As of Eight PM Eastern Time last night the Senate had adjourned without having a Fiscal-Cliff-Avoiding bill to vote on.
As soon as the elections were over, a wave of commentaries extolling the virtues of compromise appeared in the press. The common theme is that it is time for Democrats and Republicans alike to end partisan gridlock—to make compromises that will shrink federal deficits without driving us off “the fiscal cliff.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) may have finally gone too far betraying conservatives. This past week, he removed three conservative Republican Congressmen from their committee positions in retaliation for not voting for his compromises on the budget with Democrats – compromises that led us to the current “fiscal cliff.”
It is clear by now that President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are not going to work out a full blown deal on taxes, spending and entitlements by the end of this month. The task before them and Congress is so fraught with fiendishly complicated and politically-charged issues that the idea that a couple of people behind closed doors can come up with a broadly acceptable solution is laughable. In fact, I'm going to go out on a cliff on this one (no pun intended) and say that there will be no final disposition of these thorny issues, known as the "fiscal cliff", until next year.
Can the GOP really be this stupid? It appears many in the GOP Congress are suddenly willing to raise taxes. What utter fools. As Forest Gump's mother (played by Sally Field) said, "Stupid is, as stupid does." And this is world-class stupid. If GOP politicians can't figure out any good arguments to oppose tax increases, I’ll give them a few.
I forced myself to watch Bill Maher this Friday as I was trying to chart out this column. Thankfully I hadn’t just eaten.
A troubling pattern of putting U.S. and allied security interests second to the Obama administration’s political priorities is now well-established. If allowed to continue, it will not only make the world more dangerous. It is going to get people killed – probably in large numbers and some of them may be Americans.