Republican Reaction To Obama’s Executive Action Makes Immigration Reform Much Less Likely

Judging by recent polling, the President's executive action has hardened GOP opposition to immigration reform, making progress on the issue going forward much less likely.

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In the run up to his announcement of the deportation relief that constitutes his “executive action” on immigration, President Obama claimed that he was acting because he wanted to spur Congress, principally the Republicans in the House of Representatives to act on immigration reform. If only the House would put a bill forward he claimed, or act on the bill that th Senate had passed in July 2013, this matter could be dealt with in an expeditious fashion and the many issues impacting our broken immigration system brought at least one step closer to being fixed. As I noted at the time, the President’s logic was never very strong. It was apparent from the start that there was strong opposition in the House Republican Caucus to the Senate reform package, for example, and even lobbying efforts by the Chamber of Commerce and Republican-leaning evangelicals to make it happen. In no small part, much of the reluctance was due to the fact that many Republicans were concerned about primary challenges in response to such a vote, but as Speaker Boehner noted at one point there was also the simple fact that many House Republicans did not trust the President when it came to implementing whatever they would end up passing. Finally, once the GOP won control of the Senate in teh 114th Congress, the idea that the Senate bill was anything other than a dead letter was, to put it nicely, politically naive. Notwithstanding all of that, the President made this threat, and less than a week later unveiled his policy. Not surprisingly, the polling in the wake of the President’s decision makes it clear that the President’s action has likely made comprehensive immigration reform less likely:

Obama’s decision to defer deportations for more than 5 million illegal immigrants has divided the American people in half — and even improved the president’s numbers on the immigration issue — according to new polling from Quinnipiac University and CNN. What it also appears to have done, though, is exacerbated the real problem with getting comprehensive reform done: a very motivated opposition.

This has long been the main obstacle to comprehensive reform — i.e. some form of legalization of illegal immigrants, plus border security — and since the executive action, the opposition is on the rise again.

The Q poll shows support for allowing illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship falling to its lowest point since the survey started asking the question two years ago. Fewer than half — 48 percent — now support a path to citizenship, down from 57 percent one year ago.

The poll also shows that 35 percent say these immigrants should be required to leave (the word “deportation” is not mentioned). That’s a new high, and it’s up nine points from the last poll.

And here’s the real kicker: The shift is almost completely among Republicans. Although they supported citizenship over deportation 43 to 38 percent in November 2013, today they support deportation/involuntary departure over citizenship, 54 to 27 percent.

(…)

The CNN/Opinion Research poll tells a similar tale. Although 42 percent favored the policies that Obama announced and 46 percent opposed them, it was clear where the motivation remains: with the opposition.

CNN also showed people opposed Obama acting to implement those policies on his own, 56 to 41 percent. And when it asked people how they felt about Obama’s policy changes on an emotional level, 43 percent were either “angry” or “displeased,” while just 31 percent said they were “enthusiastic” or “pleased” — a 12-point gap. What’s more, the “angry” (16 percent) outnumbered the “enthusiastic” (8 percent) by two to one.

This chart, created by The Washington Post’s The Fix blog using the Quinnipiac numbers, lays bare just how much, at least initially, the President’s action has served to harden Republican opposition to comprehensive immigration reform:

Republicans Immigration

The best indication of the extent to which the President’s announcement was going to impact the right came just days after his speech, when The New York Times noted the extent to which Tea Party organizations had moved quickly to adopt opposition to the issue as a central part of an agenda that now seems far afield of the “Taxed Enough Already?” slogan that had given it its impetus some four year ago:

WASHINGTON — In all its fury and unanimity, the response from the right to President Obama’s decision to change immigration policy without the consent of Congress was the manifestation of a major transformation within the Tea Party.

What started five years ago as a groundswell of conservatives committed to curtailing the reach of the federal government, cutting the deficit and countering the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party has become a movement largely against immigration overhaul. The politicians, intellectual leaders and activists who consider themselves part of the Tea Party have redirected their energy from advocating fiscal austerity and small government to stopping any changes that would legitimize people who are here illegally, through granting them either citizenship or legal status.

