Patterico's Pontifications

7/23/2019

Post-Budget Deal Rant: What Is the Point of the Republican Party?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am



DRJ had a headline about the new budget deal but I want to talk about what it says about the Republican party. New York Times:

White House and congressional negotiators reached accord on a two-year budget on Monday that would raise spending by $320 billion over existing caps and allow the government to keep borrowing, most likely averting a fiscal crisis but splashing still more red ink on an already surging deficit.

. . . .

[I]t is another sign that a Capitol once consumed by fiscal worries simply no longer cares — even as the government’s deficit approaches $1 trillion a year. Still, the accord would lift the debt ceiling high enough to allow the government to keep borrowing for two more years, punting the next showdown past the 2020 elections.

“It’s pretty clear that both houses of Congress and both parties have become big spenders, and Congress is no longer concerned about the extent of the budget deficits or the debt they add,” said David M. McIntosh, the president of the Club for Growth, a conservative group that advocates free enterprise.

. . . .

But with the top-line figures all but secured, the deal would be the end of the Budget Control Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law after House Republicans pushed the government to the brink of defaulting on its debt. That law, once seen as the Republicans’ crowning achievement in the Obama era, set strict spending caps, enforced with automatic spending cuts.

. . .

And this time around, the approach of the debt limit hardly caused a ripple of consternation about the rising red ink. “I’ve seen no evidence that it’s even being discussed,” said Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma. “That’s the hard part for me.”

Meantime, the federal debt has ballooned to $22 trillion. Despite healthy economic growth, the federal deficit for this fiscal year has reached $747 billion with two months to go — a 23 percent increase from the year before.

“It appears that Congress and the president have just given up on their jobs,” said Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which blasted out a statement arguing that the tentative deal “may end up being the worst budget agreement in our nation’s history.”

My question is: what is the point of the Republican party any more? The TEA party supposedly consisted of people outraged by the size of government, who wanted to return to our founding principles so much that middle-aged white guys were going around in tri-cornered hats. Now those people are all* Trumpers, and it looks like the support for small government was a passing fancy — just one of several ways to trigger the libs.

Republicans are OK on the budget (relatively speaking; in absolute terms they are still terrible) when a Democrat is in office. Witness the Budget Control Act, which Republicans crammed down Obama’s throat. But they spend like drunken sailors when the GOP takes over the Oval Office. Can you imagine Republicans forcing the Budget Control Act on Trump?

My core concerns for the federal government are 1) excellent judges who apply the law, 2) preserving the free market, and 3) shrinking the debt and deficit by reducing spending and the size of government. (I know: quaint, right?) Donald Trump is good on judges. I always said he would be. But with his love for tariffs, he is horrible on free markets. And he is giving Obama and Bush a run for their money in the race for being the president who cares least about spending.

Budgets like this mortgage our children’s future. They are an outrage and should motivate any sensible person to stand up, scream, and throw the bums out.

That doesn’t mean I will vote Democrat. As long as the president picks judges, I can’t go that far. (Turn over picking judges to Congress and I might vote for Joe Biden to get Trump the hell out of there. But that will never happen.) So I’ll be sitting out the next presidential election.

But this is not what I signed up for when I became a Republican some 30 years ago.

It is, however, precisely what I expected when I left the party over three years ago.

This party stands for owning the libs and for nothing else. This budget deal proves it. And aside from a handful of sensible people, nobody will care. Meanwhile, our kids are screwed.

This is why people become disgusted with Washington D.C. To hell with the people involved in this travesty. Each and every one of them.

*OK, not technically “all” — although I do suspect that the guys in tri-cornered hats are wayyy more likely to be Trumpers today than the average TEA partier.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

211 Responses to “Post-Budget Deal Rant: What Is the Point of the Republican Party?”

  1. Otherwise … good morning!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Not only will our kids and grandkids have to self-fund their own healthcare and retirement, they will have to pay for their parents’ generation and pay off this debt. That is some legacy we are leaving them.

    DRJ (15874d)

  3. My question is: what is the point of the Republican party any more? The TEA party supposedly consisted of people outraged by the size of government, who wanted to return to our founding principles so much that middle-aged white guys were going around in tri-cornered hats. Now those people are all Trumpers, and it looks like the support for small government was a passing fancy — just one of several ways to trigger the libs.

    The Republican base never was all that exercised about the size of government, as a thing. They are exercised at being on the losing end of a culture war. Government interfering in people’s lives was a proxy for folks living every day feeling like their way of life was being changed without their consent, and the GOP really not doing anything about it.

    This said, it is the government’s job to roll along with cultural change, not dictate whether it happens or not. So a cultural warrior government is going to offend somebody who was actually believing in the Tea Party message, because it is not Washington’s role to ensure the libs are owned on Google, every single day.

    Will, that’s my theory, anyway. Curious about the reactions I get. (I am afraid Patterico has a good sense of the reactions he’s going to get.)

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  4. That’s true, drj. All free stuff that the government is borrowing money for is stuff we’re stealing from kids and grandkids who cannot vote on the matter.

    Our system is only fair if voters care about the welfare of future generations enough to be stewards. Drip by drip we’ve learned to accept insane debt levels and the idea that every problem should be solved through federal spending.

    Make America Great Again my ass. Trump promised very specifically to address this.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  5. I asked what was the point of the Republican Party in Reagan’s second term. The Contract With America gave me hope but was mostly a slogan.
    _

    As to conservatives picking judges, I saw a new term tother day that kinda portrays it as one of those science fiction tales where you not only had to deal with the invaders, but also their nest:

    The Conservative Effort to Salt the Judiciary With Larval Scalias Is Close to Complete”

    https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a28400996/conservative-judges-donald-trump-mitch-mcconnell/
    _

    harkin (58d012)

  6. The Republicans in Congress caved at the last government shutdown. They couldn’t hold it as it went the distance and the press kept beating the drum, and Trump caved when he was obviously told that he was about to be overruled.

    So Trump knows he can’t use a government shutdown any more, not until things dramatically change (again) for the Republicans in Congress. So he can’t use that tool to force any budgetary concessions.

    All he can do is barter with things like giveaways here and not there, and that doesn’t get you a smaller budget.

    You won’t find a bigger Trump booster than I, but it’s an untenable situation budget wise. Other things have to change first.

    Ingot9455 (74ce6e)

  7. This party stands for owning the libs and for nothing else.

    I’ll stick with them for as longs as they’re pro-life. I’m not especially impressed with their non-libness on any other social issue.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. I remember saying at Instapundit that Trump is not a fiscal conservative and you wouldn’t believe the pushback from true-believing Trump loyalists. We’re lucky (so far) that interest rates have stayed historically low.
    IMO, the best way to fix this is (1) entitlement reform, but Trump pledged that he would not touch it, (2) cutting the growth of non-discretionary spending (hasn’t happened) and (3) taking back some or most or all of the income tax cuts on the top 1% (won’t happen when a self-centered one-percenter like Trump is president). The current GOP doesn’t have the balls.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  9. Great rant.

    Again, this confirms that, save for the issue of abortion, there is almost zero daylight between today’s Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

    This typifies
    the Republican Party today:

    But the [Freedom] Caucus is unlikely to take definitive action against the deal, and its leaders, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), both key Trump allies, have remained uncharacteristically quiet since the deal’s announcement…

    They will complain but do nothing else, lest they upset the boss. It’s all very self-serving and short-sighted. They don’t care about long-term impact. It’s most definitely not for the children, or grandchildren…

    Dana (bb0678)

  10. It will never happen. I’ve known – and you and everyone else has known – that the GOP has never intended to cut spending.

    We learned this when the GOP controlled the WH, the Senate, and the House for 6 years during W’s admin.

    We also learned during that time that the GOP had no intention of securing the border or enforcing immigration law.

    We also learned during that time that the GOP had no intention of shrinking the size of gov’t, reforming entitlements, or anything else they campaigned on for the last 40 years.

    That eye opening experience directly led to Trump. Once GOP voters realized the GOP was a huge fraud, we looked elsewhere for someone who would do at least SOME of what we have demanded for more than 40 years.

    And, love him or hate him, Trump is doing more for conservative goals than any previous President – even Reagan. St. Reagan was a huge spender. He grew the gov’t.

    Trump reduced taxes, is seriously reducing regulations, etc. Much more so than W or GHW. And as much or more than Reagan.

    As far as Tariffs – seeking a more balanced deal for the U.S. is hardly bad for the economy. Patterico needs to look at reality – the economy is doing great. His Trump derangement clouds his ability to think straight.

    I simply don’t understand the neverTrump “conservatives”. Yes, Trump is not a perfect conservative by any means – but he is far better than Romney would have been, McCain would have been, W was or GHW was, and is almost as good – in some ways better.

    The idea that some other long time GOP politician would have been a more conservative president is extremely far-fetched thinking. You just look at history to determine that.

    Yes, Trump is crude and doesn’t act the way you believe is “presidential”. I admit that. But if you prefer a lefty in the WH b/c of his language, you simply are not conservative. You are putting form over substance.

    Monkeytoe (312843)

  11. Oh, and the best example of fiscal conservatism was when Kasich became chairman of the House Budget Committee in 1995 and we ended up with a surplus in 2000, so the real fiscal conservative in the GOP is now persona non-grata and the guy who is blowing up our deficits as far as the eye can see is the carnival barker who bankrupted four companies because he took on too much debt. Shakes my head.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  12. Your comment has many questionable “facts,” Monkeytoe.

    DRJ (15874d)

  13. Of course the Republicans caved. The gave up every principle they pretended to stand for–pro-family, limited government, individual rights, fiscal responsibility–when they nominated and elected Donald Trump, a life-long Democrat, or Independent, or whatever.

    Now they have no principles. Now they have no credibility. Now they have no answers.

    I won’t be voting Republican at any time in the near future. Not until the party regains its soul and recovers its principles.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  14. And he is giving Obama and Bush a run for their money in the race for being the president who cares least about spending.

    This is very unfair to President Bush. By FY2007, before the financial crisis hit, Bush had the budget deficit down to 1.1% of GDP. Trump’s for this year (FY2019) is 5.1%!

    According to the website of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, in his first three budgets (FY2018-2020) he has already added more to the debt, in inflation-adjusted (2012) dollars, than Bush’s first seven budgets (FY2002-2008).

    And I don’t think the numbers on the OMB site yet reflect this latest spending spree.

