Sequester Politics, Round Two
Will Republican 'Leadership' Bow to Obama?
“The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” –Thomas Jefferson (1816)
This week we honor the life of President Ronald Reagan, who inherited from his Democrat predecessor, Jimmy Carter, the last near-depression economy, and turned it into the largest economic expansion since World War II. It is no small irony that, in the same week, the current crop of Republican “leaders” in the House and Senate, Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are preparing to roll over on the deferred “Fiscal Bluff” deadline – in effect fueling our nation’s collision course with economic collapse.
As I noted just after Barack Hussein Obama’s re-election, despite his minuscule 51.1 percent victory (most of it cast by his naive and dangerously uninformed populist constituency), he would reign as if universally worshipped by all people. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and Obama will continue his strong-handed winner-takes-all approach to compromise – which is to say, he won’t compromise.
To that end, Obama arrogantly insisted that Republicans, again, acquiesce to his demands for more taxes, few-if-any spending cuts and another deferment of the Fiscal Bluff sequestration, now scheduled for 01 March. And once again, that demand is countered by a lot of Republican hand-wringing but little Republican resistance. In fact, Republican leadership appears down for the count.
“There is no doubt, we need additional revenue,” Obama insists, “coupled with smart spending reductions, in order to bring down our deficit.” By “revenue,” Obama means another round of tax increases. By “smart spending reductions,” he means another round of smoke-and-mirror accounting, resulting in no real budget cuts.
Obama also demanded that Republicans “fix” the sequestration date – meaning that he will use the presidential soapbox to convince the American people that the consequences of mandatory cuts, if sequestration occurs, are Republicans' fault. And he will, of course, blame Republicans, which is why so many of the establishment types are running for cover.
The current sequestration debacle began with Obama’s Budget Control Act of 2011, a “deal” cut in August of that year, in return for Republican agreement to increase the national debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion. That in turn allowed Obama to borrow more money, primarily from the Red Chinese, to fund his runaway socialist entitlement programs and bloated “stimulus spending” boondoggles.
In return for more spending ability, Obama agreed to cap discretionary spending growth to “save” $950 billion over 10 years. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refer to those caps as “cuts.” He also agreed to establish a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (a.k.a. “super committee”) to implement another $1.5 trillion in “savings.” If, however, the super committee didn’t come to an agreement by November of 2011, Obama’s suggested sequestration trigger – automatic budget “cuts” of $1.2 trillion over the next decade – would commence on January 2 of this year. But, as noted earlier, Republicans have since kicked that can down the road to March.
All the political machinations aside, the current level of mandatory and discretionary spending is utterly unsustainable. And, what Republican leaders are yet to comprehend is that Obama’s end game is much more than merely avoiding necessary cuts to government programs redistributing wealth to his urban plantation constituents.
Obama’s second-term “Grecian Formula” economic plan is to advance his objective of breaking the back of free enterprise, crushing it under the weight of mounting taxes, regulations and debt and, ultimately, “fundamentally transforming the United States of America” into a collectivist state under the irrevocable dominance of his Socialist Democrat Party. Outside the Beltway Bubble, that is obvious.
Free enterprise, one of the foundational pillars of Liberty, is the nemesis of Obama’s transformational plan, as implicit from his “you didn’t build that” condemnation of entrepreneurship to his ridiculous assertions that “the private sector is doing fine,” and that we simply need additional federal spending to fund more “state and local government” jobs.
A few Republicans are responding like warriors instead of diplomats. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon rebutted Obama’s rhetoric, saying, “Until he addresses the real problem, which is mandatory spending, he’s just whistling in the wind.” Rep. John Shimkus added, “He can announce all he wants. Sequestration is coming.”
But is it, and will sequestration cuts – most of which hit defense spending actually authorized by our Constitution – put any real dent in the out-of-control spending?
