Majority vs. Minority

For the past week and a half, I did a series on the teaching ministry the Lord has given me all these years. So that means I’ve sorely neglected all the excellent political cartoons that have appeared during that time. It’s time to make up for the oversight.

Our political system rewards the one who is able to receive a majority of the vote. That’s as it should be. However, that doesn’t mean the minority can be discounted. The constitutional republic we set up protects the rights of the minority as well. No leader should ever believe he can simply run roughshod over his opponents. Neither should any winner get the false idea that his victory means he has a mandate to do whatever he wants because the majority voted for him:

Yes, there are limitations . . . and sometimes the majority of the voters can be wrong, not only on whom they have chosen but in their support of the “chosen one’s” policies. And if things go wrong with those policies? Not to worry—he has a built-in excuse that will be readily accepted by his minions:

He also has his enablers in the Congress. Harry Reid is already dreaming of ways to override any opposition. Never mind what it says about his character:

While the president himself has his own plans for beefing up his administration:

The loyal opposition, meanwhile, has a decision to make. Is it going to continue to rely on consultants who believe in nothing but political expediency? The problem seems to be that even their concept of political expediency always falls short of reality:

There is a leadership vacuum on the Republican side. Someone needs to fill it who is Biblically based, constitutionally conservative, and articulate. That’s the true path to leadership and ultimate victory.

The Election Scenarios: Which One Will Become Reality Today?

By the end of this day—barring any legal challenges or chicanery—we should know the political landscape for the next two to four years. No one expects the House to revert to the Democrats, so that much is set even before the counting begins. But the Senate, and of course the presidency, are the real questions. Let’s examine the possible scenarios, from worst-case to best-case.

Scenario #1

Barack Obama retains the presidency and Democrats continue to control the Senate. What will this mean? We will be in the same state we are currently. The House will try to pass legislation to correct the debt Armageddon and Obamacare, but the Senate will not act on anything the House does. It will remain adamant in opposition to the Republican agenda. The Congress, in this scenario, will be as it is now—worthless. This will lead to Obama doing what he has already begun to do, which is to rule by executive orders. No amount of protest that his actions are unconstitutional will avail. With a Justice Department firmly in his control, he will be free to do whatever he wishes, thereby foisting even more government control over the lives of individuals and trampling religious liberty through Obamacare. That “signature” piece of legislation will go forward without anything to stop it. By the end of his term, the United States will be pretty much like the European states that have given themselves over to full-scale socialism. We will also be on the verge of total bankruptcy. Oh, and since Supreme Court justices have to be confirmed by the Senate, he will get to replace perhaps three of the nine currently on the bench with ideological soulmates.

Scenario #2

Barack Obama stays in as president and the Senate changes hands to the Republicans. Under this scenario, with both houses of Congress controlled by the Republicans, certain pieces of legislation aimed at undoing the Obama agenda will pass both chambers and be sent to the White House for Obama’s approval. He will approve nothing coming from a Republican Congress. The veto will become his favorite weapon. On occasion, Congress may be able to muster a 2/3 vote to override a veto, but unless enough Democrats are willing to join with Republicans against the titular leader of their party, most of the proposed legislation will go down to defeat. Then Obama will do as noted above in scenario #1: he will rule by executive orders. The only saving grace is that he might not get the justices on the Supreme Court he wants, but that’s no guarantee. Senate Republicans, on the whole, have never been known for their backbones.

Scenario #3

Mitt Romney wins the presidency, but the Senate does not turn Republican. Under the continued “leadership” of Harry Reid, stonewalling will be the rule. Romney will do whatever he can within the powers of the presidency to remedy the damage that has been created by Obama. He says he will give waivers from Obamacare to every state. That will be a step in the right direction. However, getting any genuine reform legislation through Congress will be tough, nearly impossible, with Reid as Senate Majority Leader. Romney also will have hard sledding replacing Supreme Court justices with anyone worthwhile since the Senate has to approve them. Without a Republican Senate, Romney’s achievements will be minimal.

