Listening to the news reports yesterday afternoon, October 10th, of negotiations between Republicans and President Obama was enough to make my head spin, as reports started to surface every 15 minutes or so about the outcome of the meeting. Finally reported in the early evening was how both sides of the aisle would continue negotiations during the night to see if a compromise could be reached. The only entityfeeling upbeat was the stock market, and this was over the prospect of a deal.
It was was reported as a sign of hope yesterday morning just the fact that President Obama and congressional Republicans had finally decided it was time to talk. As it was, eighteen House Republicans met at the White House yesterday afternoon in an effort to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17. Among the participants were the House GOP's budget chief, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who had tried to sell conservatives his two-step plan on Wednesday, October 9, to hike the debt limit short term and reopen the government long enough for Congress to pass entitlement reforms, an idea Ryan expanded on Oct. 9th in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Erick Erickson of Redstate reported before the afternoon talks that he had been told by several sources that Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor were plotting to give up trying to either defund or delay Obamacare by working up a deal that would include a debt ceiling increase "with a few sops to the GOP as cover." The one change they were considering was the repeal of the medical devise tax. If such action occurred, wouldn't it ensure that ObamaCare would be fully funded and the American people, unlike businesses, would have no delay?
Speculation is fine, but what really ensued between House Republicans and President Obama? Boehner presented a plan to raise the debt limit for 6 weeks as a good faith effort on the part of Republicans to move halfway to what Obama was demanded in order to begin talks toward meaningful negotiations. Boehner's proposal would suspend the debt limit until Nov 22, the Friday before Thanksgiving.
Obama's initial position, enumerated a number of times by President Obama and other Democratic legislators, was that a clean bill must be proposed with no partisan strings attached to end the government shutdown before Republican issues could be addressed. Obama additionally preferred a much longer extension of the debt limit than the six weeks offered by Republicans. By the close of yesterday's meeting, however, there was a report of a slight hint that Obama just might agree to one of the Republicans demands without the other -- the length of the debt limit extension. To Republicans, just because Obama didn't say "no" gave them a slight glimmer of hope. Republican and Democrats aids agreed to continue talks overnight.
What possibly brought both sides together to talk and attempt to negotiate? Might the effort to negotiate a deal, especially among establishment House Republican leaders, have been tied to a Gallup survey released on Wednesday, Oct. 9th, citing that the favorably rating of the Republican Part had sunk to 28 percent?
But what about the overall poll numbers of an AP-Gfk Poll conducted Oct. 3 - 7 which asked who was to blame for the government shutdown, which in reality is only a partial shutdown?
The AP-GfK poll was a mixed bag of where blame had been placed by the American people, many of whom hear reports coming only from the mainstream media which favor Obama. Admittedly, Republicans did receive more blame than Democrats, but Democrats didn't emerge from the poll smelling like roses!
Regarding President Obama, the "blame shutdown game" ties right in with an AP report of how Barack Obama's approval level has cratered during the shutdown phase to 37%. Obama must be worried, as this threatens his grandiose dream to capture the House in 2014 to put in place his progressive socialism without hindrance from an obnoxious House that is holding him hostage! On the other hand Obama might be in a state of disbelief.
In Obama's thinking he is invisible, pulling the strings from just out of sight, never realizing that he has overplayed his hand in his attempt to inflict pain due to budget issues. How could Obama refuse to pay death benefits for soldiers killed in action, even though a law authorizing payment was passed by both houses of Congress on October 1 and signed by Obama?
And just why should Republicans be criticizing the health care enrollment process over a few "glitches" in the software? Obama can't explain the doubling of premium costs and carve-outs to big business, members of Congress and big labor as just mere "glitches," yet when listening to press secretary Jay Carny and President Obama they never happened. Nothing happened at all!
Providentially not all Americans yet believe that Obama is just an innocent bystander with no culpability for whatever happens. As incredulous as it might seem to some, G. W. Bush is still being blamed for Obama's misgivings by his most ardent supporters.
Are members of the Republican leadership either not grounded in reality or does naivety keep them from understanding the ways President Obama formulates policy? Although Republicans have been burned time and again when caving in to demands of "it's either my way or no way," are Republican establishment members so gullible to believe that things will be any different this time around? A word to the wise, especially to Republican Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Hope doesn't always run eternal. False promises of hope acted upon will only cause more problems in the long run.
Any deal Boehner reaches with Obama would have to be passed by the House, where, depending on the negotiations made with the President, the terms might not set well with all House members. House member worried about increasing the debt level without spending cuts to offset the spending are sure to debate the following questions: 1) why we need to raise the debt ceiling when this nation already has a massive $17 trillion and an incomprehensible $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, and 2) why default would be inevitable without it as there is enough revenue coming in to pay the interest on our debt?
It is not really a conservative position to allow an increase in the debt limit without asking for a decrease in spending. This would be like asking for a credit card limit increase without lowering the monthly expenses. The debt would only continue to pile up to the detriment of this nation's financial solvency
To those House members who want only to open government as quickly as possible and are willing to give all that Obama wants with no string attached, they are courting a recipe for disaster. Such action would hopelessly split the Republican Party and would dash all hopes of Republicans of taking control of the Senate and keeping control of the House in the elections of 2014 and recapturing the White House in 2016.
As the debt ceiling can't be responsibly raised without corresponding cuts, it would be wise to follow the lead of those House Republican members who favor a piecemeal approach to ending the shutdown. By opening up National Parks and having soldiers and their widows get paid, Obama will have lost his leverage and Republicans can then move onto other agencies until all of government is open except for the HHS and the IRS. Then Democrats will have to make a call whether to push Obamacare off until October, 2014, with the election only a few weeks away.
Would Democrats even dare to fully enact Obamacare as a set policy not negotiable in any way if the polls are correctly showing Democrat Senate losses in Alaska, Louisiana, Missouri and North Carolina. With Max Baucus from Montana retiring, his seat should be a pickup for Republicans. That's the 51st Senate seat, allowing Republicans to delay the full enforcement of Obamacare.
What happens in the next day or so is of great importance. How Republicans react could determine the future direction of this nation. Will this nation go the way of Socialism as government becomes more aggressive and power hungry? This government already has too much authority with its power to inflict pain. If Republicans give in to Obama's demand that only after a clean resolution is passed will he address their other problem, trusting Obama will keep his word, the blood will be on Republican hands for not doing everything possible to halt Obama's grab for power. The control of health care is considered an important ingredient in the move toward Socialism.
Sometimes forgotten is that the House holds the purse strings. Furthermore, that House members were elected to Congess in 2012 to get rid of Obamacare.
Republicans must hold their ground lest future generation look back to this era and question why Republicans allowed Democrats -- believing as they do that the Constitution prevents them from doing what they wish to to -- to circumvent our Constitution, thereby imposing their will upon the American people and taking with it our God-granted rights of freedom and liberty, only to be replaced by an oppressive government that cares not about the average citizen, but only about doing what is necessary to retain control and power.
The rallying cry must be for conservatives and like-minded Republicans to hold the line in both the House and the Senate.
You hold the future of America in your hands!