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Kevin McCarthy and Mark Steyn

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Kudos to House GOP Whip for coming on the program today to give an update on the budget negotiations. The transcript is here. The conversation won’t cheer conservatives, but won’t leave them with dismay either. This could go either way, and the Speaker must know that an enormous amount of credibility turns on his being able to win the riders’ battle.

This is the key part of what the congressman had to say:

What the President is doing, like the President called him down last night, and they put them in the room, sent out all the staff, so it’s the President, the Vice President, it’s Reid, and just Boehner. And you know what they’ve been trying to do. They’ve been trying to isolate him, saying oh, you’ve got all the problems in your caucus. You’ve got all the problems with these outside groups. Boehner has never folded. And I give him credit for staying in the fight.

Here’s hoping the Speaker has his German-Irish-Catholic-family-of-12 on tonight and over the next few days.

The transcript of today’s conversation with Mark Steyn is here. Steyn notes how the Dems count on the “margin of lawyer” in close elections but that this may not be enough in Wisconsin this go around. And here is Steyn on the budget impasse:

[T]his crisis is of the Democrats’ making. And we are arguing about a budget that should have happened when the Democrats controlled the White House, the House and the Senate, when they had everything, when Obama was strutting around saying I won, you losers get over it, you’re not part of the conversation. This budget dates from that period. And it’s interesting to me that we are now fighting three wars, and this guy can’t even, doesn’t even want to sign a bill permitting funding for the military to continue. Now this is actually what the issue is about. The Democrats want the issue to be Republicans are against government, Democrats are for government. The Republicans want to make the conversation no, there are things that the government should be doing, like defending the nation, and there are things that it should not be doing. And we should be the side of the debate that is able to distinguish between them. Harry Reid wants you to pretend that funding the U.S. Marines and the Cowboy Poetry Festival in Elko, Nevada, are all part of the same issue. They’re not. They’re separate questions.

If the GOP has any message machine at all, it will be repeating again and again the truth that the president is putting military families that live paycheck-to-paycheck at risk to gain political leverage.
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