Friday, July 29, 2011

Battles and Debt Ceilings

While hearing of the final plan passed by the House of Representatives and the uproar from all sides, I was reminded of the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864.

Grant moved south towards Richmond and engaged General Lee for the first time. Lee fought Grant in a place where the Confederates had advantages. Grant handled himself well, but could not be called the winner. His troops, accustomed to defeat, started packing their bags to retreat north. Then came their orders. Despite the setback, Grant was ordering them to forge ahead and move south. Campaigns against formidable enemies do not come with perfect victories in individual battles. Only perseverance and trust in the cause will win the war.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The Boehner Plan passed by the House today is not what we want and far from perfect. However, it is a plan that offers the other side a compromise. They get to spend a little more in the short term, but can't raise taxes, and we all make serious steps towards a balanced budget amendment. It is a reasonable offer, but Reid and the Democrats will reject it anyway next week because it is not what Obama and the radicals want. Republicans took a serious risk in voting for this plan, but if the Democrats respond predictably, they will be the story next week.

Politics is the art of the possible. The voters did not give Republicans much of a power base from which to work in 2010. The House still faces the power of the Senate and the presidency. These are strong obstacles, but they are concerned about the most important base of power. The American people are opposed to more debt. House Republicans worked skillfully in a political sense to obtain the best position possible, putting the Democrats into a corner. Some don't like the political game, but this is how it has worked for centuries.

How do we change things more quickly and get this debt whittled down? Get Obama and the Democrats out of power. Then make Republicans act lie Republicans when they are in control. We are in a state of crisis in this country economically and financially and I think Republicans finally get that. However, they have to work within the system that we have. That means inching forward, never giving up, and taking whatever victories you can get without sending your cart over the cliff with all banners flying.

1 comment:

  1. And the Democrats rejected the plan. John Boehner is a smart political tactician.