Friday, April 1, 2011

A Slow and Steady Boil

OK, now that I've taken a shot at all the pantywaisted politicians and pundits afraid to fight for fiscal sanity from Washington, may I offer a bit of advice to the still-boiling Tea Partiers both in and out of government?

Stop talking about a possible government shutdown as if you're almost eager for it!  This is bad politics, foolish even.  I'm afraid that the very same quality that makes the GOP base relatively independent of its party, makes them also, at least sometimes, very poor practitioners of the art of politics.

The oft-repeated "truth" is that just as the Republicans were blamed for the government shutdown in 1995, so will they be in 2011 if it comes down to it.  That's what Howard Dean thinks anyway.  But this is not necessarily so.  I'm as convinced now as I was in 1995 that the GOP failed to make the case sufficiently that Bill Clinton was the real culprit in the government shutdown.  Heck, they hardly even tried.  The same dynamic is at work today.

The first words out of every GOP leader's mouth every time he's in front of a camera should be something like this:  "We're struggling mightily to avoid a government shutdown and restore reason to our budgeting process.  But the Obama Administration and the congressional Democrats are fighting us at every turn.  Their fiscal irresponsibility over the past two years when they controlled all of the government has lead to this mess, and their stubborn obstructionism now is continuing it.  If they persist in this irresponsible behavior, they will force a government shutdown, and worse, much worse, we fear.  We're doing everything we can to avoid this calamity, but we need the help of the American people.  Please call or write your congressman..."

Will it be tedious to do this?  Sure, but as someone once said, "Politics is a strong and slow boring of hard boards." (Look it up.)  In politics, only very rarely can you convince anyone immediately of much of anything, much less can you expect an overnight epiphany on their part that the fiscal path we've been on for 75 years now is headed for a cliff.

But headed for a cliff we are, and convince them we must.  So, a slow and steady boil is what is most necessary now.

That, and to start blaming the looming shutdown on the Dems!  


  1. Thank you, Sage! I could not have said this better. I spend a lot of time on the phone with tea partiers who talk about a government shutdown as if, like you said yourself, they are eager for it. It makes me cringe. We must remind the American people that this mess we are in today, is the result of two years of irresponsible spending. A government shutdown is only ONE of the many consequences we will pay for the Dems poor financial decisions.

    By the way, I take back what I said this fall when I encouraged you to never run for public office. Run, please run - and don't be afraid to stick it to 'em!

  2. You're too kind and I'll think about it. Still think I need a rich uncle in order to even try. Know any?