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The Enduring Truth of the Latest Outrageous Fiction

Those with a good memory for all the accumulated outrages of the past seven and a half years or so might vaguely recall the name of Jonathan Gruber, “the architect of Obamacare” who couldn’t keep himself from gloating at an academic conference about all the clever lies that were used to foist that awful law on an unwitting land. Some enterprising internet muckraker got his hands on the video of his remarks well after the fact, it gradually “went viral” on all the conservative sites at a time when the more conservative party was still firmly opposed to federal control of the health care system, and the uproar was sufficient that even the more polite media were forced to acknowledge for a brief news cycle that it really was rather outrageous. We’d almost forgotten the name ourselves, despite our good memories and constant score-keeping, but were reminded by the recent gloating of Ben Rhodes and the outrage it has produced for this brief news cycle.
Rhodes is described by even such a polite medium as The New York Times as “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru,” and he was so comfortable with the paper’s politeness that he felt free to boast that President Barack Obama’s even more catastrophic-than-Obamacare deal with Iran regarding its obvious and undeniable and still-ongoing nuclear ambitions was also sold on a pack of lies. He frankly acknowledged that the Republican argument of the moment that the election of a supposed “moderate” president didn’t mean that the hard-liners in the Iranian theocracy weren’t still in charge was entirely, and that Obama’s claim the Republicans opposed to the deal were effectively in cahoots with those hard-liners fighting their own country’s more radical elements was the sort of ingenious fiction that he once aspired to as a creative writing major.
Even such a polite medium as The New York Times couldn’t help noting that the 38-year-old “Boy Wonder of the White House” didn’t have any more applicable academic credentials to become the president’s most trusted foreign policy advisor and speechwriter other than their shared disdain of the policies of the George W. Bush administration and preference for spinning tales, and even the headlines of such usually diplomatic sources as Foreign Policy Magazine have resorted to language that we do not condone but concede is pretty much apt, and we must admit that even our more liberal counterparts once again have acknowledged that this is pretty darned outrageous.
We’d like to think that after another half year or so things will start to get better, but at this point it is a dim hope. The presumptive nominee of the putatively more conservative party lists health care as one of the core responsibilities of the federal government, and has expressed his admiration for Scotland’s totalitarian systems, but assures us it will be a great deal, believe him, and the more liberal party’s presumptive nominee is offering the suddenly seemingly plausible offer of dancing with the devil we know, and the Democrat is standing by the deal and the Republican won’t disavow the deal because promising he can out-deal the Iranian rug-merchants just as he out-dealed all his casino-and-strip-joint creditors, and both seem quite certain that their fanciful fictions can be sold to a gullible public just like the rest of the outrageous reality shows they’ve been starring in for many years.

— Bud Norman

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What’s Not in the News

There’s not much in the news this time of year, what with all the newsmakers being off on their expensive vacations, so now is as good a time as any to take notice of what’s not there. In the eerie silence of the current news cycle we can’t help noticing that several important stories seem to have prematurely vanished.
That awful deal with the Iranian government regarding its nuclear weapons program has largely gone unmentioned since President Barack Obama announced it was done, even though that’s not the end of the story. So far as we can tell nothing has yet been signed by either side, there’s no still public agreement about what’s been agreed to, even the United Nations admits that Iran’s recent inter-continental ballistic missile test violated any understanding of agreement, despite the administration’s infuriating pleas for leniency on behalf of the totalitarian theocracy, and Congress is wisely proceeding with fresh new sanctions that disagree with the whole awful deal. Given that the deal makes an Iranian bomb inevitable, which in turn would set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and thus make Armageddon imminent, one would think this would be getting more attention.
Obamacare is just as bad as ever, too, although that’s no longer news. By now the public knows that it won’t be getting an average $2,500 a year savings and won’t be able to keep its plans or doctors and that all the other promises that were made won’t be kept, but that was already obvious when the public went ahead and re-elected Obama back in ’12 and the media are no longer obligated to mention of that. They are forced to mention that premiums are going up, more plans are set to be cancelled, the poor who were supposed to benefit are paying ever more for less coverage, major insurers are pulling out of the exchanges and leaving the rest of the suckers in the long-predicted “death spiral,” and few seem to expect the law will survive into the next decade. Even the Republican presidential candidates rarely mention Obamacare, however, and even the most conservative news media don’t seem to ask about it.
Most of those Republican candidates also go unmentioned, of course, and judging by all the “Bernie” bumper stickers we’re seeing we think there’s more going in in the Democratic race than you’d know from reading the news. Perhaps when the all the newsmakers and news reporters get back from their vacations we’ll start to find out more about Donald Trump’s latest insulting “tweet” and all the reasons that Hillary Clinton’s latest scandal isn’t really that a big deal, but we can always hope they’ll starting paying attention to other things. In some cases the silence is becoming deafening.

