To fight another day

Republicans must pull back in this fiscal battle to win the war

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It's time for a tactical retreat. The Tea Party needs to give a little today, in order to live to fight another day.

Conservatives in Washington are starting to fight like the same British troops that their guerilla-fighting forebears routed: in tight formation, in a full frontal assault straight into the teeth of the opposition.

They need to be smarter than that -- to understand their limits and to calculate the risks against their objectives.

Their cause is just, certainly; it's our cause, whether some folks know it or not. The federal government is spending us to oblivion, not only immorally burdening future generations, but endangering the present-day American economy. Even if the debt limit is raised, it's possible, perhaps likely, that America's credit rating will be lowered because of the amount of debt we've accumulated and the trajectory Washington has put us on. That would mean increased borrowing costs for all of us, and stomping any remaining life out of a near-death recovery.

Moreover, Democrats in Congress, as well as the president, don't seem capable of agreeing to even a pathetically small cut in federal spending: The House Republican plans of the past few weeks would've trimmed a trillion or less over a decade -- when our deficit this year alone is about $1.65 trillion. Pathetic.

Still, conservatives in the House need to realize that, however righteous or urgent their battle, they hold sway over only one of the two chambers of Congress, and the White House is under opposition control.

The danger of full-scale war at this point, then, is elementary: They're badly outnumbered, and easily outmaneuvered.

Not only does that put the nation at risk in the short-term, but it puts the conservatives' own fortunes in play: If the debt-ceiling issue turns out bad, even catastrophic, and the public ends up blaming the Republicans -- as the "mainstream" media will surely encourage us to do -- then the 2012 elections won't be the liberation conservatives are praying for.

It's time for conservatives to cut the best deal they can and regroup for future battles. It's not compromising one's principles; it's applying them to the art of the possible.

Besides, in truth, the foot-soldiers of the Tea Party-led conservative movement have already won this round. They have changed the entire discussion in Washington -- and, in the case of the debt-ceiling increase, they've managed to focus it entirely on spending cuts, with tax increases taken off the table.

What is the sense in winning this skirmish only to lose the public?

Look, we're on the conservatives' side. No editorial page in the nation has been more supportive of the Tea Party movement, which is aimed at nothing less than saving the country for our children.

But our friends in this crusade -- the largest and most effective grass-roots mobilization since the Civil Rights Era -- need to come to grips with the fact that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like the civil rights struggle, this one must heartily embrace a chain of modest victories over time.

In addition, while we've been on a shameful binge the past few years that's unprecedented in human history, it has taken decades for America to gorge itself to morbid obesity on borrowed cash. It will take time to change an entire country's eating habits.

To conservatives in Congress and all those who support their attempts to save our nation for posterity: Don't just make a deal to end this cliff-dwelling debt-ceiling crisis; do it with relish. Go on and happily let the Democrats wallow in glorious victory if they will, content that they've turned back the forces of fiscal sanity for the moment. Just let it steel you for the campaign to come.

You've actually won the day. Now you must live to fight another.

Comments (43) Add comment
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faithson
5145
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faithson 07/30/11 - 12:59 am
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See Broun and Wilson waited

See Broun and Wilson waited until the last minute, waiting to see how the winds were blowing. I respect a man who makes up his mind and votes when asked. I can not tolerate a man who waits until right before the time is up, then putting his finger into the air, votes. Broun has got to go people, pleeeeeassse find another good young republican out there in Columbia county to run against him in the primaries, please.

Fundamental_Arminian
1833
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Fundamental_Arminian 07/30/11 - 01:11 am
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Is this editorial a call for

Is this editorial a call for Democrats and Republicans to get back to working together? Tragically they've been working together for more than 30 years.

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/54236000/gif/_54236326_us_debt_464...

America desperately needs Ron Paul or a strong third party candidate.

DanK
779
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DanK 07/30/11 - 03:03 am
0
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How interesting that you fail

How interesting that you fail to mention the debt reduction plan that is being floated by the Democrats. Boehner's plan would cut only 850M in spending over the next decade. The Democratic plan would cut 2.2 trillion in spending and would not raise taxes. But of course, it's not a plan introduced by "conservatives" so it's not worthy of mention here. Fact is, the Republicans are not interested in debt reduction. They are interested in political maneuvering and posturing. Republicans don't really want to reduce spending. They want to elect more Republicans.

