It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….
Have you noticed? A different breed of cat has arrived.
The one city – Washington, DC, the seat of power in the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. It is also the epicenter of craven greed, raw, unelected power, the rotten and fetid stench of corruption, backroom dealing, and the buying and selling of politicians’ souls. Republicans in this city may have been different when they arrived, but most of them eventually surrender themselves to the system. In Washington a Republican dares not rock the boat, doesn’t disrupt the flow of money, and while he may make surface changes in the system, but he never, ever, plays for keeps, never actually uses his fangs.
He is a pet Republican, a city kitty who likes his belly rubbed.
The second city — just pick a state capital city now governed by Republicans. And here, in the year 2011, a whole different breed of Republican walks the halls — no, actually stalks down the halls, sponsors bills, stares down the hard-left press and the evil unions, and speaks of duties and responsibility in a way that lets you know he means it.
He’s a lion. He’s got claws and fangs, rippling muscles, and the air of cool competence that comes with having tasted the flesh of 63 congressmen, 7 senators, 6 governors and 680 state legislators.
In Washington in December of 2009, Republicans in the Senate led (so to speak) by Mitch McConnell skipped the opportunity to fight and delay the Health Care Theft bill. In fact, they made a deal to vote on it just before Christmas break so Senators could get out of town before a snow storm.
In “the other city”, 26 states filed suit in 2010 against the constitutionality of the same bill — and won a stunning and resounding victory in federal court.
Arizona passed a bill supported by 70% of its citizens to enforce on a state level illegal immigration laws that the federal government refused to enforce.
In Washington, the Obama administration filed suit to stop Arizona, the Democrats gave the scumbag president of Mexico a standing ovation for denouncing the state of Arizona on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. What did Republicans do? Not a single one went up there and punched that guy in the mouth. Not a “you lie”, not a single middle finger extended toward Calderon or the Democrats, literally or figuratively. Nothing done legislatively either. A couple of “harrumphs” and then acquiescence.
In Washington, after a nation-wide mandate delivered by voters on November 2, 2010, with a coming influx of 63 new Representatives and 6 new Senators, as well as massive gains on the state levels, what did Republicans do? The Lame Duck Session showed the Republicans with their skirts over their heads, allowing Dems to jam through all sorts of obviously unpopular and far-reaching legislation. If not for a popular uprising, the Republicans would even have allowed a scandalous budget for 2011 to be passed in one huge bill — all written by Democrats out of the public view (probably by the Center for American Progress, actually), and loaded down with pork and graft.
In “the other city”, well, just take a look at Madison, Wisconsin. Governor Walker and the Republicans face the most massive bought-and-paid-for astroturfing assault in memory. The mobs have been violent. Republicans have seen the Democrats in the legislature flee to deny a quorum. They’ve been horribly misrepresented by the press. What have these Republicans done? They have stood resolute, with no hint of wavering. With the Dems in hiding, they’ve taken up other measures not requiring a quorum and acted on them. They’ve passed a contempt order that makes the missing legislstors fugitives even if there is not a current session.
All across America this is being played out. Governor Christie of New Jersey has stood up to the teacher unions as well as the federal government, and made himself a YouTube legend in the process. Governor Scott of Florida has said “no thanks” to the high speed rail. Governor Perry is at war with the EPA in Texas. Governor Jindal of Louisiana has given the feds bloody hell and been all over them over the Gulf drilling moratorium imposed in defiance of a federal court order. Governor Mitch Daniels is taking Indiana down a similar road as Wisconsin. It is interesting how many of these are mentioned as presidential candidates, isn’t it? Perhaps grassroots Republicans aren’t all that jazzed about moderates and media whores after all.
These Republicans are not de-clawed kitties like the Washington variety, begging for scraps and eating out of their dinner bowl. No, no. These are a different breed of cat. Proud lions they are, stepping aside for neither man nor beast. They are both willing and able to fight and win, nose to nose, against the evil that has grown in our nation for generations, the creeping, slithering enemy of a post-European socialist state and the death of all hoped for by the Founding Fathers.
Four years ago, the Republicans in the state houses and legislatures were not so different from the Washington variety. Just fitting in, getting their share at the trough of the people’s money. The American people who cared could never reach them. These Republicans were, after all, better than even the best Democrats, right? They were entrenched, they were dug in, and they were perfectly content to eat whatever crumbs the Democrats, the unions, and the system left them.
For the American Right (and the middle too, I am near-convinced), the slow decline of American freedom has been especially frustrating because time after time we sent the tough-talking, credentialed conservatives off to Washington and the state capital, only to have them co-opted by the system.
Then something happened. The Tea Parties sprung from the ground, from the final straw of frustration — inspired by, of all things, an impromptu rant by a little-known on-air editor on CNBC. Uncoordinated, clumsy, its ranks were filled by regular, unsophisticated voters, and by no means only Republicans. But they all had a vision of a better American that what Washington was giving us. Once the spark caught flame, it went straight to widlfire. In the span of 6 months this movement stopped cap-and-trade in its tracks, killed any serious talk of a second Porkulus, and made the Health Care Theft Bill the Democrats’ hill to die on. The Kleptocrats won their Pyrrhic victory after a year of lying, sneaking, threatening, and bribing to gain it (meanwhile ignoring the economy and 10% unemployment), then we slaughtered them in November. Now even the courts have taken away their costly victory.
So far the reach of the Tea Parties has extended in a serious way only to the state houses, but then perhaps that is to be expected from the first 18 months of a truly grassroots driven revolution of conservatism, with no budget, no coordination, and no master plan. But it is now even more powerful, smarter, perhaps even more resolute. It will take another election cycle to take Washington, but it is inevitable and as unstoppable as a great tidal wave.
There is an ill wind blowing in the first city, not only for Establishment Republicans, but for the deeply, deeply rooted Democrats, the unions, the press, and the bureaucracy. The second city belongs to us now, and we are cleaning house on an epic scale. And we have a message for you.