There is a history here
In the negotiations over raising the nation’s credit card limit, you see it: grassroots Americans shudder with suspicion and fear every time House Speaker Boehner walks out of a meeting. They tremble every time the left-wing press stirs rumors of a “grand deal,” “grand compromise,” or yet another cockamamy proposal floated by weak-kneed Senate Republicans. We’ve seen this movie before. But have we really?
I’m going on record: Republicans are getting better at this. They are getting a lot better at this, and they’re learning in a hurry.
The Republicans, particularly the DC variety, have a fine tradition of failing to stand up for conservative (or really, any) principles. Time after time after time after time, Republicans have capitulated with little or no fight. Half the time they’ve poured gas on themselves and lit up, with no help from Democrats. They’ve had the upper hand, public support, the superior moral argument, Constitutional backing, unassailable economic numbers, you name it. It never matters. They have shown an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Conservative principles have always lost, even when Republicans ostensibly won. Nobody can remember a time when this wasn’t the case. Even in the Reagan era, elected Republicans did very little good they weren’t forced to do.
To recap recent history (spotty and cursory, to be sure):
- After tax cuts early in the 2000 decade produced dramatic economic gains in every area, Republicans won majorities in the House and Senate – which they immediately used to……. do nothing good. Eventually, tainted by spending sprees, scandal, and refusal to stand for any principle at all, they were driven from power in 2006, then massacred in 2008.
- With barack in power and the Dems controlling 60% of both Houses, the Republicans mustered up some principled objections, and managed even to defeat (Cap-and-Trade, Card Check) or delay (Obamacare) some elements of the left-wing juggernaut. But even in the face of openly illegal and unethical Democrat behavior, Republicans did little more than wave hands in frustration. Practically speaking, most of the victories on the right were only due to a powerful nationwide uprise in the grassroots of America, that put the fear of God in Democrats.
- The astounding electoral victories of Republicans in November of 2010 were again, not due to the courage or fortitude of elected Washington Republicans. It was 100% due to the massive groundswell of Americans, embodied in the Tea Party movement. Most Americans involved in the movement did not join any organization, but expressed their will by voting, supporting, ground working, and perhaps most of all, finally paying attention to what goes on in Washington.
- The Great Lame Duck Giveaway in December 2010 showed the true colors of the entrenched Washington crowd in both parties. After the election but before an army of new and mostly conservative electees arrived in Washington with their citizen-delivered mandate, the Democrats shoved through (and attempted more) major parts of their agenda that they would not have dared do when they might face accountability. The Dems in trying (and partly succeeding) showed themselves unspeakably evil and decidedly undemocratic. The Republicans, in going along, proved themselves unspeakably cowardly and unprincipled.
- [memo to Kleptocrats Democrats, regarding Lame Duck: I bet you wish you had seen the relative wisdom of jamming down the throats of Americans a “clean” debt ceiling increase at that time that would have lasted through the 2012 election season. You calculated that you’d use the showdown this summer to beat the Republicans up. God only knows how bad a shape this country would be in if the Democrats were half as smart as they were evil.]
- Once the new numbers got there in January, nothing much changed immediately. Establishment Republicans and Democrats all seemed convinced that the Tea Party movement was just another short-lived voter temper tantrum. They had their fun, but otherwise it was time to resume normal operations. Boehner, the Minority Leader and possessor of no particular conservatism or backbone, became Speaker, with no opposition. RNC Chairman and notable jerk Michael Steele succeeded in passing his mantle to his chief surrogate and noted shady backroom dealer Reince Priebus. Left-wing nominees to all sorts of positions were confirmed with no discussion. Denied a House majority, barack and his administration began doing by illegal executive fiat what they were now unable to accomplish legislatively. They weren’t even shy about it. Republicans did nothing.
The loss that showed we would win
Then the tide started to turn. We lost the next episode, but it revealed a new force of gravity that was growing, not shrinking.
In March, the next “never let a good crisis go to waste” opportunity for Democrats came in the form of a threatened “government shutdown.” In the Lame Duck session, Republicans had actually managed to shoot down a ridiculous Democrat annual budget, delivered without debate and written in secret (most likely by Soros group Center for American Progress). In its place, House Republicans began approving short-term “Continuing Resolutions,” which were in effect short term ( in this case 2-4 weeks) extensions of the terms of the last known budgets. Each one was attached to some cuts in spending. The idea was to force advantageous terms in a rest-of-the-fiscal-year budget, or simply do the CR’s until October when a new budget would be in effect.
