point to some accomplishments.

If people are savvy enough to understand the limitations of the current situation, they might forgive Republicans for not accomplishing much, as long as they keep their word and try to stop the most offensive moves of the previous Congress. They would also earn points by being sober and serious and focused on the task at hand.

It doesn’t seem as though expectations of those who voted for them are very high; my guess is that most people may understand how hard stopping or reversing the Obama-Pelosi-Reid legislative train will be.

[NOTE: I suggest that the Republicans not spend time attempting to investigate and subpoena Obama or his deputies. i don't think the American people would appreciate more attacks and blaming; it will perceived as more divisive politics as usual, and they've had enough of that. The Republicans need to be the people's servants, and stick to the reason they were elected, which is to stop the programs they don't like, and attempt to get our fiscal house more in order.]

[ADDENDUM: Oh, and here's a reminder that in 2012, there are 21 Democratic seats up for re-election vs. 10 Republican seats. That's a big big difference. And quite a few of those Democratic seats are in states that are not so strongly liberal as this year's crop.]

75 Responses to “Why so gloomy, Republican victors?”

  1. Trimegistus Says:

    I disagree. I think some investigations would be very useful. You can’t tell me that Obama’s ties to the Chicago Machine haven’t left some dirt on him, nor that the assortment of hacks, crooks, and nutjobs in his cabinet don’t have anything unsavory in their closets. The media absolutely will not investigate any of this, but Congress can issue subpoenas and hold hearings, and the media can’t ignore that.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Trimegistus: Oh, I don’t disagree that there’s lots of shady stuff. What I mean is that one of Obama’s biggest errors was to focus on the wrong things, and to imagine that the public hated Republicans and Bush as much as he did. Republicans should not imagine that all of their support this cycle came from those out to get Obama.

    But far more importantly, Democrats this last two years were seen as ignoring the extremely pressing economic matters that face us, and focusing on the wrong things. It’s a matter of priorities. For the American people as a whole, spending time right now investigating Obama is a waste of time, and divisive huffing and puffing. They will see it as vengeance and business as usual, and it will lose the Republicans some of the (already tenuous) support they now have.

    If the Republicans do this, they will be squandering their chances, just as the Democrats did. I feel this very strongly.

    If the Republicans win in 2012 (including the presidency), the need to impeach Obama will be moot. Eyes on the prize.

  3. Curtis Says:

    ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, NEO!

  4. Militant Bibliophile Says:

    Unfortunately, they now have to play the part of Don Quixote and tilt at the windmill that is the veto for at least the next two years. That means lots of proposals that they know ahead of time will go nowhere, standing staunchly in the way of any more spending and, most importantly (and difficult for Republicans), telling the American people all about it at great lengths as well as making sure that they explain why. They have to become the party of NO for real and waste a whole lot of effort in order to make the President and the Senate look just as nasty.

    Gridlock must reign in order to ensure that all “progress” from the Progressives in power stops. The American people have already decided that this was not the kind of progress they had in mind, and that is in part why the Republicans were elected this time around. The next two years are not the time for reform, they are a holding action that must be fought while better ground is sought out and fortified.

    I will consider their duty discharged if nothing gets through and steps are taken to roll back some of the more egregious errors of the past two years (e.g HCR). Anything past that is gravy, if they can pull it off.

    This election was a step, a beginning. It put the Republicans on notice that they get another chance, not that the country loves their policies. They get one more chance to prove they are who they claim to be (i.e. fiscally responsible), and if they blow it, the GOP will go the way of the Whigs. There are simply too many Conservatives who have had it up to here with being led about by the nose (myself and my wife included) to be willing to put up with it any longer, to say nothing of the American people and their hypersensitivity to hypocrisy on our side of the aisle. Blame who you like, that’s just how things sit right now.

  5. Mr. Frank Says:

    Lots of Democrats in the House walked the plank for Obama care. That vote was their death sentence during the campaign. The Dems in the Senate will figure that out. Being from a state like Va., Penna, West Va, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois or Iowa will be no protection from a similar fate.

  6. Curtis Says:

    Let the economic damage continue to teach. Inflation is coming. Health care costs will increase. Unemployment continue and even rise. Hold the investigations but don’t let them become a media circus.

    Keep it simple: limited government, remove earmarks, cut spending, cut taxes, de-regulate and improve domestic energy production.

    Let the economy be the exposer of Obama.

  7. gs Says:

    So this just may be the most sober tsunami election in history.

    After all the Right’s magical thinking during the Bush years and beyond, I consider this a hopeful sign.

  8. Sergey Says:

    Socialism historically has been defeated not by rational or ideological arguments, but by its own economical inefficiency. This is now happens in Europe, and everybody can see how it is gradually rejected there. Blue states are exactly those which face bunkruptcy first. This lesson can’t be ignored by population, and I expect that even California will became more sane in 2012. Now it is in ideological trance, as I can see in election results and in comments in Gardian. But economic reality will dispell these illusions quite soon.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    gs: I agree. Their sobriety makes me a tad hopeful.

    Let’s see if they can stay on the wagon.

  10. Huan Says:

    The Rs should amend and modify Obama care as best as they can, partially fund, delay, addend, etc

    ultimately America would benefit from healtcare reform done right

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    What you will have is a lot of bad, no ability to act, and all the blame on the republicans who just climbed up into the seat to take that blame, while the others, upset, left the stage and are not going to be targeted for what they actually did.

    the rest of the world is also in play, and there is a lot of war preparation going on, and conflict heating up to facilitate it.

