There’s a lot of will they-won’t they going on in Washington right now, as a deal of dubious worth is being kicked around by Sen. Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden which might find some support among Republicans afraid of bad press from the Beltway media elite – and might have been scuttled by a gangster-style trash-talking press conference from the President this afternoon which made it very obvious that going over the fiscal cliff is precisely what he wants.
The fact is, there is no deal worth making at this time. Obama wants to raise taxes so badly and wants so badly to use that fact to demonize Republicans that he’s not even interested in saying yes to a deal. And the deals John Boehner attempted to negotiate against himself to propose for the entire month of December became worse and worse – to such an extent that Boehner has jeopardized his own speakership.
There are people in Washington who recognize this tragic farce for what it is and refuse to participate. Two in particular stand out today – Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).
Johnson summed up very succinctly the fact that Washington is pure garbage when it comes to economic and social policy and that the only thing to do at this point is to decentralize as much of government as possible (a lesson which has got to be internalized among the GOP Senate and House delegations in advance of the debt-ceiling fight in a couple of months, because that lesson is the key to developing the spine needed to actually win on the debt ceiling)…
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) lashed out at the upper chamber today as a symbol of government’s runaway power in Americans’ lives.
“It’s an alternate universe. No, this — this place is a joke. I mean, bottom line, this is an absurd process,” Johnson said on CNBC. “It certainly proves the genius of our founding fathers that government should be limited. I mean, the fact that we have this place having such an enormous effect on our economy, on people’s livelihood, is wrong. It’s simply wrong.”
“So, I’m the manufacturer. I’m always looking for the cause of problems. The cause of the problem is that government is far too large. It’s far too intrusive into our lives. It exerts way too much control over our economy, but that’s where we’re at. And, you know, I have no — I don’t know too many people that really think government’s effective or efficient. Why would they think the governing body of that government would be particularly effective or efficient as well?” he continued. “This is a mere symptom of the overall problem in a system of government that has become too large and too intrusive in our lives.”
And Paul delivered this 13-minute stemwinder on the floor of the Senate which is a primer for all Republicans who can’t seem to figure out how to do messaging on economic policy…
Frankly, the Republican establishment needs to pay attention to Paul. He’s not his father, and of all the potential candidates out there he might actually be the one who can attract the five percent of the electorate (libertarians and disaffected fiscal conservatives) the GOP needs to beat the Democrats in 2016. If Marco Rubio actually steps aside and lets Jeb Bush be the Florida candidate, and Bush manages to scare off major competition among the more traditional conservative contenders – if that indeed happens, Rand Paul could well be the most conservative AND electable candidate the party has available.
Because if nothing else, he’s at least the guy who isn’t afraid to carry a message in public.