— Bud Norman

The Celebrity Case for the Disastrous Iran Deal

At this point we have nothing but a general indifference and otherwise mild contempt for the celebrity class, but every now and then it exerts it influence in ways that demand our protestation. One such case is the latest celebrity-laden propaganda on behalf of the Obama administration’s godawful deal with Iran regarding its unabashed nuclear ambitions.
You probably haven’t already seen it, but the White House-sanctioned video features notable yet probably unfamiliar personalities such as Morgan Freeman, Jack Black, Natasha Lyonne, Queen Noor, and some exotically handsome fellow of fashionably unidentifiable ethnicity that we swear we’ve never seen before, all explaining that either Congress goes along with the administration’s obviously flawed deal with Iran or that we all die in one of those post-apocalyptic nuclear holocaust movie scenarios that were a staple of early ’70s cinema. The argument’s flaws are obvious enough to anyone who has been paying attention to details of the obviously flawed deal, which allows Iran to blatantly cheat on all the other terms and continue it’s anti-western and generally genocidal rhetoric and actions until the 10-year band on Iranian nuclear programs expires, but it might prove persuasive enough to that portion of the population that is taken with the likes of Morgan Freeman, Jack Black, Natasha Lyonne, Queen Noor, and whoever that exotically handsome fellow of of fashionably unidentifiable ethnic origin are. For the benefit of those few readers who are even less hip to celebrity culture than we are, Morgan Freeman is a gray-haired and distinguished-looking African-American actor with an intimidating voice who routinely portrays God or other God-like characters in popular motion pictures, Jack Black is an overweight hipster who until recently convincingly and entertainingly played overweight hipsters in popular comedies, Natasha Lyonne is an actress with offbeat yet fetching good looks who has appeared in a number of critically acclaimed independent movies and as a lesbian prison predator in the Netflix sensation “Orange is the New Black,” Queen Noor is the aging but still-beguiling western gold-digger still married to the King of Jordan, and we still have no idea who the exotically handsome fellow of fashionably unidentifiable ethnic origin is, but none of this causes their well-read statements to make any sense.

Freeman is a convincing enough God, Black is always completely believable and often hilarious as an overweight hipster dude, Lyonne is always fetching in an offbeat sort of way even in her most degrading roles, Noor is an undeniably handsome woman who really is married to the king of a country that surely is high on the list of Iran’s intended targets, and we still have no idea who that exotically handsome fellow of unidentifiable ethnic origin might be, but none of this leads us to believe that a deal that allows an Iranian theocratic dictatorship that makes no secret of its genocidal and ant-western and anti-modernity plans to develop a nuclear bombs to proceed openly with its plans. There’s some talk about how the Iranians love their children as much as westerners do, as though westerners were also strapping suicide vests onto their children, and an implied argument that not allowing Iran to develop a nuclear bomb would cause it provoke a nuclear, and something about crazed Republican congressman working in lockstep with the nefarious Jews to bring about Armageddon, but the gist of it is that these are celebrities making these ridiculous arguments and that should be good enough for the rest of us.
So far these relatively minor celebrities aren’t attracting many “hits” on the internet, and the anonymous likes of Arkansas’ Sen. Tom Cotton, an Iraq War veteran who dealt with Iran’s improvised explosive devices in the the hell of that war, seem to be getting the better of the argument. We surely hope this will prevail, because as God-like as Freeman’s baritone can sound, and not matter how hip Black might seem with his kids and Frisbee, and and no matter how hot Lyonne is in an off-beat and independent-flick sort of way, or how very western Noor is in her own handsome way, or how exotically handsome and unidentifiably ethnic that other guy is, all their arguments lead to an Iranian nuclear bomb. That would be ugly, and not at all funny, or the least bit God-like, and it’s best that the public remain indifferent at best and mildly contemptuous of their of opinions refer to common sense instead.

