Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Who Are The "Extremists?"

The Washington blame game over the budget continues, including the Democrat Senate caucus giving instruction to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) to keep referring to the Tea Party as "extremists," and the conservative Republicans trying to rein in the profligate spending. It's making politics a rousing game with lots of sharp elbows being thrown these days.

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Today, Paul Ryan (R-WI) the Congressional Budget Committee Chair rolled out his version of the 2012 fiscal year budget that finally gets serious about budget cuts. He's calling for $6.2 TRILLION in cuts in the next few years, while the Democrats continue to bump along reluctantly agreeing to tens of billions. I'm not one who believes the Republicans are blameless in amassing the debt, but I'm expecting them to lead the way in reducing it.

I have a pretty good idea who's listening to the electorate and who's not.

Meanwhile, the present occupant of the White House officially announced that he's running for re-election (just in case there's anyone out there who might be entertaining thoughts he isn't). Time Magazine offers five reasons why he's unbeatable, and will easily win re-election. The rumors are that he will spend over $1 billion in the next nineteen months, making it the most expensive run for the presidency in the history of the Republic. The willingness without reservation to spend that much on the race should give pause to anyone who seriously thinks this is a president who is taking his job seriously. The battle lines could not be more clearly drawn than they are right now.

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)
Here's an enlightening interview with Mike Lee (R-UT) on Fox News the other night -- you be the judge about who's being the extremist here. And here's another interesting look at the uneasy truce and working relationship over the Balanced Budget Amendment between Utah's two senators, Hatch and Lee from Politico. Hatch could claim he's been at this thing since Mike was in diapers, and he'd be right, but Hatch is the insider's insider and viewed with suspicion among Utah's conservative base, even after his long track record (36 years) in the Senate.

Is Hatch part of the problem of old-Washington politics that put us here in the first place, or is he really a pea in the same conservative pod as Mike Lee? It's Hatch who has to define himself, interestingly, not newcomer Mike Lee. To date Mike is withholding his endorsement of Hatch. Wise move. After a viable replacement candidate surfaces and the Republican nominating process plays out at convention next spring, we may well understand why Mike is so reluctant to endorse Hatch now. Let's all keep the powder dry until we see who pops up on the horizon to oppose Hatch.

I'm thinking Mike Lee and Paul Ryan are about as mainstream as it gets. The more they speak, the less extreme they seem. These are guys who are serious about putting the squeeze on spending for a monstrosity federal government. It's still not too late to begin downsizing, but it will take an iron political will fueled and forged in the furnace of affliction by the people.

If you think it's extreme to put America on a fiscally reckless path at breakneck speed leading toward a bankrupt precipice then re-elect Obama.

If, on the other hand you want to side with the "extremists" who are trying to put this country back on track, then make other plans.

I know where I stand, do you know where you stand?

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