By John Fredericks
We’re all Democrats now.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) orchestrated in two days what his House colleagues couldn’t do in two months: completely sell out the soul of the GOP.
Like the pied piper, McConnell took it upon himself to personally negotiate the terms of a complete Republican unconditional surrender to President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on the fiscal cliff negotiations.
The total capitulation is uncanny. Essentially Republicans – in both the House and Senate – voted to raise taxes on 80 percent of Americans making between $50,000 to $200,000 per year, while getting absolutely nothing in return: not spending cuts, not entitlement reform, not offsetting cuts to stave off sequestration – nothing.
The Japanese made a better deal than McConnell 67 years ago on the aircraft carrier Missouri in Tokyo Bay when they unconditionally surrendered to the U.S.
The McConnell bill – laughably called “The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,” passed the Senate by a whopping 89-8 margin. Only five GOP Senators voted against the measure, including Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rand Paul (R-KY), both presumed 2016 presidential candidates. The legislation – 150 pages – was given to Senators less than thirty minutes in advance of the roll call vote. Apparently the 89 Senators who voted in favor of passage in the wee hours of Tuesday morning must have been Evelyn Wood speed reading disciples.
The bill delays the budget sequestration by two months, and includes $600 billion over ten years in new tax revenue – which is about one-fifth of the revenue that would have been raised had no legislation been passed.
Here’s the kicker: the compromise actually raises the nation’s debt by at least another $4 trillion according to CBO score estimates.
Following the Senate’s lead, the House passed the bill without amendments by a margin of 257–167 around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night. 85 House Republicans – including Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and former candidate for Vice President Paul Ryan (R-WI) – supplied the margin of victory for Obama and the Democrats, making their whitewash of the GOP complete.
In so doing, McConnell and his Republican supporters became the new Daniel Webster of 2013: they sold their soul to the devil of debt. The one difference: at least Webster got a bag of gold for his efforts. That’s more than these McConnell Republicans got.
1968 independent candidate for President George C. Wallace won a handful of southern states with this memorable tag line: “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties in America.”
Those words seem eerily prophetic today in the face of this seemingly feckless GOP sellout.
Is The Price Right?
Congressman John C. Fleming, M.D. (R-LA) said today on our radio show that he wouldn’t be surprised if House conservatives mount a challenge to Speaker Boehner. Fleming told us that about 20 or so House members have assembled to plan the potential coup attempt.
One potential candidate emerging as the alternative to Boehner is Georgia Rep. Tom Price, M.D., former chair of the powerful Republican Policy Committee. Sources on the Hill told us that even some members who do not like Price personally vowed to vote for him over Boehner anyway.
Price was defeated in his bid for GOP Conference Committee Chair last month by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, who Boehner openly supported in the closed door balloting.
Price, an unwavering fiscal conservative and a national Tea Party favorite is also rumored to be evaluating a primary challenge in the Peach State to GOP two-term incumbent Saxby Chambliss, a member of the once infamous “Gang of Six,” in 2014.
John Fredericks is syndicated radio talk show host in Virginia and can be heard M-F 6-9 a.m. on WTNT –AM 730 & 102.9FM in D.C., WLEE AM 990 in Richmond and WHKT AM 1650 in Tidewater, or streaming online at www.thejohnfredericksshow.com.