"No editorial page in the nation has been more supportive of the Tea Party movement..." Your pride in supporting the extremist right is boundless. It is equally a mistake -- wasted ink promulgating misguided ideas.

thewiz0oz
9
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thewiz0oz 07/30/11 - 03:29 am
0
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hummmm-so spending more than

hummmm-so spending more than the US has is an 'extreme position'? I agree with the editorial - remember that the emergence of the modern conservative movement started with the shellacking Johnson gave Goldwater in the '64 election. Between 1968 - 1992, except for the Watergate Carter four years the conservative/moderates drove national politics. No one can be proud of the fiscal management by either party, but Obama & the radical liberal/socialist have developed fiscal insanity to an art & really think their big government plans are the solution & not the problem. We need TeaParty dominance when the current political leadership is tossed out. One bite at a time conservatives.

Brad Owens
4290
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Brad Owens 07/30/11 - 09:07 am
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This fight should have never

This fight should have never happened. In fact, I have said all along that this was the WRONG tool to use to try to force fiscal responsibility.

What we have is a bunch of people that do not understand what this really is, in fact, I have seen lots of people who talk about this but have no idea what it is.

This was going to have to happen; it was going to HAVE to be raised no matter what.

The way this was fought will damage the Republicans not the Democratic Party.

From the get go they should have raised the debt ceiling and fought individual battles on spending in congress by defunding programs that are wastes of money.

Brad

draksig
167
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draksig 07/30/11 - 04:36 am
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@Dank, What you ailed to

@Dank, What you ailed to note is that the Boehner plan would have reduced spending by 2.5 Trillion over 10 years but in two steps, requiring a balanced budget amendment vote in between. It seems that the Democrats are opposed to Balancing the Federal Budget.

Brad Owens
4290
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Brad Owens 07/30/11 - 05:13 am
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draksig, In case you did not

draksig,

In case you did not notice, the GOP doesn't support it with thier actions either.

You all are well conditioned to fight each other while they spend us into slavery.

Debt IS modern slavery,

Brad

carcraft
25290
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carcraft 07/30/11 - 08:04 am
0
0
Faithson-You must really love

Faithson-You must really love Obama, voted against a raise in the debt ceiling as a congress critter and now is all for it. Said it was a violation of the constitution to attact a country that was not a threat to the US with out authorization of the congress when he as a congress critter then he bombs Lybia as President. I like consistancy to..

Riverman1
82445
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Riverman1 07/30/11 - 08:48 am
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AC...Bull...another Rick

AC...Bull...another Rick Santellism...."If not now, when?"

Conservatives actually want to see an admission this snail darter federal government is bloated and broken. Whatever it takes to get us back where things should be.

Riverman1
82445
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Riverman1 07/30/11 - 08:52 am
0
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I have no doubt that our

I have no doubt that our credit rating will be much higher in the eyes of the world if we go pink slip, pay everyone off and stop the spending. It sounds like the politicians want to hire one of those sham credit counselors who tells you how to get out of debt by "consolidating your debt" with yet another credit card. There is no magic solution except to stop spending.......NOW.

harley_52
23005
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harley_52 07/30/11 - 08:57 am
0
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Sorry, but I don't see

Sorry, but I don't see anything to be gained by the Republicans for making a "tactical retreat." They have nowhere to retreat to. They've now passed three bills and the democrats refuse even to consider any of them. Just last evening the democrats refused to consider their own bill and claimed Republicans wouldn't allow it even with Senator McConnell standing there asking them to bring it before the floor. I can't tell you the anguish I feel knowing that people at the pinnacle of our government are bald faced liars.

Look, this is all a charade. The scenario was written before it even started. The democrats were always planning to label whatever the Republicans proposed as "unbalanced" and "extreme" and they always planned to insist the Republicans were being "unreasonable" no matter the truth of the matter. They want to destroy the "Tea Party." The want it discredited and marginalized before the 2012 election. This "crisis" is their vehicle. Remember....."never waste a crisis."

It's not over by a long shot. They're going to drag it out to the bitter end, always blaming the "extremist" Tea Party folks. They want to so damage their brand that they'll be ineffective in the 2012 election. They never wanted a solution here, just a "crisis" and a chance to perform their dance.