    Arizona has lost land as far as 90 miles inland…

    call it what you will, but its the occupiers that have it, not the people owning it who want the occupiers to leave

    lots of supplies came off those ships, and various countries have amassed military at borders and are having cross border excursions

    my bet has been on, they are using Obama
    so he will think they are helping, and they are using him. even his birth status is a chip in the game. the left here may not like it being brought up, but many countries are now claiming any agreement that he made is not valid. so what happens is we fulfill our side, and they don’t…

    Food is going to be a problem

    The prices are flying up now the election is over, and welfare is not going to increase, the pinch will cause the excuse needed along with other pinches.

    the stock market rose not because of good, but because of bad. if their actions are devaluing the smart ones are converting them to some form of asset. so the market is moving…

    its NOT that there are republicans and they are going to fix things, its the opposite. the lame ducks are monetizing the debt, and so are creating a weimar repeat.

    anyone get that?

    NOW, over two years later, AFTER i said they were going to repeat the hyperinflation of Wiemar as they have repeated the social conditions, the gay and other things, and so forth…

    NOW we are at that Wiemar time, and there is no way to stop it.

    there is a reason why Obama was saying in his speech about his place in the next 6 years… because he plans on holding on to this tiger by the tail, even if its going to tear up the world.

    and why the build up? a moral america with big guns a nasty group can tolerate.. and foil off of…

    but an AMORAL America, with a despotic ruler and the most powerful military in human history?

    they are going to feel they have to stop what they wanted him to become to have that excuse.

    its interesting playing top level chess and other games. the two presumptions of chess is that

    1) you have no fog, 100% clear view of all pieces and actions possible.

    2) your opponent hides his plan in plain site against your plan and achieves this by coordinating convergence in time

    that is, outside that time, all the pieces are separate and disparate, and so its hard to see what they are going to lead to

    at the right time, they are in position, so that all the forces and actions are clicked and the plan in plain site appears.

    i have argued till i am blue in the face that a bad move is a bad move…

    and most cant see the plays and how they will converge and until they do, will fight that it isn’t so.

    once they realize though, its checkmate in 10 moves.

    we are now clearly on the short road to complete collapse and the response…

    how long?

    I can tell you it wont be longer than a year and a half…

    what cant happen here, just happened

  12. Sergey Says:

    Politics became extremly volatile now, when public is inspired more by protest against status quo than by trust to any party or politicians. All 3 latest elections were wave elections, with independents, the most mobile group, determined the outcomes. This general instability prevents prognostication. Thigs are moving really fast now, everything can happen. We are near a bifurcation point, or singularity, in USA and worldwide. I expect a general collapse of liberal ideology, something alike 1989 in Eastern Europe.

  13. Adrian Day Says:

    “I suggest that the Republicans not spend time attempting to investigate and subpoena Obama or his deputies. i don’t think the American people would appreciate more attacks and blaming; it will perceived as more divisive politics as usual, and they’ve had enough of that.”

    This is particularly disturbing considering this is a page out of the Democrats playbook. George Bush may not have been the greatest president ever but much of his reputation and image which still lingers in the mind of many Americans came from just such strategies.

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    Adrian Day: It may be disturbing, but it’s the way it is. I think if the Republicans decide to do tit for tat, they will go down.

    This does not mean they should “compromise” on the legislative agenda. It is simply a matter of priorities. The priority of the American people is not to take revenge on Obama. It is to fix the damage he did.

  15. Scottie Says:

    Ok, I get that the republicans don’t have a lock on power at the moment.

    The best case scenario from the democrat side is gridlock, which they will think they can beat the republicans over the head with during the 2012 election cycle.

    I can hear it now: “Look, we weren’t able to accomplish (fill in the blank) because those hate filled republicans kept us from passing this law…for the children.

    Any initiative the republicans make, the democrats in the Senate – or Obama with a veto – will stymie. They can’t allow the republicans any measure of success – at least as quantified by passing some law.

    So, the republicans can’t pass any of their pet bills.

    So what?

    I’m kind of happy about that as I figure we have enough laws to occupy us for the next 100 years!

    Also, I’m of the opinion that we have TOO DAMN MANY LAWS as it is!

    My suggestion for the republicans is to immediately focus on repealing that health care law.

    The democrat senators up for re-election in 2012 may actually go for it if they think their political necks are on the line.

    At the very least, they can start the defunding process, and all budget bills originate in the House of Representatives.

    2010 will not be forgotten for many an election cycle!

    If that happens, Obummer will have to consider going against not only the republicans, but also the wishes of members of his own party if he vetos the repeal.

    So what if he does indeed veto it (likely)?

    The republicans should keep dropping it on his desk at every opportunity and make the democrats either support repeal or plan to crawl out themselves onto that plank their erstwhile brethren jumped off of during the last election cycle.

    The majority of the population doesn’t like the bill – so it keeps it in the forefront of the news cycle in a way advantageous for the republicans.

    Other than that, I say go ahead with investigations – only keep it to something that the public can digest.

    All of those damn czars Obamster selected would be a great starting point!

    This is a republic – not a monarchy.

    The republicans should drive that message home repeatedly as they look into each and every one of these “czars” and what they are doing.

    Yeah, I know, the republicans have done the same in the past.

    Only, ya know, the republicans are now saying they’ve learned their lesson – so this is a chance for them to show it by ignoring potential calls of hypocrisy from the left and go after these czars.

    Oh, and promise never to do the same themselves EVER again!

    Shine some sunlight on the sonsofbitches.

    Finally, the republicans need an underlying theme to what they are doing.

