Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Updated: Give Me A Break. . .

I hate writing this kind of article, especially just before Christmas. But I find myself frustrated. This morning I visited one of those bigger "conservative" blogs and I was shocked at the utter petulance and ignorance being displayed. Conservatives like to think of themselves as rational, but these people are giving HuffPo a run for their money when it comes to whining, spite and know-nothing-ism. Today's topics of choice: the evil Mitch McConnell has agreed to let the Democrats vote early on the health care bill! Off with his head!!!

I kid you not, this supposedly respectable conservative site was jam-packed with hundreds of losers whining in full on hate mode about the "sell out" by the evil Republicans. "Sell out"? That's right. Apparently, McConnell is going to let the Democrats vote early! Off with his head!! There were calls for McConnell to resign. There were the usual unsupported allegations of dirty deals and the paranoid claims that somehow the Republicans did this to satisfy their own secret agenda -- an agenda that we just know involves something unAmerican. And there was just a lot of whining about the Republicans.

For the record, voting today, tomorrow or Sunday won't change by a minute the moment when the conference committee begins its work. Nor will it change by a second the moment this bill either hits or doesn't hit Obama's desk. Nor will it change the outcome of the vote -- unless you are stupid enough to believe (as many were at this site) that some Democrat, each of whom has gone all in on this bill, will suddenly have a change of heart and sacrifice everything to be on the side of reason. Not going to happen. Nothing changes by moving this vote except that these Senators get home a few hours earlier. Big whoop.

Yet. that's enough to set these people off. They need to gain some perspective. They remind me of divorce clients who come through the door and aren't concerned in the least with working out a good deal or making sure their kids are taken care of. . . all they want is to make their soon-to-be-ex spouse suffer. It's childish, it's stupid, it's spiteful, and it's not the kind of behavior in which conservatives engage.

So you want to tear apart the Republican leadership because they didn't make the Democrats miss Christmas Eve, huh? Wow, that's grown up. It's also stupid to attack a rather effective Republican leadership over something so totally minor. Or did you forget that this is the same leadership that used every available avenue to expose this bill and its flaws to the American people, driving down its popularity to unprecedented lows for a major piece of legislation.

This is the same leadership that kept every single Republican together on this issue, thereby allowing the moderate Senate Democrats to gut large parts of this bill. Do you not realize there would still be a public option or the Medicare expansion if the Republicans had not held together? Do you not realize that the abortion language that may still kill this bill in the House exists only because Republicans helped to insert it? Do you not realize that a single Republican vote would have allowed the media to call this bipartisan? Yet, you're upset because a few Democrats will get home a couple hours early? Grow up.

I actually heard some idiots on talk radio the other day blaming the Republicans for not stopping the health care bill entirely. They were "just sure" the Republicans didn't stop the bill "because they wanted it too." Seek professional help.

It is time that conservatives start thinking instead of knee-jerking. Too many are flying into a rage at the slightest hint of something they don't like. They are not picking their battles. They aren't discerning friend or foe. And most are not even bothering to understand if they are right or wrong about what they're whining about -- like this issue about the "unrepealable health care bill" which I'll debunk after Christmas.

And frankly, if you're whining about something this minor -- something which will not change anything, then I and all other reasonable people can only conclude that you are a whiner who doesn't like anything, and I, frankly, can no longer take anything you complain about seriously.

There is much to be concerned about in Washington today. But if you fly off the handle and attack your own side for every minor infraction, real or imagined, you will guarantee a Democratic victory in 2010. . . and you will be responsible for the damage done to this country.


I don't normally post what other blog say, but Hot Air hit this issue squarely, and points out there could be a strategy reason for this -- media coverage of the bill:

So he held out for a Christmas Eve vote anyway, even though it’s not a vote on the final final bill and it’ll be a pure formality if they get 60 tomorrow for cloture. What’s the problem? They’ve all got kids and grandkids they want to see on Christmas, as do their staffers. Why work late if you don’t have to and doing so would accomplish nothing? Pure spite is a poor political strategy, especially when the basic symbolic point — forcing the Dems to wait until the last possible day to pass this travesty — is preserved.

Actually, the early vote will achieve something the late vote couldn’t: A full day of media devoted to a bill the public hates and which both left and right agree is garbage. Good luck getting people to watch the news after dark on Christmas Eve; now, thanks to the new arrangement, they’ll have almost 12 extra hours to stew about it before the holiday draws them away. McConnell knows what he’s doing here.

