Am I Seeing a Pattern Here?

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Were you thrilled by the Congressional debates over flag-burning and gay marriage? You're going to love the next four months in the House of Representatives.

House Republicans intend to hold votes this summer and fall touching on abortion, guns, religion and other priority issues for social conservatives, part of an attempt to improve the party's prospects in the midterm elections.

The "American Values Agenda" also includes a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage—which already has failed in the Senate—a prohibition on human cloning and possibly votes on several popular tax cuts.

And they're getting an early start on the Contract With Kicking Democrats in the Crotch.

House Republican leaders are expected to introduce a resolution today condemning The New York Times for publishing a story last week that exposed government monitoring of banking records.

The resolution is expected to condemn the leak and publication of classified documents, said one Republican aide with knowledge of the impending legislation.

When you consider the bills Congress could be passing, maybe it's not all bad that it's going to run out the clock with a bunch of meaningless bilge. But it's not going to protect the GOP majority.

NEXT: The Few, the Proud, the Suspicious-Looking

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  1. guns

    Good. Repeal the ’86 machine gun ban and I might even vote for a Republican again.

  2. Democrats maneuvered successfully last week for a Senate vote on raising the minimum wage. Sen. Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record) of Nevada, the party’s leader, said Tuesday they would “do everything within our power to stop a congressional pay raise from going through this year, and we’re going to tie it to minimum wage.”

    At least the Democrats are trying to do things that are actually good for America.

    Perhaps the idiots on both sides of the aisle could just start their vacations early. Go campaign, for Christ’s sake, and quit ruining this country.

  3. “At least the Democrats are trying to do things that are actually good for America.”

    LOL!

    Anyway, I’m all about guns and tax cuts, but what’s all that other crap?? Ugh! Enough already, can we just be left alone??

  4. Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!

  5. I don’t think this shtick is about rallying their base, so much as saving it.

    Bush has seriously screwed the pooch on Iraq, and there are many millions of flag-waving, Jesus-fish-on-the-Impala, former enthusiastic war supporters who are quite fed up.

  6. Joe,

    I think you’re correct. (wince)It seems a bit like a desperate “OK, now what? I know, throw every idea we got into the pot! It should make someone happy!”

    Of course, it will do the exact opposite.

  7. I don’t see what good tax cuts would do without a balanced budget amendment. Starving the Beast is a lie, so lower taxes wouldn’t decrease spending. Unless you plan on dying in the near term or don’t care about future generations, then cutting taxes isn’t a tax cut, but just shifting the bill to the future. Lower taxes wouldn’t even help the economy at all if there is still high spending due to higher interest rates from the US government eating up so much money as debt that could fund something productive.

  8. And I know its about the base and not sane policy, but I am gay.

  9. “House Republicans intend to hold votes this summer and fall touching on abortion, guns, religion and other priority issues for social conservatives, part of an attempt to improve the party’s prospects in the midterm elections.”

    When do we get our new, improved, Alien and Sedition Acts?

  10. are guns really a “social conservative” issue?

    i thought they were a CIVIL RIGHTS issue

    my bad

  11. Why didn’t you just go with “a double plus good Mom and Apple Pie issue,” whit?

    Don’t let who you’re in bed with?

  12. “Anyway, I’m all about guns and tax cuts, but what’s all that other crap??”

    Let’s see…the “guns” thing will be some meaningless tweak on the existing regime of stupid laws, like, oh, the waiting period goes form 2 weeks to 10 days.

    yay.

    The “taxcuts” will be targeted taxcuts. In other words, manipulation of wealth—which is really what taxes are about. Manupilation of the populace through wealth redistribution. So cut them all you want, but, as Herrick notes, it’s not going to matter a bit.

    The rest are obvious shite.

  13. http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1130

    They are a civil rights issue Whit. Read the above article. Those enlightened Europeans are free to be terrorized by youth thugs and have no way to defend themselves.

  14. are guns really a “social conservative” issue?

    Only if you can genetically engineer a fetus so it’s packing heat in the womb, which would certainly make any abortionist think twice.

  15. Wishful thinking from the left aside, if you take an objective look at the polling numbers this ain’t the converse of ’94- polls show a general anti-incumbent mood, and both parties in Congress have relatively high negatives. If people stay home in November expect much of the same (especially in the Senate), but if the turnout is high there’s no telling. Needless to say, this spectacle does leave the impression of pathetic desperation. Offshore tax havens are looking more and more appealing these days.

  16. Nah, you need guns to keep the social conservatives away. I dunno where you live but it’s not going to be lesbian flag burning militant vegans kicking down my door.

  17. “Good. Repeal the ’86 machine gun ban and I might even vote for a Republican again.”

    I’d prefer that they simply repeal the 1968 Gun Control Act and remove sound suppressors from being regulated as NFA devices.