— Bud Norman

The Importance of Impertinent Questions

A reporter asked a tough question at a presidential news conference Wednesday, and it was one of the big stories of the day. Not the continued imprisonment of American hostages by our new best friends in Iran that prompted the question, nor the president’s newsworthy indignant non-response, but just the fact that a reporter had asked a tough question at a presidential news conference. This might seem odd, given all that’s going on the world, but by now there’s a certain dog-bites-man aspect to riots in Greece and Chinese stock market slides and American capitulations to nutcase regimes, while presidential news conferences are rare and tough questions being asked there even rarer.
The question was posed by Major Garrett, of all people, from CBS News, of all places, so that makes it all the more notable. After some gloating by the president about his newly-made deal with the government of Iran, Garrett asked: “Thank you, Mr. President. As you well know, there are four Americans in Iran, three held on trumped-up charges according to your administration and one whereabouts unknown. Can you tell the country, sir, why you are content with all the fanfare around this deal to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?” In non-response, the president offered a widely reported glare and replied, “I’ve got to give you credit for how you craft these questions. The notion that I’m content as I celebrate with American citizens languishing in Iranian jails, Major, that’s — that’s nonsense, and you should know better.”
How Garrett should have known better was not explained in the president’s remarks, given the president’s apparent contentment with the deal, and that from the outset of his give-away-the-store negotiations he had agreed not to raise any “non-nuclear issues” such as the four Americans languishing in Iranian jails, and that the latest incidents in Iran’s long history of American hostage-taking would have once again gone entirely unmentioned if not for the impertinent question. Still, the rest of the assembled press corps, who took up the rest of the time asking tossing softballs and refusing to play defense against the presidential’s questionable assertions about his gloating, were quite shocked by the lese majeste of the query, and the president’s dwindling cadre of supports immediately took to Twitter and other social media to express their indignation.
The indignant panelists on CNN even spent a couple of hours of airtime that could have been devoted to the myriad flaws in the president’s deal or the rioting in Greece or the scary economic developments in China with much huffing and puffing about such flagrant disrespect for a president. Those panelists cited their long experience of covering presidential press conferences, but apparently it doesn’t stretch back far enough to recall the rough treatment that George W. Bush and other previous presidents used to get it. The second Bush considered it a good press conference when he didn’t have to dodge any shoes being thrown at him, or endure the cheerleading for the shoe-thrower from the rest of the press corps, and even the Democratic presidents of our recollection all were subjected to more pointed questions.
Perhaps Garrett’s question was crafted to imply a certain presidential insouciance about the hostage Americans, and perhaps we should more generously assume that the president does truly care about those Americans but just not enough to let it interfere with his capitulation to Iran’s nuclear ambitions for the sake of his legacy, but we’re glad it was asked nonetheless, and we’re pleased that Garrett thus far isn’t backing down to the criticism. That hostage-taking remains a part of Iran’s as defiant-as-ever anti-western crusade, and that the deal the president is gloating about does nothing to deter that country’s constant global trouble-making and instead provides them with hundreds of billions of dollars to do more of it, deserves some attention, and should raise doubts about the rest of it. A better press corps would have followed up on that question, but the one we’ve got was more offended that one of their own would be so gauche as the ask a rude question of this particular president.

