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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What Will The Aftermath Be?

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same”. — Ronald Reagan

It is 12:50 p.m. PDST and I have been listening to some of the commentary of today’s elections. I don’t know what will happen by the end of the night, but there is a sense that it will be big Republican landside in the House races. I hope that tomorrow I don’t have to write a post that will express my disappointment in the results.

I have heard reports that the turnout on the east coast is high and the weather is good. There are also reports that the Republican turnout is very high. While all of this bodes well for the Republicans we will not know until the polls close and enough votes are counted to allow the networks to call the various elections. I plan on watching Fox News the entire night as I really can’t stand to hear the whining of the national networks or other cable channels.

There has been a release of a confidential Republican memo laying out what the three main goals of the Republicans will be should the capture the House of Representatives. The report states that the three major goals will be: 1. Make the Bush cuts permanent, 2. Cut discretionary spending, and 3.Repeal the Obama health care plan. These are noble goals that will not be easy to attain. The first goal of making the Bush tax cuts permanent should not be too difficult unless the lame-duck house rescinds them before they leave office. The newly elected House members will have to put a great deal of pressure on the incumbents that retained their seats. I would suggest the newly elected members sit in the House gallery everyday and make their presence felt to show the American people they are trying to work in their behalf.

Cutting discretionary spending will require a great deal of discipline by allowing no earmarks and cutting some of the social programs that the progressives love so much. One of the possible restraints to this goal will be the Republican who will take the reins of the House Ways and Means Committee. Right now the ranking Republican is Dave Camp (MI-04). I have visited his web site and he appears to be a good conservative who represents the northern part of Michigan with office in Midland (near Saginaw) and Traverse City — the more conservative part of Michigan.

Two other Republican members of Ways and Means are Paul Ryan (WI-01) and Eric Cantor (VA-07), Both of these members have been outspoken advocates for cutting taxes, reducing spending and the repeal of Obamacare. I would prefer Ryan or Cantor over Camp, but if John Boehner does in fact become Speaker he will decide who the chairman will be. This position is probably the most powerful chairmanship in the House of Representative. All spending bills originate in Ways and Means and the Chairman has the power to decide which ills and programs will be funded. Neither Ryan or Cantor or sympathetic to Obama.

The third goal will probably not be achieved in this session of the Congress. The 112th Congress will probably not have enough support in the Senate to repeal Obamacare in fact, but they can make a good show of it. By this I mean they can pass a repeal bill and have it rejected by the Senate or vetoed by Obama. Then they can pass another attempt and have it rejected or vetoed. This can go on until November of 2012 forcing the Democrats to take ownership of Obamacare and then the American people will have another chance to change both the Senate and the presidency. In this case the perception will be greater than reality and allow the Tea party to keep the pressure on the Senate.

There will be another aspect to the 112th Congress no one is really talking about today. Darrell Issa (R-CA-49) is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. No doubt Boehner will grant him the chairmanship. Today Issa, who I have met several times and is a great advocate of the private sector, released this statement.

“For months, we have seen Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Al Franken try and spread the message that if Republicans win back the Majority, they will embark on an obstructionist witch hunt that will shut-down the government. The reality is this election is a referendum on the Obama-Pelosi-Reid regime. If the President recognizes that the American people are demanding from their elected officials a governing philosophy of limited government, less spending and more accountability – then we will welcome him to that discussion. Let me be clear, I will not compromise on the fundamental conservative principles of fiscal restraint, government accountability and transparency. Ultimately, how acrimonious things get after the November elections is up to the President and his willingness to recognize that his agenda is out-of-touch and has been thoroughly rejected by the American people.”

What does this statement mean? It means Issa will have the subpoena power he has lacked to begin congressional hearings. He will drag Justice Department officials up to Capitol Hill to get to the bottom of the Black Panther voter intimidation in Philadelphia. He will call upon Eric Holder to explain why he moved the trial of KSM to New City and defend his actions in bringing suit against Arizona SB 1070. He will bring Lisa Jackson, of the EPA, up to testify why she is taking an end-run around Congress to declare carbon dioxide and pollutant. We could have two years of Obama’s czars spending more time behind the green felt covered tables on Capitol Hill than in their offices at the Old Executive Office Building. Some may think this a waste of time. I view it as a means of throwing the public spotlight on the machinations that have been going on for the past two years. When these folks are on the Hill they will not be making as much mischief.

The Democrats will yell foul and claim that these hearings are nothing more than witch hunts and acrimonious payback. I believe these are substantive issues that need to be investigated. It’s time we held the Obama administration accountable for their actions of the past two years.

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