“Amnesty for Millions, Tyranny for All,” declared the Tea Party Tribune website, summing up the indignation among conservatives over Mr. Obama’s executive action to shield up to five million people from deportation.

A group of sheriffs is organizing a demonstration next month at the Capitol. Activists are sending fat envelopes stuffed with articles on illegal immigration to members of Congress.

And in their most audacious plans, Tea Party groups are preparing to recruit challengers to run against high-profile Republicans they accuse of betraying them — as they did when they toppled Eric Cantor, the former House majority leader.

At the top of their list of potential targets are politicians like Senator John McCain of Arizona, a proponent of an immigration overhaul. Their fantasy candidate: Sarah Palin, Mr. McCain’s former running mate, who now spends much of the year at her home in Scottsdale, Ariz. Two prominent conservative activists, who spoke anonymously to reveal private discussions, said leading Tea Party figures planned to reach out to Ms. Palin to see if she was interested in running against Mr. McCain.

The way they are organizing around the issue of immigration bears striking parallels to how the federal bailouts of financial institutions and the Affordable Care Act galvanized many of the same people in 2009 and 2010. The issues have shifted, but the common enemy has not: Mr. Obama.

“This is going to become the Obamacare for the 2016 cycle,” said David N. Bossie, president of Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group. “You’re going to see a constant drumbeat, a constant march.

“It will be no one thing,” he added. “When you call down the thunder, sometimes it’s not pretty.”

Conservatives say emotions over immigration run so high that the issue could be even more politically potent than the Affordable Care Act. Like many of the economic concerns that animated Tea Party supporters, immigration issues play to people’s anxieties about their financial well-being and the future. Many conservatives who have long mistrusted Mr. Obama because they think his policies will fundamentally alter America believe that his new immigration order will do just that, with millions of potential new foreign-born citizens even though the president’s action does not call for a path to citizenship.

The Tea Party movement isn’t exactly a newcomer to the immigration issue, of course. When the Senate was debating the matter back in the summer of 2013, it had already become apparent that the movement had transformed from something that was loosely united around fiscal issues such as opposition to high deficits and government debt to one primarily concerned with blocking virtually any form of immigration reform. The opposition to reform ran so deep, in fact, that Marco Rubio, who had previously been one of the movement’s biggest stars saw his star fade significantly because of his support for the Senate immigration plan and the efforts he made to work across the aisle with Democrats to come up with a bipartisan bill. Additionally, although the Senate was able to pass a bipartisan bill notwithstanding Tea Party opposition trying to lobby the GOP Senate Caucus, it quickly became apparent that opposition to reform led by the Tea Party would make the odds of getting not only the Senate bill, but any kind of reform bill at all, through the House essentially impossible. The fact that much of the opposition one heard from Tea Party on this issue was so antithetical to the free market, small government views that the movement purports to advocate is something that didn’t seem to bother any of the opponents of reform from that wing of the party, seems to make it clear that, notwithstanding claims to the contrary what is really at play here is anti-immigrant bias, whether those immigrants are in the United States legally or illegally.

Whatever the motivations of the Tea Party and other Republican opponents of immigration reform, though, the President’s actions seem to have hardened their opposition to reform significantly, and this makes the prospects for reform in the coming years even less likely than it might have been notwithstanding the fact that Republican leaders are purportedly putting together a reform package for consideration in the 114th Congress.  In all likelihood, such a bill will go nowhere unless it ends up being a largely meaningless piece of legislation that addresses so-called “border security” and does little to address issues such as the problems with the legal immigration system, the need for a real guest worker program, and the real problem of the 11 million or more people who are here illegally and not realistically going anywhere. Even so, the polling now indicates that even a bill that toothlesss would be unlikely to go anywhere with the new Republican Congress thanks to the fact that, for better or worse, the President’s action has caused the GOP as a whole to become far more strident in its opposition to immigration reform. If the President intended for his initial threat to the GOP and then his subsequent decision to go ahead with executive action to be something that would spur Republicans to act, it would appear that his plan will completely backfire.