— Bud Norman

An Awful, Awful Deal

The deal with Iran has been made, and is unlikely to be undone by Congress or public opinion or any last vestige of common sense, but it is awful. It is historically awful, catastrophically awful, worse even than Chamberlain-in-Munich awful, and so awful it would be impossible to overstate its awfulness.
The deal does not require the Iranians to disclose anything regarding their previous efforts at building nuclear weapons, allows them to keep centrifuges spinning, the Arak heavy water reactor and plutonium production plant stays open, as does the fortified underground uranium enrichment facility at Fordow, the country’s missile program also continues, along with its nuclear research and development, rather than being subject to “anywhere, anytime” inspections the regime will be given advance warnings and “consultations” and other courtesies, no procedures are outlined to deal with violations that might somehow be discovered, there is no requirement that the regime halt its support of the Hezbollah terror group or turn over the countless other terrorists under their protection who have struck everywhere from Buenos Aires to Washington, D.C., and it even frees up $150 billion dollars worth of previously frozen assets with another $50 billion of the American taxpayer’s money thrown in as a signing bonus, all of which they can now spend on missiles and other sophisticated weaponry as well as low-tech terrorism because the deal also does away with a longstanding arms embargo. In return, the apocalyptic suicide cult has promised the Great Satan that it won’t acquire any nuclear bombs for at least 10 years, and they seem quite pleased with the bargain.
That’s good enough for the president, who is staking his historical reputation on Iran’s mad mullahs at long last keeping a promise, but the Israelis and the Sunni Arabs are within closer range of those ballistic missiles and have even more at stake, and they’re not at all reassured by the deal. Perhaps that’s also because they’re more familiar than the Madrassa-educated president with such Islamic concepts as hudna, meaning a tactical retreat disguised as a peace agreement, and taqqiya, a Koranic loophole that countenances lies told in the furtherance of Islam, and they don’t have the modern left’s peculiar notion that the only religious fanaticism afoot in the world is some Baptist confectioners who don’t care to bake a gay wedding cake, and they’ve not been able to avoid noticing Iran’s decades-old bellicosity. Even if the mad mullahs conclude that armageddon can wait another 10 years they’ll be just as troublesome in the meantime, and not only does the deal do nothing about it gives them more money and international legitimacy to keep doing blowing up Jewish centers in South America and plant roadside bombs in Afghanistan and lob rockets into Israeli schoolyards and prop up equally troublesome regimes fund those fervent rallies where everyone chants “Death to America.” The administration would have us believe that we can take the Iranian regime as its word when they sign the deal, but not when they’re leading those chants. One can argue that the sanctions never stopped them, but at least such global troublemaking wasn’t being subsidized and excused.
Nothing we’ve read satisfactorily explains why the deal isn’t subject to the Constitution’s requirement of ratification by two-thirds of the Senate, a threshold it would never meet, but everything we’ve read suggests that the best Congress can do is pass a resolution of disapproval that would surely be vetoed and require two-thirds of both chambers to override, another threshold that cannot be met. Any vote that expresses disapproval of the deal will be welcome, however, no matter how futile, because the Iranian regime should at least know that the country isn’t so gullible as its president, nor as willing to assist their rise to regional hegemony. If the deal isn’t a treaty according to the legal definition that would require the Senate’s ratification it’s just a deal, and a resounding vote of disapproval would emphasize that it’s the president’s deal and not the country’s, and just maybe that will help some more clear-eyed president to someday resist rather than facilitate Iran’s insane ambitions. We hope it’s soon, and not too late, as the present policy is awful.

— Bud Norman

Gaining From a Bad Deal

Good policy is good politics, according to an old saying, and like most old sayings it is often but not always true. The congressional Republican’s cowardly capitulation to a “clean” debt ceiling deal on Wednesday might prove one of the frequent exceptions to the rule.
No real Republican would argue that the deal isn’t disastrously bad policy. The legislation basically hands a blank check to the most profligate president in history, guaranteeing the nation’s debt will rise to a staggering $17.2 trillion just after November’s mid-term elections, and achieves nothing in the way of much needed spending cuts or any other curbs on a government rapidly and clumsily expanding into every niche of American life. Although the party leadership and the minority of Republican congressman who followed them argue will that the deal guarantees the full faith and credit of the federal government, an increasingly restive conservative base will not be convinced that adding yet another $512 billion dollars of debt over the next few months is the most fiscally responsible course of action.
Nor can the Republicans point to any immediate political advantages gained from the deal. Indeed, the more prominent media are gleefully quoting the Democrats’ gloating that the deal represents a total defeat for the Republicans in general and their more rock-ribbed Tea Party constituents in particular. House Speaker John Boehner, whose hold on the house speakership grows more tenuous with each passing offense to the party’s most essential voters, couldn’t even win the inclusion of an amendment to rescind some previous unpopular budget cuts to veterans’ benefits that the Democrats probably could have been shamed into accepting. As the most outspoken opponent of the deal and the only Republican to attempt a filibuster Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was rewarded for his noble efforts by some of the most sneeringly disdainful press coverage of his already controversial career, and if the party leadership and its timid followers expected to be lauded by the pundits for their non-partisan willingness to compromise they have been sorely disappointed.
On the other hand, at least the Republicans aren’t being pilloried for their strident partisanship and stubborn refusal to compromise. That’s what happened every other time the Republicans tried to use the debt ceiling as leverage for sensible reforms and essential spending restraint, with the damage done to the party’s popularity evident in all the subsequent opinion polls, and we will generously assume that the Republican leadership was merely trying to avoid yet another hit. Those talk radio hosts shrieking “damn the opinion polls, full steam ahead” are quite right to argue the public should be grateful for the Republicans’ efforts, that government shutdowns are a minor inconvenience at worst and a welcome break from bureaucratic meddling at best, that a federal default would not occur in any case, and that the eventual consequences of all that debt far outweigh any damage done by a protracted political squabble, but they are wrong to assume that an electoral majority of the country can be made to understand any of it.
A crucial percentage of voters pay too little attention to politics to hear these arguments, and even if the arguments were to somehow sneak into the news accounts that occasionally interrupt the average uninformed American’s day he would likely be unmoved. Government shutdowns always sound scary when the news anchors say it, the laws and constitutional requirements precluding default are as a confounding as the economic concepts involved, and the public has become inured to warnings about it since the Democrats started squawking about it back in the Reagan days. When the debt it called due and the inevitable economic calamity occurs it will be big news, but at the moment the weather is a far more pressing matter for the average American.
Unless the bottom falls out before November, the Republicans’ cowardly capitulation could provide them with a slight advantage in the mid-term elections. By that time the deal will be largely forgotten even by the talk radio hosts, who are already shrieking less loudly than after other Republican leadership outrages, and the majority of Republican congressman who opposed the deal will be able to remind their conservative voters that they at least voted “no.” The Democrats won’t have another unpopular showdown to blame on the Republicans, and they’ll still be remembered as the party that promised you could keep your health care plan if you liked it and then cancelled the policy and forced you to pay more money for one covering things you don’t want or need. To the extent that America’s dire fiscal situation is an election issue, even the most cowardly capitulators in the party can claim that they were forced to bankrupt the country by the Democrats.

