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Reflections on a House Divided

Deficits

"Republicans said they would not support a bill that puts taxpayer money at risk while potentially bailing out irresponsible borrowers and greedy lenders."
House Approves Sweeping Effort to Help Housing

There is reason for conservatives to be troubled about this bill and its likely passage, but not for
the inevitable complaining that will follow when the President signs it into law - as he has said he would. And, certainly enough there is little or no justification for the - equally inevitable - charges of "capitulation" that will emanate from those quarters to accompany and trail along after the Presidents action in doing so.

My reasons for believing and saying such things can be best expressed by a prediction made in a post written back in December 2006 in the aftermath of the disastrous election of the proceeding November:

It is with the simple equation laid-out above - the President's need to make concessions to liberal Democrats in order to have any chance whatsoever of passing the instruments needed for his national security agenda - that the opportunity for classic episodes of Institutionalized Stupidity will arise. Fore, as has been the case already - in dealing with the inescapable fact-of-life presented by the Senatorial veto (emphasis added) - the main area of concessions that the President will be willing to make will be in the area of governmental largess. And, we can be assured that - well before and for long after any such concessions are made or even thought of - we will be "treated" to the spectacle of many  prominent free-market conservatives - possessing as a group a range of analytical and communicativee talents ranging from highly competent to brilliant - engaged in the act of a collective refusal to recognize: the political reality of the presidents circumstances - the details of which should be clear enough to the average  student in any sixth-grade civics class; the exigencies of a war "to the knife" for the very survival of the culture they cherish; and the full identity of the true culprits in this - and many related - dilemmas. Yes, and they don't recognize their own role either. That, it was  - in part - their similar refusal for similar reasons and under similar circumstances during the last 2 years that helped to create the makeup of the current Congress. I.e. that is was  - in part - endless carping about deficits that were - politically - unavoidable - that helped to "plant the seeds" of the currant situation in Congress, and did so by "de-energizing" part of the Republican base (instead of which they might have pointed out the political context of the administration's spending record to the public-at-large, many of whom just haven't had the time to give such matters the attention required to see that situation for what it is).
You. Over there. Smiling, and with that vacant stare.

And, indeed, the President has been much more successful in turning back ceaseless attempts by liberals and "moderates" to undermine his national security agenda - threats ranging from a cut-off in spending for the effort in Iraq, to placing breaks on the ability of our security services to keep the enemy under surveillance, and including other areas such as missile defence - than many would have predicted back in the grey days following the congressional elections of November 2006.
But, this success  has come at a price - literally. And an inevitable one under the circumstances. And it is well past time that my fellow  conservatives realized and accepted the necessity of the concessions that were required to keep our national security apparatus functioning.
It is also past time that all those who love our country and understand what is required to defend her gave this President his due thanks for taking the stands on these issues that he has - and sticking to them through hell and high water, and in spite of the derision of many who could have been expected to support him otherwise.

(C) David Aronin 2008