    A theme is very important, as it becomes the image the general public carries about with them, and colors their thinking on every matter that comes up.

    If the republicans don’t define themselves first – the democrats certainly will do it for them.

    The theme I suggest the republicans start hammering constantly – individual liberty.

    Laws that may infringe on individual liberty without real benefit should be identified and repealed – and the republicans should make it a point of stating boldly that this is the reason the law in question is being repealed.

    Place the burden on the democrats to argue against the advancement of personal freedom!

    A nice side benefit of expanding personal freedom – and it’s difficult to quantify probably – is that I think greater economic freedom will follow, and greater prosperity will be the result.

    The republicans could then make a strong case that there is a direct connection between their freedom pursuing policies and the prosperity all Americans would then be enjoying.

    If successful, that would be a potent advantage the democrats would have a difficult time overcoming in subsequent election cycles.

  16. gs Says:

    …This is highly unlikely—unless a great many Democrats feel the hot breath of their own imminent departure from office in 2012 if they don’t get with the program. That’s also highly unlikely; many of the remaining Democrats in the Senate don’t even come up for re-election until 2014 or even 2016, and are immune to such a consideration, or are from true-blue states that would consider voting with Republicans to be a betrayal.

    [ADDENDUM: Oh, and here’s a reminder that in 2012, there are 21 Democratic seats up for re-election vs. 10 Republican seats. That’s a big big difference. And quite a few of those Democratic seats are in states that are not so strongly liberal as this year’s crop.]

    Good for you, neo! tips hat

    A high IQ is a good thing to have, but afaic intellectual honesty is more important than a high IQ.

  17. M J R Says:

    If it takes an investigation to uproot Attorney General Eric Holder and his anti-white leftie troops, we need to do just that. Whatever it takes — before right-leaning people are further intimidated. Otherwise, the elections of 2012 and beyond may by then be corrupted beyond redemption.

  18. Matthew M Says:

    Make sure any congressional investigations are coordinated with the legislative strategy, e.g., investigate where the phony HCR cost and savings numbers came from at the same time the members of the House of Representatives are forced to vote yea or nay on a HCR repeal bill (and force Senate to reject it and Obama to denounce it.)

  19. expat Says:

    One more thing the Reps can do is change the tone in which the people are addressed. Change it from calling us clingers and victims to treating us like capable adults. Emphasize how Reps are setting priorities rather than promising to halt the oceans and they will tackle problems one after another.

    Set up a party website where local parties can highlight bottom-up solutions to problems that their own constituents have thought up and carried out (preferably without gov’t funding). Make sure the little guy knows he is an important part of solving problems because he is closer to them than someone inside the beltway and he understands the community resources he can draw on.

    Make sure that information flows between local parties and DC. Make sure that locals are up to snuff on the rationales behind DC actions. Make sure they can explain why things are being done to the person who works next to them. In other words connect with the voters in a way that Obama and his ivied crew can’t.

  20. Curtis Says:

    No matter what, the renewal of many ordinary common Americans to their constitution signifies a great thing; however, the price for decades of delusion isn’t going to go away merely because a lot of people have awakened. The question that is on everyone’s mind is “Did we wait too long to wake up?” And the next one we are presently discussing: “With our limited resources, what’s the best way of prevailing?”

  21. Steve Ducharme Says:

    My goodness it’s not nearly this difficult.

    Keep putting popular, smart and responsible bills on his desk and dare him to veto it. If/when he does the public outcry will scare the crap out of anyone even remotely on the margin for re-election. Those Dems will get in line quick. This will lay the groundwork in 2012 for the likes of fiscal hawks like Chris Cristie.

    In the mean time, unfund every damm thing you can where healthcare reform is concerned. If it gets squirted through with regulation instead of Law thn let the world know about it. Make sure all the seniors know it. Make sure they know that it’s an end run by the Dems.

    Propose a budget with across the board cuts to EVERYTHING! 5% for starter. Military included. Dare the SOB do veto it. When/if he does, pass another one and dare him again. Make a big deal about the principled responsible stance you are taking and most importantly DON”T back off. Be responsible and firm and the rest will take care of itself in 2 years.

    P.S. How about some noise about a balance budget amendment.

  22. Steve Ducharme Says:

    Scottie I really like your idea of establishing a theme. Something simple and direct. Sadly, “No new taxes” has been corrupted. How about

    Balance, Reason and Responsibility.

  23. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Curtis said, “Keep it simple: limited government, remove earmarks, cut spending, cut taxes, de-regulate and improve domestic energy production.”

    Right on, Curtis! It’ll bend the debt curve diown and the GNP numbers up.

    The Rs need to get their proposals out -Foxnews, talk radio, the Internet, and any MSM outlet that will accept them. The citizens need to be kept informed about what Obama is vetoing.

    The Rs also have to understand that the MSM and the dems will immediately start screaming that Rs are hurting the children, education, the environment, Gays, and abortion rights. Those arguments must be met quickly and aggressively with the counter points that the government has no money, it derives its income from the private sector. The more wealth the private sector creates, the better it is for everybody. More national wealth helps the poor, the schools, children, and the environment. Abortion and Gays are social issues that have little bearing on the present problems and most on the center right are not zeroed in. Do not be afraid to kick that can down the road.

    It’s going to be a battle for the attention and understanding of the average citizen. Information warfare! That is where the Rs have to gear up and get it right.

  24. kaba Says:

    A disproportionate time spent on witch hunts and show trials would indeed be counterproductive. However, Congress does have a Constitutionally mandated oversight responsibility. If they fail to pursue obvious problems such as Holder’s Justice Department or the FEDs abuse of the monetary system then they will have failed.

