Morning Briefing for December 23, 2009

RedState Morning Briefing
For December 23, 2009

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1. Mitch McConnell Surrenders

An ice storm is coming. Some of the Republicans don’t want to get stuck in D.C. for Christmas fighting for freedom.So Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid have agreed not just to vote on the health care package on Thursday morning, but also to lift the debt ceiling.Then they’ll fly home. All before the sun even makes it to its peak position in the Christmas Eve sky.Yes, the GOP got the Democrats to go to Christmas Eve. But only for show and face saving.The GOP will vote against the health care package having not run out the clock, and then they’ll help the Democrats raise the debt ceiling.As Roll Call puts it, “Under the agreement between Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), votes on final passage of the health care bill and a two-month extension to the debt limit sometime before early afternoon on Christmas Eve.”Two blows for freedom with Mitch McConnell’s cooperation.Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. Final Thoughts on the Senate GOP ‘Messaging’ Strategy

The Senate Republican Leadership under Mitch McConnell and Lamar Alexander told us to trust them.They were going to offer a series of “messaging amendments” to point out all the flaws in the health care legislation. The rest of us said no — force a vote on the legislation while the Dems did not have 60 votes.They ignored us.Then we said drag out the legislation as long as possible. They ignored us until votes were scheduled, making the dragging out impossible. When the scheduled time for the votes came, it did not matter if the bill was being read, the votes would happen.Along the way, McConnell and Alexander pooh-poohed anyone who suggested the messaging strategy was doomed to failure.There were 501 amendments offered.Mitch McConnell offered only one.Lamar Alexander? He did not offer a single one.So intent on avoiding being labeled by their friends in the press and on the aisle opposite as “the Party of No,” they rolled over and became the “Party of No Problem.”Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. Jim DeMint to Force a Vote on Constitutionality of the Individual Mandate

Awesome news.The Senate Republicans failed to ever make a fuss about the individual mandate. If I had to guess, it would be because Bob Bennett of Utah, who whispers in Mitch McConnell’s ear more than any other Senator, is a huge proponent of the individual mandate and, as luck would have it, is about to get a Democratic health care bill that looks almost identical to his own Wyden-Bennett compromise plan. As an added bonus, he can vote against it and still see it pass.Nonetheless, there are serious issues about the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The federal constitution sets forth the limited powers of the federal government and not one of those powers seems to suggest that the Congress of the United States can compel the citizens of the nation to buy certain products.Jim DeMint and John Ensign are going to force a vote on the issue. Democrats will be forced to take a position on whether or not the federal government can force individuals to buy products on pain of criminal penalty.Please click here for the rest of the post.

4. 3Q GDP increase decreased again.

Remember that 3.5% growth in Q3? You know, the one that supposedly represented us bouncing back, and not in a dead-cat sort of way?Yeah. Not precisely.Please click here for the rest of the post.

5. Making the Death Panels Permanent

What exactly is Harry Reid trying to prevent future Senates from repealing? Bureaucratic regulations enacted by the Death Panels. So, for example, though the Death Panels are prohibited by statute from passing “rationing” regulations, under the definitions, the panels can pass regulations setting priorities for treatment. So, they can say a 40 year old must get treatment for the same condition suffered by a 70 year old before the 70 year old can get treatment, thereby letting the 70 year old whither and die waiting for their turn.And Harry Reid intends for the Senate, in perpetuity, to be prohibited from every changing that regulation without a super-majority of the Senate agreeing to ignore that prohibition.Lastly, why in God’s name would the Senate Majority Leader want to make the Death Panel regulations the only thing in the Obamacare legislation that is not subject to amendment, repeal, or change by the United States Senate?!Please click here for the rest of the post.

6. A Tale of Hope, Change, Deep Pockets and Open Hands

Elected on a pledge to deny Beltway lobbyists the undue influence they have previously been afforded, President Barack Obama’s inaugural year in office is on pace to be the most lucrative yet for influential K Street lobbyists.According to figures collected by Politico, Washington’s influence peddlers will likely shatter last year’s record of $3.3 billion spent on lobbying Congress and the White House.President Obama’s record is one of soaring rhetoric but compromised values. When push comes to shove, shove had better be prepared to contribute significant sums of money.Please click here for the rest of the post.

7. Nikki Haley Rising

A new poll from South Carolina shows State Representative Nikki Haley has moved into third place (PDF) ahead of Congressman Gresham Barrett.Attorney General Henry McMaster and Lt. Governor Andrew Bauer are tied at 22% with Haley moving up to 13%.This is really good news for Haley. She’s moved up in the polling and is now ahead of an otherwise popular sitting Congressman. Significantly, Nikki Haley is in second place with voters aged 45-64 and tied with McMaster in second place for voters aged 30-44.Please click here for the rest of the post.

8. Huge Blow to Charlie Crist Today

When Charlie Crist is losing even the establishment he is in serious trouble.Congressmen Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart have withdrawn their endorsements of Charlie Crist.Please click here for the rest of the post.

9. What does it mean to be a Republican?

First, let’s get this out of the way. The news today of Parker Griffith becoming a Republican is a huge blow for Nancy Pelosi and one that her own party is, tonight, blaming her for. It is an embarrassment to President Obama who, like Bill Clinton, is seeing conservative and independent minded people fleeing him as fast as possible.But, on our side of the aisle, we need to ask, given that all Parker Griffith did was change the letter next to his name from a “D” to an “R”, what exactly does it mean to be a Republican?The GOP embraced him with open arms as one of us today. Should they have done so?Please click here for the rest of the post.

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