Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Funday: Dinner With Friends

As our regular readers know, we usually enjoy using our commentary to celebrate a bit on Fridays. Today is a fantastic day to celebrate, whether your favored candidates and issues won or lost this week, because it's the first Friday after the election!

For those of us involved deeply in politics or political media, this is the first weekend in months (or, for some, years) when we can sleep in, not pick up the newspaper, leave the computers, tv, and phones off, - and not feel guilty or worried about our disconnecting from the world. We're even having a celebratory dinner tonight with other members of our staff - and we're turning off our cell phones for the night.

That moment of disconnection for us won't mean the world will stop. Already, the inauguration for the President is moving forward, and our plans for the new year are moving ahead with it.

President Obama and Congressional Democrats have their weekend schedules full of both domestic and foreign issues, including work on issues surrounding the "fiscal cliff." Congressional Republicans are getting back to work too - or as the rest of the world calls it, "being obstructionists".

Speaker Boehner is already claiming he's willing to be bipartisan about the fiscal cliff, but his partner in the House Republican leadership, Rep. Eric Cantor, is already threatening to hold the debt ceiling negotiations hostage in January - as Republicans did in the Summer of 2011.

To that kind of conduct, we simply say to Congressional Republicans, "Shut up and eat your peas."

That's the same message, by the way, that the President gave to Congressional Republicans during that summer of 2011, when Mr. Obama first offered the 'Grand Bargain' to Speaker Boehner on the debt ceiling. In case you've forgotten, the 'Grand Bargain' was an agreement that would have allowed for an increase in taxes - especially on the rich and corporations - while still forcing some sharp cuts to government programs.

As the CBO confirmed this week, a tax hike on the wealthy might actually be a positive sign, and it certainly won't kill America's slow but steady economic growth. In fact, if letting taxes on the rich go back up, as they are scheduled to do when the Bush tax cuts end, allows a compromise to be made in Congress, having the wealthy pick up their fiscal responsibility may actually prevent the economy from going over the so-called "fiscal cliff"

It was a lot easier for Republicans to get out of their responsibility to move the nation forward over the last two years when they held many of the political cards. Now, with the sweeping wins by progressive Democrats this week, and with the re-election of President Obama, it's the President and the political left that holds all the cards - and they will likely make those on the right "eat their peas" and take responsibility. That would be much like President Obama and Congressional Democrats did with ObamaCare during his first two years in office.

As we pointed out yesterday, thanks to this week's elections, there are a slew of moderate Republicans who finally seem to no longer to be afraid of stepping up and speaking out, now that so many Republican extremists have been defeated.

We know of more than a few locations this evening where some Republicans who've been afraid to be seen with their Democratic friends over the past few years will be getting together for the first time in a very long while, for dinner, drinks - and maybe even planning some real compromise.

If that's not a reason to celebrate, we don't know what is.

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