Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Art of the Possible

I went to an event for a local political leader recently.  Virginia is riding high on the heels of our 2009 election which put a Republican in the governor’s mansion.  He is ably assisted by a Republican Lieutenant Governor, our Obamacare-slaying Attorney General, and a friendly House of Delegates.  Our only problem is in the Virginia Senate where a Democrat majority either stopped or watered down any number of worthy efforts this session.  Now we have an opportunity to fix that in November 2011 when we go to the polls again. 

One Freshman Delegate in recounting his very successful session mentioned that he had learned about the “art of the possible.”  What does that mean exactly?  The reference was made to a bill requiring the use of “E-verify” by Virginia’s businesses.  While it provided an important milestone, some of the teeth of the bill had to be removed in order to ram it through a hostile Democrat Senate.  Is Virginia better off?  Decidedly yes.  Did we get everything we wanted?  Decidedly no.  That is not dissimilar to the problems that Speaker John Boehner faces on the National stage. 

The comment about the “art of the possible” stuck in my memory.  It turns out that Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck is generally attributed with saying that “Politics is the art of the possible.”  That means more to me today than it ever might have before.  With a radical leftist in the White House and a Senate still controlled by the left – it is important to understand what the “art of the possible” is exactly.  The House under Speaker Boehner passed the repeal of Obamacare and that was an important gesture even though it had no chance of being passed through the Senate and signed into law.  But the repeal of Obamacare is not possible right now. 

The brinksmanship that Republicans and Democrats are engaged in right now needs to be put into the context of the “art of the possible.”  When the Republicans battle for weeks to save a measly $38 Billion the party and particularly the TEA movement shouldn’t be railing against Boehner and Cantor – they should be redoubling their efforts to get rid of Pelosi and Frank.  I would concede that Republicans make mistakes from time-to-time, but Democrats are downright evil and they will never give us the kind of country that we want and need.  These intramural fire fights between Conservatives and railing about RINOs are a useless waste of energy.  We need to focus all our energy on the prize – retaking the White House and the Senate.  With that said – Republicans need to play the game and support efforts like Representative Paul Ryan’s budget.  It will be a battle royal and we shouldn’t give an inch without exposing the smarmy Democrats who are fighting every single effort at fiscal sanity.  But it is unlikely that Republican’s won’t have to give some ground in order to win concessions.  When the inevitable criticism comes from the political neophytes in the TEA movement – we have to focus them on the real enemy – Democrats.  Fiscal sanity just isn’t possible with Democrats controlling 2/3rds of the government.  That’s what we have to fix – and soon. 

We open up a completely new world of possibilities if Obama becomes our worst ex-President and Harry Reid becomes our sourest ex-Majority Leader.  Then we can do some real open field running.  

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  1. Last time the Republicans had an open field they ran the wrong way. The measly cuts negotiated as the ship is sinking prove that everyone in DC is the enemy. They will kill the United States of America if they don't cut 25% of everything and then argue over a few more billions. And I don't care who's at the helm when this great ship goes under. They need to stop the flooding, and bail, bail,bail.

  2. Amigo,
    Good post. In my view, the root of all evils is "special interest money". Both parties feed at that trough. Until that feed is removed both sides will pander to feed source. Unfortunately that will not get fixed in our lifetime short of a nationwide catastrophy.

    Strict constitutionalism may be a cure to our fiscal woes but few legislators bother with that old document.

  3. I'm convined that everyone has to get in the boat and help row. There are no solutions on the left - everything they have tried has failed. Attacking Republicans for inching the ball down the field under a Democrat regime doesn't help a bit. We need Boehner, Cantor, and Ryan to keep taking these bastards to the woodshed.

  4. I agree Bill, gotta "inch the ball down the field" when that's all we can do and "make open field yardage" when the opportunity presents itself. The real issue is, do we roll-over and play dead or do we encourage tough compromise to gain a few inches?

    Republicans who "think left" and vote with the Dems, are not a part of the solution -- not even during "inch along" times. Further, those who are inclined toward the left need to be reminded that they're not what conservatives want.

    The Republican party "lost its way" in recent years, particularly in the area of excessive spending and if Republican candidates aren't reminded of that, we'e likely to get nothing better. We must do better, so let's get in the boat and row together, but be darned sure that the boat is named "conservative" and headed in the right direction.

  5. I hope that the memory of the spanking we got in 2006 and 2008 will last a very long time.

  6. Well, get ready for the spanking you're going to get in 2012 unless by some miracle Republicans stop drinking the Koch Brothers Kool-Aid and start regaining their moral compass. And to think I used to actually respect for the GOP.

    Arizona President of the Senate has already been recalled for his insanity. One down......

  7. Anonymous - You're getting a little ahead of yourself. This is still America the last time I checked - a handful of voters have signed a petition and Pearce faces recall - he's still in his seat.

    Remember your prediction when Barack and Michele Obama are reduced to Jimmy Carter-dom.