    Dave (1bb933)

  15. Our host once again paints with the broadest of brushes; and again I am tarred therewith, unfairly, because I am a Republican who does still care — has always cared, will always care — about reigning in government spending. Our host wrote (italics mine):

    My question is: what is the point of the Republican party any more? The TEA party supposedly consisted of people outraged by the size of government, who wanted to return to our founding principles so much that middle-aged white guys were going around in tri-cornered hats. Now those people are all Trumpers ….

    To which I say: Bullsh!t, Mr. Frey. I am the proof that you are wrong, that you have overstated, indeed misstated, your case.

    I may be lonely in this, but I am not alone. There were not enough millions like me in the 2016 election cycle, nor are there likely to be enough in the 2020 election cycle, to displace the drunken sailors from effective control of the national party. But there are still millions like me, who greet this new budget deal with all of the disapproval that our host does. On my own and their behalves, I rebuke you, Mr. Frey, for your unfair insult.

    The very same exaggeration and reckless overstatement that permits you to malign me and those Republicans like me also makes you miss the answer to your question, which I will take as a serious one notwithstanding my very negative reaction to the tone with which it was put:

    In this instance, with respect to this very important issue, the Republican Party is the only one of the two major political parties, in our two-party democracy, which still contains any appreciable number of fiscal conservatives.

    I cannot dispute that the drunken sailors, led by their enfante terrible, the “King of Debt” — who should properly be called “the King of Debt and Bankruptcy” — are ascendant at present.

    But when — not if, because there’s no “if” about it — this uncontrolled government spending, and the debt and debt service created thereby, finally bring our federal government to the point of fiscal collapse, when the “non-discretionary” spending (including entitlements and debt service) swallows the entire federal budget and no more credit is to be had, then one of the those two political parties will have to begin administering the necessary medicine notwithstanding the howling anguish of those being pushed away from the federal trough.

    That will not be the Democrat Party. And it won’t be those who’ve fled the Republican Party, either. It will be the Republican Party, once again led by fiscal adults.

    Or we will have anarchy and chaos. It seems to me that those who know this to be true, yet who have abandoned the only one of the two parties who might again someday exercise any fiscal discipline, are giving up to anarchy and chaos, and I think that is a profoundly unwise decision on their parts.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  16. *reining in government spending, I of course meant in #15.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  17. There certainly is no point in the California GOP. They tossed it in long before Trump. Don’t like it? Start a new centrist party based around the actual TEAs — small-government, low-tax, free people — kind of a Libertarian Lite. Starting a new party is easy in California, and given that there is only one party left, it might even work.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  18. I honestly don’t know why I bother posting here. I’m inclined to stop.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  19. BEST DEAL EVER !!!!

    So much WINNING.

    If this is a Trump dream then I welcome anarchy.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  20. Beldar #15 —

    I understand your loyalty to a party that, on occasion, has tried not to spend like a drunken sailor. But I think you have to look high and low at this party — and, in my scan, I don’t a single leader in it who isn’t afraid of upsetting the boss. And, a party official can’t bring himself to criticize Trump in anything other than a “Golly, I wish he didn’t tweet like that” way, there is no reason that he will do something really scary like cancel a government program.

    As a current Trump supporter used to say, “Character matters.” I don’t see any in GOP leadership. Instead, I see “the cruelty is the point.”

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  21. But when — not if, because there’s no “if” about it — this uncontrolled government spending, and the debt and debt service created thereby, finally bring our federal government to the point of fiscal collapse, when the “non-discretionary” spending (including entitlements and debt service) swallows the entire federal budget and no more credit is to be had, then one of the those two political parties will have to begin administering the necessary medicine notwithstanding the howling anguish of those being pushed away from the federal trough.

    That will not be the Democrat Party.

    You don’t think the Democrat Party will happily raise taxes to solve (or rather, postpone) the debt crisis that they and the RWANB (Republicans Who Are Not Beldar) helped create?

    That seems to fly in the face of all history and experience.

    Dave (1bb933)

  22. I understand your frustration, Beldar, but there comes a point where the Republican Party can no longer be called the party of fiscal conservatives. Are there still some in the GOP? Certainly. Might it return to being that Party some day? Of course. But the GOP’s national leaders have abandoned fiscal conservative, small government principles.

    DRJ (15874d)

  23. IMO there is a better chance (in the short run) that the Libertarian Party or the Reform Party will attract enough voters to get traction/influence than that the GOP can be cured of its populist fervor. And if there is one thing about the GOP of which I am completely certain, it is that the Republican Party will happily and promptly welcome back all former donors … when they resume donating.

    DRJ (15874d)

  24. So you’re going to sit out an election between Trump and a yet-to-be-named Democrat who will be offering trillions in brand-new entitlements.

    You might want to sit down with a cup of tea or something and think that over.

    Test question: Does anyone think the budget would be smaller today if Hillary were president?

    MartynW (4dfaaf)

  25. Ah, the BINARY CHOICE returns.

    DRJ (15874d)

  26. How many conservative Democrats hung on to their Party affiliation, certain that the DNC would come to its senses?

    DRJ (15874d)

  27. Test question: Does anyone think the budget would be smaller today if Hillary were president?

    Since it was smaller under Obama (because Republicans fought *against* spending increases then), the answer is almost certainly yes.

    Dave (1bb933)

  28. Also, Republicans would still control the House if Hillary were president.

    Dave (1bb933)

  29. Beldar, you are of course not the only fiscal conservative voter in the GOP.
    But you and those like you have been kicked to the curb by those currently dominating the GOP. The only way to get rid of them is to abandon them. The National GOP no longer represents what you believe in. Why support them even passively?
    Are your local GOP reps fiscal conservatives? If yes, tell them you won’t vote for them until they actively start opposing the current batch of debt enablers.

    That, at least, is my advice.

    Kishnevi (8beab8)

  30. #15 Beldar

    Please continue posting here. Even when I don’t agree, your posts are informative and thought provoking.

    Stu707 (43d474)

  31. Government shutdown FTW!!

    Munroe (0b2761)

  32. How many conservative Democrats hung on to their Party affiliation, certain that the DNC would come to its senses?

    I jumped ship a few months ago, and noted it in my comments here. And I am not even that conservative.

    Trouble is, the Democrats have been bleeding away conservatives for a few decades now. There probably are few left. Almost certainly fewer of them than there are fiscally conservative Republican voters.

    Kishnevi (8beab8)

  33. @ DRJ, who wrote (#23):

    IMO there is a better chance (in the short run) that the Libertarian Party or the Reform Party will attract enough voters to get traction/influence than that the GOP can be cured of its populist fervor.

    I don’t agree at all. Neither has had any appreciable success — much less enough success to support your sort of prediction — in electing candidates at either a local, state, or national level. Even if only 10% of those still identifying as Republicans are fiscal conservatives — and I think the real number is much higher than that, but let’s take an artificially low estimate for purposes of this argument — they would outnumber adherents of both of those two supposed political parties by thousands to one.

    There are still hundreds of elected Republican officials, especially at the state level, who are fiscal conservatives, and who operate their respective states and other governmental units (down to the level of such things as local municipal utility districts), on a fiscally sound basis — for they don’t have the “luxury” of perpetual deficit spending like that in which Congress thinks it has. (It’s not really a luxury, because it’s not really perpetual; that’s the drug talking out of the drunken sailors’ mouths.)

    Why do you ignore these Republicans, DRJ? If you choose not to be among them, that’s your choice, but how can you deny the existence of Republicans like those, like me?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  34. @ Kish: I shall continue to work within the two-party system, by supporting, promoting, and voting for candidates within my party’s primary who best embody my views, including my fiscal conservatism, and by trying to persuade the flighty who’ve abandoned the party, and thus the only relevant political playing field, to do more than carp and fling insults from outside, and to persuade them instead to join or rejoin the only one of the two political parties which has has historically stood for fiscal responsibility, and which might again.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  35. @ Dave (#21): There is a limit to how much revenue can be produced by raising taxes, Dave. I thought you knew that. No, I do not think the Democrats can solve the problem of fiscal irresponsibility by raising taxes.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  36. And, love him or hate him, Trump is doing more for conservative goals than any previous President – even Reagan. St. Reagan was a huge spender. He grew the gov’t.

    Keep repeating a lie and eventually you believe it. This is not unusual for worshipers of politicians. But the facts stand alone. Trump has set the conservative cause back, consistently, his entire life. Whether he’s giving a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, endorsing Hillary, spending us into oblivion, or making the immigration issue politically toxic due to racist rambling, Trump hasn’t helped our goals at all. Meanwhile he is a dictatorship’s best friend. That’s a huge price for judicial appointments.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  37. Um, they didn’t, not by a long shot. The best that can be said is they spurred some short-term economic growth, which actually isn’t needed when the economy is already in flux. In a high-growth economy, that’s the best time to cut spending and cut our budget deficits, not what’s going on now.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc) — 7/23/2019 @ 12:33 am

    Sure they have. Tax receipts have increased since the cuts went into effect.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  38. In #33 I should have written: “… they don’t have the ‘luxury’ of perpetual deficit spending like that which Congress thinks it has.” (There was a superfluous word, “in,” as originally written.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  39. Rush Limbaugh says he’s been hearing all his life (I think he said that) about the deficit and so far none of the predictions have come true (although he was conceding it might happen eventually)

    He says the last time anybody cared about the deficit was in the time of Bush. Yes, Obama was attacked for the fiscal stimukus but that was because people thought he was ling about it.

    Sammy Finkelman (ba7dc3)

  40. “Tax receipts have increased since the cuts went into effect.”

    No they haven’t.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-tax-revenue-declined-0-4-in-2018-11550084426

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  41. #34 — here is the problem. If the GOP can depend on your vote, no matter what muck they do, then they have no real incentive to work that hard to seek it. I think we have seen how weak our national officeholders are. They see no reason to resist Trump — and as long as a vocal part of the party demnds they stick with Trump — they will do that. And they will take your vote, too.

    The only cure for a Trumpist GOP is a loss that can be blamed on Trump and a loss that teaches some of the more frothy mouthed acolytes that Trump syncophancy is not a pathway to electoral success. Then the average GOP pol may feel like giving his/her actual principles a go.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  42. Sure they have. Tax receipts have increased since the cuts went into effect.

    When the economy is growing, tax receipts increase even without any change in fiscal policy.

    Dave (1bb933)

  43. It was Ross Perot, who got doverted by Clinton really into talking about the deficit in 1992, He came up with a plan to eliminate teh deficit.

