On the one hand, this is a pretty dour Thanksgiving. Iran has just won an enormous diplomatic victory, which not only sets them on the road to nuclear weapons but makes the fecklessness of the Western powers clear to the world. Harry Reid's decision to destroy the filibuster signals an escalation in the ugliness of American politics. And let's not forget that we're still mired in a recovery that's looking more like the new normal with each passing week. Humbug.
But at least we've got Obamacare! Over the last several years the Republican party has proved inept at making a coherent, sustained argument either for conservative principles or against the perils of modern liberalism. They haven't even been capable of making effective arguments against the single most consequential—and unpopular!—piece of legislation in a generation: Obamacare. I don't want to name names, but the most important Republican figure of the last four years didn't even want to talk about Obamacare during the 2012 election.
Yet now that we actually have Obamacare in action, conservatism is no longer at the mercy of the Republican party. Because Americans now get to see first hand. And the argument makes itself.
This argument isn't just about the duplicity and hubris of Barack Obama. It's not even limited to the competence and trustworthiness of the Democratic party. It's about the civil compact, the nature of government, and the perfectibility of the kingdom of man.
Reagan himself couldn't have made a better case for conservative ideas than Obamacare is making daily. So, just for one day, let's be thankful for it.
Could the focus on Obamacare in the last couple of weeks before Tuesday's Virginia gubernatorial election enable the Republican nominee, Ken Cuccinelli, to come from behind in the homestretch? He's run a pretty awful campaign so far, and has been trailing badly for months, but ...
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is out, today, with her first book. In his Politico Playbook, Mike Allen calls it a "D.C. Must-Read." Which, if true, is the most depressing news to come out of the Imperial City so far this week. But, then, it is only Tuesday.
Louisiana Senate Democrat Mary Landrieu is doubling down on her support for Obamacare. She says, if a vote for Obamacare were held tomorrow, she'd again vote to support the bill.
"No more free riders. Everybody has to share responsibility so we can keep a healthy work force and keep it strong. And I can give you more information about it. If I had to vote for the bill again, I'd vote for it tomorrow. There are a lot of good things about this bill," said Landrieu.
Portland is nothing if not tolerant. The picturesque city in the Pacific Northwest has, in recent years, endured one mayor who admitted to a gay affair with an underage intern, a different mayor who claimed residency in Washington state (where there is no income tax) yet voted in Oregon, not to mention downtown streets choked with aggressive transients. (Oh, and the weather's not great either.) But a new scandal must be trying the patience of even the most forgiving denizens of Portlandia.
In 2005, Harry Reid said, “I would never, ever consider breaking the rules to change the rules. I never suggested that at all. I say to my friend, I want to work something out. I repeat that for probably the fifth time here today, but in the process we cannot give up the basic rights this country and this Senate have had for more than 200 years.”
While traveling to New Jersey today, President Barack Obama stiffed the Democratic opponent of Republican governor Chris Christie. Obama did not meet privately with Barbara Buono, the Democratic candidate. But he did walk along the Jersey Shore boardwalk with Christie.
Democratic senator Joe Manchin calls the IRS's activities "unacceptable and un-American."
"“The actions of the IRS are unacceptable and un-American. Government agencies using their bureaucratic muscle to target Americans for their political beliefs cannot be tolerated. The President must immediately condemn this attack on our values, find those individuals in his Administration who are responsible and fire them," says the West Virginia Democratic senator.
Democratic senator Joe Manchin said he'd "absolutely" bring the gun control measures that failed in the Senate back for another vote:
"This not only protects your Second Amendment rights, it expands your Second Amendment rights," Manchin said, talking up the failed legislation. He said he believes it can pass if people "read the bill."
The 2012 national election continues to be a puzzle. Barack Obama won reelection with a solid 51 percent of the vote, and Democrats picked up 2 Senate seats, expanding their majority to 55-45. Yet the House of Representatives remained in Republican control, 234-201, yielding the divided government we have today.