The courage of the Democrats

Our good friend Wagonwheel, in a rather strange defense of the Democrats in Congress, wrote:

Look here:1

“The Obama administration projects their budget plan would save $4 trillion by 2022. However, the budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, projects a $1.33 trillion deficit, marking a fourth consecutive year of trillion-dollar deficits.

The president’s plan projects that the deficit would drop to $901 billion in 2013 and to $575 billion by 2018. It would raise taxes on households earning more than $250,000 and individuals earning $200,000 by letting some of the Bush tax cuts expire. It also proposes to raise $41 billion over 10 years by hiking taxes on oil, gas and coal companies.”

In an election year, you won’t find anyone willing to support a budget with these features. They’re all cowards, every one of them. They might also be realists!!

I was somewhat surprised that WW used that source, considering that this was also part of it.

“We’ve got a nearly $16 trillion debt. We’re borrowing more than 40 cents of every dollar we spend. Entitlements are going broke. Millions are out of work, and Democrats can’t even put a plan on paper for a vote?” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said during a floor speech Wednesday. “What are they doing over there? Isn’t anybody over there embarrassed by the fact that they haven’t offered a budget in three years?”

“As far as I can tell, their only plan is to take shots at our plans and hope nobody notices they not only don’t have one of their own,” McConnell continued. “They’re so unserious they won’t even vote for a budget that was written by a president of their own party. It doesn’t get more irresponsible than that.”

While Wagonwheel surely doesn’t like Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), even he cannot deny the Minority Leader’s point: the Democrats in Congress don’t support the President’s plan, won’t support any of the plans offered by the Republicans, but don’t have one of their own to substitute. Your Editor noted, three months ago, that Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner admitted, under oath, to Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) House Budget Committee that the Obama Administration had no plans at all for dealing with the long-term debt crisis:

We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is we don’t like yours.

In 2008, when George Bush was President, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), the presidential nominee, and the Democratic congressional candidates, never really ran for anything more detailed than “Hope” and “Change,” but did a great job of running against President Bush and the Republicans. It’s 3½ years later, and it looks like President Obama and the Democrats are still running against Republicans, but apparently not for anything. The Democrats in Congress won’t vote for their President’s own budget plan, because, as our liberal from Lewes admits, “you won’t find anyone willing to support a budget with these features. They’re all cowards, every one of them.”

Well, the Republicans are running on something. The plans pushed by Mr Ryan, and others, are certainly harsh ones, and we can guarantee that a lot of people won’t like the plans or austerity, but the Republicans have the cojones to vote for those plans and run on those plans, the Republicans have shown the courage to say what they are for, have shown the courage to tell the voters just what they will try to do. Republican voters in Nebraska just nominated Deb Fischer, the TEA Party candidate backed by former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK), for the open United States Senate seat, ignoring the wishes of the more traditionally-minded Republican establishment. It seems that Republicans and conservatives really are willing to vote for candidates who actually support things. All the Democrats seem to be willing to do is say, “We’re not Republicans.”

Barbara O’Brien on the Mahablog attempted to make excuses for the Democrats, echoing the complaint of the White House, that it wasn’t really the President’s budget which was rejected, but a shell of it which could have mean old Republicans play nasty tricks like change numbers or conditions. (Hat tip to William Teach.) But, as Karen, the Lonely Conservative, pointed out, “what was stopping them from putting Obama’s complete budget up for a vote?” After all, the Democrats still have the majority in the Senate, and all it would have required is for one Democratic senator to propose an amendment to substitute the President’s complete FY2013 budget proposal, and the Democrats would have had the votes to approve such an amendment; they never even tried.

Your Editor would think that a reasonably well-read Democrat like Wagonwheel would be disgusted by the Democrats’ performance. The Democrats tried the approach of not standing for anything in the 2010 elections, other than to say that they weren’t Republicans. Neither the House nor the Senate in the 111th Congress passed, or even tried to pass, a budget for FY2011, because they were afraid that, if they did, why the mean old Republicans would base their campaigns on running against the things for which the Democrats voted. Imagine that: for the Democrats, it’s now some sort of dirty trick for Republicans to run on the Democrats’ votes and stated positions. But, as is frequently the case for plans based on cowardice, running scared didn’t work out for them anyway. If they were going to lose, you’d have thought they’d at least have wanted to go down fighting.

Instead, with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning, and an 0-2 count, the Democrats took a called third strike, on a fastball right down the middle.

  1. Wagonwheel did not provide this link; I found it through a Google search.

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