    It wasn’t followed – but the deficit went down to zero nevertheless.

    All long term budget projections are totally worthless. David Stockman covinced Ronald Reagan of that after his Atlantic magazine interview.

    And everybody in Washington, D.C. knows it.

    But it’s politically convenient for everyyone to pretend that deficits matter because they acn all use it in some way. It’s also convenient to claim fiscal policy matters or to ssave or create individual jobs.

    And aniotehr thingS – budgets make government unresponsive to changes in the situation or to things that aren’t working. No private corproation opoerates according to a budget.They have prokections, but no budgets that they live by.

    Sammy Finkelman (ba7dc3)

  44. Beldar, I greatly appreciate your commentary at this site. I regularly find your points to be informative and thought provoking, especially when I don’t initially agree with your position, such as the recent post on gerrymandering. I hope you continue to post comments.

    I agree with your statement that some republicans do believe in fiscal discipline. I just don’t see any evidence that they wield power or even influence within the party. While fiscal discipline may be part of the rhetorical landscape for republicans I don’t see it anywhere in practice at the national level. So while you are technically correct that some number of republicans talk about it, and some smaller number even believe in it, it’s not any more meaningful than acknowledging that some number of democrats believe in it and talk about.

    We agree that the budget crisis will inevitable result in a catastrophe, but i don’t agree that it will be the people that currently wield power and influence in the republican party that will fix it. I also don’t see any signs that they will react to the crisis any faster than Democrats will. No one currently wielding power in either party has shown any inclination to act on this before it become a true crisis. Despite their talk, I think elected Republicans will wait just as long as elected democrats.

    I’ve attempted to phrase my comment such that I’m not making overly broad statements about people that call themselves republicans. I’m in no way talking about you personally.

    In this instance, with respect to this very important issue, the Republican Party is the only one of the two major political parties, in our two-party democracy, which still contains any appreciable number of fiscal conservatives.

    I cannot dispute that the drunken sailors, led by their enfante terrible, the “King of Debt” — who should properly be called “the King of Debt and Bankruptcy” — are ascendant at present.

    But when — not if, because there’s no “if” about it — this uncontrolled government spending, and the debt and debt service created thereby, finally bring our federal government to the point of fiscal collapse, when the “non-discretionary” spending (including entitlements and debt service) swallows the entire federal budget and no more credit is to be had, then one of the those two political parties will have to begin administering the necessary medicine notwithstanding the howling anguish of those being pushed away from the federal trough.

    That will not be the Democrat Party. And it won’t be those who’ve fled the Republican Party, either. It will be the Republican Party, once again led by fiscal adults.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  45. In the other thread Dave put a link to awebsite where somebody could play around with budget numbers.

    He said: where you can try your hand at bringing down the debt through a combination of dozens of potential spending and revenue changes policy changes

    http://www.crfb.org/debtfixer

    It’s all provably nonsense. No one can make economic projections welll into the future, and the most important factor is economic growth.

    The way to reduce the deficit is economic growth. The way to get economic growth and prevent the deficit from skyrocketing is low, low interest rates. And if interest rates go up, the deficit will spiral out of control.

    And the only way to reduce the proportion of the federal debt to GDP is inflation.

    Sammy Finkelman (ba7dc3)

  46. 1st Amendment.
    2nd Amendment.
    Rest of the Constitution or as Obama would put it “negative rights vs. positive rights”
    tax cuts
    regulation cuts
    energy independence
    right to life as stated in the Declaration of Independence
    common culture
    respect and judicious use of our nation’s defenders in the military
    on and on

    As for this repulsive budget, we have cowards elected who aren’t willing to shut down the government and instead pass stopgaps over and over again because they are afraid of the bad press from the “I hate Republicans” media. This budget continues to kick the can down the road till eventually the can is a mangled mess and no longer resembles what it once was.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  47. Dave wrote: You need to find $7.8T in cuts or additional revenue over the next 10 years to stabilize the debt in 2029 down at “only” 70% of GDP.

    But this is total nonsense. Economic projections over ten years time are worthless.

    And this probably ignoress interest rates and/or assumes that they will be whatever they will be, and, as well, assumes economic growth will be whatever it will be. It inputs numbers but there really is no basis for them.

    Sammy Finkelman (ba7dc3)

  48. Beldar, I’m with you about invidious overgeneralizations about the GOP, but Trump has 90% job approval among Republicans. It’s not that far off base to malign the entire party for supporting this con man. This means that you and I are not only losing the argument, Cult 45 is killing us. Do we give up or continue to work from within? Like you, I say the latter. There probably is more than 10% on our side (anti-tariff, pro fiscal conservatism, anti-lying, etc.), and it’s still noble to try and grow that small percentage.
    Second, what you’d be doing by withdrawing here is not that different from Patterico bailing on the GOP. Instead of fighting the good fight and trying to persuade fellow members within the “tribe”, he took his ball and bailed, taking potshots (most of deservedly) at a party that left him. But I get it. It left me, too. I was so disgusted with this party and where it was going that I did the same.
    But in the long run, I think it’s more effective to stay in one party or the other and try to improve it. If Trump loses in 2020, this party is going to be in a shambles, so they’ll need good people who still have credibility to pick up the pieces. So stay patient, keep going, and don’t let the Kool Aid drinkers discourage you.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  49. And the only way to reduce the proportion of the federal debt to GDP is inflation.

    If GDP grows it will reduce the proportion of the federal debt to it even without inflation.

    Dave (1bb933)

  50. Beldar @33,

    local municipal utility districts), on a fiscally sound basis — for they don’t have the “luxury” of perpetual deficit spending like that in which Congress thinks it has.

    Congress actually maybe thinks it doesn’t but it really does – so log as he United States Dollar remains the world’s reserve currency.

    Running money through Washington gives a 20% or more annual dividend.

    Sammy Finkelman (ba7dc3)

  51. And the only way to reduce the proportion of the federal debt to GDP is inflation.

    If GDP grows it will reduce the proportion of the federal debt to it even without inflation.

    Dave (1bb933) — 7/23/2019 @ 10:24 am

    Only if you hold spending to less than the rate of inflation. Which we don’t do.

    Time123 (b0628d)

  52. 49, Dave (1bb933) — 7/23/2019 @ 10:24 am

    If GDP grows it will reduce the proportion of the federal debt to it even without inflation.

    But the most you can expoect is about 5% ayear – maybe mmore if there is asurplus.

    In 1999 they were projecting that the federal debt night be paid off in not too many years.

    Bill Clinton didn’t like the absence of a budget crunch (and the resulting omnibus bills) and he and Al Gore proposed putting Social Security taxes in a “lockbox.”

    Sammy Finkelman (ba7dc3)

  53. Oh please, I’m sorry but this delusional idea that spending can be controlled by the GOP is…delusional.

    SOME HISTORY
    We all know the GOP has no fiscal spine. And why: the public is indifferent. Nixon is the LAST president who tried to impose fiscal discipline (in ’69’70). Result: the GOP was clobbered in the ’70 midterms. Clobbered. And we got crazies: Frank Church for example. So Nixon jumped ship.

    So did the GOP: it had been punished for good behavior.

    The GOP had also done the good guy thing of backing the Vietnam War, started and lied about by the democrats. The republicans should have celebrated the Pentagon Papers, and smashed the democrats for a generation. But the GOP was a stand up party, like many want it to be now: too polite to point fingers: In return the democrats savaged them over debt reduction.

    Again in 1992: the fed raised interest rates to historic highs. (George HW, a “decent man” and not like Trump–was too polite and “Romney-like” to criticize the fed for going medieval, cold turkey on a mild case of inflation).

    Voters were furious. And we got another bunch of crazies-Barbara Boxer for example.

    Some lessons here: (1), the public does not want to shut off the lights, and the bar at a party tied to their credit cards;

    (2), Being the “champion” for fiscal restraint is a losing venture: Who got blamed the last time we had a shutdown? What happened to Nixon when he impounded funds? (Congress restricted his ability to do so–and no congress has restored that ability).

    The debt picture has gotten WORSE, and the public’s indifference has GROWN.

    WHY WE’RE IN THIS MESS (IN PART)
    Country-club/”Romney” “conservatives” wrote articles for each other in the NR since 1970. They took cruises and wrote book few read who didn’t already believe in the content.

    Meanwhile, the nation’s youth grew up reading Howard Zinn in Schools conservatives ignored (well, maybe they wrote about them in NRO, or City Journal).

    The left-who think debt is fine–the “rich” will pay– went out and preached and converted. No book deals; no cruises. Like old time catholic missionaries, they converted.

    But no one reads old books anymore-been banished from libraries and universities (old white males).

    Economics? not required.

    History? Only if it bashes the US.

    30 year olds do not know what the debt even is!

    Tenured professors of Lenin studies? Nothing you can do to remove them.

    Its locked in, OK?

    It will change, as in Greece, only when control is imposed from outside (no more treasury buys), or there is a distraction like the Falklands war that enables an administration to survive the effect of major cuts.

    Trump knows: he refered to a debt bubble in 2016. He knows. But the GOP is not about to stab itself. Trump is not about to lose 2020 for a minor debt reduction. And when he wins, whatever he does will prompt the election of crazy “Medicare for all” “borders? What’s a border?” democrats who will spend again.

    Enjoy the decline.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (6b1442)

  54. realistically, there’s no way to pay down the debt, lets not pretend, it’s a function of a populace that has been conditioned to accept entitlements ad infinitum, what we saw in the 90s was Clinton cutting the defense department budget, inflating the gdp through a tech bubble, then the subprime bubble, through direct suasion from hud and the doj, and w basically followed along, now what popped the bubble, was oil speculation, and the two year interest rate hike, and the impact of those resets on adjustable mortgages, which collapsed the tranches,

    narciso (d1f714)

  55. which raises another question, what is the real day to day inflation, well consider the value of the dollar from say 1965, which disco celebrates as the wondrous time, to today,

    narciso (d1f714)

  56. $1,000 dollars in 1965, is 8,052 dollars today, that’s the real cost of money,

    narciso (d1f714)

  57. Sure they have. Tax receipts have increased since the cuts went into effect.

    No, they haven’t. Quote:

    Data released this week by the budget office provides the first complete picture of federal revenues for the 2018 calendar year, when the tax cuts were in full effect. (The government’s 2018 fiscal year included three months from the end of 2017, when most of the tax cuts were not in effect.)
    In the inaugural year of the tax cuts — with economic growth accelerating and the jobless rate falling to an 18-year low — federal revenues from corporate, payroll and personal income taxes actually fell.
    That’s true whether you adjust revenues and growth for inflation — or not.

