Friday, April 8, 2011

Shutdown Showdown Update, Friday Afternoon Edition

This is getting ridiculous.  Let's revisit the list of hysteria-inducing accusations the Democrats have thrown at the GOP in recent days regarding the potential shutdown of the federal government:

- the GOP is engaging in a war on women
- the GOP's actions are equivalent to the bombing of innocent civilians
- the GOP is causing a new civil war
- the GOP is creating a death trap for seniors
- the GOP is creating a tornado through nursing homes
- the GOP's budget plan would starve seniors to death

Now we can add preventing women from getting cancer screenings to the list, though none of these things are remotely true.  Pretty soon we'll see outright accusations of murder.  Oh wait, no, that's already been put out there, too.  In addition to that, DNC operatives are organizing a Facebook effort to have thousands of people dump trash on GOP Minority Leader John Boehner's yard if he holds firm.

And yet...somehow, they still have the gall to accuse the Republican party of being the ones who are extreme.  Um...okay.  

Just remember, in terms of willingness to compromise:

Steny Hoyer stood on the House floor yesterday and blasted the GOP for not "compromising" when they released their first CR with $100 billion in cuts. Then, when that wasn't good enough, they dropped it to $60 billion in cuts. Not we're down to $22 billion in cuts. And the Republicans are the ones unwilling to compromise?

Shockingly, RINO conservative-but-not-really New York Times writer David Brooks actually frames the core issue really, really well:

The best thing about the long-term budget proposal from Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, is that it forces Americans to confront the implications of their choices. If voters want taxes that amount to roughly 18 percent of G.D.P., then they are going to have to accept a government that looks roughly like what Ryan is describing.

The Democrats are on defense because they are unwilling to ask voters to confront the implications of their choices. Democrats seem to believe that most Americans want to preserve the 20th-century welfare state programs. But they are unwilling to ask voters to pay for them, and they are unwilling to describe the tax increases that would be required to cover their exploding future costs.

Raising taxes on the rich will not do it. There aren't enough rich people to generate the tens of trillions of dollars required to pay for Medicare, let alone all the other programs.

He's not happy with the plan at large, of course, but he concludes the article with this:

Ryan has moved us off Unreality Island. He is forcing Americans to confront the implications of their choices. With a few straightforward changes, his budget could be transformed into a politically plausible center-right package that would produce a fiscally sustainable welfare state while addressing the country's structural economic problems. ...

Great journeys begin with one bold step. 

It's a good point, and dead-on, in my opinion.  Right now, we have one political party blindly refusing to leave Unreality Island because it would mean a reduction in their own power...even at the expense of future generations of Americans, including their own children and grandchildren.  The other party has at least stepped off the island and decided to tackle these problems head-on.  When you listen to the ridiculous hyperbole, just remember which party lives where.

As the debate continues, it looks like one of the primary sticking points is the Planned Parenthood funding, which really equates to funding for abortion.  Don't kid yourself...if you don't think Planned Parenthood equals abortion, you don't know Planned Parenthood.  And yes, federal tax dollars are used for abortions.  Exhibit 1:

From 2000 to 2009, Planned Parenthood saw an 80 percent increase in taxpayer funding, receiving $202 million in 2000 and $363 million in 2009.

Let's look at the results: In 2000, Planned Parenthood performed 197,070 abortions while making 2,486 adoption referrals. In 2009, they performed 332,278 abortions and made just 977 adoption referrals.

That means an 80 percent increase in taxpayer funding resulted in a 69 percent increase in the number of abortions and a 61 percent decrease in the number of adoption referrals.

Planned Parenthood performs more than one out of every four abortions in the United States today. Its abortion revenues – based upon figures from its tax returns, annual reports and website – account for more than one third of all its medical services revenues.  In the past decade, increases in government funding of Planned Parenthood have regularly corresponded with its performing increasing numbers of abortions.

Planned Parenthood's stance on abortion is also fairly characterized as aggressive.  A review of every reported lawsuit in which Planned Parenthood has been a party over the last 50 years indicates that they hold legal and cultural opinions on abortion very far removed from what Americans understand to be the "common ground" shared between most pro-life and pro-choice citizens. Planned Parenthood has sued to stop laws securing parents' involvement in their minor girls' abortions, laws requiring full informed consent and waiting periods before abortion, laws banning "intact dilation and extraction" (a.k.a. "partial-birth") abortions, and safety regulations setting time-limits for the use of abortion-inducing drugs. They have also sued to limit the expansion of crisis pregnancy services offering free help to low-income, pregnant women who wish to give birth.

