Monthly Archives: February 2015

Don’t Split The DHS Funding Bill…Go On The Offensive


Senate floor

National Review has an editorial suggesting a path forward in the DHS funding-Obama amnesty fight. My verdict…Meh.

But if Senate Democrats will not allow the bill to be amended, it falls to the House to advance a bill that will put them in a tougher political bind. That means focusing on the November amnesty and not taking the risk of a deadlock that shuts off funding authority for all of DHS in two weeks. Even though such a DHS “shutdown” would have little effect on department operations, and Democratic intransigence would have as much to do with it as Republican insistence on reversing Obama’s amnesty, Republicans would still likely get the blame, as they almost always do in these confrontations.

What might the right approach look like? The House can offer to fund most of DHS in one bill, and the federal immigration bureaucracy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, in another, with the latter bill blocking the president’s November amnesty. This would narrow the debate and make it much harder for Democrats to argue that the Republican plan is inappropriate or risky.

Conn Caroll says this is a call to “cave“.

That might be a big strong but it’s certainly a call for the GOP to negotiate against itself which is never a good idea.

The problem with this strategy is it offers an incentive for the Democrats to continue to continue their terrorist threats to kill the hostage they have taken here (aside: I bet we’re soon going to be lectured about terrible it is to call political disagreements “hostage taking.”)

Splitting the bill is an admission that the pressure is on the GOP to “do something”. Well, the GOP has done something, it’s passed a bill in the House and the Senate is ready to take up that bill. It’s a sign they are scared. So why wouldn’t the Democrats simply filibuster the split bills? They’ll say the exact same things about how DHS is not something to be played with and that Obama is going to veto it anyway so the GOP has to give in to their demands or else.

Once you start offering concessions without getting anything in return for them, the Democrats will simply figure time is on their side and hang tough. And they’d be right.

Something else to consider…this is the first fight of its kind with the new GOP majority (a majority one in no small part by running on this very issue). The precedent the GOP sets on this battle will determine what happens for the rest of this Congress. Cave now and you’ll never win anything again.

So what should the GOP do? Attack. Hey super PACs….start running ads in red states with Democratic Senators about that Senator is standing with Barack Obama and illegal immigrants and against the safety of the American people.

Liberals understand that the campaign never ends. They are helped in this by complete ownership of the media but the GOP needs to find ways to make life uncomfortable for Democrats ALL THE DAMN TIME, not just in the 6 to 8 weeks before an election.

One compromise I would offer if I were Mitch McConnell, only apply the funding cut to Obama’s latest amnesty and take the so-called ‘dreamers’ amnesty out. Fighting the kids is a tougher political sell. Yeah, it sucks but you’ve got to give something to get something. The GOP will be on politically safer ground dealing with the so-called “dreamers” later. To be clear, I wouldn’t just offer it for good will, I’d want to go find the 5 or 6 Democrats I need to break the filibuster and offer it to them as an old-fashioned quid pro quo…either you sign on to vote for us or we spend a few weeks beating you up back home. Give them the “dreamers” as a cancellation prize and a way to save face.

Oh and as always, McCain needs to shut up.


Don’t Fall In Love With Politicians, Rand Paul Edition

I never get people who attach themselves with any passion to a candidate. For the most part, politicians are scum and most border on mental instability of one sort of another. And all of them will sell out at some point.

Even supposed ideologues like Rand Paul.

When Rand Paul and Barack Obama agree on a tax plan, something has gone very wrong.

Paul announced he’s teaming up with…Barbara Boxer to….save the highway trust fund. A sample of the proposal’s “highlights” (pdf)

Allows companies to voluntarily return their foreign earnings to the United States at a tax rate of 6.5 percent. The rate is only for repatriations that exceed each company’s average repatriations in recent years, and funds must have been earned in 2015 or earlier. Companies have up to five years to complete the transfer.

Ensures that a portion of repatriated funds will be used for increased hiring, wages and pensions; R&D; environmental improvements; public-private partnerships; capital improvements; and acquisitions. No funds may be spent on increases in executive compensation, or on increases in shareholder dividends or stock buybacks for three years after the program ends.

All tax revenues from the repatriation program will be transferred into the Highway Trust Fund.

A modern transportation system is the foundation for a strong U.S. economy and maintaining and improving our roads, bridges, and transit systems is necessary to ensure our nation’s global competitiveness. Transportation is and should be a nonpartisan issue and taking action to save the Highway Trust Fund and invest in our aging infrastructure is strongly supported by businesses, labor, and transportation organizations.

Telling companies what they must and can’t spend profits on? Public works as federal jobs programs? Not exactly out of the libertarian playbook, huh? In fact, they’re right out of the Democrats and the Chamber of Commerce’s. Surely Rand can’t be playing ball with the Chamber! Oh.

This is a long way from the government slashing budget proposals Rand used to offer.

I miss the old Rand.

Some will see this as growth (something to be wary of in Republicans) others…will have a different view.

If you want a real small government transportation plan, stick with Mike Lee.

This seems like the first step in making Paul’s presidential campaign all about his non-interventionist foreign policy. I support that to a limited degree but it’s not enough to take the risks associated with Paul.

Politicians are chess pieces. Support them if they help you win, sacrifice them if that helps you.