In his latest column Hugh Hewitt rolls out argument after argument about why the GOP was forced to go along to get along on the fiscal cliff “deal” that no one likes. First, Boehner thought he could trust the president to be forthright:
The Speaker always seemed to assume the president was negotiating in good faith, even as the campaign events continued, and even as he was pummeled day and night by the president and his surrogates in the MSM.
Second, the GOP tried to do a backroom deal and it failed:
The collapse of the Speaker’s and the GOP’s ability to make an argument was complete when the silly “Plan B” stunt unfolded and then crashed and burned in front of the country last week.
And that was exacerbated by the internet, with which the GOP is unfamiliar:
This is not an era of stunts, but because of new media, a time for serious argument instead. The GOP has not yet recognized the old era of secret deal-making is over and a new era of public argument begun. It is not very good at the latter, being about a light year behind when it comes to the mechanics of being heard in the new millennium.
So, in order to preserve anything resembling the Republican party – to keep Obama from moving it from obscurity to oblivion – the GOP had to go along:
The GOP couldn’t beat him, so it must join him in his tactical approach to issues.
What’s the answer? Hewitt thinks the GOP has to ramp up, somehow, its concerns about spending. And it must put forth “sensible” and “reasonable” solutions. The only problem is that Republicans like spending other people’s money. It’s only the other guys’ spending they don’t like. It’s not the spending, Mr. Hewitt, it’s what the money we don’t have is being spent on.
Hewitt thinks the entitlement programs can be reformed and made “sustainable”:
Social Security needs a new retirement age. Medicare needs a new eligibility age. Medicaid needs a cap. They all need reform to their cost-of-living escalators.
And don’t you dare touch military spending, either:
The case for protecting the Department of Defense must be made.
The problem is not the Department of Defense budget. We have cut, and more savings can be achieved. But our security and our prosperity depends upon our military strength and we must continue to spend close to 4% of our nation’s wealth on protecting the nation.
Hewitt’s in the tank for the respectable Republicans and their agenda. Nothing of any value here, just move along.