  25. Curtis Says:

    Adrian Day, you said, “This is particularly disturbing considering this is a page out of the Democrats playbook.”

    It’s certainly distasteful to accept the slings and arrows of an outrageous opponent and not provide a robust defense. On the other hand, it’s not quite a bright line on whether taking arms works much better. Democrats main strategy, in fact their ‘October Surprise,’ was to savage their opponent in any way possible. Did it work? Maybe in the short run, but in the long run it doesn’t–given there’s a free information flow. George Bush is, after all, experiencing a rather dramatic popularity renewal precisely for his non-vengeful tone.

    We should investigate, but we should not make it a focal point. Can Republicans do that? Obviously we must investigate if there are real crimes, but if there is only the vagary of executive over-reach, then that has already been addressed by Obama’s loss of popularity.

    Perhaps there is another source of glumness? The conflict between the Republican elite and the newly anointed tea party candidates may undo all the good that has been done. We hope, first of all, the newbies won’t be corrupted, and secondly, they will become leaders so that America will be preserved.

    And I think a lot of us, on a very practical level, are saying “What can I do now?”

    But good. The fact that there is a glum mood may bid well. It is a time for grim and set faces.

  26. jennifer Says:

    They can’t pass anything without the house…also they can investigate and subpoena testimony of what is in the HC Bill. 2600 pgs….do you know about the $10 trillion that was in CCX carbon exchange??

  27. James Says:

    The Republicans should probably hold some investigative hearings on what the agencies have been doing to business – especially the EPA. That wouldn’t really be going after Obama, and it would explain some of what is going wrong with the economy.

    A great deal of what goes right in the next few years will be in the states. School vouchers and charters are a big deal, both culturally and economically. Its not widely reported, but after the flood, Louisiana was almost completely transformed to Republicans, and New Orleans now doesn’t have a public school system. Almost the entire city educational system is charters and vouchers. That is the stuff that makes long term change possible. This election provided enough state houses to spread that effect through many states.

    For the next two years, Congress and the President will be sending out their message – no from the Republicans, yes from the President. We will see which message is most popular. The competition for that messaging will be the determining factor for Obama’s legacy and the 2012 election.

  28. TmjUtah Says:

    It’s too late.

    That’s all.

    Too late.

  29. Oldflyer Says:

    The House controls the money; and Boehner said they will exercise control to manage the agenda.

  30. strcpy Says:

    I agree – people didn’t vote for republicans, they voted against the democrats.

    Ultimately the lest three elections have been votes against “politics as usual”. They Republicans lost their majority because of it and the Democrats gained their super-majority and the Presidency on that one thing – Pelosi’s “drain the swamp” and “most ethical congress evar!” comments along with Obama Hopenchange. They then not only failed to do it but were *worse* than the ones they were running against.

    At best one can say people looked at the Democrats and went “Nu uh, you guys *really* suck”

    Republicans now have the same chance Democrats had in 2008 – can they become a “big tent” party in the way Reagan described, remain positive and upbeat, and refrain from “politics as usual”? If they can the Democrats will be dead in the next election, truly dead. So dead that I do not think they could come back and there would have to be another “liberal” party takes its place.

    Their main hope – and frankly it is a realistic one – is that the republicans go about as normal. I do agree that the somber attitude and that, ever all, the Tea Party *has* influenced them some gives me some hope. However I thought I saw it in 1992 (see http://www.digitas.harvard.edu/~salient/issues/941212/page4.html – they would *still* sweep if they stood by this) and watched it go down in flames.

  31. Tom Says:

    Part of the fix is to go on the offensive, and that means demonizing the demons, not just picking up some of the pieces of our shattering Republic that they’ve knocked down. Nothing’s going to be repealed. The Pelosi crowd knows history: Nothing major enacted by the Progs has ever been repealed. Tweaked maybe, but so what? That’s no rebuttal.
    We’re stuck on stupid if we don’t go after them tooth and nail.

  32. neo-neocon Says:

    Tom: I’ve thought about that for a long time. You may be right, of course. But (and I believe I’ve written a post or several posts where I discuss this) this is different. They never have passed a sweeping program that affects our lives so greatly that was also universally unpopular even at the time it was passed. This one has even increased in unpopularity. Plus it has not taken effect yet. It could be defunded before it begins. This new Congress has been elected at least in part on the promise of stopping it; that’s unique as well.

  33. expat Says:

    They could go after malpractice suits and put Obama in the position of defending John Edwards-type sleazy lawyers and drying up Dem money. They could also insist on making purchasing pools available across state lines and then let the people decide whether or not to go with the gov’t brand. There are probably many ways to hollow out the legislation. The selling point should be that it is arrogant to allow HCR to destroy existing sytems and close options in the future, that piecemeal reforms will allow us to correct mistakes we make.

  34. kolnai Says:

    Yeah, I think I’m in agreement with both neo and Tom. We just can’t say ahead of time whether a certain investigation will be worth it, and is likely to be conducted properly. All I’d say is I don’t think it’s wise to say absolutely no or yes beforehand.

    But maybe we can say that no investigation of any significance should be undertaken before the House has definitively moved on a number of things they were elected to do.

    I am particularly apprehensive about getting into the New Black Panther thing, because we do not need to open the racialist hornet’s nest right now. I fully agree that Holder’s DoJ is a travesty. The point is simply that the House needs to be prudent.

