Earth to liberals: Kiss that paradigm goodbye. From this point on - no, from election day, 2010 on - we will compromise only on the reduction in size and scope of the monstrosity known as the United States government. How and how much is negotiable.
Apparently we have a lot of work to do to get the message through to them:
Thank You, Grover NorquistThe Leftists in this country still don't get it.
Wall Street Journal editorial
So it's all Grover Norquist's fault. Democrats and the media are singing in unison that the reason Congress's antideficit super committee has failed is because of the conservative activist's magical antitax spell over Republicans.
Not to enhance this Beltway fable, but thank you, Mr. Norquist. By reminding Republicans of their antitax promises, he has helped to expose the real reason for the super committee's failure: the two parties disagree profoundly on a vision of government.
Democrats don't believe they need to do more than tinker around the edges of the entitlement state while raising taxes on the rich. Republicans think the growth of government is unsustainable and can't be financed no matter how much taxes are raised.
Sounds like we need an election.
Of course it would have been preferable if the two sides had come together now to cut spending, reform the tax code and remake Medicare. Preferable, but implausible. That would have required President Obama to have shown more respect for the will of the voters when they revoked his credit card by giving Republicans control of the House in 2010. Or for the President to have honored the findings of his own Bowles-Simpson deficit commission by using it as a basis for negotiation. Instead, he ignored them.
The abiding reality of American politics is that substantial change in Washington is impossible without Presidential leadership. And Mr. Obama does not want to lead on reforming entitlements or reducing the deficit. He is making clear he is running for re-election on a platform of consolidating the expansion of government of his first two years and raising taxes to finance it.
Thus it's no surprise that he did more than anyone to poison the well of the super committee with his October remarks promising a veto unless the deal included $1 trillion in tax increases. Mr. Obama knew that Republicans couldn't agree to this a year after winning election on a promise not to raise taxes. But $1 trillion became the marker that Democrats on the super committee insisted was the price of admission for all but token spending cuts. This is after Mr. Obama also insisted that ObamaCare and its tax increases (that start in 2013) couldn't be touched.
In the end Republicans had to choose between a $1 trillion tax hike that would hurt a sputtering economy while splintering the GOP less than a year before a huge election, or let an automatic spending cut of $1.2 trillion over 10 years begin in 2013. The sequester is the better option. [link]
Perhaps they will come November, 2012, when a sledgehammer is taken to the side of their heads.