None of this is really all that surprising. When I wrote about the President’s threats in the wake of the 2014 election that going forward with executive action, I noted that it was rather obvious that going forward with executive action on immigration at this time would do nothing to further the cause of immigration reform, and indeed would likely poison the well just as Speaker Boehner had warned that it would:

[P]olitics requires one to be realistic about what can be achieved and its been obvious for some time that immigration reform died in the 113th Congress some time ago and that it certainly isn’t going to get passed into law during the coming lame duck session. Anyone who expects otherwise simply isn’t paying attention to political reality. Because of that, President Obama’s deadline for action by the end of the year is completely unrealistic, and in the end the kind of politically tone deaf move that would end up causing more damage, both to the cause of immigration reform itself and the relationship between the Executive and Legislative Branches going forward between now and the end of the President’s term, than it is worth. The President has already waited four months since making his threat of executive action, and nearly eighteen months since the Senate passed its version of immigration reform. He can afford to wait a little bit longer, allow the new Congress to gavel into session, and give them some reasonable amount of time to come up with at least a proposal for reform if not a completed bill. Acting sooner than that is just likely to guarantee that no such bill will be forthcoming and that that the issue of immigration reform will continue to languish without anyone acting on it.

As I’ve noted before, perhaps this is exactly what the President wants. After all, if Congress were able to come together and pass comprehensive immigration reform that dealt with all or most of the issues I’ve noted above, then Democrats would lose a significant issue distinguishing them from Republicans among Latino voters, and arguably a strong argument for motivating those voters to come out to the polls. Keep that issue alive, though, and it will be there for Democrats to exploit all over again when they can argue that the GOP hasn’t done anything to advance immigration reform. The fact that one of the main reasons for that is because of what the President did in November? Yea, that won’t be so important, especially since that move is immensely popular among Latino voters for very understandable reasons. Quite honestly, I’m reluctant to ascribe this kind of Machiavellian mastery to President Obama largely because he has not demonstrated the kind of political skills necessary to pull something like that off over the nearly six years now that he has been in office. To the extent Barack Obama has had political victories, it’s usually been ones that he has stumbled into rather than pulled off in the way a Frank Underwood or Jed Bartlett might (and, yes, I am aware that those are fictional characters.) Perhaps that’s what might happen here, and if that’s the case then at the very least one can say that Barack Obama will go down in history as one of the damn luckiest Presidents in history, because to the extent he’s succeeded in a political battle it hasn’t because of any particular skills he has in that area.

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FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Borders and Immigration, Campaign 2016, Congress, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rafer Janders says:

    the President’s action has served to harden Republican opposition to comprehensive immigration reform:

    So Obama’s actions have reducued the chanced of a GOP effort on immigration reform from zero percent to approximately zero percent?

    I mean, c’mon, let’s not pretent that the Republicans were going to do anything in the first place, no matter what Obama did or didn’t do.

  2. Steve Hynd says:

    @Rafer Janders: It’s Obama’s fault congressional Republicans are pandering to a racist base, dontcha know. Thanks, Obama!

  3. Jon says:

    Ah, an old classic. “Look what you made me do.” The holidays really ramp up the nostalgia.

  4. Barry says:

    @Rafer Janders: “So Obama’s actions have reducued the chanced of a GOP effort on immigration reform from zero percent to approximately zero percent?”

    Seconding this.

    Doug, you’ve written several hundred words for what?

  5. al-Ameda says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    So Obama’s actions have reducued the chanced of a GOP effort on immigration reform from zero percent to approximately zero percent?

    Exactly.

    Obama’s executive action made it virtually certain that Republicans would continue to NOT support everything the president does.

    House Republicans rejected the Rubio-Schumer bi-partisan proposal, one that included a punitive multi-year path to citizenship, and a requirement of paying fines, taxes and penalties. If Obama proposed to round-up and deport all illegal immigrants Republicans would refuse to support that saying that he’s doing it for political purposes.

  6. LaMont says:

    it will be there for Democrats to exploit all over again when they can argue that the GOP hasn’t done anything to advance immigration reform. The fact that one of the main reasons for that is because of what the President did in November? Yea, that won’t be so important…

    Not only is it not important, the idea that anything President Obama did to cause the GOP to do nothing about immigration is a false premise.