    I personally would much rather see hard-hitting and conspicuous attacks on Obamacare and the budget. But…man, the EPA is really up to no good, and they need to get a spanking, pronto. Still, the EPA’s mandate to regulate carbon came from the freakin’ Supreme Court, not Congress, so I don’t know how the House could stop them. It will require great shadowy skill that I can’t begin to fathom.

    Lastly, I am gloomy because this didn’t feel like a tsunami or a repudiation. It felt like a natural shift back to where the country’s equilibrium normally is – center-right, on the whole. That’s fine, but center-right really means “ambiguously right, with various elements of left sprinkled into the stew.” George Lakoff may be a tool, but he’s got a point when he refers to so-called moderates or the median voters as “biconceptuals.” They aren’t as malleable as he thinks, but then they’re not as conservative we’d like to think either.

    The fight for repudiation is beginning now – that is, as our hero Churchill put it, this is merely the end of the beginning.

  35. RickZ Says:

    M J R is absolutely correct.

    The one department/person that MUST be investigated is Holder and the Dept. of Injustice. Vote fraud is treason, and must be treated and tried as such. To let the Dept. of Injustice continue on their merry racist way is to condemn this Nation to Zimbabwe status (more than it already is).

    Holder and the NBBP, the Pigford Settlement, Noxubee Co., MS, trying Khalid Mohammed in NYC, the inversion of bankruptcy laws when it came to GM by putting unsecured creditors (unions) over secured creditors, the lawsuit against Arizona because the Feds are not doing their job, all of it must be investigated using the Republican House majority subpoena power. Prior to having the subpoena power, the Dept. of Injustice simply ignored written requests for information/documents. Holder must be forced to resign if that is the best that can be done. Personally, I think he’s been way over the criminal line in running the Dept of Injustice and deserves a stint in Club Fed.

    It is imperative the Dept. of Injustice be investigated as there is an incredible amount of malfeasance, at best, going on there. If that takes up an inordinate amount of time in Washington, all the better (because any investigation will certainly lead back to Obama). When the Nation of Laws loses respect for laws, anarchy and chaos are not far behind.

    Oh, and audit the Fed. Time for that massive monetary black hole to be explored and exposed, to go where no Administration/Congress has gone before, using (alien) anal probes as required.

    Obama showed no mercy to the American people when we protested, instead ignoring and belittling us. The American people have spoken out loud for well over the past year against his agenda, and have done so again with this election. Time for no mercy to be shown to Obama and his henchmen. What’s good for the goose is good for the Keynesian.

  36. Oblio Says:

    Interesting debate. Certainly, the R’s need to stay on the offensive. Remember your Sun Tzu: the most effective strategy is to destroy your enemy’s world view. In practice, that means to embarrass the Left’s passive supporters by naming and shaming the worst offenses. The softest support inside the Blue Citadels is based on fear of embarrassment and social pressure.

    You don’t need to make Obama personally the target. You go after “the King’s evil counselors” and make him lose ground by either defending the indefensible or failing to defend his people.

    Investigations have an important role in helping maintain the narrative. The coming struggle will be asymmetrical conflict between the Republican House and progressive-controlled agencies, you need to keep executive branch politicians in constant fear of exposure. For example, what is the plan to prevent mercury in compact florescent lights from getting into the water? EPA has some splainin’ to do. In addition, there are Democrat-aligned institutions–e.g. SEIU, University officials, and community organizers–getting government money that would not fare well under the bright light of scrutiny.

    By the way, the MSM will play the role of Inquisitor for the Democrats and Obama no matter what the Republicans decide to do, and with no procedural protections for the victims. We must keep demonstrating where no compromise is possible, and why.

  37. Oblio Says:

    One thing more. You will need more stories of abuse to explain why we are going to defund bankrupt blue states: California, Illinois, New Jersey, etc. A great deal of the “stimulus” money went to keep state and local employees on the payroll–hence no stimulus effect. All we are doing is federalizing the results of blue state self-indulgence, thereby adding to the debt. If this isn’t a proper topic for the next Congress to investigate, I don’t know what is.

  38. kolnai Says:

    Dang, oblio – that’s a really good point. I completely missed that. We will indeed need the tale of abuse to give us ammunition in the coming bail out wars.

    You also make the point I sometimes forget when thinking through prudent strategy – no matter what Republicans do, they will be assaulted from every angle by the MSM. Sooner or later – well, sooner – we’re simply going to have make a choice to resist the shrinking-violet syndrome.

    My only worry is stylistic – I am worried about the appearance of vindictiveness by seeming to “go after” Obama. You’re right that we can play it the ancient way – going after all the King’s men – but we need to be very careful to keep it contained. If the rhetoric starts to spread to insinuations and accusations against the President himself, we are going to get knocked off-track and find ourselves on the only battlefield where Obama has no little power left – personal likability.

    The cult of personality needs to remain in its de-activated state, and I think that’s the concern of people who want to stick to policy. I don’t think we have to be shrinking-violets with regard to investigations, but the possibility of re-activating the cult of personality and getting people to sympathize with “the nice guy” Obama terrifies me.

    Those caveats being noted – as always, you made really insightful points. Reading your last post, I felt like you pointed to my blind spot. All praise due.

  39. Oblio Says:

    I agree with you, kolnai. Don’t make Obama the target. We need to pick our battles carefully, and strategically. Wild rhetoric, overreaching, lack of discipline, and stupidity will be punished.

  40. drntbruce Says:

    On the investigation side, there are a couple of things that need to be looked into. Top in my mind is this business of ballots not being sent to deployed service members in a timely fashion. This could be fixed without bloodshed if attention was given. Maybe this is unfair, but it seemed to me that the jurisdictions that blew off the requirement to timely send ballots were pretty much all blue. Were they trying to avoid counting what is reputed to be a largely conservative electorate?

