tThe gamesmanship and pettiness of our newly re-elected president and his enabler acolytes in the legislative branch is fast becoming epic. Those that know Obama for what he is now see that he has donned his true cloak, that of a player, not a leader. It is obvious that this man has no plan to avoid the fiscal cliff, nor does he really desire one. All that his side wants is a scapegoat and many in the Republican Party are lining up to be the first to slaughter.
With his lapdog, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), going after lobbyist Grover Norquist while the mainstream media looks the other way, the pressure mounts to quickly bring the Republicans to the point where the president not only does not totally get what he wants (higher taxes on the wealthy Republicans), but the Republicans will split their party in the process of trying to stop him. Then, and only then, can Obama get down to the real work at hand.
Obama is greasing the skids even now by photo-opping with random small business persons, union leaders, and rich businessmen in the White House before he embarks on a campaign-style road trip to sell the American people on the fact that if only the Republicans would quit obstructing everything, he could get on with the business of making things right for our country.
Well, you know what? I say, let him have his way. Seriously. He has the Senate, he almost has the Supreme Court (give him another year to wrap that one up), and he is only a few defections away from having a grip on the House.
So, here it is, my proposal. I call it The-Asterisk's Grand Bargain.
On January 9, 2013, at noon, every Republican senator and congressperson should meet on the steps of the Capitol building and call the press in. Begin the event by announcing that since the Bush-era tax cuts have been allowed to expire at the first of the year, all of the additional revenue to be garnered by that tax increase has already been spent in the eight and a half days that has just elapsed. That leaves 356.5 days of revenue shortfall that the Obama administration needs to make up at the current rate of spending.
So, in the spirit of bipartisanship, the Republicans have decided to let the president have his way. Beginning with the swearing in of the 113th Congress, the Republicans will rubber stamp every non-suicidal bill that the Democrats put forth. The kicker is that each bill passed, whether for tax increases, spending increases, new regulations, new departments, anything ... must have a sunset provision that causes the law to expire at the close of the 114th Congress at the end of 2016, in order to get the Republican House's support.
(Suicidal bills would include such bills as approving ultra-liberal SCOTUS nominees, Mohamed Morsi-style power grabs, constitutional amendments, etc.)
Just like the Bush tax cuts were not permanent, neither will be any of the Democratic legislation.
From the perspective a liberal Kool-Aid drinker, this would be a slam dunk because they would be getting what they want ... more revenue while punishing the rich.
For the Republicans, they would be off of the hook for four years, blameless from the Democratic and media pundit perspective.
The reality is that the president and Democratic legislators would DESPISE the idea. Because at that point in time, after the money runs out from the Bush-era tax cuts expiration, they would own the turkey. The economy would be theirs and theirs alone. Lock, stock, and printing presses.
An optimistic and naive Democrat would be ecstatic because he believes that the liberal way can and will work. The seasoned, professional Democrats know all too well that the wheels will fall off of the cart as soon as it starts rolling. The consequence would be that after two years, or no more than four, most of the Dems would be voted out of office. If they had the courage of their own conviction, they would stand by their historically-proven, disastrous plan, but they will not do it...at least not without a pliant scapegoat.
In order for this grand bargain to work, the Republicans cannot just sit by, fiddling as Washington, D.C., burns. They must publicize and comment on every bill that is passed. There must be a web site that describes each new law and also projects what will happen when the law goes into effect. As businesses start laying off more workers, shift their health care burden onto the government, or as new Environmental Protection Agency rules start shutting down factories and power plants, it must be made known. Every failing business, every closed power plant, every economic failure must be held up for all to see with a reasonable explanation of why it happened.
It will be painful to endure, but like ripping off the wax when you are getting a Brazilian, it should go pretty quickly. And, you know what? If we on the right are all wrong, then they get to keep the government, keep owning the economy and continue to determine the direction of our great nation. What more could they ask for?
The alternative is that the Republicans continue the fight, taking all of the blame for things not getting better, looking like a sore and pathetic loser and depending on gridlock to push the problem even further into the future where an emaciated Republican party has no hope of getting elected by a public jaundiced by an eternally campaigning president and his media supporters.
Put that way, it doesn't seem like such a difficult decision after all, does it?
To the bargain table we go....