Timeo Republican Establishment et dona ferentes — I fear the Republican Establishment, even when they bring gifts.
We’re well into the tactical stage of the 114th Congress and the Republican victories from last November. So far we’ve seen little more than a re-annointing of John Boehner as Speaker of the House, despite 25 patriotic defectors, and blubbering about the Keystone XL pipeline which has passed the House and is now moving to a procedural vote in the Senate. One cannot find a single, legitimate reason to not make the Pipeline a reality. Yet here we are.
Clashmates, you are an educated bunch. You knew that, despite the rear kicking we gave the Democrats in the last election, the real work would continue. You knew the Republican Establishment – can there be any further doubt there is one? — pretty much includes everyone but those 25 defectors (God bless them) and a few others. I am not into predicting, but let’s take a few minutes to consider what a Republican House and Senate will and won’t do.
A Boehner-led Congress attempted to repeal Obamacare 50 times. On one hand, it’s quite an accomplishment for so many people to agree that fervently on anything. On the other hand, we all knew where those votes would go — not go, in this case. Boehner hands a Harry Reid-led Senate the repeals, and all of them go into the waste heap to die. I don’t fault them for trying. And the person who says insanity means doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results needs to tell that to an axe and a tree. Hammering away at the wall can make it fall. But when you hammer away at a wall made of steel that’s three feet thick, and your hammer is a feather, well, what do you expect? Try another tactic.
It should surprise no one if we see nothing happen in the next two years that truly forwards the cause of freedom. Those with honor who pledged to stop Obamacare, stop amnesty for illegal aliens, stop the decimation of our military to pre-WWI levels, and stop the unsustainable spending will continue the fight, and will for the most part lose. Those without honor will throw up hopeful but ultimately feckless votes like what may happen with Keystone XL, gaze with bland anticipation as Obama vetoes the bill, and saunter back to their constituents at townhall meetings with defenses like, “Hey, I tried, but what’s a guy to go, you know? I mean, really. We’re only one half of one-er-fully one third of our government. What can we do against two thirds?” They may then launch into how China is gobbling up precious metals (this actually happened, didn’t it Mike Coffman R-CO).
Then we have Obama’s illegal memo declaring what he thinks should be done regarding illegal aliens, Dodd-Frank which, word has it, is as ugly and statist as Obamacare and should be repealed in the same minute, foreign policy efforts including funding, and Benghazi and the host of other scandals.
The list of initiatives, investigations, reforms, and repeals is big, so big that the representatives who don’t hate their conservative base are outnumbered. Boehner and his Establishmentarians will seemingly give us “gifts” of attempted legislation that on the surface looks like the right thing, but when it fails because they don’t have a veto-proof majority, these career politicians will be somber and austere with us back home, but all smiles with the ever-degrading status quo.
Short of pulling some Democrats over to our side to overturn a veto, the only true stopping power we have is the political move called the shutdown. Many called it a stunt, and I agree but for a different reason. It’s a stunt because only roughly 17% of the government is actually on hold while filibusters and the like keep the House from whipping out its checkbook. Tell me, if you lost use of one of your arms, would you say you’re dead? And while the shutdown plays on, it is effective in ensuring the megaphone is loud and clear so everyone can hear what’s going on in D.C. When the great Senator Ted Cruz stood up in his filibuster, we all listened, and the media couldn’t ignore it. Cruz’s bravery against the Democrats and, sadly, his own party, made people listen. Would you know it, we wiped the floor with the Democrats not even a year later.
But don’t expect McConnell to support Cruz, or any other conservative public servant or cause. With that condescending smirk on his face, in November Mitch has already declared what he is prepared to not do: “We will not be shutting the government down, or threatening to default on the national debt.” When the fighting starts, we can count him out.
My point: Don’t be deceived by bright lights and parliamentary tricks or gifts from Boehner and McConnell, carrying the look or smell of liberty. Let’s keep that white hot poker right at their feet. We’re told our elected servants don’t like to get spirited phone calls and emails so let’s keep on it. In the meantime, let’s keep pressure on our state representatives to continue the push for a Convention of States where Washington’s role in the matter would be, as Mark Levin calls it, “ministerial.”
I love that word. It sounds…limited.