  41. LaurieK Says:

    They can craft and vote on legislation that supports the issues that are important to conservatives and that are alternatives to what the Administration proposes, and by doing so, present these ideas to the public in a manner that has been denied them for quite a while. When the Senate or other House members vote these things down, use that as a bat to beat them with in 2012. Also, try to repeal Obamacare, and make the Dems, particularly those up for re-election, express their public support for it again and again. Alnd if there are issues on which there is enough common ground to craft useful legislation, by all means, do it…it’s their job. There’s much Republicans can do that is useful, if they’re smart.

  42. setnaffa Says:

    “Neocon” was originally an antisemitic term to denigrate Jews who stopped being Socialists or Communists. Are you down with that?

    And we have yet to see whether there are enough Senators who want to vote for ObamaCare again. Regardless of a Presidential Veto.

    2012 is going to be here PDQ…

  43. oMan Says:

    Agree with so much said already. Do not target Obama. Target the most egregiously bad counselors around him. Target the worst agency malfeasance (EPA, DOJ) and, within that target set, do precision daylight hits and lots of night raids. Daylight hits = serious high-visibility investigations with subpoena power on truly bad facts and behavior of unloved individuals. NOT witch-hunts or protracted grinding incomprehensible stuff. Otherwise the MSM will kill GOP with vindictive/distractive meme. The night raids = lots and lots of informal letter-level inquiries of mid-level bureaucrats and functionaries that eat up their lives and possibly force them to hire counsel just in case. These should be meritorious, of course, but not high-visibility, not a chance to grandstand; just steady attrition and harassment of the Machine that creates favorable conditions for some to blow whistles or lose their appetite for regulatory excess.

    But the main battle, for now, is defense. Block Obamacare through repeal efforts, make him veto the repealer bills over and over. Defund it in whole or in parts, over and over. Attach the defunding to things that he can’t reject. And make sure the public knows you’re doing it. To use Churchill’s well-worn (but apt) phrase, we are not at the beginning of the end, but we may be at the end of the beginning. The public must become conditioned to a long slog with some reverses yet to come. The message aspect will be more important than any single legislative victory, however big. Establish the themes now, and reinforce them at every opportunity.

  44. Tom Says:

    Interesting evolution of this thread which reaches these conclusions IMO:
    1) Choose our battles wisely, but battle. Battle to win.
    2) Attack the King by attacking his Ministers. Classic Alinsky, that– isolating, personalizing, destroying.
    3) Targeted defunding. But vigorously.
    4) Don’t feed the Moonbeams.
    We all know this will be a long campaign.

  45. richard40 Says:

    I think some oversight investigations are warranted, but also agree with others that they should be low key rather than center stage. And there should definitely be no impeachment drive, unless crystal clear evidence of Nixonian level abuses are proven, and most of the dems are willing to join in, highly unlikely. We can wait till 2012 to throw out Obama.

    Center stage is to pass spending bills with significant cuts, and watch Obama and the dems complain the repubs are cutting too much. Repubs can then “compromise” by cutting slightly less than they did originally, to advance the spirit of bipartisanship, all the while saying they wish the dems would be more fiscally responsible. If dems demand new taxes, resist them, while saying no new taxes until spending vs GDP falls from the current 25% to the traditional level of 20%. Extend all of the Bush tax cuts (I think there are enough dem votes in the senate to go along on this, and if there is I dont think Obama will veto). If dems complain the Bush tax cuts are not payed for, propose some cuts to Obamacare to pay for them.

    Pass repeal of health care, just to see how many dems vote against it, and let Obama veto. Then defund it. This will clarify the issue and the choice for 2012.

    Another thing to be careful of is Obama may try to engineer a government shutdown to get the spending he wants. If that happens, repubs must be very careful that Obama is blamed for it, not them. They must pass a reasonable continuing resolution that funds all essential services, and publically express their concern that the continuing resolution pass, and their hope that government wont be shut down, and their hope that Obama will NOT veto it. They should extend the debt ceiling, but only by enough to get through one year, while simultaneously expressing their desire for more spending restraint so they wont have to extend it again.

  46. Fen Says:

    For starters, how about reminding the nation at every opportunity that we will not be forced to bail out California?

    Why should my tax dollars pay for the failure of their socialist dream? Let it rot. Maybe we can pawn it to China.

  47. Tom Says:

    There’s a big difference between “gloomy” and “determined.” Tuesday was certainly nice, but that was only the beginning.

    We’ve a long way to go to get the GOP back in power, and once we do, we need to be even more vigilent to make sure they don’t go back to their old ways.

  48. SteveH Says:

    “”I am worried about the appearance of vindictiveness by seeming to “go after” Obama.”"
    Kolnai

    I’m worried this line of thinking represents a form of continued republican timidity, that i contend is a big part of their spineless wimp image. They cannot pretend to be fighting for liberty and capitalism while simultaneously walking on eggshells around Barak Obama because of the color of his skin.

    The stakes are getting too high to continue fighting with one hand tied behind our backs because of the flawed liberal premise that suggest sensitivity is a given based on a persons ancestry. It is a profoundly flawed premise that flies in the face of the color blind society MLK dreamed of and must be dismantled.

  49. The Anchoress | A First Things Blog Says:

    [...] So Gloomy, Republican Victors? this is why Comments [...]

