Steve Forbes and how the GOP can beat the fiscal cliff spin and save Christmas
Conservative commentator, satirist, and radio talk show...
Chicago, Illinois November 26, 2012 – Steve Forbes has some advice for the GOP even as the White House spin doctors issued a dire warning today: the automatic federal tax increases set for next year could hurt the rest of the holiday shopping season and would curb consumer spending by $200 billion in 2013.
Liberal translation: Those ‘Grinchy’ Republicans could ruin Christmas.
It’s a calculated holiday spin that prays on an uninformed public that has been beaten up by a bad economy and consistently high unemployment.
But as low-ball as it is, this is President Obama’s media game and it has been effective.
President Obama is aggressively positioning himself on the fiscal cliff debate and feeble-minded Republicans, dizzied by the disastrous election results, are running scared.
There have always been Republican leaders with a political posture problem: Conservatives have long complained about politicians like Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and their left-leaning tilt.
This weekend, McCain, Graham, and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) joined the growing list of flip-flopping party members who said they are willing to vote for tax increases as part of a deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” in January – effectively breaking their anti-tax pledge with Grover Norquist.
But some GOP insiders are questioning the merits of this strategy.
“I think the Republicans have to say in terms of dealing with the President that, yes, the President won re-election but 230 plus House members won re-election on the premise of not having tax increases and not bringing in Obamacare,” said Steve Forbes on FOX this weekend.
“What the Republicans should do is say, ‘You [President Obama] have been in office now for four years; you’ve won re-election. Put a specific proposal on the table like Paul Ryan did more than two years ago and tell us how you are going to deal with these issues. You’re supposed to be the leader. Why must the Republicans always give concessions in advance instead of the White House coming forward? The Republicans should call on him [President Obama] to put something realistic on the table instead of the junk he’s put on so far.”
Forbes is right: The President won re-election and the Democrats increased their control in the U.S. Senate by a margin of 55 to 45 seats. The political ball is, as they say, in their government-owned court.
Yet Republican leaders already seem ready to negotiate on their most basic principles.
Even after the Republican landslide of 2010, President Obama didn’t backtrack from Obamacare, which was wildly unpopular at the time. He was even more emboldened on his message of class warfare, which he used to make the case for more expansive government.
During the 2012 election, Obama never once accepted blame for running up a $16 trillion debt or for failing to create jobs, keeping 23 million Americans unemployed.
And yes, Obama won re-election with 61.8 million votes to 58.6 million votes for Mitt Romney. But are GOP leaders so willing to abandon 58.6 million voters?
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