Monday, December 17, 2012

The News Is Worse Than All Bad

You've probably already heard that John Boehner, currently the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has discarded the no-tax-rate-increases stance of the GOP in an attempt to negotiate a budgetary path forward with Barack Hussein Obama. You've probably also heard that Obama dismissed Boehner's offer out of hand, because it demanded reductions in spending. And you've probably been wondering what Boehner was angling for, or how he could have expected any other outcome.

There aren't many possible explanations that fit the facts. I can only come up with two. The first is that Boehner is so determined to present an appearance of cooperation with The Won in "avoiding the fiscal cliff" that he felt he had to offer something, as long as he got something back that could be rationalized as acceptable compensation. That would testify to a desire to "remain a player" that has unmoored him from any attachment to responsible policy stances. The second is that Boehner naively believes that Obama really, truly is open to negotiations and takes the federal deficit crisis as seriously as he says he does. That would suggest that he's committed an error of the sort about which I wrote below:

The human psyche is structured in a fashion that impels us to caution if our intentions toward our neighbors are dark ones. That's an aspect of our survival engineering, nothing more. After all, how likely is it that we would have survived our earliest, most predatory stages if we didn't trouble to conceal our less praiseworthy inclinations from those who were to be their next targets? Therefore, Smith, to whom morality is a stranger, since it would be obvious that he regards everyone as a potential target, will do his best to conceal his amorality if he's smart. "Smart" and "amoral" are not mutually exclusive.

Smith will also assume that you're doing exactly the same.

Let that sink in for a moment. Smith will never accept that your motives are what you say they are. Nor could anything you might do or refrain from doing, great or small, fleeting or protracted, persuade him that you can be trusted. He will map his own moral structure onto you, regardless of all your efforts to persuade him otherwise.

Psychologists call it projection. In its most extreme form, they call it paranoia.

...except that in this case, Boehner, a more-or-less honest man, has assumed honesty from a person entirely uncontaminated by that virtue.

That's a common mistake among conservatives. We hold to a standard that demands honesty and fair dealing; therefore we assume that everyone else, including our political adversaries, must hold to a comparable standard. But we're wrong. Indeed, we're not merely wrong; we're engaged in willful dismissal of the relevant evidence. The Left, of which Barack Hussein Obama is the day's Maximum Leader, has demonstrated repeatedly that only winning matters to it:

  • That facts and reasoning are important only when they can be made to serve the Left's agenda;
  • That "the end justifies the means" -- that there are no unbreakable rules in political combat;
  • That the adversary's rulebook is a tool to be used against the adversary;
  • That no consequence, foreseeable or otherwise, could be significant enough to vitiate any of the above rules of political interplay.

Victory in the struggle for power is all that matters to the Left. The history of postwar American politics speaks to that in a voice of thunder. Yet we in the Right continue to treat with the Left as if with the right approach it could be made into an ally in service to the nation.

In short, we're acting like fools.

The GOP's leadership has demonstrated something, too: a willingness to retreat from conservative positions whenever the Main Stream Media begin to blast it. The chorus of denunciation the press can produce causes far too many Republicans in high places to stop thinking about the good of the nation and focus on redeeming its image as portrayed by the press. This is more than a loss of nerve on their part; it's a complete abandonment of their posts, to which their constituents elected them with the expectation that they would stand their ground.

Note that the same cannot be said about any prominent Democrat. They have the press on their side. More important, they know what sort of voter raised them to their offices.

The Evil Party continues as it has done for about a century now. Present trends continuing, the Stupid Party will soon exchange that cognomen for another: The Blind, Stupid, and Gutless Party. Shortly after that, it will descend to fringe status, and we who love and understand freedom will be reduced, in Ronald Reagan's words, to "telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."


lelnet said...

There is a third possible explanation. Boehner, predicting (correctly, as it turns out) that Obama would completely and utterly refuse to make any concessions whatever on spending, made an "offer" of compromise which he knew in advance would never be accepted, and thus he'd never have to actually make good on it.

Thus he and the Republicans get to be the "reasonable" ones who are open to discussion of both sides of a serious issue, while Obama and the Democrats get cast in the role of hard-line lunatic obstructionists, determined to have their own way with no possibility of even small compromise for the good of the country.

Will it do either the Republicans or the nation any long-term good? I kinda doubt it. But given that no true compromise is possible at this point, and instead the fight must continue until one side surrenders, I think the most plausible interpretation of any "negotiation" is that it's less about policy than about theater.

Mark Butterworth said...

Boehner is Chamberlain. The desire for a deal, any deal that he can wave and declare "fiscal sense in out time" is paramount with this pathetic, spineless worm.

It makes you wonder about the kind of femme fatale hold that office has on these people. The addiction is almost sexual in nature, the overwhelming physical need to possess a position as if it were the only thing in the world that was real.

Boehner is like a junkie, a sex addict who must do something, something soon, something right now, something, anything to fill that need of keeping the pressure off, relieving the strain, ameliorating the stress of not having done something.

The desperation of the man is appalling. And why are his colleagues so weak as to not see for themselves what an entirely empty human they have representing them?

Anonymous said...

There are very few conservative politicians who are concerned with much more then their next election. Almost everything they do is guided by this instinct and not by doing what is best for American citizens. The Democrats are far worse in that they are in it for the loot. They intend to loot the treasury and even the future treasury. They sprinkle the money around to get friends and power so they can loot some more. Once Obama and the Democrat congress began borrowing and printing money in the trillions a defacto tax on the American people was created. Now putting the tax legislation in place is merely a technicality. It cannot be avoided (well, it could be but to do so would require actual conservative politicians who put the American citizens first). If Romney had won and if the Republicans had taken back the Senate then it would be the Republicans calling for tax increases. Mabe not these exact increases but increases of some sort. None of this will work. We will have an economic collapse and in fact may well be in one now disguised by massive printing and borrowing of money. This will end badly and probably soon.