“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Election's Aftermath

By now, everyone knows that the Republicans, thanks to Tea Party activism and general voter outrage at the administration's and Congressional Democrats' socialist legislation and excessive spending of the past two years, retook control of the House with a net gain of some 66 seats. By Fox News' count, the largest change of seats in the House since 1946. The Senate saw GOP gains of 6 seats.

Not accidentally, several media pundits weighed in yesterday with advice on how Wonderboy can rebound from the anticipated, now real "thumping," to use George W. Bush's term, the president and his party took at all governmental levels.

The Wall Street Journal's Gerald Seib wrote extensively on how Reagan came back from the mid-term losses of 1982. CNBC held a panel in which they once again (over)used the analogy of Wonderboy as national CEO and Congress as his 'board of directors.' Various organizational behavior mavens, including Yale's Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, chimed in with their views. As you might expect, the two most frequently-mentioned 'solutions' for the current administration is to triangulate/compromise with the newly-empowered House Republicans, and to focus on economic and job growth.

Seib at least noted that Reagan's Republican's didn't lose the House, but merely seats in the House. And only about 25, at that.

There's a problem though. Whether you believe our First Rookie is capable of compromise- and it seems like he's not- his basic values run to socialism, not capitalism.

So if he can't compromise on economic issues, and his are, as we have seen, wrong-headed and prone to fail, he can't really do what the various observers recommend.

Everybody seems to have missed this point. Reagan's approach worked because, well, as Seib at least acknowledged, it led to economic and job growth unrivaled in decades. Now, we have the reverse, and no prospect in sight for anything remotely Reaganomic. Even the decade-old Bush tax cuts are to become Obama tax increases in two months.

My point is, I don't think this president can or will compromise his few, core, socialistic values to re-ignite robust US economic growth.

That said, all the pundits mouth the 'compromise' platitude. Even Frank Luntz' focus group on Fox News last night nearly universally called for Congress to simply 'get the job done,' and 'listen to us.'

How do you get compromise when one party has dumb, unworkable ideas, and the other wants to change that?

Boehner's speech last night at least noted one important fact come January. Something Gingrich found out the hard way as Speaker.

The president has to lead, because his veto of divided-chamber legislation makes the House unable to enforce its majority's will. It's true that the new GOP House majority can de-fund and selectively hamper various programs, perhaps even including Obamacare. But it can't lead the country.

Where this will all shake out is anybody's guess. But I suspect that even if Boehner isn't sufficiently astute to avoid Gingrich's mistakes, having Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and other GOP House "young guns" on his team will go a long way to prevent a rerun of the 1990s government shutdown while Gingrich faced off against Clinton.

The new House GOP leadership is probably better positioned and informed to effectively deal with the split-power government which will sit in Washington come late January.

No comments: