Reliable coverage of Operation American Spring has been hard to find, maybe because major media outlets are colluding to cover up a popular movement that threatens to restore constitutional government, and maybe because hardly anyone showed up. Although organizers predicted a turnout between 10 and 30 million, only a few hundred people attended—and that number comes from OAS itself. According to this mean-spirited photo essay by Carl Woodward—in which he congratulates himself on foreseeing “weeks ago” that their plan wouldn’t work—OAS attendees were so few as to be indistinguishable among the families there for a GW commencement.
The Montana Department of Revenue has threatened to fine Ravalli County $37,000 if it does not file delinquent property tax reports soon. The good news is that the interim heads of the county treasury, Clerk and Recorder Regina Plettenberg and the pleasingly-named deputy Dan Whitesitt, found $800,000 worth of undeposited checks dating back to November. Valerie Stamey, the treasurer who claimed to have uncovered a criminal conspiracy among county commissioners when they accused her of doing nothing since she was appointed, turns out to have done pretty much nothing since she was appointed.
In last night’s State of the Union Address, President Obama offered a modest agenda that he proposed to enact “with or without Congress”—mostly through executive orders. For those of us who voted for him in 2008, it was a call to ambivalence. It would be nice to see the President do things like raise the minimum wage for federal contractors or curb carbon emissions, and Congress has certainly made Washington less effective by its recalcitrant opposition. But if an adversarial relationship with Congress is the problem, enacting minor policies by presidential fiat will only exacerbate it. And at this moment in our federal government, do we want to give more power to the executive branch?
In the aftermath of this month’s federal government shutdown, a Washington Post-ABC poll has found that approval ratings of the Republican Party have fallen to an all-time low. Sixty-two percent of Americans say they hold an unfavorable view of the GOP, with 40% describing their views as “strongly unfavorable.” Eight in ten disapprove of the shutdown. Tea Party-identified voters overwhelmingly blame Obama for the shutdown, but mainline Republicans blame their own party almost as often as they blame the president. It’s starting to look like the promise of future budget negotiations wasn’t worth it.
We’re in week two of the federal shutdown—which Fox News has taken to calling the slimdown—and default is eight days away. It’s safe to say that some Congressional Republicans are regretting their decision to tie a continuing resolution to defunding Obamacare. That plan didn’t work, in part because it somehow did not include an endgame in which the president called their bluff. An intellectually honest delegation might have admitted defeat and moved forward, but the Republican Party has not. Erick Erickson believes the GOP is winning, for maybe the stupidest reason imaginable. And a growing number of conservative Republicans are telling themselves and the press that—contrary to economists, financiers and the American business community—breaching the debt limit wouldn’t be so bad.