The Other McCain

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

GOP Hopefuls Will Halt No Whine Before Its Time

Posted on | April 8, 2011 | 3 Comments

by Smitty

Alternate title: “GOP Hopefuls Note Budget Gallipoli, Neglect To Engage”. Via Protein Wisdom, we have Charles Gasparino in the New York Post:

Sure, the candidates offered vague praise for Ryan after the plan’s release on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney said Ryan is “setting the right tone for finally getting spending and entitlements under control.” Tim Pawlenty cheered Ryan for “offering real leadership.”

In other words, nobody was willing to embrace the details. The closest was probable noncandidate Sarah Palin, who tweeted that it’s a “serious & necessary reform proposal.”

What makes this really disappointing is that I’ve been trying to get the GOP candidates to give their own views on how to grow the economy and tackle spending.

The Left will continue to tempt GOP candidates into self-immolation on the budget, whining and nattering to draw attention away from the Pennsylvania Avenue Leadership Vacuum. That’s who they are, that’s what they do. Unlike an election, which has a definite start time and is over relatively soon and with few surprises, unless your name is Kloppenberg, the budget and the larger entitlement/debt crisis is not going to be solved quickly and painlessly.
Golberg concludes, in response to Gasparino:

Sticking a wet finger into the political wind isn’t a leadership strategy, folks. It’s an election strategy — and it’s one that hasn’t proven too effective for conservatives, who seem to do best when they advocate principle rather than compromise, when they evince fidelity to ideology rather than a transparent feint to populism. And that’s what they need to do here, because Obama is too much an ideologue — and far too ego-driven — to tack to the center, as Laffer suggests. 

– He said, stinkbombing illogically and radically.

I say ‘Meh’. At CPAC10, I asked Rep. Mike Pence about Paul Ryan’s Roadmap, which was less-discussed then, back when Pence was a potential GOP presidential entry:
He did admit to knowing Ryan, but really got no firmer than that.
And why blame any general for balking at an unplanned engagement? Making a not-unreasonable assumption brings instant accusations from the usual suspects.
Furthermore, I’m not confident that “Obama is too much an ideologue — and far too ego-driven — to tack to the center”. I take the man at whatever face value he is offering at the moment. I wouldn’t accuse him of believing in anything (again, I accept his protestations of Christianity for what they are) except winning elections. If the calculus led him to the understanding that going so far left as to come full circle in a dramatic “libertarian breakthrough”, and that was his only perceived chance, do you think he’d balk like a GOP hopefuls on budget cuts? I don’t. Is that leadership? Only if you conflate backed-into-corner-desperation with leadership.


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