The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Fiscal Clif Bar

Posted on | December 8, 2012 | 39 Comments

by Smitty

The tasteless joke that is the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ negotiation continues to be the antithesis of mature, rational, representative government. Also, it tastes like sawdust held together by gluten. The cynical question moves to: Who is doing a better job of phoning it in?
One is tempted to reciprocate #OccupyResoluteDesk’s four-year finger pointing odyssey, and say ‘BHO’.
But who knows about that, or anything else in our shiny new Age of Uncertainty. Have a look at Front Page, with Allen Barton:

A crucial point comes in ~7:40, where the exploration of the GOP’s strange comfort level with Progressivism comes in.

I don’t want to sound all uppity and stuff, but I could find myself moving toward a conclusion that the GOP has manipulated Conservative desires for Constitutional government merely for power gain. It’s almost as if the GOP tries to bribe voters with patriotism, while the Democrats bribe voters with bread and circuses, and neither wing of the Progressive Party gives a flying French fornication about limited government.

Now, that’s a hyper-cynical take on the situation. They told me that if I voted for Romney, the rich would engaged in Olympian bunfights and succeed in crushing the economy. Fortunately, our “Lawd and Say-vee-uhh” Barack Obama will make sure nothing like that happens.

What I badly need to see between now and 2014 is a genuine reform plan from the GOP. Not new porcine lipstick, but a genuine admission that this pig ain’t got wings, the government has ceased to be representative of the people, and here is an across-board-reform plan. If the GOP doesn’t re-invent itself, then the 2010 election shall have likely proven the last gasp of any Constitutional government, as we capsize into a full-on, third world tyranny.


  • WJJ Hoge

    Two points.

    First, Mrs. Hoge suggests that a better description of the flavor is sawdust held together with peanut butter.

    Second, why not exile the irresponsible Congresscritters to one side of Guam and let the island capsize as theorized by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)?

  • Bert the Samoan Lawyer

    Smitty, you’re not being cynical, you’re just realizing a disappointing truth. Career politicians of any stripe have more in common with career politicians than they do with anyone else, the occasional Ron Paul notwithstanding.

    What you are discovering is that it is not democracy, without more, that protects individual liberty. It is limited government. Separation of powers was a great idea, and it worked for exactly as long as it took the three branches to figure out how to collude with each other. Congress acquiesces in executive power-grabs because they get the wonderful trade-off of the lack of accountability. The Supreme Court arrogates to itself the ability to “judicially review” legislation for constitutionality, and the other two branches stand aside because now they’ve just been relieved from their oaths to preserve and defend the Constitution; hey, we’ll pass any law we want and the Court will tell us if we’ve gone too far. Then the Constitution becomes whatever five people say it is.

    Constitutional jurisprudence doesn’t even mention the text of the Constitution anymore, except in passing. You’re just a rube, a hick from the hills, if you think the Supreme Court is going to interpret and apply the text in any given case. No, they are going to interpret and apply what they have said about the text. They are going to refine their balancing tests. They are going to create case-by-case exclusions from the exceptions they created to the general rule that this class of litigant deserves only rational review while other classes of litigants deserve strict scrutiny. The more they do this, the more they enshrine the rule of men and not of law.

    And so it goes, as that perennial favorite of adolescents discovering “modern literature” (Kurt Vonnegut) used to say.

    How do the people take their sovereignty when they have dribbled it away for generations, and large numbers of them (perhaps a majority) are content to commit cultural suicide? Look to history. It usually involves a group of people who get enough and say, “no more,” and it usually doesn’t end prettily. This is one reason why people let things get so bad before they act. The alternative seems worse until things get really bad.

    You may call this cynicism. I call it a study of history.

  • Joan Of Argghh!

    Seen the latest gaffe by Jeb Bush? “There are people on the right who are fearful of federal encroachment. That fear, I don’t think is justified. . .”

  • smitty

    If 2016 turns into Clinton/Bush Redux, I will seriously consider voting Libertarian.

  • McGehee

    I won’t need to consider it — it’ll be the default.

  • ThomasD

    I have to agree, my projection is that there will be no functional Republican party within six years. The progressives and other assorted statist will be early departures, followed shortly by the libertines (aka ‘fiscal conservatives.’) The traditionalists and assorted social conservatives will be left as a rump party, one that will have substantial effects regionally, but be entirely ineffective on the national stage (i.e POTUS and the Senate.)

  • ThomasD

    If the Party vomits up another Bush in 2016 you will not be alone.

    That’s a nail bigger than the whole damn coffin.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Be like congress, go on Amazon and just spend, spend, spend! Just make sure you support an Amazon affiliate blogger!

  • Adjoran

    In terms of real reform, wasn’t the Ryan Budget the first step (realizing that it only narrowed the gap by roughly 1/3 what was needed over ten years; but if you are waiting for All At Once, you may as well start hiking today)? And Romney’s proposed tax reform along with it?

    People need to understand that nothing happens without the Senate AND the White House. The House passed the Ryan Plan, it never got a vote in the Senate. So however great a “reform plan” the GOP might put forward, it is DOA.

    Yet some get exercised over three renegades losing committee assignments for breaking party discipline. The same people said terrible things about Mike Castle, who never voted against leadership on a whipped vote. Perhaps they believe the rules should not apply to them and their pals?

  • DavidD

    “If the GOP doesn’t re-invent itself,” then it’s time for another party to takes its place.

  • Adobe_Walls

    A wise man once wrote “establishment republicans are more concerned with being establishment, than living in
    a Republic.”
    I refuse to stipulate that the Republican party is “functional” now. Exactly what function does it serve now?
    On the whole it’s the “assorted statists” who control the party now and it is they who will remain until it dies it’s most timely death.