Republicans under Speaker Boehner decided that April 13 would be the end of the CR’s and a new budget would be agreed to, or the operating budget would expire, resulting in a sorely misnamed “government shutdown.” After all, Republicans had run in part on the promise to cut $100 billion out of the current year’s budget. A “government shutdown” means that only “essential” operations remain funded, and the president decides who and what are “essential.”
Time grew short, negotiations got heated, and the left-wing attack machine got into full gear, as always. It was time for the Republicans to be taught that business as usual was not going to change. The commie press naturally painted Republicans as granny-killers, failing to mention that barack had failed to designate active duty combat troops as “essential personnel,” and in the event of a “government shutdown,” combat troops would be in-theater, fighting and under orders, but not getting paid. This is a fact, and I know it to be a fact: all active duty members in my acquaintance were informed in early April that they would not be paid on April 15th if a budget was not in place. Thanks for being fair and balanced, media. Remind me to punch you in the face.
After largely negotiating with themselves so that $100 billion in spending cuts became $65 billion, Boehner and the leadership were suckered into a deal that looked like $65 billion, but in the end, may have been valued at less than $1 billion in spending cuts. Boehner blinked. He admitted that he feared the Republicans would be blamed (as in 1995) for the “government shutdown,” and had determined to “take the best deal he could get.”
It is the aftermath of that deal that shaped the current situation. Republicans thought the Tea Party movement was over, but they found out otherwise. The public revolted. They were not placated by “the best deal we could get.” Primaries were threatened, in real and credible ways. Huge numbers of calls went to their congressional offices (which started even while the showdown was underway), the right-side media was brutal. And finally, the House Freshmen began asserting their power. Boehner is well-known to have proverbially gotten mugged, robbed, beat up, stomped on, run over, and shot by the House Republicans over the budget deal he negotiated with barack. Not only were they hopping mad themselves, they had constituents too, with offices and employees who answer phones, read email, and have to interact with the public in their district.
The House Republicans took all that voter wrath and passed it right along to Speaker Boehner. It left a mark, as we now know.
The Democrats did not see July coming. After April’s relative cakewalk in beating down what seemed like a faint-hearted and short-lived rebellion, they simply had no reason to think they would not easily get their way in July.
Republicans signaled early this year that when the debt ceiling was hit later this year, they would not approve an increase without massive cuts and changes in the entire budget scene. The House passed the Ryan framework, which included a long-term plan and needed reforms. Democrats beat it up, and Ryan too, but that framework stands as the only existing blueprint for lasting reform. barack’s demand for a “clean” debt ceiling increase was laughed off of Capitol Hill. Nevertheless, the Democrats expected no great contest, and didn’t have a big reason to think otherwise.
So the fight started. The Obamanistas declared far and wide that on August 2, the government would default without a debt ceiling rise. Republicans insisted from the beginning that it would not happen without deep cuts. The Democrats demanded that tax increases be part of that deal, with Republicans saying that was a great big non-negotiable “not happening.”
Two months into this, the Democrats have heated up their dirty games. The House Republicans have not budged, even though Senate Republicans have worked diligently to dig a hole beneath them. The Dems have even threatened not to send out Social Security checks, and blamed Republicans for forcing them to hold a gun to granny’s head. barack has been exceedingly petulant, demanding this and that, blaming others, delivering ultimatums, and “summoning” leaders to his office to present new proposals.
Meanwhile, the Republicans have suddenly found they can take their message to the public; a very receptive public, as it always was. The media is in a full-scale war to taint them and misrepresent their message, but are not succeeding.
And here we are, July 24, and Republicans have stood strong, fought, ignored media pressure, and obeyed the mandate of the voters. I am pleasantly surprised by what has happened in the last month. In spite of setbacks, constant negative media, treacherous dealings by Senate Republicans, and a history of choking in the end-game, Boehner stands strong.
Everybody knows why, too. Boehner did not suddenly grow a spine. He will still fold if House Republicans let him. But he has stated over and over, both in private and public, that if he takes a deal to the House that does not include huge spending reductions, or does contain a tax increase of any kind, it will not pass the House. Such a deal is DOA.
That is because We The People regained control of the People’s House. We took it back in November. Just as importantly, we continued in 2011 to remind the *other* members of the House that they serve at our pleasure. They believe it and we know they believe it, because they have not capitulated to the Democrats in this matter, even though that has been their way for decades. They are all those good things we’ve wanted them to be for years: dug in, obstinate, inflexible, uncompromising, sticking to the principles of their constituents. They are that way because they know that to keep their jobs, they have to be that way.
barack is a moron, a poseur, a fraud, and a Marxist. But he had one thing right. He meant it wrong, but he said it right.
We are the change we have been waiting for.