  50. Patm Says:

    I don’t think it’s as bad as neo does. Every vote Obama signs will come back to bite him and the Dems. We just have to be a little patient.

  51. Doc merlin Says:

    Make him veto it, bring it up again and again, and make him look worse and worse every time.

  52. cv1 Says:

    The republicans want to have health care around in 2012 anyways. There needs to be a lot of investigations, so everyone will know what has actually been going on.

  53. styrgwillidar Says:

    “The Republicans need to be the people’s servants”

    I think that is the most important line in your piece. Every politician needs to keep in mind that at the end of the day they are our hired help. Not our rulers. I believe the dems biggest error was their obvious condescension and contempt for the American people. The republicans have to hold townhalls and take lessons from Gov Christie in how he handles himself. He doesn’t treat his detractors as idiots- he treats them with respect, as simply folks who have a different opinion. He states his position knowledgeably. No, hey we have to pass this to find out what’s in it. No, hey you’re just angry, ignorant, unwashed, bitter, rascist— whatever. He always treats them as fellow americans with an opposing opinion, worthy of debate and discussion.
    The dems came off as ‘a ruling class’ vice hired help. Most were horrible at knowing the facts surrounding any given piece of legislation. Which really highlighted how awful a 2,000 page bill being rammed through at warp speed and modified and amended on the fly really might be. It confirmed that there were going to be all kinds of unintended, or unpublicized affects. You can’t insult the folks who hire and pay you and expect to keep your job.

  54. Curtis Says:

    Powerline, today, examines the question about the efficacy of investigations towards the ultimate goal.

    Repealing Obamacare is the centerpiece; to repeal we need to get both houses and the presidency. That task is remarkably possible, but we need the independents whom we will lose if we show the same type of “vitriol and vituperation” as the Democrats. (Watch the Barney Frank blurb on Powerline. Barney likes the “V” words.”)

    Repeal is awfully possible. The Supreme Court will hear it and may likely repeal it because we have five justices who are near Constitutionalists (see site) or at least sympathetic.

    http://www.constitution.org/pol/us/consplat.htm–see Item 6

    Item 6: The “commerce” among the states and with foreign nations which the Congress has the power to regulate (Art. I Sec. 8 Cl. 3) consists only of transfers of ownership and possession of tangible goods, for a valuable consideration, that commence in one state and terminate in another, or in one state and terminate in a foreign nation, or in a foreign nation and terminate in a state. It does not include regulation of “traffic” except insofar as it is necessary to identify commercial traffic carrying commodities subject to regulation. It does not include primary production, such as mining, agriculture, herding, fishing, or hunting. It does not include manufacturing, retail sales, possession, use, transport or disposal of one’s property not part of an exchange. It does not include other activities of those engaged in commerce or anything not itself a tangible commodity that “affects” commerce, substantially or otherwise.

  55. mariner Says:

    Republicans can kill Obamacare if they have the guts. (I know, using “guts” and “Republicans” in the same sentence …)

    If the House passes a resolution to repeal Obamacare it then goes to the Senate, where Democrats may only have a three- or four-vote majority. Senate Democrats who vote against repeal can expect to be themselves repealed in 2012.

    Even if the Senate doesn’t vote for repeal, House Republicans should wait a while and pass another repeal resolution. Make the Senate vote until we get the results we want. (After all, wasn’t that the Democrat strategy for getting Obamacare deemed passed?)

    Then, if the Senate insists on obstructing Republicans the House can refuse to fund the Obamination.

    Conservatives can win this is they have the stomach to fight.

  56. LarryD Says:

    Investigation is committee work, only bringing impeachment would take House voting time. I think the DOJ/Civil Rights/Selective Enforcement issues are important enough to dig into, and maybe impeach a bunch of appointees.

    The mishandling of the containment/cleanup of the Gulf oil spill also merits an inquiry. It’s less certain that the results would reveal incompetence severe enough to merit impeachment, but certainly something needs to be done. Again, this is mostly committee work.

  57. expat Says:

    Steve H: I don’t think avoiding looking vindictive needs to mean looking weak. We need to look like the grownups who go for substance. The contrast with Obama and crew will do the job. We need to appear serious and very determined–like we take people’s concerns seriously and like we know how to balance a checkbook.

  58. Curtis Says:

    The unsatisfied and chronic complainers (and what else are Democrats) will destroy themselves when a consistent and persistent standard of decency is raised against them. The tea party is that standard and our hope is that enough “good” people still exist in America and have been educated through current events to disdain the main stream media and Democratic deception.

    The meme that this election was a “negative” election is mostly untrue because it is a half truth. In any struggle for identity we define who we are and who we are not. The above meme only recognizes the “who we are not” struggle and not the “who we are struggle.” Republicans need to develop a simple and successful definition of our identity–and this is where some gloom sets in because they are afraid to commit to a definite standard. The woefully inadequate attempt by a few illustrates this.

    Tea Partiers are united in identity, and that’s why they were successful. Consider a want to be Tea Partier: Meg Whitman. She could not articulate who she was because she didn’t want to exclude, say, the Hispanics. And the electorate concluded she was just another self-serving elite wanting to gain her way into the political ranks.

  59. Tom Says:

    Seems to be a 2nd “Tom” on this thread. I’m the first. May need to reinvent myself!

  60. M. Simon Says:

    No investigations?

    Charlie Rangle tops the list.

    And how about vote fraud and intimidation? The New Black Panthers and the Justice Dept?

    Plenty of investigations REQUIRED. No need to attack little o directly.

  61. M. Simon Says:

    Can some one point me to the Drug Prohibition Amendment to the Constitution?

