First things . . . Richard Falknor on 06 May 2011 09:22 pm
“The only thing that gives me hope is the Tea Party Movement . . . .”
The foregoing quotation comes from one of Mark Levin’s nine video cameos (“What Gives Mark Hope”) published yesterday in the Daily Caller. The video appears in the Daily Caller’s Leaders with Ginni Thomas: Mark Levin. Of the Thomas series, Hugh Hewitt declares “The Daily Caller has hit a home run with this idea, and all center-right media should take a cue that producing long form interviews is the key to the ongoing end run around the MSM.”
So How Much Legislative Heft Does The Tea Party Movement Exercise Now?
One wonders. If the Tea Party Movement had a central legislative concern common to its many local gatherings across the nation, it was repealing Obamacare. While repeal of the basic law itself might not be possible now, de-railing the scheme by depriving it of money is (and was) possible. It all depends (and depended) on the grit of the House GOP leadership.
Today Representatives Louie Gohmert, Steve King, and Michele Bachmann in their “Raising the Debt Ceiling: Republicans’ Last Stand” (Human Events) are courageous and well-intended. One senses, however, that they are echoing the tone of the heroic Spartans just before the showdown at Thermopylae.
“Americans will not blame us if we try and fail, but we break faith with them if we fail to try.”
The three House conservatives explain – -
“Actual spending decisions are made through the appropriations process. There may be 12 or 13 or so appropriations bills this year, depending on whether or not some get combined with others. The details in each of these bills actually define where financial reform occurs.
As each bill comes to the floor for consideration, dutiful Republicans will battle to the last to get the cuts through. The debates will be long and brutal. After a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears, the bills will pass the House, then move on to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid, refusing to take them up, will simply deposit them in his desk drawer, and they will never be seen again. Reid will likely wait out House Republicans. On or about Sept. 30, 2011, the end of the federal fiscal year, Reid will probably load up a monster omnibus spending bill with all of the Democrats’ big-ticket items, send it across the Capitol to the Republican House, and force approval of it.
Reid has been empowered to do this because Republicans surrendered a fundamental negotiating posture during the recent Continuing Resolution debate by refusing to allow the government to be shut down. At the end of this fiscal year, we will find ourselves right back in the government shutdown fight—a fight we have already conceded.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)
In our view, there is no reason for the House Republicans to keep acquiescing in that “concession.” There is certainly time between now and September for the Tea Party Movement to mobilize behind reformist FY 2012 appropriations bills from the House.
But the GOP position on the debt-limit negotiations is, to put the matter charitably, unclear. Here and here and here are three conservative takes on that position. The House GOP leadership may well garner some cuts — presumably larger than they were able to achieve on the FY 2010 Continuing Resolution — but whether these cuts will curtail specific dangerous Obama Administration initiatives is a wholly different matter.
The need to derail Obamacare is central. Not only does Obamacare contain its own “built in” appropriations exceeding $100 billion, but Obamacare itself endangers not just our purse but our freedom. And it is a society changer. As Mark Steyn pointed out –-
“[T]he governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible. . . . . The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless. Republicans seem to have difficulty grasping this basic dynamic.“
The longer we wait, the more businesses and state governments will have made decisions based on Obamacare. Consequently the more difficult it will be to extirpate the scheme.
FY 2012 appropriations action is also necessary to curtail a number of other menacing Administration initiatives (in addition to Obamacare) found within the Defense Department, the Federal Communications Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board to name just three agencies.
Hugh Hewitt has a frightening sample of regulatory programs — “Snapshots from inside Washington’s job-killing machine” (Washington Examiner) –that require targeted attention by the House Appropriations Committee.
In the longer view, Mark Levin brings the Tea Partyers into the right perspective –
“I have never seen anything like this. This is a magnificent thing. There have really been two conservative revolutions in my lifetime: the Reagan Revolution and the Tea Party Revolution. If we are to have hope in this country, that Tea Party Movement will continue to grow.”
In our view, now is the time for that Movement to weigh in very firmly with the House GOP leadership. Otherwise the Louie Gohmerts, the Steve Kings, and the Michele Bachmanns really will be faced with their own Thermopylae.