  • smitty

    “renegades losing committee assignments for breaking party discipline”

    Darn right. I care not fig #1 for the GOP as such. Means to a Constitutional end.

  • Adobe_Walls

    Doug Altner nails it though I’d insert Republicans instead of Conservatives when he correctly states that the Nation’s downfall is caused by not fighting the last Progressive generations gains. “Reform” is a fools errand whether one is talking about the GOP or various bits and pieces of the federal government.
    Let It Burn.

  • Adobe_Walls

    I submit the evidence is clear. The GOP is not in fact a means to that end.

  • yestradamous

    Those bars are nasty. That looks like what the bear already shat in the woods.

  • Matches Malone

    In Illinois the Republicans and the Democrats are in bed together, these days the Republicans take the subservient role, but they’re all corrupt. The Tribune’s John Kass has dubbed the entire corrupt mess the Combine, it’s also worth noting that the Mafia (known here as the Outfit) has long had a place at that table, in fact for years it was understood the Chicago’s 1st Ward Aldermanic seat would be held by the Mafia. Today we can add street gangs to the criminal corrupting influences, as recently documented by Chicago Magazine. Those two corrupting groups are the muscle and threat makers that protect the Democrats and the Combine, when Kass was investigating ties between the Mob and the Daley administration a mobster stopped by his table at Gene and Georgetti’s to inform Kass that the mobster knew where Kass’s children caught the bus for school. Also notable is that the local gangs and the Mafia earn a bulk of their income from the sale of cocaine, cocaine that is brought to the city via the Sinaloa Cartel, which your readers may recall from Fast and Furious. Also notable is that many areas with the most gang activity have been, ahem, “organized” by community organizers.

  • Quartermaster

    “…I could find myself moving toward a conclusion that the GOP has manipulated Conservative desires for Constitutional government merely for power gain.”

    I could say “took you long enough,” but I think I’m 15 years or so older so that I’ve had more time to move towards the facts of the case. OTOH, I reached that conclusion back when Ronnie Raygun was POTUS, and I wasn’t 40 yet. Perhaps I’m just more cynical, or maybe it’s because I grew up as a MilBrat that pushes me more towards cyncicism.

  • smitty

    I had been willing to give the current GOP crop the benefit of the doubt.

    In particular, as the financial situation and internet have both altered the debate.

  • SDN

    Of course, the same people you love are actually the ones who took their balls and went home (Castle, Murchowski in 2010; Lugar this time, forex), but facts don’t mater to statists no matter which camouflage they hide under.

  • SDN

    You are assuming we don’t decide to emulate the 1776 Patriots and see what a determined well-armed minority can do. I wouldn’t assume that….

  • Bob Belvedere

    Me likey.

  • Bob Belvedere

    -I call what you wrote a conservative view of the world. Bravo, damn well put.

    -A Minor Quibble: Instead of the term ‘Rule Of Men’, I prefer the term ‘Rule Of Whim’, which I think resonates with a larger pool of people and requires less explanation that the former term.

  • Bob Belvedere

    I will never vote for another Ideologue – and the Libertarian Party seems to always nominate that type of person.

    Assuming there is a Presidential Election in 2016 or the 22nd Amendment is not repealed [neither scenario is as crazy as you may think: consider some of things that have happened since 20 January 2009], if all that is offered are candidates who are Ideologues, I will abstain. Ideology is destroying this country. I refuse to play by their rules any longer.

    The rubber has really met the road this time. This is the moment for all good men to stand up, whatever the cost, and say: ‘No! No more! Enough!’

    Out hope lies in the Several States. The national system is terminal – we must take the patient off of life support and move on.

    The United States Of America is an idea that is not bound by the number of sovereign states that are members of it. That idea will endure no matter how it’s physicial manifestation is constituted.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Give me Liberty or give me the death of the GOP!

  • Bob Belvedere

    I submit the Party is so riddled with disease that it’s time to ‘let it go’ – just as was done with the Whigs in the mid-1850’s.

  • Bob Belvedere

    BTW, I’m sitting here at The Fiscal Cliff Bar, enjoying my third Maker’s Mark – got quite a glow going – which explains my comments above. As Abobe says, ‘Let it burn’, as long as the bourbon doesn’t when swallowed.

  • Bob Belvedere

    I second my Right Honorable Friend’s motion.

  • Bob Belvedere

    The same scenario is playing out all over the country – to a lesser in the vast majority of cases, to be sure – but it still speaks to the degeneration of America into a Banana Republic.

    [Scene: In The Whitey House]

    OBAMA: John, we’re bigger than US Steel.

    BOEHNER: Yes, yes we are, sir [sniffles].

  • Bob Belvedere


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  • Bob Belvedere

    FYI: In my post, No! No More! Enough!, I quote Joan, Smitty, McGehee, and Adobe.

  • Quartermaster

    If it were done, t’were best done quickly. The quicker, the better for all.

  • Quartermaster

    The renegades are people like John Boner, and Can’tor. The establishment is utterly useless.

  • Adobe_Walls

    Assumes doubts not supported by the facts, while there are some “gems” in the current crop they are no where near enough to overcome the gelatinous blob’s inertia.

  • Tennwriter

    I find myself in agreement with AW. I, a Conservative aka a Socon am leaving the GOP. The statists are staying, and their libertine lapdogs are most likely to stay as well.

    End result…rerun of the Whig finale which was driven by the Democrat’s desire to treat humans as chairs, and we have the same repeat now, but instead of blacks, its babies.

  • McGehee

    Beltway elitism is an ideology too — just of a different kind.

  • Mme Scherzo

    Saith Yoda: “It WILL be.”

  • Bob Belvedere

    Well put!

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