Gandalf: Always remember, Frodo, the Ring is trying to get back to its master. It wants to be found.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 2001
George H.W. Bush did that. He was hailed as a conciliator for a day, then savaged brutally by the same press until he lost the 1992 election.
Glenn Reynolds 2012
Shortly after their (deserved) victory lap in an election they had no business winning the media began reporting on upcoming “fiscal cliff”
The press is all full of the need for a deal to be made because of the disastrous consequences that will come on Jan 1st. They also urge the GOP to be “bi-partisan” in agreeing to such a deal.
While a large amount of the uninformed public might be nodding their heads in agreement to anyone who pays attention and has access to any media that existed last year, this might be slightly confusing. Let’s elaborate
The Deal known as the Budget Control Act of 2011 passed the House with 269 votes out of 433 members available to vote that’s 62%. On the Democrat side 49.4% voted for and 49.4% voted against (the remaining 1.2% didn’t vote) On the Republican side 72% voted for and voted for and 27.3% voted against. On the House side it took tough negotiation and no little amount of arm twisting to win over enough conservative members of the GOP to score the 72% that voted for it, some Tea Party types like Allen West and Renne Ellmers took a lot of heat for voting for the deal while other notable Tea Party favorites like Ann Marie Buerkle of NY, Ron Paul of Texas and Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota defied the leadership of the speaker to get stronger cuts and were hit hard for it.
In the senate the vote was 74-26 With less pressure from the GOP to get everyone on board more conservative republicans were free to vote against a deal that didn’t have the cuts they wanted. The 19 Republicans who voted against read like a Who’s Who of the conservative movement in the Senate: Sessions & Shelby from Alabama, Rubio from Florida, Chambliss from Georgia, Coats of Indiana and Grassley of Iowa, from Kansas Moran & Roberts, Paul from Kentucky, Ayotte of New Hampshire, Coburn & Inhofe Of Oklahoma , Toomey of Pennsylvania, Demint & Graham of South Carolina , Hatch & Lee of Utah. As the New York Times said at the time:
It is also the reason that many conservative Republicans refused to vote for the agreement, calling it a grossly inadequate answer to a pressing problem.
“The current deal to raise the debt ceiling doesn’t stop us from going over the fiscal cliff,” Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, wrote Monday in an open letter explaining his opposition. “At best, it slows us from going over it at 80 m.p.h. to going over it at 60 m.p.h..”
But in the end, objections of Tea Party stalwarts not withstanding a bi-partisan bill gathering 88% of Democrats in the Senate and 49.4 in the house (50% of those who voted) along with 59.6% of Senate and 72% of House Republicans was sent to the president’s desk where it was signed.
President Obama said the following:
“It’s an important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means, yet it also allows us to keep making key investments in things like education and research that lead to new jobs and assures that we’re not cutting too abruptly while the economy’s still fragile,” Obama said in a statement from the White House Rose Garden before signing the bill.
Harry Reid Said the following:
“There’s one winner throughout all of this and that’s the American people,”
And Tim Geithner had this to say:
“You’re going to see this basic underlying growth we’ve see in the United States improve over time because people will be more confident we can live within our means,” he said. “With more confidence we can get our arms around this long term. We will have more room to do the things we need to strengthen investment jobs now.”
So my question to the media is this: Harry Reid celebrated this agreement, Tim Geithner likes it, Nancy Pelosi voted for it and The President signed it. Yet now this deal is responsible for a fiscal cliff that is apparently a disaster for all America.
And moreover, the MSM is laying the blame for said potential “disaster” squarely at the feet of the same GOP who the very same media urged to make the in 2011.
Even more amazing this very same media is telling the very same GOP to make another deal, or ELSE face the consequences.
So to summarize:
Last year The Budget Control Act of 2011 was a bi-partisan success that Nancy Pelosi found voteworthy and Harry Reid, Tim Geithner and President Obama could rightly take credit for to media cheers
This Year that same deal is the cause of a fiscal cliff and if the GOP doesn’t do something to stop it they will be responsible for unless they give President Obama what he wants.
People might ask why a GOP that retained the house by a wide margin should have to make a deal, I think the better question is why is a deal that a mere 16th months ago was so worthy of votes and praise no longer is.
I think when the press asks GOP members to make such a deal they should remind them of bi-partisan nature of the existing law that drew their praise and ask why they are suggesting it is so horrible now?
As Glenn Reynolds linked and Dan Mitchell said: This is an IQ test for the GOP. I hope they pass.
Update: Let me take advantage of this Instalanche to announce the following: Due to a family emergency “Under the Fedora” will not appear this week and posting will be light the rest of today. My subscription video commentary this week titled: Ralph Kiner and Sequestration will still go up this afternoon as well as the Teaser for non-subscribers.
Also due to said emergency there may be a delay of up to 24 hours before new subscribers and tip jar hitters get the passcode for the post containing the full version of the commentary.