    Even if tax revenues had increased, they would not be enough to cover the cost of the revenue forfeited had the rates remained unchanged. This is why the best estimates of the Trump tax cuts are a trillion-plus increase to the national debt by 2029, anywhere from $516 billion to $1.39 trillion. The Joint Committee is authoritative, and they’re saying a cool $1 trillion, even after accounting for economic stimulus provided by the cuts.
    If the tax cuts actually did pay for themselves, they would’ve been deficit-neutral, but they’re not, not even close. If Trump gets his wish to make the temporary tax cuts permanent, then add another shy trillion to our national debt. Trump is not a fiscal conservative, in business or politics, and neither is most of the GOP.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  58. did these people calculate the cost of Obamacare correctly, rhetorical, If I recall medicare projections were short by a factor of eight, one could try what’s called an ‘austerity formula’ like imf adjustment packages, like the bleedings done to Greece after 2009, the patients not dead, but it’s not dancing the tango either, and in the mid term, if provoked the left party taking power,

    narciso (d1f714)

  59. And the folks on this board, who high fived themselves over ‘the bearded marxist’ winning over Christine O’Donnell, she was so naïve she thought that Obamacare should have been buried in a shallow grave, silly person one must have more sophisticated thoughts,

    narciso (d1f714)

  60. But, but, Obamacare!
    Good grief.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  61. it’s another entitlement, that grinds the economy down, piece meal bandaids can only do so much, there were 55 assorted levies that went along with it, in the 30,000 pages of regulations, that’s more than all the ones Jefferson complained about,

    narciso (d1f714)

  62. Laffering all the way to the bank…

    Reaganomics.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  63. 60: flawless exemplar of the views that account for the ongoing and crushing pile of debt.

    Tea Party people were treated shabbily by “political pros,” who cared less than the average hat-wearing tea partier. Obamacare is another debt–and a big one—and being used now as a stepping stone to argue for Medicare for all etc.

    Looking back the media-mocked Tea Party was perhaps the last in the efforts of concerned citizens to “stop it.” Now they have no party to go to. No one cares anymore. They will. But not for a bit.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (6b1442)

  64. @ Beldar,

    It will be the Republican Party, once again led by fiscal adults.

    Who are these fiscal adults of which you speak? Because I’m reading that while some R’s are voicing the dissent about this budget deal, they are unwilling to risk political fallout from the President and colleagues.

    Dana (d0c8a1)

  65. I am loathe to disagree with the esteemed Beldar on anything, except perhaps the fact that Notre Dame has the greatest of all college fight songs. On the inevitability of the GOP being the agent of change when the financial crises hit, I disagree.

    My belief is that there will be a new party created from the “responsible” elements of the GOP, much like the GOP itself was formed, essentially, from the best of the Whigs. The crisis will be of such immensity that like when the drums of the War of Northern Aggression were pounding, enough folks will recognize the peril and flee to some new right-of-center party. I sure hope there’s a Lincoln available to lead.

    @ Dana #9 – The Freedom Caucus has other fish to fry and they are thisclose to some major victories preserving the Rule Of Law (Pat’s First Principle?). No use spending political capital on a truly hopeless fight at this time, imo.

    Ed from SFV (950df5)

  66. It’s kind of an iron law, once an entitlement is imposed, it is rarely reversed, even if the rate of return is magnitudes less than a comparable investment

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  67. Name a western country that triumphed on budget reform after a fiscal crisis, Poland did relatively well in the post Soviet era,

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  68. So the party headed by the guy who spent his life borrowing and losing other people’s money *isn’t* actually interested in balancing the budget?

    Who could have seen that coming?

    JRH (67a23d)

  69. The GOP has never BEEN a Conservative Party. At times, it has been more non-conservative than the Democrats (e.g. TR’s Progressives). What it has been, for the last 100 years is right-of-center. But that covers a lot of ground, most of which has horrified generations of Conservatives.

    But “Conservative” isn’t really what you mean, anyway. What the TEAs wanted, and what I think Patterico wants is a Center-Lib party, aimed at increasing liberty, decreasing the state, and placing whatever public enterprise that remains on a even fiscal basis.

    And I’m not sure that will EVER be the Republican Party. Not even under Reagan was it the GOP. It will require a new, non-fringe, party occupying the portion of the Nolan Chart between the center and the Libertarian corner.

    It might be possible to start such a party in California. There are a lot of homeless Republicans now in CA. You can start a party in CA with 3 people and very little money.

    Or, you can continue whining about a GOP that never was and never will be.

    Kevin M (44cb8c)

  70. Or maybe …

    Should Ted Cruz challenge Trump for the nomination?

    Kevin M (44cb8c)

  71. #70

    The 2016 versions of Ted Cruz and Ben Sasse should challenge Trump. The 2019 versions don’t impress.

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  72. The beard is good.

    Kevin M (44cb8c)

  73. This was the fear of Republicans , not overspending or a runaway budget, but that they might be stopped from pushing ahead with the deal:

    But GOP backers of a deal fear a last-ditch push from hard-line conservatives inside the administration and Congress to reject any bipartisan compromise.

    And

    “There’s some pretty good optimism right now. But it could all blow up,” said a Republican senator familiar with the negotiations. “If we get a deal, I’m going to call him immediately and tell him: ‘Mr. President, this is brilliant.’ Because we need to start reinforcing before” budget deal opponents start whispering in Trump’s ear.

    This doesn’t give me a lot of hope for the Republican Party. Is there anything that can be pointed to as evidencing the Republican Party is the party of fiscal conservativism?

    The real question: do you work from inside the Party to change course, or remain outside of it and work from there to try to restore some fiscal sanity?

    Dana (bb0678)

  74. Beldar, if you wish to continue working within the two-party system (which I will remind you again is a tradition and has no basis in constitutional or statutory law), all I can say is good luck. You’ll need it. Absent a miracle, the Republican party shows absolutely no inclination towards slowing spending let-along decreasing it. It is quite reasonable to believe that the elephants are just as far in on the scam as the donkeys are.

    Gryph (08c844)

  75. 73. The answer to the real question is a question: Beldar and others like him have been working from inside the party for many years. What do they have to show for it?

    Gryph (08c844)

  76. “The beard is good.”

    Goes for articulate thought with a Trillion Dollar deficit with Tens of Trillions of dollars of debt for the USA.

    Make America Great Again INDEED.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  77. To me, this was the nail in the coffin of the Tea Party. Having lived in a Dem controlled, super-majority state for a long time and watching it slide further and further into uncontrolled spending (and witnessing the disastrous economic results) makes it easy to see how this could happen on the national scale. If everybody loves big spending, and it sure appears that way, the conditions are more than ripe. The Republican Party is not a reliable barrier to stop that from happening.

    Dana (bb0678)

  78. 77.

    The Republican Party is not a reliable barrier to stop…[big spending]…from happening.

    Having lived, myself, in a state full of farmers/ranchers and controlled by a Republican monolith throughout most of its history, our backslide here into progressivism is all the more painful.

    Gryph (08c844)

  79. @ Time123, who wrote (in pertinent part, in #44):

    [I] don’t agree that it will be the people that currently wield power and influence in the republican party that will fix it.

    If this is intended to paraphrase something I wrote, it’s inaccurate. I make no claim that this problem will be fixed by “the people that currently wield power and influence.” Thus, it certainly won’t be Trump. It certainly won’t be those who model themselves after him. It certainly won’t be Steven Mnuchin, nor Mick Mulvaney.

    But those who’re left, and who will be newly arriving, to pick up the pieces and administer the unpalatable but fiscally-compelled medicine will certainly include some other Republicans currently in Congress, and also some Republicans who are not — including surely some who’re currently prominent Republican officeholders from states whose constituencies tend more fiscally conservative than populist. The fifteen most popular state governors, for example, are all Republicans, and they’re balancing their own states’ budgets year in and out. Ultimately, the fix probably will require a convention of states to amend the Constitution, but that’s unlikely to even begin getting traction until the patient (the federal fisc) has at least slipped in and out of a few fiscal comas, at which point some of our citizenry who’ve abandoned their abilities to add, subtract, multiply, and divide may repent and re-embrace those faculties.

    At Ed from SFV (#65): The Notre Dame fight song is a very good one; it was my junior high’s fight song, and I enjoyed playing it, with the Lamesa Junior High Green Warriors’ lyrics being sung along. De gustibus non est disputandum on matters of art and music, certainly, and I suppose on school loyalties. However, I will dispute this assertion:

    My belief is that there will be a new party created from the “responsible” elements of the GOP, much like the GOP itself was formed, essentially, from the best of the Whigs.

    It took not just the collapse of the Whigs, but the division between pro-succession and pro-Union Democrats, to create the environment in which the GOP was first able to elect a POTUS, and it took the Civil War to turn the GOP into a majority party at both the federal and (reconstruction-South) levels. I think it would take comparable levels of chaos for some new party to replace the GOP, which — I repeat again — is quite healthy at the state level, which the Whigs weren’t by 1856 or after.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  80. President $&Lick Willie wasn’t just making this up entirely, athough iof course he was far from certain about this: (boldface mine)

    https://clintonwhitehouse4.archives.gov/WH/New/html/Fri_Dec_29_151111_2000.html

    December 28, 2000

    Today, President Clinton will announce that The United States is on course to eliminate its public debt within the next decade. The Administration also announced that we are projected to pay down $237 billion in debt in 2001. Due in part to a strong economy and the President’s commitment to fiscal discipline, the federal fiscal condition has improved for an unprecedented nine consecutive years. Based upon today’s new economic and budget projections for the coming 10 years from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB):

    The United States can be debt-free this decade. By dedicating the entire budget surplus to debt reduction, The United States can eliminate its publicly held debt by FY 2009. The next Administration and Congress will need to decide what priorities to address: eliminate the public debt by FY 2010 and still use part of the surplus for responsible tax cuts, prescription drug benefits for Medicare recipients, and investments in key priorities like education and health care.

    The national debt is projected to be paid down by $237 billion this year. Under the budget President Clinton and Congress completed two weeks ago, the U.S. is projected to pay down $237 billion of the national debt in FY 2001.

    The 4 year total debt paydown will be $600 billion. Over the last three years, we have already paid down $363 billion in debt. Therefore, The United States is on track to reduce the debt by $600 billion over four years, the largest four-year debt pay-down ever.