It continues:

But back to the problem at hand: Reid wanted to leave town earlier than 7 p.m. So McConnell offered him a deal. The Senate comes back into session on January 20, just a few days before the State of the Union address. McConnell offered to hold the health care vote a few hours earlier on Christmas Eve if Reid would agree to take up the debt limit issue on January 20, and would further agree to hold a specific roll-call vote that day on raising the debt ceiling, and would further agree to consider, and vote on, five Republican amendments related to out-of-control federal spending.

In the debt debate — the one Democrats didn’t want to have — GOP senators are expected to offer amendments to end the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, as well as amendments on a budget-cutting package, on a deficit-control commission and other spending-related items.

“So days before the president’s State of the Union, where he has said he is going to talk about getting the deficit under control, we are going to force a vote on raising the government’s credit card limit because we are maxed out,” says the Senate aide. “We’re going to force them to vote on ending TARP, deficit control — things they don’t want to do. And it’ll be on the first day back, when everybody’s paying attention.”

“They want to get the hell out of here,” the aide says of Democrats. “They traded away a vote on the debt limit to get out of town a few hours earlier. It’s a bad deal for them.”

There’s no doubt Republicans wanted to get out of Washington, too. But according to the source, leaving early was not a big concern at the Senate GOP policy lunch yesterday. Republicans were prepared to stay until Christmas Eve night; it was Democrats who wanted to leave.

So did McConnell surrender? It doesn’t seem so. It was Reid who wanted to leave more than McConnell, and it was Reid who gave up something in order to get an earlier vote. McConnell didn’t have much bargaining power — no leader with just 40 votes would — but he used it to get as much as he could.


CrispyRice said...

I DO want the Dems to miss Christmas, LOL. But I'm not ready to throw the Republicans out with the bath water, so to speak.

I heard one of the Dems complaining that she was missing all her "traditions" like baking. Ummm, I thought Democrat women didn't do things like stay home and bake cookies?

AndrewPrice said...

CrispyRice, I don't think they are allowed. We should report her to the leadership!

patti said...

hahahaha....oh andrew, please DO NOT visit my site today, as i am one of those telling the repubs to grow a sack, even in the face of defeat, and make the dems (and themselves) miss christmas. we KNOW the vote is going to happen, BUT i want some sort of line drawn in the sand. I WANT MY ALAMO! yes, the mexicans far outnumber us, but we aren't budging until it's over. (hopefully not all dead, but you get what i'm saying).

i'm not naive, i know we are on the losing end here, but when you are fighting with bullies, it's best to show no fear. and the republicans have a habit of telling us what they're gonna do, we get fired up because *finally* they get it, and then they are all "nevermind"...


you know, i think this may be the first time we have disagreed. makes me happy to know we don't see eye to eye on everything, yet are still on the same side.

merry christmas, bud.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: I noticed that there are still a few procedural tricks being contemplated by the Republican leadership (at least one more amendment), but all in all, I can't see any reason for them to hold this vote over any farther than they already have. We've lost the first battle in what is going to be a long and nasty war. Time for a minor tactical retreat in order to win a strategic victory. "We will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God."

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! I'm not saying that you can't be disappointed but what bugs me is the pure venom poured out at the place I visited this morning!

They made this out like the world's worst betrayal and were literally calling for McConnell (who has done great work on this debate) to resign. I couldn't believe it!

Merry Christmas Patti!

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree. They've held this thing off as long as possible. At this point, there is nothing to be gained, so I don't begrudge them trying to beat the winter storms.

It's time to look to the future and how to kill off parts of this bill in court and how to undo it after the next election cycle or two.

patti said...

haha! i told you NOT to go to my site!!

listen, we *are* disappointed, but would we be SO disappointed if they hadn't made the staying until the very end such a big deal? i mean they were the ones calling for the late vote, the delay, even when ALL of us know it's a done deal. so i think my disappointment comes from them shooting off their mouths and then not following through. i want true leadership, not theatrics. if you say it, then live it. i want to believe the words coming from their mouths, and if they continue to say one thing and do another, well, that makes me unhappy and inclined to use my vivid descriptions of what it is i think they should do, or acquire to lead...

ArmChairGeneral said...

I see this kind of emotion being leveled when things do not go the way the majority of the party wants. It happens on both sides of the aisle. It is sad to see it happen to conservatives but honestly Andrew people on the conservative side are fed up with the democrats trying to turn us into a communist regime. I hear you and I understand what you mean but perhaps these people feel a right to be mad and suspect conservatives of being RINOS because Lord knows there have been a lot of them lately.