  7. stonetools says:

    Doug, you must be posting from a parallel universe where the Republicans were actually going to act on immigration reform. Here on Earth Prime, the Republicans were never going to pass immigration reform. The elections sealed the deal by increasing Republican representation in Congress.
    The Republicans hoped to forestall Obama’s executive action by talking about “poisioning the well, etc”, but thanks to prior Republican actions, that well was already full of nothing but poision.
    Obama finally and reluctantly took the kind of action he should have taken years ago and in one action:

    1.Did the right thing.
    2. Rewarded the loyalty of a crucial Democratic constituency
    3. Punished the Republicans for their obstruction
    4. Threw a divisive issue right into the middle of the 2016 Republican Presidential campaign.

    It’s a thing of beauty, and he should have been doing stuff like this since the minute it became clear that the Republicans were going to sabotage everything he was planning to do. It’s like Obama grew some cojones the day after the election.More like this, please.

  8. Tillman says:

    So, we’ve gone from “Republicans don’t want to pass immigration reform,” as demonstrated by the legislative history of the DREAM Act since 2001, to “Republicans really don’t want to pass immigration reform because Barack Obama issued an executive order.”

    And you leap from that to Obama and the Democrats cynically exploiting a minority voting bloc for more votes in later elections.

    I don’t know, doesn’t that sound off? The way your headline and analysis puts it, Republicans would have been open to immigration reform before Obama’s order. History shows differently.

  9. LaMont says:

    Barack Obama will go down in history as one of the damn luckiest Presidents in history, because to the extent he’s succeeded in a political battle it hasn’t because of any particular skills he has in that area.

    This though process is exactly why the GOP is in trouble today. You don’t give President Obama nearly enough credit to have the foresight to side-step the bull$#@t and allow the blow-back to hit the GOP. The notion that he has to be extremely lucky to gain this political win proves that your political insight, much like the GOP, is immature and lack the capacity to anticipate negative outcome. Granted, President Obama did suffer political losses, even in situations he should’ve won (i.e. Obamacare) but it doesn’t take a President with the political gamesmanship of a Bill Clinton to win this particular fight. I and others repeatedly commented on the likely outcome in other articles related to this subject. The polls showing the GOP’s hardening on immigration matters is playing right into the President’s and the Democrat’s hands – like many of us thought it would. It has less to do with Obama being lucky and more to do with the predictability of todays Republican.

  10. C. Clavin says:

    So Doug is saying that Republicans, who weren’t going to ever pass immigration reform because they are racists, are now not going to pass immigration reform because of a black man? OK, then.

  11. gVOR08 says:

    Obama will go down in history as one of the damn luckiest Presidents in history, because to the extent he’s succeeded in a political battle it hasn’t because of any particular skills he has in that area.

    Again, and again, and again. Maybe assumptions need to be examined.

  12. steve says:

    You are correct Doug. It reduced the chance of GOP participation in reform by 90%. From 1% to 0.1%.

    Steve

  13. michael reynolds says:

    The fact that much of the opposition one heard from Tea Party on this issue was so antithetical to the free market, small government views that the movement purports to advocate is something that didn’t seem to bother any of the opponents of reform from that wing of the party, seems to make it clear that, notwithstanding claims to the contrary what is really at play here is anti-immigrant bias, whether those immigrants are in the United States legally or illegally.

    Yes, or as I’ve been saying since the Tea Party first crawled up out of the primordial ooze, this is nothing but the racist, homophobic, mentally-unhinged wing of the GOP. And that wing is pretty much the whole bird now.

  14. Another Mike says:

    It has been my understanding that the Republican leadership was always quite strongly for immigration reform. The catch is that it has to involve closing off, or at least serious decreasing the illegal flow of immigrants across the border. I wrote my senators and congressman a year ago saying that if the flow at the border is cut off, there is no need to deport anyone except the criminal element. In time the problem just resolves itself. I am a conservative and lean heavily toward the Tea Party.

