by Melissa Clouthier | February 4, 2009 11:41 am
Spouting off on Twitter, as is my custom, I offended a Senate staffer who said that other Senate staffers (and maybe Senators themselves, who knows) were offended by my blanket statement that, to paraphrase, “Republican Senators are a bunch of inbred cretins”. Okay, so that’s not the nicest way to say what Thomas Sowell more elegantly wrote in his article “Republicans As Democrats.” I’ll quote him in a minute.
The context of my comment was the notion that the Stimulus Bill could somehow be magically turned into better legislation by Senate Republicans rather than the bill being an inherently horrendous pile of economy-hurting poop that needed to die. The staffer was telling me about the Republican alternative legislation that would deal with “the root cause” and lower interest rates to 4.0-4.5% for troubled home owners. He was shocked at my outrage.
Why was I outraged? Well, because as a tax-paying, small-business owning, home-owner who is refinancing right now to get near a 4.5% interest rate LEGITIMATELY, the bank is humping us because appraisers are afraid to stand by appraisals so are way under-valuing property making it a pain in the butt to get a good deal on a loan. So, when REPUBLICAN Senators writes legislation rewarding people who couldn’t afford the houses they bought given by banks who played with funny money at the Senate’s own behest (because of horrible laws encouraging lending to bad risks), are now troubled and they get an automatic 4.0% loan to “take the pressure off” and “save their homes” while I have to jump through hoops like a circus poodle when I have paid on-time, actually pay my taxes (a lot of them) and employ people, it ticks me off. [Yes, that was a long sentence. Taking a breath.]
So, let me get this straight: Republican Senators are just Democrat Senators but a little nicer? The new Republican policy is to reward bad behavior and punish those who follow the law, live within their means and employ people?
I get that if everyone loses their jobs, loses their homes and banks implode that it’s bad for the economy–and for my home value (which will lose more value). What I also get is that the GOVERNMENT caused this to begin with. Stupid law created the economic situation we’re in and we don’t need the government trying to bail themselves out by avoiding the inevitable. This situation is going to be painful for a while.
The solution, as I see it, is to start rewarding good behavior. Banks who are solvent should advertise and open their books. People will start putting their money there. Bad banks will fail. Aw, too bad. That’s what happens when you’re greedy or stupid or both. Bad businesses will fail who relied exclusively on credit. You know what? That is life. That’s capitalism. And it’s harsh and horrible. Companies who don’t live on credit will survive. Right now the “bailed out” banks aren’t lending anyway. They are holding the money and trying to stay solvent.
The solution is to free up the market by reassuring the market. Right now, businesses with money are afraid to invest. They have hiring freezes, traveling freezes, they are “hunkering down” (to use that reviled phrase) for the next four years of higher taxes and a miserable business climate. This fear is causing the economy to further implode. People are waiting to see what happens.
The solution is for President Obama to send a clear signal that taxes will be cut, corporations will be given tax cuts and room and reinforcement to grow. The solution is to cut the size of the government because it’s taking money out of the private sector.
Unfortunately for America, the solution is to do the very things that Republicans used to stand for and do and we’re stuck with a Democratic Congress and President. Well, the American people would prefer a real Democrat than a false one dressed up as a Republican. And besides, Barack Obama sounded more conservative than any Republicans anywhere during the election cycle. He may be forced to BE one, too. The economy cannot bear Democratic wish lists. It will sink an embattled ship and take Dems down with it. Seems like the Blue Dogs, at least, get this.
So, when I was saying that the Senate houses a bunch of “inbred cretins”, that’s what I meant. Republicans WILL NOT succeed by being Democrats-lite. Stand for principles already or be consigned to irrelevance for decades. That Senate Republicans do not get this is just maddening. They have killed the brand and continue, after losing big over and over, to do so. And Senate staffers are angry with ME and other conservatives for pointing this out?
I believe in Reagan’s 11th Commandment, too. It’s what kept me positive when I heard McCain bumble around during the run-up to the election. But enough is enough. Republicans cannot win by betraying principles–being corrupt, spending, bad-behavior-enforcing, unethical, pork-loving legislators. That’s what Democrats are for. That’s what is expected of Democrats. It IS their brand. And their constituents don’t care because they hope to be on the receiving end of the largess.
The problem for Republicans is that their constituents actually pay taxes. They are the silent majority. And right now, they feel unrepresented by either party. They hoped Barack Obama represented them. I think they’ve probably been dissuaded of that notion.
Thomas Sowell says it better than me and more eloquently than what I was barking at the Senate staffer:
Within 24 hours, however, Republicans in the Senate came out with a plan to have the government fix mortgage interest rates at four percent– and use taxpayers’ money to cover the losses that lenders would otherwise sustain.
It is painfully obvious that government intervention in the housing markets over the past several years has been at the heart of the boom and bust that has led to a huge economic downturn.
It was not the market, but the government, that pushed for abandoning traditional standards for making mortgage loans. That was what got both borrowers and lenders way out on a limb– and set off economic shock waves when the limb broke.
The last time the Republicans pushed for price controls was during the Nixon administration. It was very popular in the short run. But, in the long run, even Nixon admitted in his memoirs that it was bad for the country.
Price controls have been tried and failed, in countries around the world, going all the way back to ancient Rome and Babylon. Moreover, politicians intervening in the economy is the hallmark of Democrats.
What principle separates the Republicans from the Democrats? If they are just Tweedledee and Tweedledum, then elections come down to personality and rhetoric. If that happens, you can bet the rent money on the Democrats winning.
That’s right. Senate Republicans need to wake up. What sounds good around the negotiating table is absolute political suicide in the big picture. The Senate has become too much of what it’s meant to be: a chummy, insiderish, stop-gap against trends and bad, expedient laws. It has become a rubber stamp for bad laws.
The Republicans have consoled themselves that they’ve “worked together” with the other side, but have ignored that their working together has resulted in law that is bad for America. And then they’re mystified when Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and independents are outraged. “I thought the American people wanted bi-partisanship?” they muse. No. What the American people want is law that helps America. Sometimes, that means that Republicans are going to cause a monumental stink and NOT work together with the opposition, because that’s what’s good for America. And the press will hate it. And the libs will howl. And America will be better off because the Republicans stood on a principle. And shock of shocks, Republicans will WIN elections because they stand for something.
I was told I was crazy because I called the Senate Republicans “inbred cretins.” I suggested to the Senate staffer that I would be pleased to meet those who call me crazy. I’m one of those people who is too busy with work, kids, life and paying taxes to be condescended to by those who throw my money around like candy pouring from a pinata and then have the nerve to call me crazy.
You know, Republican, conservative, libertarian, and independent voters know when they’re being condescended to and scorned. It’s bad enough getting maligned by the Left, it’s a betrayal to receive that treatment from Republicans.
Republicans need to find their conservative-libertarian-constitutional DNA. Own it. Love it. Be it. Live it. Inbreeding just causes deformity and death. I’d like the Republican Senators to live as Republicans, not some Democrat clone.
Cross-posted at MelissaClouthier.com.
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