Scenario #4

Mitt Romney sweeps into the presidency by a significant margin, thereby helping Republicans take the Senate as well. Coattails do exist. This is obviously the rosiest scenario. The real question is whether Republicans will follow through and do what’s necessary to reverse course on the last four years and will learn their lesson about squandering a majority the way they did during the Bush presidency. Conservatives have always been wary of Romney’s foundational beliefs; they will have to hold his feet to the fire, but they will have some victories to cheer whether they get everything they desire or not. Obamacare should be shelved; the national debt should be brought under control; justices who believe in the original wording and intent of the Constitution should be put on the Court; Biblical morality should be upheld. This is not necessarily guaranteed, but this is the only scenario that holds such promise.

Which scenario do I think will play out today? My analysis of the current state of the race tells me it should be either #3 or #4. I see #3 as more likely, but you never know what can happen when people pray and work for what they believe in. And a lot of people have been doing both. May the Lord give us another opportunity to correct the mistakes we have made. A little divine intervention would be very nice.

The Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah these words:

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Yes, I know that was a word for ancient Israel, but it is a principle—a general truth—that can apply to us today. May it be so.

 

Tax Cuts & the Fiscal Cliff

Let’s return to fiscal news today. Are you aware that the Bush tax cuts—you know, those awful tax breaks that benefit only the wealthy—are due to end in January? If that happens, we will all find out soon enough that they actually were a benefit for everyone. Democrats play politics with this, seeking to extend them only for the “non-rich.” That posture is intended to portray them as for the middle class. What they don’t tell you is that the “rich” include about 900,000 small businesses who, if these cuts aren’t extended, will have to lay off workers. Now, who is this really going to hurt? Republicans, on the other hand, are calling for the cuts to remain in effect for everyone. Trying to get this through Congress, though, will never happen as long as Harry Reid and his gang control the Senate:

Democrats are attempting to woo the moderate Republicans to their side on this plan, but thus far Republicans are holding firm—for good reason:

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that these tax cuts can’t apply to almost half the population. Why?

It’s the producers in society who are being targeted:

And presiding over all this is a man who has expressed hostility toward those producers and has no grasp of how an economy works:

I’ve always enjoyed good oxymorons. Here are some appropriate ones for today:

Strange Developments & One Odd Spectacle

We’re seeing some strange things as this presidential campaign heats up. I don’t recall ever seeing such skewed polls before. The Pew organization, which is supposed to have a good reputation, just put out a poll that shows Obama leading by large margins in swing states like Ohio and Florida, and giving him over 50% nationally. Yet other polls indicate his approval rating in those states is about 44-45%. How is this possible? By sampling Democrats at a rate even higher than the margins in the 2008 election. That makes absolutely no sense. Pardon me if I’m getting the impression the electorate is being manipulated into thinking this is a done deal.

Then there’s the odd spectacle of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, on the Senate floor, accusing Romney of not paying taxes for ten years. He cites an anonymous source—but a credible one, of course. Again, pardon me if I believe we are being manipulated from on high:

It doesn’t help when the media plays along with the manipulation. No one among mainstream news reporters is challenging Reid’s unsubstantiated claims. They are allowing him to run rampant with innuendo. Is there anyone out there who seriously thinks a Republican could survive the scrutiny that bogus attacks like these would inspire? How can Reid possibly believe he can get away with this? Well, he knows he has the media on his side, and his desire to win trumps all ethics. Is he being malevolent or is he just plain foolish? Are these two options really mutually exclusive? What would it look like if we used Reid’s tactics against him?

Another interesting development—one that few saw coming—is that Romney and Republicans in general are doing better at fundraising than Obama and his fellow Democrats. The Obama campaign could be in trouble soon because it is spending its money faster than it’s taking it in. If that sounds like something you’ve been hearing for the past four years, there’s a good reason for it:

He may have to pull out all the stops to get more cash. What can a president do in a situation like this? Well, he can continue what he has done his entire term, and at which he has become an expert:

But it may not be money that determines this election. Could it be that deeply held beliefs may be the key? Wouldn’t that be nice?

Responsible Spender?

In the past week, President Obama, on the campaign trail, has tried to convince his audiences—and us as well—that he has been the most responsible spender in recent presidential history. He used as his proof an article written by someone who drew all his information from a presentation by Nancy Pelosi. Now there’s a solid source. In order to believe this spin, one has to place all 2009 spending on former President Bush. How can anyone do that? Well, since 2009 spending started under a Bush budget that began in 2008, surely it all belongs to him, right? Not when you actually look at the facts, which somehow elude our current leader. Bush never signed that budget: Obama did later. The faulty analysis also throws the stimulus bill onto Bush, even though it was an Obama enterprise from the start.

