Our View: ‘Game-changer’?
Posted: December 4, 2012
If we didn’t know Pat Caddell’s back story, we’d swear he was a Republican operative. But this lifelong Democrat, an architect of Jimmy Carter’s rise to the presidency, is his party’s estranged and increasingly grouchy uncle, ever quick to point out what’s wrong with the family business and even, on occasion, consort with the opposition.
Mr. Caddell was at it again Monday, advising Republicans of a missed opportunity in the “fiscal cliff” talks. The GOP, he wrote in a rambling essay for Brieitbart.com, is in desperate need of a “game-changer. And, seemingly unbeknownst to its members, they have one, if only they will use it. To wit:
“If [President] Obama is seen as a fellow who wants to move the economy to a better place by raising taxes on the Koch Brothers, he will win. But if [he] is seen as an arrogant and unconstitutional power-grabber, he will lose. By that logic ... Republicans should shift their perceived focus, from defending the low tax rates of billionaires to defending the U.S. Constitution against executive Caesarism.”
Now, we’re not for raising tax rates on anyone at this time, particularly for economicreasons, but Mr. Caddell has a point. On Friday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner actually proposed that Congress cede to the White House all power to raise the debt ceiling. GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell is said to have laughed out loud.
We would have, too. Imagine ceding to any president, but especially this one, “complete dominance” on fiscal issues. Mr. Caddell is right: That is “executive Caesarism.” The GOP should make a bigger issue of it. Anything relative to the constitutionally prescribed “power of the purse” should be a “game-changer” — if only Americans would pay heed.