    Record deficits have become record surpluses. This Administration has have moved the country from a deficit of $290 billion in FY 1992 to an expected surplus of $256 billion in FY 2001. Eight years ago, the Congressional Budget Office projected a $513 billion deficit in FY 2001. Thus, the fiscal picture is now projected to improve by $769 billion in FY 2001 alone.

    Nine consecutive years of fiscal improvement. FY 2001 will be the fourth year in a row of overall surpluses and the second year in a row of a surplus without counting Social Security or Medicare. It will be the ninth consecutive year of fiscal improvement, the longest such period in history…

    And he did it with mirrors.

    The press release says that if they changed nothing the debt would be eliminated by Fiscal Year 2009, and if they gave moderate tax relief, a Medicare prescription drugs benefit and “key domestic priorities” it would take one more year and wouldn’t happen till FY 2010.

    Sammy Finkelman (ba7dc3)

  81. @ Dana, who wrote (#73):

    The real question: do you work from inside the Party to change course, or remain outside of it and work from there to try to restore some fiscal sanity?

    I believe there is no effective way to “work from [outside the GOP] to try to restore some fiscal sanity.” Are you proposing that this work be done through Democrats? Through elected officials from some yet-to-be-prominent third party? By independents the likes of Bernie Sanders?

    What kind of “work” do you have in mind, and how does it translate, ultimately, into votes on the floor of the House and Senate on legislation that gets passed in both chambers and signed by a President?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  82. I submit to you: The real question is whether to work from within the GOP, including during times when the drunken sailors are ascendant, or whether to give up, which those who abandon the two-party system are effectively doing.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  83. 82. And so again I ask, what do you have to show for your work within the party? I reject your premise that “drunken sailors are ascendant.” The system is broken. The party is corrupt.

    Gryph (08c844)

  84. The point of the republican party was to protect the wealthy at the expense of everybody else and deficit reduction didn’t do this. To get ignorant white trash to vote to protect the wealthy and their riches they supported guns were against abortion (except when george w. bush’s girl friend needed one) and anti gay even though many of them are gay. Then along came trump and his populist message and he doesn’t care about deficit spending either nor do his supporters which is now 90% of the republican party.

    lany (c3c525)

  85. 53. Harcourt Fenton Mudd (6b1442) — 7/23/2019 @ 10:42 am

    It will change, as in Greece, only when control is imposed from outside (no more treasury buys),

    And just what is this outside force, stronger than the Almighty Dollar? It doesn;t exist.

    The European Union? Xi’s China? Iran, maybe??

    I think we’re at least 60 years away from that. (Say 40 if you like) And if that happens, it won’t be good for anybody.blockquote> Trump knows: he refered to a debt bubble in 2016. He knows. I easily found this from 2018

    https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-debt-crisis-fine-wont-be-here-report-2018-12

    President Donald Trump is said to not be worried about setting the US up for a massive debt crisis because he doesn’t think it’ll erupt until after he leaves office.

    Sources close to the presidency told The Daily Beast that Trump had repeatedly shrugged off any concerns about the rising national debt because it was projected to come to a head only after he would finish a second term.

    During a 2017 briefing with senior officials, Trump responded to a presentation of charts and graphics by saying, “Yeah, but I won’t be here,” according to a source The Daily Beast said witnessed the comment.

    Sammy Finkelman (ba7dc3)

  86. @ Gryph: I have my self-respect to show for it, for one thing, and it’s the one thing which is going to prevent me from making a much sharper reply to your nasty comment at #75. If you can’t answer your own question, just look to Venezuela as an example of what fiscal conservatism has avoided.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  87. 84. lany (c3c525) — 7/23/2019 @ 1:17 pm

    The point of the republican party was to protect the wealthy..

    It became thatm a little bit, afetr about 1872, and the Democratic Party was sort of for the poor after about 1896.

    [the Republican Party was] anti gay even though many of them are gay.

    Do you realize what you are saying??

    Was it only many of the politicians. or maybe many of the voters?

    Sammy Finkelman (ba7dc3)

  88. @72. Meh. Evil Tedtoo or Very Evil Tedtoo.

    “That’s some damn choice, Bob.” – RFK [Martin Sheen] ‘The Missiles Of October’ ABC TV, 1974

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. I.e., fiscal conservatism, as at least occasionally practiced by the GOP — e.g., the sequester — has at least kept the U.S. from becoming Venezuela, yet. That’s something — preventing the “even worse” that Trump and Pelosi would gleefully agree to if it were just up to the two of them.

    That’s a damned sight more than the whinging I hear from you, sir, on this topic.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  90. 68. JRH (67a23d) — 7/23/2019 @ 11:58 am

    68.So the party headed by the guy who spent his life borrowing and losing other people’s money *isn’t* actually interested in balancing the budget?

    Who could have seen that coming I wasa a luttle bit worried about his admiration for Andrew Jackson, but it seems like it doesn’t extend to a love for hard money and paying down the federal debt.

    Trump wasn’t careful enough, though, with his nominee for Federal Reserve Board Chairman.

    Sammy Finkelman (ba7dc3)

  91. 86. Nasty comment?! I just asked a question. I’ll let your saltiness speak for itself, I guess. I didn’t think Venezuela had anything to do at all with that question, aside from the fact that it’s only a matter of time before we sink that low if the spending and currency debasement continues unabated.

    Gryph (08c844)

  92. 89. Now who’s leveling the personal attacks, Beldar? If having the truth of the Republican party’s mis(mal-?)feasance pointed out to you bothers you that much…

    I mean, really? That’s all you’ve got? It’d be even worse without them? SMDH…

    Gryph (08c844)

  93. …were against abortion (except when george w. bush’s girl friend needed one)…
    That one is a smear, orchestrated by none other than Larry Flynt. For some reason, undying loyalty to Trump means slandering all GOP presidents before him.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  94. 93. That’s how bullies operate, particularly those of the narcissistic persuasion.

    Gryph (08c844)

  95. Make America Great Again INDEED.

    The beard worked for Lincoln.

    Kevin M (44cb8c)

  96. Q: You’ve been working in the party for years. What do you have to show for it?

    A: Well, we’re not Venezuela.

    Ooookay…

    Gryph (08c844)

  97. What do you EXPECT from the GOP?

    When was the last time the GOP behaved as you EXPECT?

    I’m guessing never.

    Kevin M (44cb8c)

  98. 97. Well, look on the bright side Kevin. At least the staunch GOP supporters have their self-respect. And having left the GOP, I still have mine.

    Gryph (08c844)

  99. “The beard worked for Lincoln.”

    Do tell of Lincoln’s fate …

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  100. Hail to the Victors is the greatest fight song in the universe – if we’ve reached the point where even a self-evident truth like that can be called into question, then I fear all is lost.

    Dave (d524ac)

  101. Stu707 (43d474) — 7/23/2019 @ 9:58 am

    I second that! Beldar, do not leave us. Your words do not fall on deaf ears. I am inspired by the stand you take – if returning to the GOP were ever to appeal to me, it would be a direct result of efforts by you and others like you, both within and without the GOP, to preserve the remnant of the heart and soul it once had.

    Kishnevi (8beab8) — 7/23/2019 @ 10:01 am

    Kish points to an important point! Both parties are bleeding out members whose support that opponents, to this fiscal insanity, need to save this country. Patrick, DRJ, and myself, were bled out of the GOP. We have good reasons for being Independents.* But now we ask ourselves “to where shall we go?” If you can pursuade us, then in turn, we can pursuade others. If we are to return to the GOP, we will need a rock upon which to land. Clubbing Republicans with “Trump” only serves as erosion to that rock.

    ——–
    * When the GOP turn away from the pro-lifers, they will bleed out all the nks.

    felipe (023cc9)

  102. @91. Relax; bluster is usually chaff to mask fears and insecurity.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  103. no, letting the left party win, time and again, 1998, 2002, 2012, is how we end up in Venezuela, notable Leopoldo lopez and guaido’s party are social democrats but that doesn’t matter, look at California and tell me there is any soil for a liberty party, well you’d be lying to yourself,

    narciso (d1f714)

  104. The TEA party supposedly consisted of people outraged by the size of government, who wanted to return to our founding principles

    The capitulation of most Tea Party legislators and the unconditional allegiance to Trump displayed by so many other erstwhile Tea partiers has given Dems a basis for claiming that the whole movement was never about fiscal responsibility at all, and that it was purely based on racial hostility to a black president.

    While I don’t think that’s true, I’m reminded once again of the grim irony that Trump loyalists imagined they were choosing the best candidate to “fight back” against those who were constantly calling them racists.

    The loyalists always insisted that “He fights!” was sufficient, without any assurances as to what he would actually fight FOR. And it doesn’t seem to matter much to the Trumpsters anyway. He’s mostly an instrument of revenge.

    Radegunda (f133c3)

  105. 104.

    [Trump]’s mostly an instrument of revenge.

    Yup. This.

    Gryph (08c844)

  106. Stephen moore was a fine choice, so was ben carson, powell like greenspan before him, doesn’t seem to acknowledge fiscal realities in practice,

    the other precursor events in Venezuela, was the safety net was expanded based on the petrol price, this created it’s own demand, when the price collapsed around 1985, so did the safety net, then carlos andres perez, the grand ole man, ran on a promise to restore the safety net, then once elected, he reneged and put in a structural adjustment program,

    narciso (d1f714)

  107. [Trump]’s mostly an instrument of revenge.

    …aimed at the feet of those hoping to use it.

    Dave (d524ac)

  108. Back in the day, I would turn on a local radio show every morning. Then one day in late 2015 I heard the hosts fretting about the deficit and debt, and saying “We really need a guy like Trump to get in there and clean it up, because he really knows budgets!” I had to wonder where they were getting their information about Trump’s budgetary prowess. But I quickly stopped listening to the show, as it became unalloyed Trump-worship.

    What’s worse, especially in light of Trump’s recent pronouncement on Article II powers, was the ostensibly smart guy who thought Trump was well suited to trim down an overgrown executive branch because he “likes making deals.”

    Does Trump have some special power to make people’s brains turn to porridge? And then they claim that those of us who don’t see genius in Trump’s every move are “deranged.”

    Radegunda (f133c3)

  109. sounds like the green nude eel, that all the candidates subscribe to,

    https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2019/07/23/national-power-grid-collapse-4-venezuelans-0/

    narciso (d1f714)

  110. Does Trump have some special power to make people’s brains turn to porridge?

    I think you need to close your eyes and click your heels three times for it to work.