Don’t believe everything you hear from this president. In fact, don’t believe most of what you hear, especially now that the campaign is in full throttle. Let me be very clear [as Obama often says]: Obama and the Congress have added more than $5 trillion to the budget in less than four years. Bush added $4 trillion in eight years. As unadmirable as Bush’s record may be, it is the epitome of fiscal control when compared to Obama’s.

Every time Obama has sent his version of a budget to the Congress, it has been rejected unanimously—in other words, by both Republicans and Democrats:

Of course, one of the reasons the Democrat leadership has rejected Obama budgets is that it hasn’t been stellar at even considering budgets. The Senate, under Harry Reid’s leadership [?], hasn’t put forward a budget for a vote in over three years, despite a law requiring it.

So much for the concept of the rule of law.

How bad is the current fiscal situation? Here’s one way of understanding it that may bring it closer to home:

Yet what we are told about the deficit doesn’t take into account a deficit that is officially off-budget. We try to pretend it isn’t there, but it’s the biggest fiscal headache of all:

Unless something is done to deal with the root of the problem, we will become a financial basket-case. But every time someone—usually Republican—attempts to offer a plan to deal with it, Republicans are accused of wanting to throw granny off a cliff. That type of political demagoguery is not new, but at the critical juncture at which we now stand, it is particularly irresponsible.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for some time, you know Mitt Romney was not my preferred candidate, but I now have to hope, work, and pray for his election, if for no other reason than to remove the White House’s current temporary occupant. These last four years have been a disaster in more ways than I can take the time to enumerate today. Maybe someone who understands better how economics works can make a difference.

Bad Economic Indicators

A summer after the administration-announced “Recovery Summer,” we still haven’t recovered. There are a lot of bad economic indicators, but some stand out more starkly than others:

Yet the president never once acknowledges the role his policies have played in this downturn. Instead, he continues to find other people to blame:

There’s even murmuring within Obama’s own party. One Democrat, though, in particular, has reason to be happy with how things are going:

Watching the president and his apologists, one gets the uneasy feeling they are out of their depth—that they just don’t comprehend the dire straits we’re in or what needs to be done. It kind of reminds me of this:

I know I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating: we need a drastic change in leadership. That’s the only change that will bring genuine hope.

Cut, Cap, and Balance Was the Right Move

The Republican-led House of Representatives has passed a bill called “Cut, Cap, and Balance.” It calls for cutting spending back to 2008 levels, capping spending to a certain percentage of the GDP, and raising the debt ceiling only if both Houses of Congress send a balanced budget amendment to the states for ratification. Political commentators are calling it dead from the start.

I agree, to a point. Will it pass the Senate? It might have a small chance [some Democrats might actually be afraid of losing theirs seats if they don’t sign on to it], but the real issue is whether Majority Leader Reid will even allow it to come to a vote. Even if it did pass the Senate, it would face a certain veto from President Obama. That’s why the political class is saying this was merely symbolic and a waste of time. That’s the part with which I disagree.

It’s important for the Republicans to stake out their position. The people of this country need to know what they stand for. They also need to know if they will abide by the promises they made in the last election. Since Republicans control only half of the Congress and have to deal with a president hostile to their efforts, there is little hope they will achieve this time what they seek, but this is all groundwork for the 2012 election. It shows, first of all, that they are serious about changing the direction of the country economically. Second, it can serve as a rallying point for the message that the Senate and the presidency must be in their hands if anything is going to be accomplished.

Therefore, I endorse what they have done. Sometimes in losing, you win.

If the voters can ever remove the blinders from their eyes, they will see what Obama’s economic policies are actually doing and how pitiful and insincere his “solutions” are:

There’s some concern on the Right about the provision for a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget—that it might hamstring the government or that it will be ineffective. Yet already the Democrat response to the call for this amendment is to decry its ability to stop any effort to raise taxes. I will consider seriously any concerns expressed, but I currently believe it’s still the only way to introduce fiscal sanity.

We shouldn’t have to need a constitutional amendment for this, but desperate times call for stronger measures.