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Happy … Stuff

Raise your hand if you are sick of the “Fiscal Cliff”.  Okay, let me count … 1 …. 2 … OK, there are a lot of you.  I guess that I shouldn’t write about the Fiscal Cliff then.  You’re back at work on 2 January like I am and we have a lot of stuff to do, right?

So, how about that House vote that … no, wait, I mean how about them Vikings, get to play the Packers at Lambeau!  AP is just on fire, I’ll bet they have a chance.  Anything to blur away the early hours of the first day back into the swing of things and avoid talking about Congress (the logical antonym of “progress”).

Sorry, folks.  I have to.  The House vote has not yet taken place as I write this, but the story is probably already written.  We waited all day for this to com e to a vote because it could not be voted on until it was sure it would pass.  Negotiations went on all day amounted to a lot of nothing in the end.  Or did they?  Something is up, I am sure.  Let’s think this through.

boehnerFirst of all, we have only delayed “sequestration” for two months.  The debt ceiling has also been reached, meaning that this will also have to be voted on very shortly by the new Congress.  The “deal” that has taken so long is mostly a punt, to go back to football talk.  When you can’t score it’s the only wise thing to do.  This is more or less what any of us expected.

But this is a new year, and a new Congress is starting up the day after tomorrow.  Something is up, and I’m sure it’s not a pretty thing.

There were no real winners through all of this, and only one sure loser.  That’s Speaker Boehner, the man who simply cannot deliver his own caucus.  I have a feeling that Eric Cantor is either going to make a play for the Speakership or, more likely, increase his power in the #2 slot that he occupies now.  The number of Republicans who vote against this package in a few hours will tell us how powerful he is.

The House Republicans are in disarray as far as anyone can tell, but Democrats should not take any glee in this.  They still hold power and can at the very least muck things up.  Any kind of insurgency, especially if it never tries for real power, is an instrument of chaos.  Now that we know that tax increases are definitely part of our future as we move towards something like a more balanced budget the House Republicans who are against them in any form are battling against the system itself.  They have nothing to lose.

What’s more traditional at the start of the year than this nonsense are predictions.  Here is my prediction for the next year – Congress will only become more chaotic, obstructionist, and horrible.  This fight is far from over in many, many ways.

Where it gets interesting is how the Republican Party itself responds.  That is a bit harder to predict, but I expect the House to be more isolated somehow.  Whether or not that leads to the ultimate heresy, bipartisanship, is something that only a fool would predict.  But this ain’t over by any shot.

Have a good 2013, everyone!  More predictions will come later.  First we have to see how the big game turns out.  Not the vote in the House or even a potential challenge to Boehner – I’m talking about the Vikings again.  That’s much more interesting.

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14 thoughts on “Happy … Stuff

  1. The vote is in – despite the Senate, where Republicans voted for the bill, it was up to House Democrats to pass this thing. Repubs were against it, 147-80, which makes me wonder what Boehner’s future is now.

  2. The things you say about Republicans–that’s so mean. Can’t you be nice?

    After all it is only January 2. Naughty naughty naughty. Come to Las Vegas to chill out.

    Republicans have feelings too. We just have different goals and strategies. That’s all.

    • It’s not all Republicans, just the House. I should probably add that I have to take back all the bad stuff I’ve said about Mitch McConnell (and there was a lot of it!) 🙂

  3. Just because there are divisions among the House Republicans doesn’t House Republicans are evil.

    My own view is that future congressional negotiations ought to take place mostly between Obama, Reid and Boehner. Reid has a majority but what he suggests needs to appeal to a majority of the House Republicans. Therein lies the political stickiness because the principles of very conservative Republicans and very liberal Democrats don’t mesh well. You see the lopsided vote in the Senate but Senators have different time frame of 6 year terms.

    If we want to change politics you have to change the structure and you have to change voter inclination to split their ticket.

    • Well, as a Toaist I’m never one for “good” or “evil” so I would have to agree with you (I think). 🙂
      The three-way negotiations would be good, but I think Boehner would feel out-numbered. I have no idea how they will do it.
      The recent poll that showed 53% of all Americans find the Republican Party “too extreme” also found 51% that favor divided government. So not only is this done on purpose, it shows that people don’t exactly like the Democrats (which 37% of all Americans found “too extreme) in charge of everything.
      So that appears to be the real issue, indeed.

  4. Godspeed to John Boehner, re-elected Speaker, 113th Congress.

    Politics is messy, just like all relationships.

    • They have two months to redeem themselves, IMHO. Honestly, the more I look at this the more I don’t blame the Republicans for being pissy about it – the cuts were all delayed. But … that’s the way this went down. It’s been just plain strange and a “grand deal” really is the only thing that will make sense in the end.
      Two months? Good luck.

  5. Kudos to Paul Ryan for voting yes on the budget deal. Right on.

    I think the Tea Party should put masking tape on their mouths. So perhaps we agree. Admitedly, there are Ayn Rand conservatives who believe all levels of government should add up to 10% of GDP. That’s a bit on the low side.

    • Yeah, Ryan is OK and I don’t care what anyone says. I may not like his Medicare reform plan but it’s the only one out there that addresses the problem – and it’s really not that bad, considering.
      Leadership is what counts. I’m thinking about what to say on that right now. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Three Million Reads, One Purpose | Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

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