    But hey, while I’m at it, I guess I should wish for a pony, too.

    I’ve had it with the Republicans. At least the Democrats have the decency to stab you in the front.

  18. what’s this “in bed with” crap

    guilt by association. classic dumb rhetorical ploy.

    i don’t care if i’m in accord with any particularly distasteful group on any particular issue

    the issue is the issue. gun rights are a civil rights issue. whatever other people want ot jump on board (KKK, illuminati, liberals, fascists, imperialists, trotskyites, birchers, anarchists, moonies, etc.) is irrelevant to the merit of the issue

  19. I’d prefer that they simply repeal the 1968 Gun Control Act and remove sound suppressors from being regulated as NFA devices.

    That’s true. I’ve been wanting to get a Boys anti-tank rifle without having to go through all the Class 3 bullshit. Oh well, I’ll console myself with a Garand and a 1903.

    I’ve had it with the Republicans. At least the Democrats have the decency to stab you in the front.

    Absolutely. I think the correct response is to give up on politics entirely. You know those bumper stickers that say, “If you’re not angry, then you’re not paying attention”? Well, I’m not very angry anymore. And I feel much better.

  20. If someone campaigned in your district on a platform of voting on each bill by flipping a coin and voting yes if heads and no if tails, would you vote for him or her?

  21. Herrick:

    Only if he was also spectacularly, Hunter S. Thompson-esque insane. Now, if he promised to vote no 100% of the time, then I would commmit massive vote fraud to elect him dictator of the universe.

    My non sequitir: I think I have a freckle on the palm of my hand. This baffles me.

  22. Mr. Balls, I know I’m going to get trampled for this, but you said:

    Unless you plan on dying in the near term or don’t care about future generations, then cutting taxes isn’t a tax cut, but just shifting the bill to the future.

    I disagree with you a bit. There are situations when a tax cut will actually increase revenue to the treasury. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve

    Now, let the beat down begin.

  23. the other Mark, I’m no doctor, but I’ve heard that’s a side effect of onanism.

  24. I dunno where you live but it’s not going to be lesbian flag burning militant vegans kicking down my door.

    You’ve obviously never lived in Madison, Wisconisn.

  25. I’m all for gun rights, but I must admit it’s pretty hard for me to get exercised about restrictions on machine guns and silencers. Beyond a slippery slope argument which I don’t buy, who cares?

  26. militant vegans don’t scare me. they are too weak from lack of protein to do any harm.

  27. “if you take an objective look at the polling numbers this ain’t the converse of ’94”

    Absolutely right. Converse means “opposite,” and this – “polls show a general anti-incumbent mood, and both parties in Congress have relatively high negatives” is not the opposite of 1994, but a repetition of what the polls were showing in 1994.

  28. Brian24,

    Well, I care. What if I want one? I’ve done nothing criminal. Why do you have a say in what I want? Suppose I hate Sargent’s paintings, aside from a slippery slope, why not outlaw them? No one needs them for anything, people just want them.

    “Oh, but the guns are deadly”, as are many things that are legal.

  29. Guns are so sweet. We don’t have them in the UK – we can only kill one another with knives and our bare knuckles.

    Question: In America, can you buy the smart guns that Vasquez has in Aliens?

  30. “Oh, but the guns are deadly”, as are many things that are legal.

    Good point Kohlrabi. I’d like to know how many people have died at the hands of people who have watched Chuck Norris videos in the past 24 hours.

    But I don’t hear anyone saying ‘Ban the Chuck!’.

    Bloody liberals.

  31. I’d like to know how many people have died at the hands of people who have watched Chuck Norris videos in the past 24 hours.

    When you say “Chuck Norris” in the same sentence as “24 hours”, you’re just begging for some random facts about Jack Bauer.

    Did you know that when Jack Bauer is shot the bullet bleeds?

  32. Mark VIII,

    No one will ever say ‘Ban Chuck” because it will signal the end of the world, that is, when Chuck Norris gives Chthulu a roundhouse kick to the face.

  33. “I must admit it’s pretty hard for me to get exercised about restrictions on machine guns and silencers. “

    Here’s my problem with the over-regulation of sound suppressors, aka mufflers.

    Mufflers are a standard bit of gear on nearly every machine that uses internal combustion. Cars. Lawn Mowers. Diesel Generators.

    But put a muffler on a gun, and all of a sudden it’s evil?

    In many European nations, one can buy a suppressor cash ‘n’ carry. It is considered to be good manners to hunt with a suppressed rifle so as not to bother the neighbors, a practice that I’m sure mitigates much animosity.

    Meanwhile, in the United States, the record pace of suburbanization means that many shooting ranges that have existed for decades are being squeezed out by people who complain of the noise. Those who wish to patronize a shooting range are essentially prohibited from undertaking any action to reduce the sound signature of their firearms.

