Worth a Look

Posted: Mar 29, 2011 4:35 PM
I meant to post on it yesterday; if you didn't see it, Fred Barnes' piece about the House GOP, spending and a potential government shutdown is here, and it's a must-read.

I have been sympathetic to the conservatives and Tea Partiers who have been frustrated by the difficulties in passing a budget with significant spending reductions.  Fred Barnes makes a compelling argument that the "incremental" approach of approving continuing budget resolutions is working -- setting the stage for government-shrinkers to meet their objectives without "freaking out" the independents whose votes the GOP will need to retake the Senate and the presidency next year.

It's good to be bold, but it's important to be smart, especially when Republicans don't (yet, hopefully) control the US Senate or the presidency.  

Think of it in terms of the Obama vs. Hillary Clinton approach to health care.  Obama was "bold," and as a result, he overreached -- pushing through a nakedly left-wing bill that will quite probably never be enacted.  Hillary Clinton (at least with the experience she has now) would have been smarter, and created the foundation for exactly the kind of outcome ObamaCare will secure, but by settling for less initially, her "incremental" legislation would have avoided triggering the collective gag reflex that ObamaCare stimulated throughout the country.

In other words, she would have gotten the frog in the pot and then turned up the temperature.  Obama tried to drop a frog into a pot of already-scalding water.

There's nothing wrong with incrementalism if it gets you to your goal.  We all agree on the goal -- smaller government and more responsible spending -- so take a look at Barnes' piece, which is a good argument for a less in-your-face way of getting there.