    The problem is that the Republicans do not trust President Obama to obey any law pertaining to closing off the border, not that he would ever sign such a law anyway. Now the DHS has issued its memorandum suspending deportations, a document that has not even been published as far as I know, the Republican position has hardened. It is clear that this memorandum is illegal, and in fact, 18 states have joined a lawsuit against it.

    I consider the Obama administration’s action unlawful and a serious violation of the constitution. The changes Obama made are not awful in themselves in that nobody serious believes we are going to deport five million immigrants here illegally, but the way they were done is illegal. If the Republicans allow this memorandum to stand, then they have, in fact, accepted their lawfulness. They have resigned themselves to the idea that the implementation of laws they pass is at the discretion of the president, who can ignore the laws in part or totally, make changes to the laws, and add to the laws as he sees fit.

    It is not a partisan issue. Congress cannot give its powers to the executive. Congress does not own government so as to be able to give away its powers, the States and the People own the government. That is why I think the States will be successful with their lawsuit.

  15. michael reynolds says:

    @Another Mike:
    Mr. Obama has been deporting illegals at a record pace. He’s put in place more agents, more wall, more fence and more sensors than ever before. The fact that you and your TP pals can’t see past your own prejudices to the truth is not Mr. Obama’s fault.

  16. James Pearce says:

    @Another Mike:

    I am a conservative and lean heavily toward the Tea Party.

    I get the first part, but why the second part?

    Also:

    The problem is that the Republicans do not trust President Obama to obey any law pertaining to closing off the border

    Why should the Republicans trust Obama? This is among the lamest excuses I’ve heard about this.

    Their trust isn’t necessary. Please…mistrust him. Watch him closely. Hold hearings. Demand reports. Oversight, oversight, oversight. That’s what you do when you don’t trust someone.

    What the Republicans are doing is an exercise in avoidance.

  17. MarkedMan says:

    Republican inaction is Obama’s fault? It has nothing to do with the Ronald Reagan/Lee Atwater deal with the devil to give a home to the most virulently racist Democrats in order to pull the South into the R column, the deal that continues to bedevil the R’s to this day? The reality: Obama’s order benefits the R’s, because they can say their inaction is due to being mad at Obama (f*ing six year olds…) rather than the reality: they can’t act because it would offend the racists in their party and they can’t win without the racists.

  18. michael reynolds says:

    It’s absolute bullsh-t to pretend that Republicans would have done anything about immigration but for this order. It’s utter nonsense. What are they, teenagers?

  19. steve says:

    “The catch is that it has to involve closing off, or at least serious decreasing the illegal flow of immigrants across the border.”

    How do you do that without spending a fortune? Seriously?

    Steve

  20. C. Clavin says:

    @Another Mike:

    I am a conservative and lean heavily toward the Tea Party.

    Sorry. You can be a Conservative . Or you can lean heavily toward the Tea Party. But you cannot be both.

  21. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    “It was apparent from the start that there was strong opposition in the House Republican Caucus to the Senate reform package to taking any action the constitutes governance,

    FIFY

  22. Tillman says:

    @Another Mike:

    It has been my understanding that the Republican leadership was always quite strongly for immigration reform. The catch is that it has to involve closing off, or at least serious decreasing the illegal flow of immigrants across the border.

    That’s what you got reading about the legislative history of the DREAM Act over the past fifteen years? So that’s why Democrats have been the ones to introduce more bills over it, and why (excluding Orrin Hatch) no Republican senator in favor of immigration reform during that time is a senator now? Well sure there’s Marco Rubio, but he backed off of that pretty damn quick, didn’t he?

    I have to wonder, what do you base your beliefs about Republican leadership on?

  23. Mercer says:

    ” need for a real guest worker program,”

    What is the real “need” for guest workers when wages are stagnant? Do you want wages to go down or more citizens to leave the work force? It is nothing but the desire for more cheap labor which the economy does not need.

  24. Chip says:

    @steve:

    How do you do that without spending a fortune? Seriously?

    Simple- hire a bunch of illegals!

  25. Another Mike says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Sorry. You can be a Conservative . Or you can lean heavily toward the Tea Party. But you cannot be both.