— Bud Norman

A Bad Deal

The front page of Monday’s Philadelphia Inquirer was mostly devoted to the big deal that the Obama administration has struck with the mad mullahs of Iran regarding that country’s nuclear weapons program. We get back east often enough to be aware of the paper’s leftward inclinations, and expected that the coverage would laud the deal as peace in our time and a welcome break from the tiresome chore of writing help but concede that the deal sounds awfully fishy.
The agreement brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry will ease the sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy and weakened its government’s hold on a restive population in exchange for a six month suspensions of some but not all of its uranium enrichment programs. Just the mention of Kerry’s name would suffice to arouse the suspicions of an inland observer, but even in the big cities on the east coast it did not go unnoticed that the sanctions are a major concession and that a temporary halt to small parts of the nuclear program are not. While it was duly noted that the Kerry had somehow managed to get his negotiating partners on the United Nations Security to go along with it, including the French surrender monkeys who had originally balked at the idea, it was also mentioned that Israel and all of the Sunni Arab nations within missile range of the Shiite Persians in Iran are far less enthusiastic about the arrangement.
The deal is so bad that it has brought Israel and Saudi Arabia into an alliance, which takes some doing, and The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that it might even be bad enough to bring Republicans and Democrats together to nix the deal in the Senate. If that were to happen it would be an embarrassment to the Obama administration and further weaken its already diminished political clout, which the eastern press seems to regard as a concern rather than a silver lining around the dark cloud of the deal, but if Iran’s government were to exploit the chance to rebuild its economy and strengthen its firm grip on the country while delaying its nuclear ambitions for a mere six months that would also prove harmful to Obama’s reputation. A nuclear strike on Tel Aviv or Riyadh would be an even bigger catastrophe than Obamacare, which also takes some doing, so perhaps the eastern press is just trying to sound the warnings that they regret having left un-sounded when health care reform was being discussed and could have been averted.

