Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Unseemly Republican Begging

We humans seem to be natural beggars.  We don't need to teach our children to beg.  We already know how to beg when we learn to talk:  "Please can I stay up one more hour?  Please, please, please will you buy me the toy I want?"  When it comes to begging, children have no shame.  Sometimes we even think it's "cute." But there's usually nothing cute about adult beggars.  You know, like the guy who begs his girlfriend to take him back after she dumped him?  We're tempted to say "have some dignity, and move on, man!" Well that's what I want to say to Republicans.

They keep begging the Democrats to talk to them, mostly about the budget.  The Republicans dutifully pass a budget every year.  They used to try to engage the Democrats in budget talks.  But the Democrats, in the person of Harry Reid, have just said "talk to the hand."  The Republican budgets end up right where all of the other legislation they pass ends up, on the scrapheap of Harry Reid's ignoring.

It's easy to see why the Democrats don't like to talk to the Republicans about the budget (or anything else). The Democrats know that it will not be an easy conversation -- the Republicans will want to cut spending. They might even want to balance the budget (eventually).  To say the least, that would not be easy.  It might even be quite unpleasant.  Better just to ignore the budget process altogether (which is why the Reid Senate usually does not even bother with passing a budget) and fund current levels of spending through a "continuing resolution."

So what do the Republicans do?  Do they say, "No, let's stick with the orderly budget process -- you Democrats pass a budget and we'll work our differences out in conference"?  No. The Republicans acquiesce, as they always do.  If the Democrats want to scrap the budget process and fund the government by continuing resolution, so be it!  At least the Democrats will have to talk about the continuing resolution!

That's where you're wrong, oh you groveling Republicans.  When it comes to the continuing resolution, the Democrats say it's "non-negotiable."  You Republicans just agree to fund present spending levels or "talk to the hand."  So what do the Republicans do?  They beg. In recent days, they've  passed four continuing resolutions to fund the government, each one requiring successively smaller concessions from the Democrats. Most humiliatingly, the Republicans' latest version would require the Democrats to talk with them.  Seriously, look it up.  The Republicans just proposed a law begging the Democrats to talk to them in a special conference committee.  What do the Democrats say to all this?  "Talk to the hand."  They've already declared it dead on arrival.

Now perhaps I'm being a bit too hard on the begging Republicans.  I can see why they feel vulnerable and weak.  They repeatedly try to compromise to fund the federal government.  The Democrats repeatedly say "talk to the hand," and what does the mainstream media say?  They say "the Republicans are shutting down the government!"  And so the Republicans beg to avoid blame.  They seem not to understand that the begging is pointless. It's pointless because the Obama administration and the Democrats in the Senate doing his bidding wanted the government "shutdown."  They knew that CNN would "blame" the Republicans, so the Democrats were going to shut down the government unless they got a "clean" (i.e. everything they wanted and nothing they didn't) continuing resolution, and that's what they did.

Well, hopefully the embarrassing begging is over now, Republicans.  Your worst fears have been realized. The Democrats have ignored you and shut down the government.  CNN and MSNBC are blaming you and will continue to blame you.  You can't change that now, and you never could.  So, please, have some personal dignity.  Get up off your knees.

The Democrats have done their worst to you. That's a fact. That can't be changed.  So get up, and move on. Why not try this -- how about playing the cards you've been dealt?  Pass a series of funding bills, funding various parts of the government, not necessarily at current levels, but at whatever levels you think appropriate.  Let those bills pile up on Harry Reid's desk.  If CNN squawks about some side effect of the "shutdown," just point to the bill that would fund that part of the government and say you've already solved that problem.  It won't be long before the Democrats will be anxious to talk to you.

You see, you earn the respect and cooperation of opponents, not by begging and appeasement, but by saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and standing on principle.  Try it, you'll like it.  But whatever you do, PLEASE stop begging!