  62. M. Simon Says:

    “Neocon” was originally an antisemitic term to denigrate Jews who stopped being Socialists or Communists

    This Jew neocon is totally down with it.

  63. RickZ Says:

    M. Simon,

    It’s not an amendment. Look up the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914. See also the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.

  64. M. Simon Says:

    center-right really means “ambiguously right, with various elements of left sprinkled into the stew.”

    I believe the word you are looking for is libertarian.

  65. M. Simon Says:

    RickZ,

    I know about those. They were tax acts that the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional.

    So if we needed an amendment for alcohol why isn’t there one for drugs?

    I’m all for consistent Constitutionalism. Strictly.

  66. M. Simon Says:

    And Rick,

    You know who brought the case that made the Constitutional point?

    Tim Leary. Heh.

  67. Micha Elyi Says:

    “Propose a budget with across the board cuts to EVERYTHING! 5% for starter. Military included. Dare the SOB do veto it. When/if he does, pass another one and dare him again.”-Steve Ducharme

    Wow. That’s a sure-fire way to energize the all Democrat party interest groups all at once, Steve.

    Remember this: an interest group can just as easily mobilize to fight a 5% nick to their goodie as to oppose having their taxpayer-funded goodie abolished altogether. The political capital consumed to fight the tax-eaters is the same in both cases. However, if the goodie is abolished the interest group that fed on it goes away and isn’t around year after year to maneuver to restore their goodie to full funding.

    “Part of the fix is to go on the offensive, and that means demonizing the demons, not just picking up some of the pieces of our shattering Republic that they’ve knocked down.”-Tom

    Let’s take a tip out of Obama’s favorite playbook. Zero in on some large federal budget boondoggles that fund unpopular interest groups. Publicize the outrage, polarize the public, and pressure for abolition of the program. Rinse, repeat. Put the word out on the street that if any other tax-eater groups show solidarity with the target then their undeserved goodie may go straight to the top of our to-do list.

  68. bernal Says:

    … many of the remaining Democrats in the Senate don’t even come up for re-election until 2014 or even 2016.

    No duh. When is that ever not the case. About 1/3 of the Senate every two years. But in 2012 only about 1/3 of the senators up for re-election will be Republicans, the rest Democrats.

    If they have any sense Republicans will force Senate votes and vetoes on many unpopular laws and regulations promulgated by our current masters.

    This article is not particularly well thought out.

  69. neo-neocon Says:

    bernal: I don’t think you read the addendum.

  70. neo-neocon Says:

    setnaffa: anyone who wants to know my views on the word “neocon” can go to the right sidebar and click on the category “neocons.”

  71. Sardondi Says:

    So Obama will veto GOP bills? So what? Make him. The GOP must realize we don’t want to see laws passed just for them to be able to say they “accomplished something”. That’s not what they were elected for.

    What we want is for the GOP to throw down the gauntlet; draw the line in the sand; declare their principles in the only way that counts – by voting. Make the Democrats fight them! Bring to a vote bills for an across-the-board budget cut of at least 5%. Get a vote on repealing ObamaCare; extending the Bush tax cuts; cutting capital gains tax; extending the ban on the death tax. It doesn’t matter whether they pass the Senate or get vetoed: MAKE THEM VOTE! That’s the only way we can tell who can stay and who needs to go. Besides, if they keep up the pressure, they just may see some crumbling of “party discipline” by the Dems.

    If they’ll do that, 2012 will be an even bigger political tsunami than 2010.

  72. gaetano Says:

    Just remember that the republicans won because the people caught up to the lies of the democratic agenda. they want revenge and to know the truth about obama. We the people have been duped by the whole democratic part,and we also know that when someone investigates any of obamas right hand thugs,that the first thing he does is to throw them under the so called bus. WHO`S FIRST? HOLDER,2ND,PELOSI FOR IMPROPER VETTING OF Obama,3rd,Acorn. At the same time Republicans must be doing what the American people want,LIKE, boarder patrol of illegals , get the health bill in a win win situation,not by repealing it but by making it known and safe to the people and and take out all the unknown bullshi% that it contains. Remember this, that Obama will fight tooth and nail to make sure that he gets the credit for passing it. He wants credit for a lot of things but what he has is nothing,so make him feel good,at the same time, bring him to his knees. Any one of his henchmen that goes before a supreme court, would squeal like a pig.BUT lets not forget that Americans have been convinced that obama is not legal himself and we would like to know all the truths about him,like his records etc. I personally know that the next 2 years will be hell for all Americans and that millions of people will suffer. Well it will be worth the suffering to me to expose this s.o.b. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME,BRING OUR JOBS BACK,MAKE AMERICA SELF SUFFICIENT AGAIN,BRING OUR DEBTS DOWN,GET RID OF ILLEGAL POLITICS , AND MOST OF ALL STAY OUT OF PEOPLE LIVES AND LET US FEEL SAFE AGAIN AND LET US LIVE IN PEACE. OH! one more little thing, GET RID OF TAXES.

  73. gaetano Says:

    I forgot one more thing. I would like to see the supreme court judges investigated, as I think Obama has them in his back pocket. The democrats brought this fight on and the Americans want to finish it with a WIN. SO, BRING IT ON,republicans and we will still be there for you in 2012.

  74. Who’s afraid of the big, bad veto? | One Fine Jay Says:

    [...] link I shared was to Neo-Neocon’s lament about the veto. The blame game is only a small portion of the strategy that Republicans will have [...]

  75. hello Says:

    Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over
    the same subjects? Many thanks!

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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