    Dave (d524ac)

  111. realistically say you shut down the government over this, is there a majority in either body, to reopen it at a lower fiscal threshold,

    narciso (d1f714)

  112. Why do you ignore these Republicans, DRJ? If you choose not to be among them, that’s your choice, but how can you deny the existence of Republicans like those, like me?

    Beldar (fa637a) — 7/23/2019 @ 10:03 am

    It is mainstream Republicans who are ignoring you, Beldar, not Patterico or me. You can blame us if you want but we aren’t the ones who are hurting the GOP. You complain whenever the conservatives in the GOP aren’t recognized but they have all but disappeared in national matters. Sure, conservatives still matter in some states and towns — good for them, and I try to blog about them — but they are nonexistent in national politics.

    But … I agree it won’t be this way forever, and I respect that you want to stay the course. I don’t, and I don’t know why that bothers you so much. The GOP is not my family. It is an organization that no longer represents my beliefs.

    DRJ (15874d)

  113. well how does it work in Texas, has the leg (as Molly Ivins used to put it) work any better under whoever the current house speaker is,

    narciso (d1f714)

  114. 112. “It won’t be this way forever” means that things could get better, or they could get worse.

    Gryph (08c844)

  115. Beldar: Every damn post in this thread.

    Ditto.

    While I’m heartily pulling the lever for Trump for this first time in the next election… I’m only doing so out of spite against democrats and the media (but I repeat myself).

    However… everything.freaking.post.by.Beldar.in.this.thread.I.fully.endorse.

    Particularly in fighting within the GOP party.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  116. @112. What goes around comes around- even if it takes 50 years. “Irrelevance” is a bitter pill for some to swallow, DRJ. For the base- the hardcore- they’ve no place else to go. Welcome to 1964; 2064 is only 45 years away.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  117. 112. I think that what Beldar calls “self-respect” is really something else.

    Gryph (08c844)

  118. There was a certain delicious irony listening to lost-in-the-wilderness-George Will whine about his leaving the Republican Party, poo-pooing Watergate, Vietnam and blaming everyone but the tail wagging the dog… while peddling his book– on Public Television.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  119. 118. George Will is a perfect example of what I call “Meet the Press Syndrome.” It’s easy to be the smartest person in the room when you’re a conservative surrounded by liberals.

    Gryph (08c844)

  120. @119. Yes, his musings over Obama wearing blue beans was so “insightful”– especially as Reagan regularly wore them on his ranch after he had to be told not to wear riding clothes when on horseback.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  121. ^blue jeans. Typo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  122. Those ‘libertarians’ who brayed loudly and righteously about Trump removing people who by word and deed proved that they don’t belong here have no business complaining when their attitude also means that we can’t clear the very obvious parasites and rent-seekers from the ledger come budgeting day.

    But not to worry, all bleeding eventually stops, at which point you can make the decisions on which programs, departments, and people truly sparked joy or not. I do recommend you find a reliable team to join before these decisions are made, however!

    Chartreuse (936bd9)

  123. 122. Bleeding inevitably stops when the bleeder is dead. America’s health, such as it is, still has its limits.

    Gryph (08c844)

  124. Those ‘libertarians’ who brayed loudly and righteously about Trump removing people who by word and deed proved that they don’t belong here have no business complaining when their attitude also means that we can’t clear the very obvious parasites and rent-seekers from the ledger come budgeting day.

    So, uh, it’s the fault of Trump’s opponents that he enthusiastically agreed to huge increases in spending?

    Dave (d524ac)

  125. 124. I know right? I’ve seen that argument made before, right here in this blog’s comments. It never gets easier to swallow.

    Gryph (08c844)

  126. 85: Then if there is no outside corrective, we may as well run a 5 T deficit right? Dude: what cannot continue will not.

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (6b1442)

  127. I know right? I’ve seen that argument made before, right here in this blog’s comments. It never gets easier to swallow.

    TrumpWorld is a magical place.

    Dave (240cf8)

  128. I think stopping the spending is like stopping a supertanker.
    Bush had a couple wars to fight and few other issues. Obama really put the pedal to the floor.
    I think the House has shown no interest in standing on the brakes and instead keeps adding more and more nonsense as inalienable rights in need of funding.
    Also public money does less and less per dollar spent due to bloat and siphonage.

    steveg (354706)

  129. You have cotton Cruz probably Blackburn we’ll throw in Sasse, who are the other budget hawks we can pretend all the lifelong day.

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  130. Asterisk added to the post for Beldar:

    *OK, not technically “all” — although I do suspect that the guys in tri-cornered hats are wayyy more likely to be Trumpers today than the average TEA partier.

    It was not technically a claim about all Republicans or even all TEA partiers, but I had forgotten that the absence of caveats in this context annoys him. My failure to include one was not deliberate.

    I think others have well articulated why “nearly all” is pretty accurate. At least as far as effect on outcomes goes these days.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  131. This has to be one of the most puzzling blog posts ever. Pattrico is angry that the R’s have laid down and surrendered on government spending. He sees Trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. So, he’s going to leave the R’s and maybe…vote for Joe Biden. Right, you mean big-spender Liberal Democrat Joe Biden? The guy who’s currently in favor of open borders, medicare for all, and free everything?

    And of course, Hillary had she been elected would’ve a real penny-pincher. Unlike Trump. LOL! Hey, Patterico you must be enjoying all that “fiscal restraint” and “moral behavior” under Gavin Newsome, Do you want to see the D’s do the same to the USA?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  132. @ Beldar,
    Thank you for taking the time to reply. The quoted portion was not intended to summarize your views but to draw the distinction that one working definition for “Republican Party” is “the people who call themselves republicans and wield power and influence at the federal level.” I think this is a valid definition for a political party, but it should be acknowledged that not every member of that party agrees with their revealed preferences.
    I think where we disagree is in your assumption that it will be Republican’s who pick up the pieces after a fiscal collapse, or that they will choose to fix the current system. The collapse could be sudden. If it were to happen with a Trump like president and Bannon like staff, which is possible, I think their solutions would not be fiscal discipline through balanced budgets, an overhaul of the tax system, and entitlement reform. I think their solutions would be along the lines of isolationism and nationalist scapegoating along tribal lines.
    There are a lot of unknowns in what may happen and what the best approach is. I think your proposed approach of working within the 2 party system to support fiscally conservative candidates is valid. But I also think pointing out that republicans are failing to deliver fiscal discipline and encouraging people to stay home until they do also has validity.
    Finally thank you for think on popular governors. That’s a point that merits more consideration.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  133. Again how big was the tea party contingent, not large enough, McConnell made sure of that, like Alan Duncan and Phil hammond in the uk

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  134. This has to be one of the most puzzling blog posts ever. Pattrico is angry that the R’s have laid down and surrendered on government spending. He sees Trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. So, he’s going to leave the R’s and maybe…vote for Joe Biden. Right, you mean big-spender Liberal Democrat Joe Biden? The guy who’s currently in favor of open borders, medicare for all, and free everything?

    And of course, Hillary had she been elected would’ve a real penny-pincher. Unlike Trump. LOL! Hey, Patterico you must be enjoying all that “fiscal restraint” and “moral behavior” under Gavin Newsome, Do you want to see the D’s do the same to the USA?

    rcocean (1a839e) — 7/23/2019 @ 6:11 pm

    Had Hillary been elected republicans in congress would have taken action consistent with fiscal discipline.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  135. The political fact of life is that no one gets elected because they want to balance the budget. And did anyone – paying attention – think McCain or “Romneycare” Mittens was going to hold the line on spending? LOL. When did Bush II or Bush I (read my lips no new taxes) ever fight for smaller government?

    For years the D’s won elections by painting the R’s as bloodless CPA’s who wanted to “balance the books” on the backs of average Americans. Why we owed it to ourselves! And the R’s finally got smart under Reagan and decided to cut taxes and spend on THEIR programs. Trump couldn’t even get McConnell and Ryan to spend money on the wall. His shutdown over border security got him nowhere. Any budget veto over overall spending would’ve gotten him the same.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  136. Had Hillary been elected republicans in congress would have taken action consistent with fiscal discipline.

    OK. You mean they would’ve acted just like they did under Obama. Remember all those balanced budgets under Obama? Me neither.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  137. The sequester, Obama came up with it, and then the media closed ranks and called Bob Woodward senile for pointing it out, because it cut defense, how severely we have seen in the last string of accidents at sea.

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  138. Theres a lot of pretending involved, the default is to spend the backup is to tax occassionally while denying one is doing so.

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  139. The Never Trumpers and all the other Libertarian/Fiscal Conservatives who left the party in 2016 to vote “None of the above” or like George will “For Hillary” aren’t going to be listened to by many Republicans. If Donald Trump was “Radical” that you couldn’t Republican that means you probably can’t be counted on to ever vote Republican – unless they agree with you 90% of the time. What Republican with a brain listens to George will or Bill Kristol anymore? Or has any respect for Mittens? These guys aren’t Republicans. They are people who USE the Republican party for their own ends.

    Being a member of a party means you ally with people who you agree with maybe 65-75% of the time because they support you and you support them. If you’re going to take a walk every time you don’t get 80-95% of what you want, then leave. You’re not a party member or an ally, you’re just a selfish character who wants to use other people to get what you want. That’s why I can’t stand the Bushes or Mittens or any of the national review crowd.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  140. 139. We weren’t listened to by many Republicans when we were in the party. If being a member of a party means that you ally with people who agree with you 65-75% of the time, then you should be glad we’re gone — because for my money, I certainly didn’t get that from the party leadership.

    Gryph (08c844)

  141. The Never Trumpers and all the other Libertarian/Fiscal Conservatives who left the party in 2016 to vote “None of the above” or like George will “For Hillary” aren’t going to be listened to by many Republicans.

    I think you only listen to Trumps twitter feed, and that you do so uncritically.

    Time123 (14b920)

  142. Do tell of Lincoln’s fate …

    He has a monument in DC. Trump will not.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  143. When did Bush II or Bush I (read my lips no new taxes) ever fight for smaller government?

    Dubya had deficits down to 1.1% of GDP in FY2007. Trump’s this year is 5.1%.

    The deficit increased in FY2008, but about half of the increase was due to decline in revenue, not increased spending.

    OK. You mean they would’ve acted just like they did under Obama. Remember all those balanced budgets under Obama? Me neither.

