Jan 02 2007

Will The Old Left Repeat The Mistakes Of The Old Right?

Published by at 10:38 am under All General Discussions

Being an conservative independent I many times get derisively called a RINO (Republican In Name Only), which is pretty funny considering the fact I am not (and probably never will be) a Republican. I support the essence of conservatism, such as limited ‘functioning’ government. Low taxes and minimal dictates on behavior from the denizens of DC. A strong military and a reasonable economic safety net. A strong education system, sanctity of life, death penalty (I enjoy throwing those two together to irk liberals) etc.

In my humble, outsider’s opinion the Republicans got sent packing in 2006 because they listened to the far right, or maybe more accuratley the ‘old right’. It is hard to tell with the Republicans because they were a big-tent coalition and it is not easy to partition them. But what is clear is the voices of moderation had been spurned and the vengeful right blew off the independents and out-of-the-box thinkers – this shrinking their base and losing elections. That is history. But what will the Democrats do? In their case the liberal stalwarts are the ‘old left’ and it is they who are in power in Congress – not the new Democrats, the moderate democrats.

Of 233 Democrats who will be sworn in on Thursday, 147 — 63 percent — have been elected since Republicans won control of the House in 1994, and have never served in the majority. Those whose service predates the 1994 revolution, on the other hand, number only 86, or 37 percent. But it is this core of senior Democrats, Mr. Dingell among them, who will lead 20 of the 21 major committees and so exercise concentrated legislative power.

The differences in tenure tend to manifest themselves geographically as well. The makeup of the senior membership has a more urban flavor, while those more recently elected tend to come from the suburbs and exurbs. These newer members have faced tougher electoral opposition than their older counterparts, who in many cases represent overwhelmingly safe Democratic districts; a majority of new chairmen have traditional liberal roots.

The problem with hyper partisanship is it rapidly devolves into ‘my way or the highway’ thinking. The Reps exemplified this when the House held immigration reform hostage to a hyper minority view and did nothing – absolutely nothing – to fix the security holes on our borders and inside the enormous underground economy of the illegal immigrants. They punted assuming the policies the country was clearly rejecting could be forced on all of us. Thankfully that option is now dead and gone.

My reading of the liberals that now run Congress is they are the other side of the same coin. They care less about solving problems together, as Americans, than they do about being right. The right had to be right, and lost. And the liberals need to believe their entire existence is superior as well. So I see the one way for the Democrats to completely blow this brief and rare opportunity is to dictate from on high – just like the Reps tried.

I am not hopeful for the Democrats because I am sure they will spend all their time digging dirt and paying the country back for Clinton and his screw ups. I see the petty vindictiveness in them already, in places the media will not look and most Americans are not aware of. It is not common knowledge but the Reps punted on lots of things – including the Federal budget of GFY (Government Fiscal Year) 2007. The GFY runs from Oct 1 2006 to Sept 30th 2007, and therefore we are now into the 2nd quarter without any budgets outside the DoD – which was the one budget bill to pass. Instead of passing a budget and continuing on going work, the Dems have decided to pass a one year Continuing Resolution (CR) and punt. This means new projects which were to begin this year cannot. A CR only allows the funding of programs at the previous year’s levels. If something was going from concept to implementation the budget would increase as actual work begins. Not this year.

For example, The replacement for NASA’s shuttle, which was to begin in earnest this year, is now on hold because Congress will not pass the budget. The Shuttle’s are aging and are going to become more and more dangerous to operate as their systems age. They were to be retired by 2011 or so, with the replacement to fly 2013 or so (schedules constantly moving). But now all those efforts (and the jobs of thousands of people) are up in the air because Congress will not do its most basic duty and appropriate money. My personal opinion is this is the Democrat’s attempt to poke Bush in the eye. The sad fact is the only people hurt are those who make a living trying to do the country’s business. Bush is not going to lose a wink over these budgets. But Congress will do their vindictive best to make things 100 times harder than the need to be through a petulant act of non-action.

This is why I hold out little hope for the Democrats. Their leaders are the old, angry, vendetta-driven liberals who can barely constrain themselves to just pretend to be doing the nation’s business. They are having to be brow-beaten into not spending all their time on investigations and vengeance. Which means their desires are completely out of sync with that of America. We shall see, but the new fresh faces in Congress are about to learn a harsh lesson. And that is who really runs Washington.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Will The Old Left Repeat The Mistakes Of The Old Right?”

  1. For Enforcement says:

    Absolutely. The number one objective of all the pols are to hold onto power. The Dems don’t want to do anything between now and vote in 08 to damage their chances of winning the white house.
    As you said the old Dems right now want to get revenge on the Repubs but are afraid to. They want to cut and run in Iraq, but are afraid to. It’s not a good situation for the country.

  2. HaroldHutchison says:

    Could be interesting. A number of these folks are Dems in districts that are normally Republican. If they vote their districts, Daily Kos and other left-wign blogs could back a primary challenger – and win. If they don’t, they could be out of a job in 2008.

  3. jd watson says:

    I don’t know if the Dems have much other choice than a CR for the budget. I believe that once the old Session adjourns, all pending bills are dead, and they would have to be re=introduced, go thru the committees, and passage by both the House and Senate. When any Congress has trouble passing one budget on time, it is probably impossible for them to do two in one year.