Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) waves with her husband Marcus after she addressed a gathering of supporters to formally launch her campaign for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination in her childhood hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, June 27, 2011. Bachmann, a rising star of the conservative Tea Party movement, leaped into the race for the Republican 2012 presidential nomination on Monday and said the country cannot afford four more years of President Barack Obama. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
You know a presidential campaign has a problem when they start declaring the candidate’s spouse to be off limits. Michele Bachmann’s campaign seems to be reeling over the attention her husband Marcus Bachmann is getting for his “pray the gay away” therapy, and Mrs. Bachmann is now saying that the topic of her spouse and their business is off limits.
Speaker of House the John Boehner, R-OH, backed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA (L) and Republican Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, discusses the Republican plan called “Cut, Cap and Balance” to avoid default which would occur if the debt limit ceiling is reached on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 19, 2011. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg
Yesterday we saw a flurry of activity and plenty of consternation as the media and politicians tried to figure out what was going on behind closed doors. TPM has a very helpful account of what happened yesterday, and this passage sticks out:
Democrats favored one proposal: if Congress failed to pass tax reform by date-certain, then the top-bracket Bush tax cuts would expire — a hefty stick that would encourage Republicans to cut a deal. Boehner never agreed to that — and now that the grand bargain has been revived, Democrats are worried that Obama has abandoned that trigger, and perhaps his insistence on a trigger of any kind.
Multiple reports surfaced late Thursday that a trade-off might be in the works: Republicans would agree to the tax trigger if Obama and Dems would agree to nix the health care law’s individual mandate — an unpopular, but crucial component of the reforms Obama signed last year. This is precisely the sort of swap House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has argued for recently.
Referring to negotiations with Democrats, Cantor last week told reporters, “Every time the discussion started about, well, Republicans need to raise taxes, I would proffer back, then you put ObamaCare repeal on the table.”
By multiple accounts, Democrats left Thursday’s White House meeting unhappy.
I like this potential deal for many reasons. First, decoupling the Bush tax cuts so that those for the wealthy would expire is a big deal and would be a huge win for Obama and the Democrats. It would be a serious concession from the GOP, and I have no problem with the idea that this happens in the future if it’s locked in. The statement from Grover Norquist yesterday about the Bush tax cuts is a huge tell that the GOP is seriously considering this.
On the individual mandate, this has been the single most unpopular provision of health care reform. If this could be replaced by some kind of annual open enrollment period with penalties for people who don’t buy insurance so they can’t game the system, then this would be acceptable from a policy point of view. It would also be a significant positive from a political point of view, as it would remove the most controversial issue surrounding health care reform and dilute it as a political issue.
The Democrats were quiet last night, which tells me they aren’t out there trying to kill this potential deal, even if they aren’t thrilled about it. I just saw Claire McCaskill just said on MSNBC that she was open to it. Also, as pointed out in the article, Boehner can’t get behind it until the Cut, Cap and Balance bill gets killed in the Senate, so this won’t move in public until after today’s vote.
I will be stunned if a grand bargain actually happens, but if it does it will be a huge victory for President Obama, John Boehner and the country.
President Barack Obama announces Richard Cordray (not pictured) as his nominee to be the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on July 18, 2011. Obama was joined by Elizabeth Warren (C), Special Advisor on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Elizabeth Warren just declined on MSNBC to rule out a run for the US Senate in Massachusetts against Scott Brown in 2012. She indicated that she’s been working 14-hour days for the past year to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and that’s she’s very much wants to go home to Massachusetts and go on vacation with her grandchildren. Who can blame her.
This will, however, become a huge story if she decides to run. Scott Brown will be tough to beat, but Warren gives the Democrats a chance in a year where they will need pickups to keep control of the Senate. The decision by President Obama to appoint Richard Cordray to head the bureau instead of Warren will disappoint many liberals, but the left will be much better off with Warren as a candidate for Senator as pointed out by Ezra Klein.
One of the themes of the 2012 election will be the interests of corporations and the wealthy versus the interests of ordinary Americans. Obama is itching for this fight, and Warren will be a huge assets who will energize liberals and also appeal to independents.
Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain speaks during the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 17, 2011. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)
Herman Cain has generated some buzz in the Tea Party community, but he’s showing that he’s not ready to mount a serious campaign for the presidency. His latest comments offer a good example:
Herman Cain said Sunday that Americans should be able to ban Muslims from building mosques in their communities.
“Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state,” Cain said in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “Islam combines church and state. They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it.”
Last week, the Republican presidential candidate expressed criticism of a planned mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, telling reporters at a campaign event that “This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Sharia law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that.”
If you’ve graduated from high school, it should be easy for you to recognize the stupidity of these comments given that we have a First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
It’s not uncommon for someone from the business community to generate buzz on the left or the right with common sense criticisms of our government. That’s the easy part. But these businessmen are not disciplined, and many of them are used to being surrounded by people who let them spout off ridiculous statements without any pushback.
So you end up with egomaniacs like Donald Trump spouting off outrageous comments, and then people like Herman Cain who are ignorant about basic policies and constitutional principles.
He might scores some points with the Angry Right, but his candidacy is finished.