Amid the current crisis, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor delivered a speech endeavoring to “redefine Republicans.” But words are cheap. What will redefine the Republican Party is resolute legislative action. Pass legislation that adheres to conservative principles and take the right road forward. Let the Senate defeat tax cuts and spending cuts. Stop letting Obama dictate the rules of the game.
The historic 2010-midterm elections, fueled by the Tea Party Movement, restored Republicans to majority status in the House and awarded them with significant gains in the Senate – Rubio (FL), Paul (KY), Toomey (PA), Lee (UT) and Johnson (WI). On the other hand, Christine O'Donnell (DE), Sharron Angle (NV) and Ken Buck (CO) are case studies of candidates who proved too marginal for general election victories.
However, establishment Republican chamber leaders have treated these freshmen, at best, as undesired stepchildren. The marginal losses of 2012 were not a rejection of the new breed of Patriots elected in 2010, but a rejection of the entrenched Republican establishment in the Senate and House. Unfortunately Mitt Romney, who was an attractive candidate in many respects, failed to invigorate grassroots conservatives. Meanwhile Obama bought enough votes from his urban plantation dependents with promises of redistributed wealth to pull off a marginal victory.
That notwithstanding, the consummate Republican establishment strategist, Karl Rove, announced, with a little help from the New York Times, that he will use his new Conservative [sic] Victory Project super PAC to “recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s effort to win control of the Senate.”
Rove denied that was his objective, but clearly his intent is to offset the effectiveness of the Senate Conservatives Fund established just two election cycles ago by Tea Party favorite, Sen. Jim DeMint (now heading Heritage Foundation) and the Club for Growth, both of which have supported outstanding conservative candidates. In the last two election cycles the SCF had nine victories, including three in 2012 Senate races: Ted Cruz (TX), Jeff Flake (AZ) and Deb Fischer (NE). Club for Growth added to their 12 year winning streak by racking up 2012 House victories for Tom Massie, Trey Radel, Jim Bridenstine and Steve Stockman.
Rove pointed to the failed Senate election bids of Todd Akin (MO) and Richard Mourdock (IN) as examples of unelectable conservatives. But the more impressive list of those who lost in 2012 includes establishment Republicans Connie Mack (FL), Rick Berg (ND), George Allen (VA), Heather Wilson (NM), Denny Rehberg (MT), Tommy Thompson (WI), Linda McMahon (CT), Scott Brown (MA), Linda Lingle (HI), Joe Kyrillos (NJ), and of course, Mitt Romney – who outperformed most of the latter in their own states.
According to my colleague Richard Viguerie, “The Rove effort is merely the GOP establishment’s latest and hopefully last effort to keep the Republican Party a top-down Washington consultant-run organization, instead of the grassroots conservative political party it has been evolving into over the past 50 or so years.”
Of course, the best scenario would be for the Conservative Victory Project, the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth not to step on each other’s efforts to win control of the Senate and increase House majorities in 2014.
We are at the tipping point for Liberty, and we arrived here not just because Obama is a master class-warfare propagandist, but because establishment Republicans have failed to make the case for Liberty and Rule of Law, as Ronald Reagan did so well.
The last greatest hope for the future of Liberty are Tea Party reformists charging up through the Republican ranks in Washington and across the nation. If these genuine conservatives can muster sufficient numbers in the next two years, we may be able to fend off the “Obama transformation.”
I hold fast to these words from Ronald Reagan’s farewell address: “America’s best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead.”
In the interim, the current Republican excuse for leadership better find the courage to battle Obama’s agenda, until enough reinforcements arrive to defeat that agenda.
Footnote: In an interview about his new political PAC, Karl Rove attempted to ingratiate himself to conservatives by claiming he was the Director of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 Texas campaign, but the Texas Director was actually Ernie Angelo. Rove did work for the George “Voodoo Economics” Bush campaign against Reagan, until he was fired for media leaks. Rove’s own website bio lists him as serving on Governor Clements staff in 1980, and Clements did not support Reagan.