— Bud Norman

A Deal of Worry

Everything about the deal that the Obama administration is trying to strike with the Iranian government regarding that country’s nuclear ambitions is worrisome. The Secretary of State assures the nation that “We are not blind, and I don’t think we’re stupid,” but it’s worrisome that a man in his position feels obliged to offer such assurances.
Blindness and stupidity are the most likely explanation for the deal, which would ease the international economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for promises of a suspension of some parts of the country’s nuclear program, so perhaps such denials are indeed obligatory. Israel’s Prime Minister has declared the deal “very bad,” which is worrisome because he’s usually right about matters so crucial to country’s continued existence and because it represents yet another example of America’s frayed relationships in the Middle East even if he’s wrong. Even the socialist surrender monkeys of France find the deal too appeasing, and have at least temporarily nixed it as part of the cumbersome six-country negotiating coalition, although it’s worrisome that they are the ones demanding firmness. The Saudis don’t seem at all confident that the deal will so much as delay Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, as they have now made arrangements with Pakistan to acquire some of their own, and the prospect of a nuclear arms race in a region so rife with hatred and fanaticism is about as worrisome as things get.
Although the Secretary of State touts the long experience of his diplomatic team, it is worrisome that a lead role is being played the ex-social worker whose previous experience with nuclear arms negotiations allowed the North Korean nutcases to acquire enough weapons to menace their part of their world. Worrisome, too, is that the ex-community organizer in charge of these negotiations won the presidency mocking his opponent for being concerned about such a “little country” as Iran and has since pursued an “open hand” relationship even as the country celebrates it hostage-taking revolution with clinched fists and shouts of “death to America.”
There’s always a chance that the French will continue to stand steadfast for Israel and all of the Sunni Arab countries that would be endangered by an Iranian nuclear bomb, although it’s worrisome that it has come to that. Enough of Israel’s remaining Democratic friends in the Senate might yet be convinced to the join the Republicans in continuing the sanctions, which have by all accounts seriously hindered Iran’s economy and weakened its increasingly unpopular government, but it is worrisome that many Democrats will happily go along with efforts to bolster the hideous theocracy. Continuing the sanctions is the very least that needs to be done, and it’s worrisome that the most that will be required doesn’t seem even remotely possible with America’s current leadership.

— Bud Norman

Dealing With Defeat

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Republican circles on Wednesday, as the party went down to a widely acknowledged defeat in the great government shutdown battle of ’13.
As a result of a last-minute-before-the-phony-baloney-default-deadline deal the government will be fully back in business on Thursday, which is disappointing enough to any true Republican, and it’s hard to see what the GOP won in exchange in for the bad press and battered poll numbers that it suffered during the much-ballyhooed brinksmanship that proceeded it. The deal does not withhold funding from the much hated Obamacare law, which was the quixotic goal that started all the fuss, nor does it end Congress’ hugely unpopular exemption from the law or delayed its widely hated individual mandate, which we were the backup bargaining conditions of the rebellious Republicans, and it doesn’t seem to offer anything in the way of budget cuts or entitlement reforms or any sort of face-saving fig-leaf at all. The Democratic partisans who predominate in the press are predictably triumphalist, while the conservative outposts of the media are engaged in the usual internecine finger-pointing.
Most of the “RINO” or “establishment” portions of the party, as they’re known to their more rock-ribbed critics, are plausibly claiming vindication for their warnings against the shutdown strategy. Meanwhile the “extremist” or “loony-bird” segments of the party, as they’re known to their more cautious colleagues, are angrily and plausibly arguing that it might have worked if only the party had not been undermined by the weak-kneed defections of those darned “RINOs” and “establishment” types. Both might well be right, at least to some extent, but intra-party sniping is only further proof that the battle did not go well.
About the best that can be said of the deal is that it could have been worse, as it’s all very short-term in extending the government’s ravenous appetite for debilitating debt and record spending, and thus provides future opportunities to attempt to restrain these disastrous tendencies, but that’s not saying much. Partisan rooting aside, and the enthusiastic response of Wall Street to any sort of default-delaying deal notwithstanding, the deal does nothing to address the nation’s most pressing problems but merely puts off the day of reckoning by a few months. A few months hence the same realities of the current political and media landscape that caused Wednesday’s debacle will still prevail, and necessary reforms will likely once again be thwarted no matter how deft or unified the Republicans might be.
Which is why the Republicans should be primarily concerned with changing the political landscape after next year’s mid-term election, and stop in the finger-pointing and aspersion-casting that threatens to turn it into another debacle for the party. The government shutdown affected few people other than some unlucky visitors to the national parks and monuments, most of whom understand that the heavy-handed tactics they encountered there were the fault of officious Democrats, and it will be long forgotten in the eternal span of 13 moths from now. Obamcare’s myriad disasters will still be with us, as will the sputtering economy and overwhelming debt that Obamacare and other administration policies are causing, and the Republican party’s stubborn and poll-defying resistance to such nonsense could prove a winning argument if the GOP doesn’t cannibalize itself in the coming months.

— Bud Norman