    Ok, I’ll bite. Explain why that is so.

  26. LaMont says:

    @Another Mike:

    Maybe Conservatives actually have the capacity to compromise in order to govern. The tea party has no interest in governing.

    On the other hand, today’s “conservatives” are leaning further toward extreme right tea party politics. So it does not surprise me that you identify yourself as a conservative with a heavy lean toward the tea party. You are the example of a conservative party that is becoming more irrelevant by the day as it’s constituents are tending to lean further to the right.

  27. stonetools says:

    Perhaps that’s what might happen here, and if that’s the case then at the very least one can say that Barack Obama will go down in history as one of the damn luckiest Presidents in history, because to the extent he’s succeeded in a political battle it hasn’t because of any particular skills he has in that area

    Is someone who got elected twice US President despite being black really just lucky? I don’t think so, Doug. Clearly, Obama has to be a talented and skillful politician to achieve that.
    However, Obama is lacking in certain areas politically-but his defects are result of his strengths. Obama as a political type is the idealistic young reformer. He thinks that good policies make for good politics, and he has little patience for the business of maneuvering and calculating to gain and maintain power. In that way, he is decidedly non-Machiavellian.
    Machiavelli is at heart a political realist. He understands that the first concern of the Prince is power-gaining it, maintaining it, extending it. He wants the Prince to do good of course-but the Prince can only do good if he has power. He also understands that the Prince will have enemies-not potential allies, not colleagues, but enemies, dedicated to goals and interests opposed to the Prince.
    Obama is an idealist. He rejected the idea that he had enemies. He really believed he had the special ability to bring together Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. He believed that his goals were America’s goals and in effect rejected the concept that there was a red America, with a vision and agenda opposed to his own. He is different therefore from politicians like FDR and LBJ. Those politicians never doubted for a moment that they had powerful and implacable enemies. FDR called them “malefactors of great wealth” and said he “welcomed their hatred.” LBJ knew that white supremacists were his enemies- indeed, they considered him a traitor to their cause. He knew he was never going to talk them into cooperating with him over dinner.
    Obama just seemed to take his winning power for granted, and never was that concerned with gaining and maintaining the core of his power-Democratic legislative majorities-until he lost them. He also seemed to just assume that the Republicans would have to cooperate with him, and had no plan when it became clear that the Republicans intended to oppose him en masse. Put another way, Obama had only a peace strategy; he didn’t have a war strategy. Right up to the 2012 elections, he kept hoping that the Republicans would come to their senses and realize that they should be cooperating with him.
    So, Doug, the main failing of Obama as a political leader is indeed that he is not a Machiavelli: he is far too idealistic. But he is more than just lucky.
    As to his strengths, I’ll go into that in another post.

  28. stonetools says:

    @C. Clavin: @Another Mike:

    Sorry. You can be a Conservative . Or you can lean heavily toward the Tea Party. But you cannot be both

    To be honest, I think it depends on what kind of conservative you are. William F. Buckley defined a conservative as:

    A conservative is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it

    That does fit with what Tea Party Republicans are doing, although they would reject that as a description of their actions. I would put what the Tea Party is doing another way: they would to return America back to another time. They disagree whether that other time should be 1952,1932, or 1912-but they do want to return America to the past.

  29. Another Mike says:

    @LaMont:

    You are the example of a conservative party that is becoming more irrelevant by the day as it’s constituents are tending to lean further to the right.

    That’s what the November’s election told you?

  30. Another Mike says:

    @stonetools:

    He really believed he had the special ability to bring together Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives.

    That’s quite a fable you have constructed there. Talking about lucky though, have you examined how Obama came to be in the Illinois legislature, and especially how he came to be elected a U.S. Senator?

  31. LaMont says:

    @Another Mike:

    Why yes. Ask anyone here what I feel about the mid-term elections. They’ll tell you that I feel they are worthless and a severe misrepresentation of the view from the majority. The GOP literally count on low voting turnout mid-term elections and has been since 2010. That’s not the ringing endorsement on tea party conservative views that republicans try to make it out to be.

