Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Duck With Legs, & No (Im)Peaches In Sight

Alrighty, then. Between my latest excursion into blogcast adequacy yesterday morning and the not entirely unrelated lecture I delivered to my son beforehand, I managed to vent enough of my pent-up irritation at the relentlessly berative thirty-five hours I put in at the office the last three days of the workweek to spare myself the pre-emptive need to grace this august, underappreciated page with any additional literary follow-ups. I will add my regrets to the two visitors to my Blog Talk Radio chatroom yesterday that my multi-tasking abilities do not extend to delivering maundering monologues and watching the switchboard window at the same time, much less monitoring the chatroom besides. I made mention of said chatroom because the link to it from my switchboard window appeared for the first time yesterday, and I get moderately giddy when a new bell or whistle gets added. Now if BTR could only provide me a stronger phone connection and a headset that didn't periodically spit static into my ears, I'd be in blogcast heaven.

Jenber probably is waiting for a crack about "another conspiuous absence" or some such, which will be entirely unnecessary as I received her exculpatory email. As my kids' baby bibs said, "Spit happens." And as that metaphor suggests, it evidently happens just about as often. The offer to migrate to a different weekend time slot still stands if it'll enhance your availability, Jen.

Speaking of my lovely and gracious co-contributor, I see where she has a post up this morning echoing Bill Buckley's essay on why the impeachment of George W. Bush - which I frankly expected to be the Democrats' first order of business last January - is growing less likely with each passing day.

WFB notes that there are no "serious" people urging impeachment, which is a not-all-that-subtle swipe at the vast bulk of the neoBolshevik Democrat Party. I think that is a function of the success of the Petraeus "Surge" strategy that has made such great strides in turning the tide against Iran and al Qaeda in pacifiying and stabilizing Iraq. Indeed, had the "Surge" been the "failure" that Dirty Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Chisler, pre-emptively, wishfully, and ignorantly pronounced clear back in April, I think the Conyers Committee would be armpit deep in an impeachment inquiry at this very moment, with the political objective being either the removal of George Bush AND Dick Cheney, or (more likely) laying the groundwork for flaying the GOP alive in 2008 based upon their "obstruction of justice".

At any rate, the latter did not happen, the former did, and Bushophobes don't know how to handle it. Their tactics finally got them Congress back, and yet all this year they haven't been able to DO anything with it. Not get rid of Dubya, not "end the war," not enact huge new entitlement programs, nothing. Well, okay, they did get their minimum wage hike through, but only by attaching it to their spring surrender to Bush on forced-withdrawal-strings-free Iraq/Afghanstan war funding. A "victory" that redefines the adjective "pyrrhic".

Their latest agonizing defeat at their feared, hated, & loathed enemy's hands was his sustained veto of their attempt to turn the SCHIP program into a Trojan horse for HillaryCare v. 2.0, a little piece of obstruction that actually enjoyed majority public support. And now, with a showdown looming over all the appropriations bills they haven't completed on time despite promising last year that they would, it looks like they're facing another inter-branch ass-kicking from a duck whose lameness has been greatly exaggerated:
The White House and Congress are heading for what President Bush predicts will be a "fiscal showdown" at a time when the nation's financial health has actually improved for the moment.

After years of record-high deficits, both parties are now projecting that the budget can be balanced by 2012. But as each side seeks to outmaneuver the other politically heading into next year's elections, the rhetorical battle between Bush and lawmakers over spending has never been more heated.

Bush used an appearance here [October 15] to chastise Democratic leaders for failing to send him even one of the twelve annual spending bills more than two weeks into the new fiscal year, and he eagerly vowed to veto what he deems excessive spending. Democrats fired back by highlighting the one veto Bush has exercised: the rejection of a dramatic expansion of a popular children's health insurance program.

The backdrop for this confrontation belies its intensity. Just last week, the Office of Management and Budget reported that the deficit in the 2007 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, fell to $163 billion, barely half of what it was two years ago and the lowest in five years. While still a hefty chunk of money, the deficit now represents just 1.2% of the overall economy, lower than the average rate over the past four decades.
How it must have pained the scions of the WaPo to have to admit even that much. The part they couldn't bring themselves to also acknowledge is that this deficit reduction is the product of the blizzards of tax revenue being thrown off from the booming economy at the lower income tax rates enacted by a Republican Congress at a Republican president's behest. I don't have to wonder if they realize there's a connection there; their silence fairly bellows it.

Indeed, the tenor of the above quote is more than a little down-playing, as if the Post is whispering between the lines to their fellow-travelers on the Hill to back off and not force a highly public confrontation with the White House that they will most likely lose both tactically and strategically.

This implicit cousel is, of course, predicated on the assumption that the public would back President Bush in defending frugality and fiscal restraint over the Donks' unabashed profligacy and fiscal irresponsibility. Ed Morrissey takes that line, arguing that the Dems "misinterpreted" the 2006 election results to mean that the American people wanted even more of overspending and corruption than the GOP was already giving them, rather than a "punishment" administered to Republicans for "acting like Democrats" by an electorate that wishes "an end to spending and corruption."

Ironically, I've been solidly on the Democrats' side of this argument, for a very logical, straightforward reason: it is inconceivable, at least to me, that an electorate that wanted to see "an end to (over)spending and corruption" would replace the party that ostensibly stands for those principles with the one that loudly and garishly champions their opposite. You simply cannot convince me that voters hung their chads for the party of pork and Big Government and expected honesty, integrity, frugality, and "clean government" to be the result. Not even so dumbed-down a populace as ours can be that irrationally obtuse.

But perhaps the secret of Dubya's 2007 resurgence is that he doesn't dwell on disputes that the march of time has rendered academic. Whichever 2006 theory is the more correct, in the here & now the Democrats' indiscrete overreaching, whether on the war, federal spending, or their blatant partisan harassment, has handed Bush and the GOP the means of a quick return to their first principles of strong national security, limited government, and fiscal responsibility, and thus the ability to resume actively advancing those principles with some minimum threshold of credibility.

It is a historical fact of the past four decades that when Republicans run under what has come to be known as the "Reagan mantle" - i.e. as conservatives - they win national elections, and when they don't, they don't. How ironic it would be for what many have called the biggest spending president since LBJ to restore that mantle to his party with the veto pen he has heretofore used so sparingly. How much moreso for the man whose ostensible "repudiation" a year ago to be the catalyst fueling his party's comeback a year from now.

No wonder the nutters are so desperate to impeach him.