Framing The Issue
If Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, were a General, he would not be the one I would bet upon to win any big battles. In the simplest of terms, McConnell does not seem to know where the high ground lies. Instead, he seems content to rush down any hill into dead end canyons.
On Sunday’s talk shows, McConnell said (1) if no deficit reduction progress, no debt limit extension, (2) spending was the problem in Washington so there would be no more tax increases, only spending cuts, and (3) guns were not a priority and would only be discussed after the deficit issues were resolved. These points had to have been in his prepared notes. So what was he thinking?
There is no political merit in raising taxes for either party. So why draw the line? Cutting entitlements sufficiently to make a dent in the deficit is going to be an explosive issue. Seniors and the advocates for the poor and needy will be marching and filling the streets around the Capital so nothing moves. And why do Republicans want to be seen as unreasonable on the gun issue before they have even heard the President’s proposal?
Generals win wars by picking where and when to fight. Poor choices usual end up with dead Generals and losing Armies. Are the Republicans and Senator McConnell heading the same way?
The deficit problem is mainly a “healthcare” issue. More directly stated, how does the country provide basic healthcare with dignity to an aging or poor population in an affordable manner? Do Republicans want to be the party who does not care about the elderly or the poor?
The tax issue is relevant mainly in how the healthcare issue is attacked. While some modifications to Medicare and Medicaid might be possible, these changes are unlikely to be sufficient to make much of a dent in the deficit. If for political reasons mouse bite reductions are Congress’ solution, then there will need to be additional revenue generated. It is simply math. But why fight the tax battle until the GOP can also say, see Democrats are not serious about cutting spending so why should we simply throw more tax dollars at the deficit?
The gun issue is again similar. Congress must be able to deal with more than one issue at a time. McConnell’s message was clear. In 3 months most Americans will have forgotten about Sandy Hook Elementary and it will be much easier to talk this issue to death and no action. Hmmm.
These issues are all about framing. The deficit issue is mainly a cost of healthcare issue. The tax issue is one of tax code reform. And, the gun issue is one of which arms are sensible for the greater population in the 21st century (the answer is not zero).
Senator McConnell is getting an extension on his command largely because General Obama and other Democratic Generals are not framing the issues either.
I wonder why? I wonder whether there is more money in it the way both parties are behaving? If this is about campaign and special interest money, then it would look to me the Democrats are playing things wiser but equally as detestable.