  32. Moosebreath says:

    “Perhaps that’s what might happen here, and if that’s the case then at the very least one can say that Barack Obama will go down in history as one of the damn luckiest Presidents in history, because to the extent he’s succeeded in a political battle it hasn’t because of any particular skills he has in that area.”

    Andrew Sullivan has a response to this line of thinking:

    Meep Meep

  33. Another Mike says:

    @stonetools:

    He really believed he had the special ability to bring together Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives.

    Most of the Tea Party are probably unfamiliar with the Buckley, but if they thought about it they would probably agree with it.

    The Tea Party is for smaller government. The federal government has become too large and is involved in things it should not be, thus encroaching on the liberty of the citizen. The mainstream Republican is not against big government. It want to be in charge of it.

    The Tea Party is for government living within its means. Of course, more and more people are getting money from the government, so if the government lives within its means, then where does this money government hands out come from?

    The Tea Party believes in the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights. It believes in the rule of law.

    These are the main currents in the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party has no structure and membership as such. Groups that claim to represent the Tea Party are just out to cash in. That is how I view them.

    It seems that the Tea Party is the dumping ground for every negative image the Left can dream up. It is sort of like the Emmanuel Goldstein on the Left.

  34. LaMont says:

    @Another Mike:

    Of course, more and more people are getting money from the government

    Not nearly as much as corporations get from the government, yet I don’t hear the tea party crying about that. These are the types of arguments that completely discredits the entire tea party movement.

  35. stonetools says:

    @Another Mike:

    (Shrug) He won elections against bad candidates. That’s how most people get elected. I though we were talking about his Presidency.
    Obama has had bad luck too. The economy has been recovering slowly for some time (despite the best efforts of Republicans to sabotage it), but the first really good jobs report came a couple of weeksAFTER the election-where it did the Democrats no good and will in fact even help the Republicans.
    Meanwhile, the Republicans handed him the greatest economic collapse since the great Depression to start his Presidency. That wasn’t good luck either.

  36. stonetools says:

    @Another Mike:

    The Tea Party is for smaller government

    Er, no. The Tea Party are for dismantling programs aimed to helping poor and minorities. They are fine with Big Government programs that benefit the well-off, big corporations, seniors and whites.

    The Tea Party is for government living within its means

    So why arn’t they for higher taxes to reduce the deficit? Why aren’t they for cuts in defense spending?

    The Tea Party believes in the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights. It believes in the rule of law.

    If you interpret the Bill of rights as consisting only of the Second Amendment, yes.

  37. Another Mike says:

    @LaMont:

    These are the types of arguments that completely discredits the entire tea party movement.

    They are not arguments, but merely false assertions.

  38. Another Mike says:

    @stonetools:

    Er, no. The Tea Party are for dismantling programs aimed to helping poor and minorities. They are fine with Big Government programs that benefit the well-off, big corporations, seniors and whites.

    Wrong of both assertions.

    So why arn’t they for higher taxes to reduce the deficit? Why aren’t they for cuts in defense spending?

    Look! The worker still has money! Tax him some more!
    Defense? We don’t need no stinking defense. Where in the Constitution does it say that the
    federal government is to provide for defense!

    If you interpret the Bill of rights as consisting only of the Second Amendment, yes.

    Heh, they are so stupid they forgot about the first and didn’t even realize there were others beyond the second. Hahaha.

  39. LaMont says:

    @Another Mike:

    These are false assertions that the tea party use to formulate their argument. So allow me to fix it for ya;

    These are the types of “false assertions” that completely discredits the tea party movement.

  40. mannning says:

    Through 2024 entitlements and interest on the debt will consume over 85% of the budget.
    Running the government took about 12% of the budget in 2013. Defense took 18+%. CBO 8/2014

    This will dictate drastic reductions in either entitlements or defense or both.

    Few congressmen want to reduse either.

    The prediction is that we will continue deficit spending over the next ten years, or until financial failure of the economy.

  41. An Interested Party says:

    Look! The worker still has money! Tax him some more!

