Have conservative Republicans in the House the numbers and the courage to seize party leadership, play government shutdown/debt ceiling chicken with President Obama and speak debt cliff truth to entitlement seniors’ power?
It took 23 months, but the historic 2010 tea partier-led GOP landslide finally paid off conservatives with the rejection of Speaker John Boehner’s surrender of upper income tax earners to the tender mercies of President Obama’s fiscal cliff tax rate increases. All taxpayers face income, payroll and other tax rate increases come New Year’s Day as a result of the debt ceiling compromise establishment House Republicans and Democrats passed over the objections of conservatives and tea partiers in 2011.
Could this week’s Lame Duck vote be a portent for more courageous conservative majorities next week and next year? For the sake of America’s economic health, we hope so.
In the aftermath of the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives after four years of Democratic Party rule, conservatives hoped to use the body’s Article I power of the purse to rein in Obama’s run of budget deficits more than tripling the largest of any run up under President George W. Bush. But Speaker Boehner proved no match for a Democrat Senate and President that welcome crises as opportunities to demagogue for political gain, even while threatening the checks of the military and seniors on Social Security in case of a government shutdown. The Speaker was always quick with the excuse that the GOP “only held one-half of one-third of the government.”
Is it possible, that four trillion dollars in Obama debt and his improbably re-election despite presiding over a recovery” worse than any recession since the 1930s that enough non-tea partier conservatives have decided to join their Class of 2010 Republican brethren in a fight to save America from the financial ruin Obama and the Democrats seem hell bent on realizing?
We are told that, despite the Speaker’s leadership team failure to whip up the votes for his “Plan B” counter to President Obama’s phantom plan, that the “inertia” of party leadership and seniority-driven partnerships, it is unlikely that a majority of the Republican House caucus would oust Boehner before the new congress convenes in January. One would think that the People’s House is a corporation operating under a collective bargaining agreement, than a branch of government answerable to We the People.
Hopefully, enough members want to wield what power conservatives in Washington have under the Constitution, and do more than pass their time with continuing resolutions that do nothing to stop the spending madness they were elected to end. Of course, that would require the courage to face the loss of committee assignments, campaign contributions and, the possibility that they might one day no longer need a temporary resident near Capitol Hill. Egad!
Moreover, if they were to muster the courage to risk an end to Georgetown cocktail party invites, they would also need to have the courage to battle President Obama and the media when the government shuts down and national park rangers star in TV ads worrying about how they will eat unless the big bad Republicans grow hearts.
Finally, would they also have the courage to utter the truth none dare speak even if one’s name begins with Paul and ends with Ryan. That is, that for America to address the debt crisis in a meaningful way, entitlement reform can’t only apply to Americans retiring a decade or more from now, unless senior boomers are comfortable handing their children and grandchildren a future of tax deductions from paychecks so draconian that hopes of the American Dream would be on par with Mayan calendars.
The first tea partier House majority vote makes what once seemed impossible, possible. Hopefully this wasn’t just the last lurch of a lame duck. The New Year will reveal if the new 2013 House Republican duck is Daffy or not.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson