Politico updates the closing days of the Supercommittee and the growing stakes for the GOP. For the first time the Beltway MSM is beginning to figure out that any tax hikes via deduction caps is an enormous blow to GOP unity, and have found Republicans like Senators Sessions and Inhofe willing to speak on the record about opposing such a disastrous set of tax hikes.
Defeating any such package would have to come from in the House, where an alliance of conservatives and liberals could beat the big government accomodationists which is what the Toomey-Hensarling tax hike plan is –an accommodation to big, indeed enormous government. If the GOP leadership embraces this “Pledge to America” destroying approach, it will never get its momentum back with the grassroots. Until now the tactical losses on every spending battle could be explained away with the canard of “one-half of one third of the government,” but that “one-half of one third” was at least useful to block tax hikes. If, as one report put it, Congressman Hensarling made the argument that this is the best we can get and Obama may be re-elected, he ought to not bother running for re-election again because he’s got defeat in his heart and on his brain. The GOP has to act like it will win. It cannot set sail to its fears.
The GOP should abandon the secret process. Fight the Defense Department sequestration now and through next year. Focus on the Democrats’ willingness to cut defense but not NPR, the Marine Corps but not high speed rail and “green jobs.” Focus on the feckless, incompetent president’s unwillingness to put any plan on any table. Go the people on spending v. taxes, led by a nominee certain to share those views. Ask for a mandate.
Don’t cripple the campaign before it begins.
While Speaker Boehner has made statements that can only be understood as clearing the way for tax hikes, Eric Cantor has not, though the Majority Leader hasn’t joined the opposition yet. Even Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan was reserved in his criticism of the Toomey-Hensarling tax hikes in an appearance on yesterday’s show, which suggests the support for the idea is falling and it won’t be necessary to publicly split with the tax-hikers, or that no one ever expected it to pass the Supercommittee’s Dems in the first place, in which case the GOP has once again talked themselves into a PR strategy from hell, one that wins no friends in the Beltway and antagonizes their supporters across the country.
The last call of the day yesterday came from a retired sheriff in Palos Verdes who sent money to Pat Toomey last year after hearing him repeatedly on my show. I’ll keep and play the call for the senator when he returns to the program, hopefully today. It is the perfect summation of why the GOP has been on an incredibly self-destructive course. As Rick Santorum said two days ago on my show “It is ‘Read My Lips’ again.”
The Congressional switchboard is 202-225-3121. The Twitter account of Senator Toomey is @SenToomey and for Jeb Hensarling it is @RepHensarling. Other key Twitter accounts: @JohnBoehner, @GOPLeader, @EricCantor, @KevinOMcCarthy and @Senate_GOPs.