AndrewPrice said...

ACG, I understand that people are upset -- I assure you that I feel it too. I can't turn on the tv or the internet without the Dems doing something to make me very angry.

And yes, there have been some bad Republicans -- particularly over the past 8 years. But most of the RINOs are gone. There are no or almost no RINOs in the leadership, and few in either chamber.

Moreover, the Republicans have done a stellar job all year of slowing things down and standing in unified opposition to everything the left is trying.

Yet, that is being ignored by these same people who claim to only want the Republicans to start fighting -- These same people who claim the Republicans keep letting them down don't have a clue what the Republicans have done or have not done this year, because that interferes with the tantrum narrative "they haven't done anything." Bull.

And tantrums don't help. Not only does no one respect a person who throws a tantrum, but those throwing the tantrums make it impossible to satisfy them.

What are the Republicans supposed to do when all they get as feedback is "we don't like anything you do."

If I told you that you were "bad" and you need to change, but then I don't acknowledge the steps you take in that direction and, instead, I continue to find fault with everything you do and I turn that into blanket criticisms, how does that help either of us?

Not only have I given you no guidance of what I want -- and the guidance I've given is all petty and minor -- but I've also given you no indication that you can ever win me back.

What's called for now is constructive criticism, not attacks.

So in that regard, yes, I blame these people. And I will certainly lay the blame on them if the Democrats win in 2010 and ObamaCare becomes a permanent fixture of the law, because that's where the blame will belong.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I understand your point, but again, so what? They made the threat, the Democrats called the bluff and didn't reschedule. Whether they wait a few more hours not doesn't change a thing.

Why should this be a basis for blasting a leadership that has done a pretty great job with the tools they've been given. That's like getting everything you want for Christmas, but being upset that one box wasn't wrapped in your favorite color?

Is it really worth being upset about? Aren't there bigger things to worry about? And if we attack every minor issue, aren't we just tearing down our own side needlessly?

AndrewPrice said...

Update: If you haven't yet, read the update in the article above. Hot Air points out that there could be a strategic reason for moving this vote forward a bit.

patti said...

well, i think the so what is the principle of trust. we are trying to let the repubs to lead, and we want to believe that they will. so, at least in my mind, it boils down to stop making things bigger than they are if you can't live up to your own hype. we are such a boiling point of frustration that even the small things are bigger.

we have a saying in our house. "it's never about the cheese." long story. but it means that when someone is making a HUGE deal out of something ridiculous, it's never about the small ridiculous thing. it's never about the cheese. i think that applies here. it's not about the vote, it all the other frustrations that have been building, boiling over.

and now, with this talk of cheese, i've mader myself hungry. i'm off to eat christmas cookies :)

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Read the update, I just finished, there's more to this bargain than was explained.

MegaTroll said...

Nice article, I agree wholeheartedly. I'm sick of people attacking the Republicans without being able to say why execpt some generic crap about "they don't fight hard enough" or "they're part of the establishment." That's bullshit.

I'm happy with what they've done lately, and I'm happy to be able to say again that I am a Republican.

Looking at your update, I think a lot of people owe McConnell an apology. Of course, they won't because you're right this is a tantrum. They'll probably just claim now that he didn't get enough. You can't please some people, so why bother trying.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: You got there ahead of me. While McConnell was getting thrashed by the blogs, he was carefully pulling off a genuine coup. I'll give up a late Christmas losing vote to zap the Democrats in exchange for a genuine chance to steal Obama's thunder prior to the State of the Union address any day in the week. Well, done Mitch!

patti said...

mitch pulled a BOOM! and i pulled the trigger too soon. might of been nice to have this info this morning. mea culpa...

(i still stand by my premise. we WANT to follow, but they have to be up front with us and hold to their words.)

patti said...

i'll post an update as well.

LawHawkSF said...

Patti: I think we all questioned what McConnell was up to. I simply have the advantage of forty years of politics, and an old-timers inside knowledge of who sees a defeat as an opportunity. McConnell just fought too hard and valiantly against this travesty for me to believe that he was suddenly going to hand the Democrats an easy victory. He didn't let us down. He out-dealt the dealers.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I was glad to find out there was more to this -- and it sounds like a great deal for our side. I too wish I had known this even before I wrote the article (I wasn't even going to write an article today.)

Also, I agree with you -- up front, solid leadership is the only way to win conservatives over and keep us.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I'm with you -- it seemed strange for him to just give up. The more I think about this, the better it gets. The Dems get to go home a few hours early, we get a whole host of embarassing votes that distinguish the two parties!