    Then, of course, there are the public health benefits. While ear plugs and muffs are the traditional way of protecting one’s hearing, it makes no sense that another method should be federally regulated to the point of near-prohibition. As I understand it, hunters generally do not use hearing protection as it would hamper one’s ability to stalk game. Should they really be forced to endure hearing loss? Should the rest of us have to foot the bill for their hearing aids?

    Of course, traditionally, suppressors are portrayed by Hollywood as something that only criminals would use, but let’s be honest: how many criminals are going to go through the non-trivial process of buying a firearm, sending it to a gunsmith to have the firearm prepped to accept a suppressor, and then order a suppressor, only to end up with a pistol that is now twice as long, and exceedingly difficult to carry in any sort of discreet manner.

    Ultimately, the regulation of mufflers as NFA devices is completely asinine. A relic of a bygone era when they weren’t even aware of the fact that repeated exposure to loud noises caused hearing damage. There is no compelling reason why mufflers should be any more heavily regulated than, say, handguns.

  34. Mark VIII,

    No one will ever say ‘Ban Chuck” because it will signal the end of the world, that is, when Chuck Norris gives Chthulu a roundhouse kick to the face.

  35. Holy crap could you imagine a fight between Jack Bauer and Chuck Norris? Jesus, I’m sweating just thinking about it. If I was a screenwriter it would read as follows:

    Bauer: You tried to kill the president. I’m taking you down.

    Norris: I’ve tried to kill a lof of presidents. What’s it to you bub?

    Bauer: It’s my job.

    Norris: Well it’s your job to die now Bauer!

    And then, just as they’re about to go at it, smoke comes out from under the door in the room and a blazing light shines through!

    Bauer and Norris: Holy crap! What’s that!!!

    The door gets knocked down and there is JEAN CLAUDE VAN DAMME IN A SPANDEX KFC OUTFIT!!!!!

    Van Damme: Any of you losers order Belgian chicken?

    Then they would fight. Hard.

    Shit. I should totally move to Hollywood.

  36. Mark 8-

    Jerry Bruckheimer is no doubt interested.

    Jack Bauer once blew up his own building just to stop some terrorists.

    Face it, Chuck Norris doesn’t stand a chance against Jack Bauer.

  37. “Question: In America, can you buy the smart guns that Vasquez has in Aliens?”

    Screw that- I want one of those weapons with the “memory” button that Zorg makes. They’re pretty quiet, except for the exlosive projectiles.

    —–

    In other news, George W Peron is taking his prom date, Koizumi-san, to Graceland. No word on whether Rush Limbaugh will appear in a re-enactment of the demise of The King.

    Deep- fried fluffernutters are on the luncheon menu.

  38. Converse means “opposite,” and this…is not the opposite of 1994, but a repetition of what the polls were showing in 1994.

    converse: something reversed in order, relation, or action

    Yes joe, I meant to say converse, as in “Democrats are primed for a major Congressional takeover in the same way that Republicans were in 94.” The polls are actually different from 94, in that you didn’t have as high numbers for anti-incumbency and high negatives for the minority party. See yesterday’s Cook report .

    Not to mention signs that the Republicans numbers have already bottomed out and are slowly increasing. A bit premature for the Kossacks to break out the champagne, and let’s throw in the old cliche about 4 months being a lifetime in election campaigns for good measure.

  39. Mark VIII –

    That name sounds like royalty. Are you royalty? Do you suck dicks? Bullshit, I bet you could suck a golf ball through a garden hose.

  40. Chuck Norris knows how to fix a Slinky when it gets all twisted around in the middle.

    “Not to mention signs that the Republicans numbers have already bottomed out and are slowly increasing.”

    You’ve totally got my vote for the “When Life Gives you Lemons…” Award.

  41. oops, mistatement there, I meant to say anti-incumbency numbers while high were higher in 94 in that last post. In any case anti-incumbency is a highly unpredictable variable.

  42. joe, my personal fortune is definitely not hitched to the Republicans, I’m just watching the tracking analysis, and it looks like they’ve gotten a bounce. The national mood seems to be that both parties suck, which is pretty much my position as well. Though if I had my way, the Libertarians would replace the Democrats in a critical realignment.

  43. They got a bounce because they killed a guy in Iraq. I don’t see that bounce lasting more than a few weeks.

  44. Just out of curiosity, are John or whit in favor of either an amendment to ban gay marriage or flag burning?

  45. Syd,

    I thought you were thinking along a different timeframe.

    Yes, there has been a bit of a bounce lately. It’s still pretty bleak for the GOP, though I suppose a number of such bounces could add up. There is indeed plenty of time.

  46. Mediageek-

    You make an excellent case for suppressors. I’d sure like to try shooting with one.

    And I know that this shouldn’t matter, but it does: think they look cool.

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