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Thursday, January 10, 2013

It doesn’t have to be a one-way street

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Just as soon as soon as the rumor hit the airways that Jack Lew, Obama's chief of staff for the past year and budget director before that, will be nominated for treasury secretary, the Republicans charged that he was too liberal.  The Republicans think that the Senate's role of “ advise and consent” means they get to pick the nominee.  What does too liberal mean? Jack Lew was Bill Clinton's budget director when the president, and the Republican Congress balanced the last three budgets. John Boehner’s staff said that Jack Lew was relentless and condescending and wouldn't give an inch on entitlements, but the truth is that they were over matched by Jack Lew. Mr. Lew was not just going to give away the farm (entitlements) without a fight.  It's the  negotiating skills of  Jack Lew that they don’t like. Remember how the media made Vice President Joe Biden and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell  the heroes of the fiscal cliff deal. Joe Biden only got his marching orders after the White House was assured that Nancy Pelosi could get her Democrats to vote yes,Harry Reid do the same in the senate. After that every proposal Joe Biden made had to have  stamp of approval from Jack Lew.

It’s not just the just the conservatives who were smitten by the president's first five cabinet choices; the liberals were equally angry because his small group of confidants are all white men except for Valarie Jarrett. The president’s first-term  picks were pretty diverse, and he's not through choosing his cabinet.  Sometimes the person that you put in as an assistant will give them the necessary experience to be a future leader.

The gun-control  issue is heating up again, especially after Joe Biden unannounced that the president might use his executive authority to strengthen some gun laws that are on the books.  Matt Drudge immediately posted images of Adolf Hitler and Joe Stalin to equate executive orders with gun confiscation.  That's where we are; the extremists are trying to take over the issue. A local man, Jason Hoover, is making it “ either you're with me or against me” issue and our local Academy needs to get with the program and start displaying the guns in question, even if if they don’t have any.  I like that the  administration will forgo any comprehensive legislation and instead do it by piecemeal.  For example, a bill to ban high-capacity  ammo clips might be hard to vote against. 

It doesn't have to be a one- way street, but sometimes you have to use those tactics to show your opponent what it feels like. The freshman Tea Party legislators remind me of trying to get a Brahman bull to do something he doesn’t want to do. I  am not a rancher but as a young Highway Dept. employee I had the pleasure of riding with a part-time rancher. One day as we patrolling the highways, the old timer pulled over to watch some ranch hands as they were penning some cattle. I thought that was going to be boring, but he pointed out the bull, who was a long way from the pen, and assured me that was when the fun was going to start. I saw the ranch hand use the cattle prod on him making him move a little, and once they got him close to the pen one of the hands busted a two by four over his head, which got the bull’s attention and they were able to persuade him enough to get him inside the pen. It was still a struggle inside the pen, but they accomplished their mission.

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