The Republicans should stand firm. There's no other reasonable option. I don't believe the public will blame the Republicans for standing their ground against runaway spending. A showdown over spending was inevitable and the time is now. They can't win by retreating and they shouldn't abandon their principles. Let the democrats have the bottom of the sewer all for themselves. I think the American voters are much more aware of what's happening here than the democrats seem to think.

rmwhitley
5542
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rmwhitley 07/30/11 - 09:22 am
0
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Where is the PRINTED
Unpublished

Where is the PRINTED democratic plan? Where's da massa's plan in PRINT? Rebellion and civil war are just around the corner unless some of these meatheads (dems and repubs) grow up. I'm tired of changing their diapers.

Brad Owens
4290
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Brad Owens 07/30/11 - 09:28 am
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0
The damage "standing firm"

The damage "standing firm" would do is not worth the gain.

The right thing to do is raise it and refuse to pass another spending bill that has excessive pork in it.

There are too many folks suffering due to the econoomy to cause interest rates to climb over a political issue.

We need austerity cuts...but on the back of this issue, not front

Brad

DuhJudge
206
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DuhJudge 07/30/11 - 09:31 am
0
0
The world is upside down. If

The world is upside down. If you don't work directly for the federal or state government, as an employee or contractor or vendor, and you don't receive entitlement money, or if you are a retailer, then what do you do? There are simply not many of us out there that are not touched by that spending. It has been artificially supporting our system by borrowing against future values because it does not want the banks to fail. Not enough money is being made in this country through productive manufacturing jobs, bottom line. So many jobs have been created to regulate other people doing their jobs. That is not creating value, all it does is keep the money moving. And when there is a concern that a hiccup is eminent, people react as if they are watching a hurricane plowing up the Gulf on the weather channel. As long as people HAVE money AND credit, then spending keeps the ship upright. I think a long night is coming.

harley_52
23005
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harley_52 07/30/11 - 09:42 am
0
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Interest rates are going to

Interest rates are going to rise. I realize some folks have a problem separating the "debt ceiling" issue (aka default), from the "interest rate" issue (aka downgrade), but it's an important difference.

The credit rating agencies have warned us that we must do something significant to avoid a downgrade in our credit rating. Nothing currently being proposed is significant, by their own criteria. A downgrade will occur regardless the outcome of this current debt ceiling fiasco. Democrats will blame Republicans for that one too and to the extent people don't understand the difference between "default" and "downgrade" they'll probably be successful.

Brad Owens
4290
Points
Brad Owens 07/30/11 - 09:50 am
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All, Here is something I

All,

Here is something I wrote a while ago;

The decimation of the urban manufacturing base is one of the reasons we no longer have an energized and responsive electorate. We have all been dumbed down into boob-tube zombies and consumers of mass produced comfort.

Americans will not suffer inconvenience one second, but can take all the political corruption and corporate exploitation that is heaped on them.

We allow the political parties to create so much debt that America is enslaved for generations while we sit by and argue over whether or not gays should be able to get married.

There will be an awakening one day, and then there will be a reckoning for all this. Judging by America’s past, the level of armed groups, and the size of the problem, it might just get bloody.

Many thanks goes out to the corrupt politicians, corrupting lobbyist, bully unions, greedy mortgage brokers, crooked bankers, dishonest loan officers, and bad debt hustlers who helped hasten this crisis in our giverment. Hats off to you all, may you choke on the olive from your martini or drown in your Olympic sized pool.

DEBT IS SLAVERY!

Brad Owens
4290
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Brad Owens 07/30/11 - 09:52 am
0
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harley_52, That is my point,

harley_52,

That is my point, nobody REALLY understands this and so the Democratic Party will end up winning the public support fight because it is easy to spin this against the Tea Party.

Best to raise it and force spending cuts.

Brad

carcraft
25290
Points
carcraft 07/30/11 - 10:38 am
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Brad-Don't forget to thank

Brad-Don't forget to thank the corrupt folk in journalism that convinced a majority of Americans a community organizer with no credible experiance, no record of achievement and a dim past that is cloaked in seceracy who told lie after lie while campaigning could be CEO of America!

