Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Have we learned anything?

As Tea Party politicians made a resounding statement last November with nationwide electoral victories, the hope amongst their supporters (myself included) would be to end the myriad of fiscal crises. I will never forget 2004 when the GOP strengthened their majorities in both the US House and Senate, as well as maintaining the White House. Unfortunately, that group of Republicans sent to D.C. back then succeeded only in growing the size of government. At the 2008 GOP Convention, Sen. John McCain fully admitted that his party was "elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us." Hence, the veritable bloodbath suffered by Republicans (and ultimately this country) in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Last week, despite the best efforts of 53 GOP House members refusing to discuss a Continuing Resolution, some weak-kneed Republicans sought House Democrats to help them pass yet another CR in an effort to avoid a Government shutdown. Heck, in my mind, a shutdown would serve to prove the conservative Republicans' sense of urgency in curtailing the out-of-control (and unsustainable) Federal spending. Unfortunately, too many Republicans have it in their head that such a maneuver would torpedo their respective political futures.

Leave it to conservative radio host Jason Lewis to capture the quintessential mindset of an ideal politician (paraphrasing what Lewis said on his Tuesday evening show).

Think about this for just a moment. Let's say you are a politician. All your pollsters say the country's broke but if you propose what you want to propose raising the retirement age, raising the age eligible to collect Social Security, eliminating the Department of Education, issuing vouchers, eliminating H.U.D., privatizing Fannie and Freddie, getting the government out of the business of insuring mortgages, the housing sector. If you propose all that, you will probably lose your next election because people don't want that. Even though the country is broke, they don't care, they don't want it. So I, as a politician, would then say what? Oh, I would lose. OK. Let the country implode. Turn the country into some third world Banana Republic. We'll let the currency dawdle, we'll let inflation take hold. We'll shove the country back into a great depression. We'll let that happen because I don't want to lose another election.

No. What Americans are looking for is someone to stand up and say “I don't care if I lose the next election. I came here to do something and if I can't do it, I don't want to be here anyway”.

Where is that politician?

Uhhh.....busy being chief executive of the state of Wisconsin perhaps?

Speaking of which, I rather enjoyed this "Tweet" I read from Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN).

Sen. Schumer called us “Scott Walker Republicans?” That’s the nicest thing anybody has said about me in a long time!

Personally, I think the Congressional Republicans still have a ways to go before they can live up to that mantle.



R-Five said...

Hugh Hewitt has been asking the same questions this week. Hugh used to roll over for leadership types, no longer, seems totally done with Speaker Boehner in particular.

Given Japan, I don't think it's wrong to do ONE more 2-3 week CR. But then there had better be some red meat. $40B cuts including NPR would be enough this remaining fiscal year. But does GOP leadership get it? We'll see.

Mr. D said...

Really good post, Brad. Exactly right.

word verification: harmar