    There were no balanced budgets, but by the time Obama left office the deficit was below the average size for the previous 50 years. The GOP congress reduced the size of the deficit from 9.8% of GDP (FY2009) to 2.4% of GDP (FY2015).

    Dave (1bb933)

  144. Only took his assassination by a terror cell, and the loss of what would be 5 million lives in today’s terms, Jim crow did end up making federalism seem hollow (probably cruickshank had something to do with it)

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  145. Trumpkin mentality = jailhouse mentality. “Be my ‘girlfriend’, or be Bubba’s there. I’ll protect you from him.” “How about I shank both you and Bubba?”

    nk (dbc370)

  146. Is that what your clients did, it’s very cavalier to be pretending that the progs will be any more just or reasonable, maybe being the only first generation immigrant who escaped from the hellhole these nazgul want to turn this country into gives me a certain persoectice

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  147. No. 140 – Leave the R’s then. And take Mittens and Bill Kristol and Matt lewis with you. Go give your $$ to the D’s or the Libertarians. The Koch Brothers and Paul Singer can do the same. You just want to USE the Republican party. “Do what we want or else” – is your message. Well, go peddle that to the D’s. Or don’t. I don’t care and neither do most R’s.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  148. 147. Or maybe I could just say “a pox on both their houses.” In fact, I think that’s just what I’ll do!

    A pox on both their houses!

    Funny, innit? For someone who supposedly doesn’t care about the decisions I make viz a viz politics, you sure are quick to opine on them.

    Gryph (08c844)

  149. Dubya had deficits down to 1.1% of GDP in FY2007. Trump’s this year is 5.1%.

    LOL! What did Bush do to keep the deficits down? Nothing. Going by that silly metric, Billy Bob Clinton was the most fiscally conservative president since Reagan. He actually balanced the budget. And if you believe Clinton was responsible for that balanced budget I have some whitewater real estate I can sell you -dirt cheap.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  150. A pox on both their houses!

    That should be the Never Trumper motto. Just be honest and stop acting like you’re Republicans who’ve been disappointed. Go 3rd party. Start attacking the D’s and R’s EQUALLY – instead of attacking the R’s 75% of the time because you are “conservative”

    That was McCain’s problem. He was really an independent. Conservative on fiscal and Defense matters and liberal (or indifferent) on everything else. But he always pretended to be Republican, because the D’s didn’t care what he thought. The D’s don’t have “mavericks”. You toe the party line or you’re out. So, he played the Republican. Had he been an honest man, which he wasn’t, he would’ve ran as an I like LIebermann did.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  151. Whole lotta hate going back and forth. This should help, I hope…

    https://youtu.be/YUaxVQPohlU

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  152. I had hoped for a brief moment that Howard Schultz would run as an Independent. But hope is a thing with feathers.

    nk (dbc370)

  153. #148 I don’t know who you are. Sorry. Please don’t play the “Wow, you’re really upset/interested at/in me because you responded to my post”. Boring. And my last response. That’s how much “i care”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  154. “He has a monument in DC. Trump will not.”

    And here we are on a post commenting about run-a-way deficits talking about who has the biggest monument in Washington .D.C.

    Typically, mine’s bigger than yours …

    Reign them in Patterico.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  155. 147:

    You just want to USE the Republican party.

    That’s funny, because if anyone can be said to have “used” the Republican party recently, it’s Donald Trump.

    And now, any voters who don’t bow down before Trump — but instead hold the quaint idea that a political party should serve their interests and ideals in order to earn their allegiance — are guilty of “using” the GOP!

    Radegunda (f133c3)

  156. “147:

    You just want to USE the Republican party.

    That’s funny, because if anyone can be said to have “used” the Republican party recently, it’s Donald Trump.

    And now, any voters who don’t bow down before Trump — but instead hold the quaint idea that a political party should serve their interests and ideals in order to earn their allegiance — are guilty of “using” the GOP!

    Radegunda (f133c3) — 7/23/2019 @ 8:32 pm”

    Best birthday present ever.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  157. No he mostly went around the party apparatus, that’s why this puppet show continues on Capitol hill, after three years.

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  158. I don’t disagree with his tactics. But that’s the battle instead of the war. And it is a war.

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  159. I don’t disagree with his tactics. But that’s the battle instead of the war. And it is a war.

    Did I say this already…?

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  160. We’ve spent 18 years in a multi front conflict we werent allowed to win, while allowing inti the country the same people that formed the predicate of said confluct

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  161. You toe the party line or you’re out.

    I won’t “toe the party line” and try to kick me out. McCain’s positions were solidly conservative across the board. He took flack because he departed from GW Bush on a handful of issues, and it took a nationwide financial meltdown during a GOP administration to take him down.

    Paul Montagu (dbd3cc)

  162. 153. Nor do I know who you are. So quite frankly, I don’t give a greasy brown s***t if you care or not. (we could go back and forth like this all night…)

    Gryph (08c844)

  163. To this day I’ve exclaimed, “If you can’t kick ass on a buncha’ goat herders, then what chance do you got with a nation of red-blooded Americans?”

    And we’re arguing about the size, or whether you get a monument …

    MasterBaker (bcae7b)

  164. Well the Brits fought over that piece of ground tar three wars and a dozen expeditions

    McCain who gave power to the press with McCain Feingold who was beaten like a red headed steo child by Obama whi was accused of adultery by the times whi got it from that weasel weaver.wh stands up for terrorists over

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  165. Budgets like this mortgage our children’s future. …

    Foolish immigration policy is a far greater long term threat than budget deficits.

    James B. Shearer (5aeca8)

  166. Our own servicemen, who seemsd to think some salafi Syrian and Libyan rebels were worth a farthing, the ones who were so grateful they murdered our ambassador

    Narciso (5d1b28)

  167. Dubya had deficits down to 1.1% of GDP in FY2007. Trump’s this year is 5.1%.

    LOL! What did Bush do to keep the deficits down? Nothing. Going by that silly metric, Billy Bob Clinton was the most fiscally conservative president since Reagan. He actually balanced the budget. And if you believe Clinton was responsible for that balanced budget I have some whitewater real estate I can sell you -dirt cheap.

    Economic analysis from a guy who owns Whitewater real estate. Hmm…

    Still holding onto your Enron portfolio too?

    Dave (1bb933)

  168. The point of the republican party is to make darn sure every republican voter is wearing a target on their back. They hate your guts.

    mg (8cbc69)

  169. @ Patterico, re your #130 and added footnote: I am gravely disappointed to see my concerns and my substantive, factual arguments recast by you into a complaint that you omitted “a caveat.” Nor do I agree that your new footnote cures the problem with your original post, which was, I maintain, constructed entirely upon a false premise that ignores — deliberately or not, nevertheless consistently and recklessly — the people like me who’ve deliberately chosen to remain within the GOP, even though we are not “Trumpers.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  170. I had the unique experience of stumbling across Mark Levin on talk radio late last night, on a long drive. I heard an angry whiny rant about the liberal media, followed by a NuMale testosterone replacement therapy commercial and a PSA from a heart-health group. I laughed and changed the station.

    Nothing could more effectively summarize the Trump constituency, in my opinion.

    Leviticus (f1f50f)

  171. Beldar,

    I think it’s clear to anyone who reads my post charitably that I am not saying nobody remains in the party who shares your admirable principles. What I am saying, as should be plain to anyone giving me a fair reading, is that you guys have zero influence on the party at the federal level. You speak of some hypothetical future where one of the parties will be around to pick up the pieces, and argue that will be the Republicans. Maybe so. But right now, there is zero evidence of a desire on the part of GOP pols in Washington trying you exercise anything that could be described as fiscal responsibility. That’s a disappointing fact but it’s a fact.

    I respect your decision to stay in the party, and you will never find me criticizing you for it, but I won’t stop calling it as I see it when it comes to the way the party is behaving. That’s not an attack on you. It’s just recognizing reality.

    Patterico (863abb)

  172. I encourage you to be more precise in your rants in the future, Patterico. If you’re talking about “GOP pols in Washington,” perhaps you ought not use the term “Republican Party” as shorthand for that group of people. You can’t simultaneously claim to respect those whom you’ve just tarred with your overbroad brush.

    Can you manage to “recognize reality” without accusing — falsely and to me, offensively — all Republicans of being Trumpers? I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  173. 171-172. I’ll say it: Whatever principles Beldar is hewing to, I don’t find them particularly admirable. In fact, the more indignity he claims to suffer, the more I start to see his rants as just another form of woe-is-me tribalism. YMMV…

    Gryph (08c844)

  174. I still believe, Beldar, that you have tarred yourself with the Republican label you voluntarily apply. You have accepted association with an organization that, for the moment and for the foreseeable future, will be working toward goals you purport to oppose (e.g. defending, re-electing and supporting Donald Trump).

    Nobody, and certainly not Patrick in this post, has even indirectly ascribed to you personally any position that you do not in fact hold.

    Rather, it is you who insists that anything said about Republican party must also be understood in reference to you personally. This is what I mean by “tarring yourself”.

    I think reasonable people understand that no political party, except maybe the North Korean Communist Party, is monolithic in its opinions. People also understand that often a large majority of a party supports certain positions (for instance at the moment about 90% of the Republican Party supports Donald Trump) or policies, and therefore it is reasonable in such cases to speak of the party itself adopting that position or policy without the need, at every turn, to acknowledge that such support, while extremely broad, is not absolutely unanimous.

    I say this in all respect and friendship, in the hope that you will not continue to discover offense where none is intended.

    Dave (1bb933)

  175. What is intended, and what is given, are two different things, Dave.

    See my #172.

    NOBODY has attempted, much less accomplished, a substantive response to my original answer to our host’s question in the title to this post.

    This tells me I’m wasting my time here.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  176. 175. You are indeed wasting your time. On that, you and I can agree.

    Gryph (08c844)

  177. It would be churlish, however, not to acknowledge the several commenters who’ve had encouraging things to say in response to my comments. Thank you for them. In particular, Paul Montagu’s #48 was genuinely astute and inspirational. But as it happens, this being the age of the internet and all, I have more than one forum available to me to try to persuade the persuadable about the merit of my arguments, which I do not believe includes our host.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  178. 177. Good luck. You’ll need it.

    Gryph (08c844)

  179. @171. Bingo.

    ‘Reality. What a concept.’ – Robin Williams

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  180. Beldar,

    It puzzles me why this upsets you so much.

