According to USA Today, 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, and perhaps an equal number on Medicare and Social Security. Which of these three will tea party Republicans cut, when Republicans are already denying Democratic charges that they plan to raise the retirement age for Social Security?
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has a 600-page plan to reform Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the tax code, the work of a conscientious conservative. But only one in 16 House Republicans has signed on as co-sponsor.
Are Republicans going to go after other entitlements -- veterans benefits, earned income tax credits, food stamps -- which now go to 41 million Americans, or unemployment benefits that run for 99 weeks?
With the racial achievement gap on test scores returning, will the GOP abolish No Child Left Behind or slash federal aid to education?
The big remaining items in the budget are interest on the debt, which must be paid, and war and defense. But Republicans are more likely to be supportive of Obama's rebuilding a military ravaged by war, and staying the course in Iraq and Afghanistan, than are Democrats.
Obama's budget commission will surely come in with tax increases on personal incomes, perhaps also for Social Security and Medicare. But the GOP cannot sign on to these and go home again.
Indeed, how can Republicans cooperate with a president who has spent the campaign blaming them for the Great Recession and telling voters the GOP intends to drag us back to the dark past of Bush II?
And why would a "Party of No" that picks up 40 or 50 House seats by its Alamo defiance become a Kumbaya, "Yes-we-can!" party and work in happy harness with Barack Obama?
Can we really "restore America" as she once was?
According to The New York Times, Orange County, Calif. -- birthplace of Richard Nixon, Goldwater Country, bastion of the John Birch Society, land of the "little old ladies in tennis shoes" -- is today a place where less than half the population is Anglo and almost half speak a language other than English in the home.
Where Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter three to one in Orange County, Obama ran a near dead heat with McCain. And as Orange County goes, so goes California and so goes America.
Republicans and tea partiers are going to have a glorious fall.
But is this one of the last hurrahs?
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