Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Family Feud

Oh, dear! It must be difficult to be a Republican leader right now, what with the squabbling going on in the ranks. I mean, the party is going to have two responses to the president's State of the Union speech: the "official" one by Rep. Ryan and the sorta-kinda unofficial one by Rep. Bachman (Tea Party Hostess extraordinaire).

Nowhere is the problem more pronounced than in the budget slashing arena. Some Republican congress critters want to remove the fat, but others want to go for the bones as well.

Congressional Republicans are grappling with dissent within the party's ranks over the size and scope of proposed reductions as they seek to fulfill a campaign promise to slash the federal budget.

The Republican Party's conservative wing has proposed even deeper and potentially more controversial cuts than the GOP's leaders have prescribed — or believe are politically feasible this year. Prospects for reductions in cancer research or the FBI, for example, are causing consternation within the party and controversy in Washington.

The party's leadership already has scaled back a goal of $100 billion in spending cuts in the current budget year, a figure Republicans promised during last year's midterm election campaign. But conservative Republicans are insisting on cuts nearly twice as deep — reaching to $2.5 trillion over 10 years. Party leaders do not believe such cuts are politically or practically achievable.
[Emphasis added]

Faced with having to do more than just saying "NO!!!11!!" and having to do some real legislating, the Republicans appear to be just a little confusilated. Mitch McConnell's primary goal, that of denying Barack Obama a second term, may have to be tempered a bit. His party might have to propose some practical alternatives to those of the president and the Democrats. The Republicans might have to move to the center a little, which will place them on the president's lap, a place they hardly wish to be.

Of course, the Republicans could also do what the Tea Partiers want them to do, which is not to shrink the government, but to destroy it. That will lose them the center, but also the 2012 election.

Such a dilemma!

I almost feel sorry for them.


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