Mega, Thanks. I'm starting to feel quite happy with the party too - especially with guys like Crist falling apart. 2010 could be a very good year.

patti said...


law: they gave me indigestion this morning and you were all, hang on babies!

ArmChairGeneral said...

Crist has been a huge disappointment.

ArmChairGeneral said...

In that light then I agree with reasoning.

AndrewPrice said...

ACG, I only know Florida from afar, but it sounds like Crist is in trouble. I understand two Cuba/Republican House members even un-endorsed him the other day.

LawHawkSF said...

ACG: Even from across the continent, it looks to me like Marco Rubio is taking the fight right to Crist's front door.

Writer X said...

Quite frankly, the behavior from both dems and republicans on the healthcare issue has been disgusting. I've seen both sides throwing their comrades under the bus. I'd rather they all go home; They've already done enough damage for several lifetimes.

Thanks for the level-headed, reality check, Andrew.

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome X.

I don't see a lot of damage being done by the Republicans. . . I do see a ton of damage being done by the Democrats though. They get 100% of the blame on this one.

Individualist said...


I agree with you in both the spirit and letter of your post. You hit the nail on the head. I think however we have to understand that for most conservatives and independents at this point the Republican Leaderhip wa the only thing in Washington that they had on their side. As CPAs well know the appearance of inpropriety can be the same as inproprieity itself. People expected the Republicans to be the captain of the ship and to go down with it if need be. The minute it felt like the leadership was not doing that the emotion of betrayal stepped in. I understand as you do it is wrong and that the Republicans have done what they can given their limited resources at this point.

I think the best thing to do is let the initial backlash loose and then try to calm people down. You have to understand that 2% of the national population showed up in Washington to march against this thing. Some in the crowd may even be moderate democrats who never signed on to this when they voted for Obama. There is a lot of anger out there and sometimes they'll be little controlling it. Unfortunately this is what happens when we place this much control into the hand of the government. Everything in one's life becomes dependent on a politician. These events Will I think keep occuring.

It's unfortunate for sure.

StanH said...

“I think it’s a damn conspiracy!” Just kidding! Sometimes wild barking jackals can be good, it keeps people (politicians) honest, out of fear of the mob. I like Mitch McConnell he’s a good tactician, and can do as good as anyone on parliamentarian maneuvers.

Anecdote: My nephew had to go back to school today for an exam about seventy miles from Atlanta, and there was a traffic jam going out of town on I-20. It was about ten miles of bumper to bumper traffic, when he got to the problem, expecting a wreck, there was a man in a convertible driving about ten miles an hour, with large painted banners on post, raising hell about Barry, the cops had him surrounded, and were doing nothing to stop him, but where pacing him, using arm motions moving traffic slowly, left to right. My point, people are very angry, and when someone perceives someone is not taking a firm position (McConnell) they’re getting pissed, I mean really pissed. Barry has put this country at the breaking point, this is going to be a wild, and potentially dangerous year.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I'm sorry for your son, but that is really funny! :-)

You're right that there is a lot of anger out there and it's going to be a very strange and unpredictable year. That's all the more reason to try to keep people focused. It may be pushing against the waves, but it's still a noble effort.

AndrewPrice said...

Individualist, You're absolutely right, this is what happens when government has or takes the power to make decisions about people's lives.

Every issue in which the government has intervened has become a problem and a huge source of anger.

I hope that people start to focus their anger at the right parties as we start into the new year. In the meantime, all we can do is point out the good and the bad and hope that people do the right thing.

Joel Farnham said...


I see your points. I also see that the PERCEPTION is another cave-in of the Republicans to those MEANIE Democrats.

I chalk it up to just the frustration of dealing with the certifiably almost criminally insane Congress. A little crabbing on our side maybe should be condoned. Maybe, just maybe we can get through this without going insane ourselves.

On another note, I look forward to the debunking of the part of the un-repealable aspects of this bill.

Thanks and Merry Christmas

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, You're welcome.

The problem is that the perception was created by people who didn't know the facts. That's become the problem a lot lately -- people are running around screaming about all kinds of things without first knowing what they are talking about, and that's not good for anyone.

By the way, did you see that Obama is now talking about putting the conference committee off at least one month so that they "can focus on jobs." I'd read that as, they don't have a solution to their problems yet!

Merry Christmas!

Joel Farnham said...


No, I didn't. Hmmmm. :-)

Post a Comment