    So you’re only for cutting the budget to balance it? Do tell what cuts that you are in favor of that would achieve that goal…

    Defense? We don’t need no stinking defense. Where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government is to provide for defense!

    Umm, no one ever said we don’t need any defense, but do you seriously believe that we need the level of spending that we have now to keep our country and its people safe?

    The prediction is that we will continue deficit spending over the next ten years, or until financial failure of the economy.

    We’ve had deficit spending for most of the last 40 years…do tell how all of that has led to the financial failure of the country…

  42. mannning says:

    We have an $18 Trillon national debt, and unfunded obligations throughout the States of an additional $65 trillion. Inside of ten years the interest on these debts will be unpayable, and with the removal of the dollar from its world reserve currency role officially, we will not be able to print money to pay the debts off. In simple terms, we will be broke, busted, and ripe for all kinds of mischief. The one true hope is our energy production.

    Read the CBO analyses of August 2014 on the subject of debt. It will enlighten you massively.

    But do follow the Pied Piper of deficit spending as far as you can. We do need financial sanity!

    Incidentally, I made no suggestions whatsoever about what to spend or where, I merely pointed out that our congressmen do not want to make the hard choices regarding entitlements and defense which are our two biggies. You should read more carefully.

  43. mannning says:

    Oh mea culpa! The unfunded obligations of the federal government is currently in excess of $116 trillion, according to Forbes, instead of 65 trillion.

  44. An Interested Party says:

    Incidentally, I made no suggestions whatsoever about what to spend or where, I merely pointed out that our congressmen do not want to make the hard choices regarding entitlements and defense which are our two biggies. You should read more carefully.

    I never indicated that you did make those suggestions…if you had read more carefully you would have realized those comments were directed at someone else…perhaps you should make sure your own reading comprehension is adequate before casting aspersions on anyone else…

  45. mannning says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Sometimes aspersions are called for regardless of the comment’s target. You evidence a fine disregard for so many aspects of the nation’s situation that commenting is a must. When faced with fundamental threats from without and from within, to ignore these threats is sheer folly. Instead of starting an austerity program, we will undoubtedly run up the national debt even further, thus hastening the day of reckoning. Some economists predict that we have just 6 months before we face a financial catastrophe, notably Stansburry, and Wiedemer. Of course, the Obama crowd still blames Bush for our situation, despite the fact that this administration has spent over $7 trillion on top of the debt left by Bush over the last 6 years. Spendthrifts all!

    You might note that your last rather silly head-in-the-sand comment on deficit spending was indeed targeted against my post.

  46. An Interested Party says:

    You might note that your last rather silly head-in-the-sand comment on deficit spending was indeed targeted against my post.

    Which, of course, had nothing to do with the subject of your criticism of my reading comprehension skills…so let’s move on from the allegedly “silly”…how does the budget get balanced before the supposed financial catastrophe falls from the sky…

  47. mannning says:

    @An Interested Party:

    According to Stanley Black in his article for Forbes we have passed the point of no return. None of the variables can be diddled with to make it come out right. We will be consumed wth interest payments, massive cutting of entitlements, discretionary spending, and defense to the point that our society wil fall apart. No tax increase can possibly fix the problem, and once the dollar is not the reserve currency we cannot print our way out, and there is no one to borrow from any more…and we cannot grow our economy at a sufficient rate over 10 years either. We face extraodinary inflation as the only tactic that buys a little time, but that too will cripple us very fast.

    Now is the time for the collective brainpower of the left to step forward with a workable solution, if they can, since entitlements is their baby and it is destined to be decimated. We will not be able to maintain our defenses either, so someone needs to figure out how to defend us with little or no budget for it. So all of the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over the budget and hundreds of line items is so much hogwash: the train wreck will take care of it all.

    I have no idea how to dig us out. I will allow myself one comment on this: The administration has hidden the financial facts from the public for far too long. This is a complete disaster coming at us, and none of our leadership is saying a damn thing about it. The CBO has published the facts, but it took Black, for one, to make it understandable to the public. Yes, the sky is falling!

  48. manning says:

    Thee is a whole series of articles on the coming collapse. Google “Financial Disaster is Coming”