Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Keep Them Dogies Rollin'

New York judge Gideon Tucker once said "Nobody's life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session." Bearing that in mind, it's useful to remember that for the big ticket issues, it's almost always better to roll the Democrats instead of negotiating with them. That's not a matter of being macho or mulish resistance to compromise. It's just that conservatives can never get half a loaf when both sides emerge from the proverbial smoke-filled room. And wrt the energy "compromise" floating around Capitol Hill, that's the way National Review sees it. To be honest I haven't checked all this out too carefully but I'm inclined to agree with them.

In the smoke-filled room column we have the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, Leave No Child Behind, the infamous 1990 Budget deal (ie, the repudiation of "Read my lips."), and who could forget last year's Comprehensive Immigration bill. In the other column we have the nomination fights over Roberts and Alito, the 1996 Welfare Reform, any of the recent major tax cut bills, and the Iraq War vote for that matter.

The trick is to sharpen the difference between the parties toward maximum clarity for the public at large. In this case is not too difficult. The GOP, if they're smart, ought to be in favor of "all of the above" wrt energy production. As it stands there are lots of statutory barriers to energy production in America, there's no point in adding to them. Anything we can get out of the Democrats now, let's take. Anything we can't get, we'll try for later.

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