Brad Owens
4290
Points
Brad Owens 07/30/11 - 10:51 am
0
0
"Democratic leaders

"Democratic leaders vehemently object both to the balanced budget amendment and the requirement of a second debt ceiling vote before the next election..."

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/07/29/debt.talks/index.html

Hmmmmm, I wonder why?

RunningMan
346
Points
RunningMan 07/30/11 - 10:57 am
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0
carcraft - Are you saying

carcraft - Are you saying McCain and Palin would have been better for this country? I think not.

harley_52
23005
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harley_52 07/30/11 - 11:00 am
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***Best to raise it and force

***Best to raise it and force spending cuts.***

That's like giving your child ice cream expecting him not to eat it.

You don't cut spending by asking mastercard to increase your limit.

RunningMan
346
Points
RunningMan 07/30/11 - 10:56 am
0
0
No one is spinning anything

No one is spinning anything except the AC. Its clear to see the good old boys are up to no good again.

harley_52
23005
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harley_52 07/30/11 - 11:12 am
0
0
I'm saying McCain and Palin

I'm saying McCain and Palin would have been better for this Country. I'm saying Hilary Clinton would have been better for this Country. I'm saying Ron Paul would have been better for this Country. Pick a candidate from the 2008 election and he/she would have been better for this Country.

harley_52
23005
Points
harley_52 07/30/11 - 11:18 am
0
0
***We have all been dumbed

***We have all been dumbed down into boob-tube zombies and consumers of mass produced comfort.

Americans will not suffer inconvenience one second, but can take all the political corruption and corporate exploitation that is heaped on them. ***

You're painting with too broad a brush.

I'm not part of the group you're describing and neither are millions of Americans generally now derisively referred to as "Tea Party Extremists," or worse.

The "Tea Party" is our last, great hope and these Republican "hold outs" should be admired and applauded.

harley_52
23005
Points
harley_52 07/30/11 - 11:22 am
0
0
Here's a clue, runningman.

Here's a clue, runningman. I'm saying it because it's true. Any of the candidates I've named would have been better. Now, you may not agree with that and I'm perfectly fine with that. But when you start accusing me of racism, I object.

Obama's skin color has nothing to do with my views whether you like it, or not.

I know it's the first inclination of a "progressive," but

Brad Owens
4290
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Brad Owens 07/30/11 - 12:01 pm
0
0
harley_52, No, you option

harley_52,

No, you option would be like not paying your credit card bill when it is due causing the interest rates to soar and saying that you did it because your wife refuses to hand over her card to be cut up.

You would not do that, you would pay the bill to avoid the penalty and then you cancel her card before she can make another run you can't afford to the mall.

I mean you do see that the current debt is not linked to future spending right?

Oh by the way, default is the quickest path to downgrade. Period. And a credit downgrade would not help anyone except money lenders.

Brad

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/30/11 - 11:41 am
0
0
Anthony Weiner would have

Anthony Weiner would have been better for this country...

harley_52
23005
Points
harley_52 07/30/11 - 11:37 am
0
0
For Republicans, the issue

For Republicans, the issue comes down to this.

Would you rather be viewed by some folks as a principled "extremist" because you want to stop the runaway spending and move toward a balanced the budget, or would you rather be viewed as an unprincipled "extremist" for wanting the same things but being too cowardly to stand up for them when the going gets tough?

harley_52
23005
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harley_52 07/30/11 - 11:39 am
0
0
***I mean you do see that the

***I mean you do see that the current debt is not linked to future spending right?***

Incorrect, Brad.

Current debt must be "serviced" right along with new debt. We pay interest on all debt, old and new and the amount of that interest definitely affects current (and future) spending.

***Oh by the way, default is the quickest path to downgrade. Period. And a credit downgrade would not help anyone except money lenders.***

First of all, there's no REAL danger of "default." Secondly, we are going to be "downgraded." We should have been downgraded immediately after the "stimulus bill," or certainly after the passing of "obamacare." No "plan" currently under discussion will avoid a "downgrade" with all the accompanying misery it will cause.

harley_52
23005
Points
harley_52 07/30/11 - 11:50 am
0
0
***Anthony Weiner would have

***Anthony Weiner would have been better for this country...***

Better watch out Ms. Bailey. You'll likely be called a racist for such a remark.

It's the first defense of a "progressive" when someone disagrees with their position.

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