Preserving America's last vestiges of liberty is in John Boehner's hands. Go ahead and have a bath salts margarita and ponder fragile hopes tomorrow morning when you wake up with an even more splitting headache. Perusing the resistance roster is an activity that's almost as frightening as recalling Barack Obama's reelection. But House Republicans are the only elves who can stop President Claus.
Vaguely conservative legislators were going to have to reign in mushy Mitt if election results had been more favorable. Now, they'll just have to work harder, just as they like, right? Yikes. Regardless, they better learn to sweat: in an era of redefining words like “stimulus,” “marriage,” and “help,” those who specialize in lowering expectations are also out to change the way people work together. Specifically, “bipartisanship” means uniting to do what liberals want.
In an effort to combat the arrogance of the Bush years, the presidential party is refusing to compromise because they are convinced they are totally correct. The strategy of economic bliss through punishing those who find a path to success has left us a little more than 16 million millions short, which obviously means we just haven't been progressive enough.
The alternative is to acknowledge that we're in the midst of a period dedicated to slowing our descent by embracing anvils, and it's up to slightly more than 200 House members to conclude that we're at best already plummeting sufficiently. Replacing the orange-tinted yellow Boehner with the most recent failed vice presidential hopeful would be the best hope to preserve our faith in mathematics, but everyone still must stick together to repel the horde of arithmetic heathens.
Diluting positions is both bad for our economic hopes and Republican job security, and congressmen are at least worried about the latter. All the concessions possible would be what Democrats consider a good start.
As for voters, they'll invariably choose real liberals if the only other option is Republicans who want to spend slightly less and are willing to give up everything. Letting your classmates have all your toys somehow doesn't turn them into true friends.
Perhaps this would be an optimum time to stop responding to dares involving wasting another trillion dollars. Government's problem is spending, not revenue, and check the credit rating of anyone who says otherwise.
Some bargains are never good deals. If it sounds too bad to be true, it probably isn't. For example, a bargain to take even more income from productive Americans in exchange for cuts will actually work out at the same time that Obamacare makes you healthier at a discount. The supposed new revenue will never appear, unless people work just as hard when the government takes more from them. Obama has until 2017 to change human nature.
Enough representatives must be willing to avoid seizing further fuel for the welfare furnace. First, there's the slight oft-unacknowledged matter that the currency would be taken from people who earned it, if we have forgotten to whom it belongs.
More practically, a tax escalation would do the same thing as many people affected by the government greedily seeking a bigger cut, namely not work. Dreams of increased coffers never materialize because the tax increase itself is to the economy what a seventh martini is to charm and coherency. Meanwhile, most people outside of Congress presently can't even afford vermouth.
The purportedly more dignified half of the Capitol won't offer anything classy. Senate Republicans have set the standard for relinquishment that has only been matched by the executive when he heads abroad to visit tyrants. Count on Mitch McConnell to surrender every principle he's ever had or considered having with decorum. Schmucks who won't stand up to crummy laws would ponder why they're usually in the minority if they didn't secretly enjoy being bossed around.
The rampart isn't precisely vast. As a reminder, the GOP holds half of one-third of the federal government, depending on Eric Cantor's mood that day. Still, the limited band of dissenters can hold their ground as long as they stay in position instead of injuriously straggling or hopping the wall like Frenchmen.
Keeping the nation from being as despondent as possible isn't that hard: Republican House members just need to do nothing, which happens to be their specialty. Constructing a flood barrier to prevent any more drowning in debt might actually be good for Democratic hopes, seeing as how making the economy a little less of a mess will somehow counted as a triumph of the White House. Just ask the Navy Seals.
But at least such blessed gridlock would keep America from sinking even further. The job is to stop widespread suffering instead of making a point about how opposing ideas don't work, if anyone remembers.
Falling from a great height into a rather deep body of water is one way to avoid dealing with the consequences of endless entitlements. Instead of accepting the effects of gravity and upcoming oxygen deprivation, we could cut back a little instead and not end up as the irrelevantly broken nation that forced Canada to build a fence along its border to keep out despondent Americans looking for a better life.
Red State triumphs are the only thing preventing Congress from becoming a House of Blues. The Republicans in Congress's lower level just need to remember that they were elected precisely because they're not eager to let America sink to the point where it's even more costly to borrow even more money to buy worthless crap. The one acceptable gift to Obama's otherwise miserable legacy is stopping what he wants despite himself.
Anthony Bialy is a writer and “Red Eye” conservative in New York City. He tweets at http://twitter.com/AnthonyBialy.