    There were a few Democrats (like WV Senator Manchin) who opposed Obama but most Democrats supported Obama. I don’t recall Manchin or any conservative Democrats getting upset when the Democratic Party was considered, discussed, and treated as Obama’s Party, even though there were members who did not like his policies or leadership. And while Obama won re-election, he did not help his Party much. Nevertheless, it was Obama’s Party and people who stayed in the Party — even if they resisted to the extent they could — were still Democrats. No one had to footnote every statement to clarify that Obama’s support was less than 100%.

    Obama and Trump have something interesting in common: I think both had the approval of 80+% of their Party’s members at this point. That means 20% or less did not approve. Help me understand why that 20% matters.

    DRJ (15874d)

  181. I encourage you to be more precise in your rants in the future, Patterico. If you’re talking about “GOP pols in Washington,” perhaps you ought not use the term “Republican Party” as shorthand for that group of people. You can’t simultaneously claim to respect those whom you’ve just tarred with your overbroad brush.

    Can you manage to “recognize reality” without accusing — falsely and to me, offensively — all Republicans of being Trumpers? I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    That is not what I said. Please give me the quote if you disagree. I encourage you to be more precise about characterizing what I say.

    Patterico (863abb)

  182. You may have a valid point, by the way, about state legislatures. Obviously my post is talking about the federal government, and again, I think most people who read the post understood that.

    Patterico (863abb)

  183. @180. That should be obvious, DRJ; ‘the way things ought to be’ aren’t turning out to be ‘the way things are.’

    Nobody likes to face being on the wrong side of history. Ask a Russian.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  184. “I laughed and changed the station. Nothing could more effectively summarize the Trump constituency, in my opinion.”
    Leviticus (f1f50f) — 7/24/2019 @ 11:47 am

    If Levin held regular pledge drives and had his hand in the taxpayer till, he’d be much more respectable and less Deplorable.

    Munroe (0b2761)

  185. I think both had the approval of 80+% of their Party’s members at this point. That means 20% or less did not approve. Help me understand why that 20% matters.

    Trump’s approval among Republicans is almost 90% – but perhaps the Libertarian/Never trumper could run in the primaries. Lets see how many votes David French gets. Or maybe Kevin williamson.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  186. I see nothing in Pattrico’s “Rant” that indicates he’s discussing state wide parties. Why would he? There are 50 of them.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  187. Like many Never Trumpers, I think some have decided that they are too good for the Republican party. And I would agree. People with such high principles and lofty ideals will never be satisfied with a party that only gives them 2/3 of what they wish, when their “principles” require 100 percent. If you wish to stand on PRINCIPLE with no vulgar consideration for PRACTICALITY then a political party is the wrong place for you. A party is by definition an alliance of various people with differing views who ally themselves to get MOST of what they want.

    Fortunately, the Libertarian party exists. One can stand by one’s principles in that party, since no one can tell you what they stand for or against.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  188. NOBODY has attempted, much less accomplished, a substantive response to my original answer to our host’s question in the title to this post.

    I actually did, at least in part. You said the Republican Party would be the only ones able to deal with the eventual debt crisis, and I said the Democrats would happily raise taxes. Then you said:

    @ Dave (#21): There is a limit to how much revenue can be produced by raising taxes, Dave. I thought you knew that. No, I do not think the Democrats can solve the problem of fiscal irresponsibility by raising taxes.

    I didn’t reply because this seemed so dismissive as to preclude further discussion. But I think you are incorrect.

    Most of the developed world has far larger and costlier government than ours, thanks to extensive welfare state programs, single-payer health-care, etc. In France, for example, the government spends 56.8% of GDP (compared to 37.9% for the US, which includes state and local governments). And yet France’s budget deficit is about half the size of ours (2.5% of GDP, compared to Trump’s 5.1%).

    Obviously France, like many other countries, accomplishes this with confiscatory taxation. While we, as conservatives, may not like it, I don’t see any basis for saying it can’t work in principle, because it does work in practice, all over the world. Are there harmful side effects? Of course. As you correctly point out, there will be no pain-free solutions.

    Dave (1bb933)

  189. NOBODY has attempted, much less accomplished, a substantive response to my original answer to our host’s question in the title to this post.

    I have tried. You seem so busy taking offense where none was meant that you may have missed it. I’d love to have discussions about such matters, but not if I feel like I’m walking on eggshells the whole time.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  190. Good news!
    Tea Party type Republicans still exist:

    House Freedom Caucus

    @freedomcaucus

    Jul 23

    The Freedom Caucus took an official position OPPOSING the budget agreement. Our country is rapidly approaching $23 trillion in debt. We should be negotiating a responsible budget that serves taxpayers better—not raising spending by $323 billion with no serious offsets.

    View details ·    

    https://mobile.twitter.com/freedomcaucus/status/1153824471402176514?p=v

    Didn’t Amash quit this group for some reason?

    BuDuh (397574)

  191. “In France, for example, the government spends 56.8% of GDP (compared to 37.9% for the US, which includes state and local governments). And yet France’s budget deficit is about half the size of ours (2.5% of GDP, compared to Trump’s 5.1%).”
    Dave (1bb933) — 7/24/2019 @ 7:03 pm

    Yes, quite right. I see your point. It’s a good one.

    All of which proves that Mueller thoroughly bombed, because we’ve moved on to wonky stuff.

    Munroe (0b2761)

  192. Munroe (0b2761) — 7/24/2019 @ 7:25 pm

    Ssshh! Grown-ups are talking.

    Dave (1bb933)

  193. Good news!
    Tea Party type Republicans still exist:

    When there is no cost to their votes because the deal will pass anyway.

    Dig me up a quote from one of them — any of them — blasting Trump for his fiscal irresponsibility. I’ll be over here not holding my breath because the quote does not exist. Were it Obama’s deal you’d never here the end of it.

    Since you won’t be able to find that quote because those guys are scared, how about you give us one of your own? Or conversely you could ignore me or pen something weak mostly blaming anyone but Trump and letting the guy who will sign this off the hook.

    Patterico (d2f86d)

  194. This has to be one of the most puzzling blog posts ever. Pattrico is angry that the R’s have laid down and surrendered on government spending. He sees Trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. So, he’s going to leave the R’s and maybe…vote for Joe Biden

    rcocean, you suck at reading. Read it again. As slow as you need to. Do you think I said maybe presidents will stop picking judges by November 2020??

    And yes, any Dem would be better on the budget or at least no worse because all of a sudden the GOP would care.

    Meanwhile I scan this thread looking in vain for any criticism of Trump from the crowd who supports him no matter what: you, Munroe, BuDuh, mg … zero concern for the debt Trump is laying at our dhikdren’s feet.

    Patterico (d2f86d)

  195. #194 —

    What I see is an LOL, doesn’t matter, nobody cares, wish it wasn’t that way, but it’s not like NeverTrumps made any headway when they had the chance. Trump doesn’t care about debt — it does follow that his supporters wouldn’t really care either. (I do sense some wisps of wistfulness on this from a few of the Trump supporters — but usually they make some effort to put the blame elsewhere and mutter about the impossibility of making headway, given the way other parties in the Deep State behave.)

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  196. Trump should try harder to keep the impeachment wing from leaving the party.

    And, the best way to show concern for the debt is to saddle the duly elected president with two years of prosecutorial nonsense starting from day one.

    Munroe (0b2761)

  197. Munroe —

    Who is the impeachment wing of the Republican Party? I want to know where to send my campaign donations…

    Appalled (d07ae6)

  198. Poor little Trump.

    DRJ (15874d)

  199. Trump, April 2016:

    Trump: I will eliminate U.S. debt in 8 years

    But Munroe is right. Washington was just too much for him to handle. He caved to the Swamp.

    DRJ (15874d)

  200. When there is no cost to their votes because the deal will pass anyway.

    Similar to protest show votes in 2020 because Trump will win anyways? I don’t think that is a fair way to interpret your basis for your future vote. But, I will keep an eye out for anything Freedom Caucus members say that is specifically critical of Trump’s approval of this budget.

    BuDuh (bc7703)

  201. Trump should try harder to keep the impeachment wing from leaving the party.

    And, the best way to show concern for the debt is to saddle the duly elected president with two years of prosecutorial nonsense starting from day one.

    You’re right. Presidents should never have to confront obstacles. If an impediment is placed in their way, they should whine like a bitch and do the opposite of the best policy for the country.

    Spoken like the partisan that you are. You may not be thoughtful but you are predictable.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  202. Similar to protest show votes in 2020 because Trump will win anyways? I don’t think that is a fair way to interpret your basis for your future vote. But, I will keep an eye out for anything Freedom Caucus members say that is specifically critical of Trump’s approval of this budget.

    Cool. I’ll keep an eye out for anything you say that is specifically critical of Trump for his negotiation of this budget. Good job pretending I hadn’t issued a challenge to you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  203. Good job pretending I hadn’t issued a challenge to you.

    ?

    I just said that I will post the critical remarks when I see them.

    BuDuh (bc7703)

  204. “You’re right. Presidents should never have to confront obstacles. If an impediment is placed in their way, they should whine like a bitch and do the opposite of the best policy for the country.”
    Patterico (115b1f) — 7/25/2019 @ 8:13 am

    Here here!! I’m certainly glad we agree that anyone from the NeverTrump wing would make a lousy president, given how they handled the impediment of not getting the president they wanted.

    Common ground, at last.

    Munroe (0b2761)

  205. “By Trump’s own account, he’s the baddest, smartest thing going, except if you ask him a challenging question, in which case he kicks and screams and demands to know how anyone could treat him so unfairly.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  206. Trump was elected because voters thought he was up to the fight. He isn’t when it is our interests — like the debt, the Wall, ObamaCare, etc. He only fights to win when his own interests or re-election are involved.

    DRJ (15874d)

  207. But Barr is getting some things done. I don’t trust Barr but he is managing to keep Trump on the sidelines while he handles the legal matters.

    DRJ (15874d)

  208. Trump has 10 tweets about Fox News or Fox & Friends, plus another 2 about Mark Levin, all concerning Trump The Great. Trump promotes himself first, but he does a better job promoting Fox than Fox does.

    DRJ (15874d)

  209. Munroe, you might want another concluding catchphrase up at your #204:

    http://americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jessejackson1988dnc.htm

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  210. ?

    I just said that I will post the critical remarks when I see them.

    Re-read what I said. I was talking about critical remarks by YOU.

    Patterico (115b1f)


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