Planned Parenthood officials are even on record attacking the constitutionality of laws banning sex-selection abortion. They also seek to soften or avoid the impact of sex abuse reporting laws applicable to minor girls. ...

Presently, Planned Parenthood is fighting a bill in Illinois which would require its staff and volunteers to be mandatory reporters when they suspect the sexual abuse of minors. Planned Parenthood claims that the bill is unnecessary because medical personnel are already obliged to report; they also wanted to spare the relevant government office from reporting "overload." Interestingly, Planned Parenthood has removed this argument from its own website after various reports about it emerged. ...

There is, finally, recent video evidence that employees at more than a few Planned Parenthood clinics are willing to cooperate with sex-traffickers of minor girls.

It is certain that good-hearted and good-intentioned people work for Planned Parenthood, and it is true that PP provides services other than abortion, but there can be no doubt that abortion is a central aspect of this largely corrupt and immoral organization.  While the Right has long speculated on just how important abortion is to liberals, we now have pretty concrete evidence.  Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated this in a press conference:

Reid said that in addition to agreeing on the spending cut, negotiators had worked out policy disputes, which involve environmental protection, implementing President Barack Obama's health care law, and regulating the Internet.

But Reid said Democrats are holding the line on a plan to cut off Planned Parenthood from federal money.

"That is an issue, as the president said last night, that we are not bending on," Reid said.

Case closed.  The bottom line is that the Democrat party is much more invested in government-funded abortions than in funding the U.S. military.  Pretty telling, don't you think?  Here's an example.  One Democrat Rep was asked by a veteran in a townhall meeting why he was there rather than in Washington DC figuring out a way to fund the troops.  His answer?  Sit down or leave.

Nevertheless, it appears that the negotiations between Reid and Boehner have again stalled out.  As the pressure gets cranked up, even Democrats are pretty disgusted with Obama's complete lack of leadership on the subject:

Obama could have closed the deal in September [when the White House and both houses of Congress were controlled by Democrats].  Instead, Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue ran away from their responsibilities out of fear of voter backlash if they revealed their true agenda, and in the Senate and the White House, they're still running away.  That may be many things, but leadership it is not.

So, to recap:

1. Democrats failed their Constitutional duty to pass a budget last year while they held control of the White House and both houses of Congress.
2. Republicans won an historic landslide election based on the promise of reigning in spending and controlling the budget.
3. Democrats are now refusing to cut anything out of the government, and fighting to protect funding for Planned Parenthood at the expense of paying the U.S. military while actively engaged in three wars.
4. Democrats' only plan right now is to throw hysterical, nonsensical, idiotic accusations at the GOP; they have nothing else since they are in direct opposition to the American people regarding the GOP plan.
5. Barack Obama has vowed to veto any bill to fund the military if the government shuts down.  But he wants this whole thing to hurry up and finish so he can go on vacation.

But the really interesting question is why.  One suggestion is that he's holding the military hostage for his agenda:

They need to change the message because right now they are losing. ...

Democrats are getting pasted in the budget debate generally. They can't beat the GOP on the argument that cuts are needed. The Democrats have no plan for cutting the deficit, and even liberals are calling Paul Ryan 'courageous.' They can't win, because they simply can't engage on cutting entitlements. So the GOP was winning on budget cutting, winning on the FY 2012 budget, and likely to win on the debt ceiling vote. The Democrats need a way to change the debate. ...

The only way the White House can do that is to get a shutdown. They want to put the blame on the GOP, but even more than that, they want a shutdown. So the argument will be that spending bills start in the House, and the House still hasn't passed anything that can get 60 votes in the Senate. And until they do, the fault for the shutdown lies with the GOP. And, in the meantime, our soldiers are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya and cannot get paid. ...

The Democrats will get their shutdown, and the debate will change to how to get the government open again. And when there is an agreement, Obama will take the credit for bringing the sides together. And he will be the hero.

But remember...the whole reason we're in this situation in the first place is because the Democrats failed to pass a budget last year when they controlled Congress and the White House.

Boehner's right to ask:

"When will the White House and Senate Democrats get serious about cutting spending?".

Clearly, the answer is: not yet, especially if it means reducing abortion funding.

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