This, in turn, would help Democrats even though it was done with a Republican budget. But a Republican/conservative budget simply isn’t going pass with the Democrats controlling the Senate and Barack Obama in the White House.
Republicans have to accept that fact and work with in it.
They can either basically extend what we have now (which the Ryan/Murray plan essentially does, outside of a few minor changes), raise the debt limit till December 2014 and extend unemployment benefits, or spend the next year being beaten about the head and neck for causing a government shutdown, trying to force a default and not caring about the poor.
Is doing these things now ideal? Absolutely not. But is it strategically smart? Absolutely.
And we all know they’re going to happen anyway because Democrats have demonstrated a willingness to take the country to the brink to get their way. These points are minor in the grand scheme of things, and all are ripe to be changed in the next Congress.
I don’t call for it often, or lightly, but Republicans should punt here. There’s nothing that can’t be changed; in fact, nothing that won’t have to be changed because these are all temporary. A strategic defensive move now will keep Republicans on the offensive through the election.
I’d even consider throwing in raising the minimum wage, but over a longer time horizon. Without that, Democrats really have nothing but their usual charges – that Republicans are racist, sexist, homophobes – but those no longer carry the weight they used to with voters, especially in Obama’s economy. Democrats love and effectively play the victim card, but an unemployed or underemployed victim is concerned about being unemployed first.
And let’s not pretend Republicans probably won’t cave on the minimum wage eventually anyway. Take it off the table.
Democrats have a set number of bats they use to beat up Republicans, and Republicans keep giving them those bats. But rarely do Republicans have a bat with which to hit back. Obamacare is a huge bat, perhaps the biggest they’ve ever had.
Barring a major event, the 2014 election is Republicans’ to lose. Arming the Democrats with their time-tested weapons will only allow them to stand a chance to win in November, whereas allowing them small victories now will leave them with nothing but the reality of the economy they’ve created, the health care system they’ve created. They can’t defend those.
It’s time to take away the noise, at least temporarily, and leave the emperor standing there with no clothes and an empty quiver. You don’t give him more arrows.
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