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Conservatives &First things . . . Richard Falknor on 14 Jul 2010 03:50 pm

Senate Republican Leaders: No More Capitulations!

“2010 Let’s Make Lasting Change !” – – DSCC Tote Bag Slogan

“. . . Democrats know the electoral setbacks will only be temporary. They are banking on the assurance that Republicans merely want to win elections and have no intention of rolling back Obamacare, much less of dismantling Leviathan.” – – Andrew McCarthy

For Tea Partiers and conservatives, it is a primary objective to keep the Obama Administration’s legislation and regulatory innovations from settling into “lasting change.” People understand that preventing this “lasting change” is the first step to returning America to the right path.

We also know, however, undoing the Obama Mischief in many cases is far harder than stopping it initially.

Unfortunately the Senate Republican leadership apparently has, to put it charitably, a different perspective about stopping Obama legislation.

We have written about the leadership’s soft-power approach a number of times, most notably in our June 26, 2010 “DISCLOSE” Will Senate GOP Leaders Stop Really Bad Bills? and our March 24, 2010 Shaming a Faltering Senate GOP Leadership into Action.

Here are extracts from our March 24 post – –

“Nor have other senators in GOP leadership roles, John Kyl and Lamar Alexander, been the conservative warriors we all hope for.

From one past (December 5) Forum post – –

  • Here is Michael Hammond’s up-to-the-minute situation report (do read it all):  ‘We don’t want Mitch McConnell to try to make himself look good by pretending to be a ‘non-obstructionist.’ We want Senate Republicans to move heaven and earth to protect Americans from Harry Reid’s scheme of bribery, fraud and dirty politics. ACTION:  Contact your two U.S. Senators.  Tell them to object to any further Unanimous Consent agreements to further the ObamaCare freight train.’ (Hammond is a former general counsel to the Senate Republican Steering Committee.)
  • “RedState’s hogan here cites Senate Republican Whip John Kyl’s ‘strategy’— “’actually, I think we can be fairly upfront about it. Our strategy is not actually to delay and not take votes.’ He added, ‘our strategy is to have a lot of good amendments and highlight the problems in the bill,’ and ‘it is not our strategy to somehow slow things down.’”

And from another (July 27) Forum post – –

Last Friday, RedState’s Erick Erickson declared “Lamar Alexander Plays Lapdog to Barbara Boxer and Endorses Government Mandated, Tax-Payer Funded Abortion.”  Read Erickson’s take here on this member of the Senate Republican leadership he terms ‘a serial capitulator.’”

In RedState hogan’s post of last December 4 Senate Republicans Fiddle While America Burns, the veteran Senate watcher offered this advice about stopping Obamacare – –

“Delay, obstruct and fight – using every parliamentary tactic in the book – such as forcing a reading of the bill, offering strategic amendments, etc… – and try to build up so much public opposition that Democrats cannot get 60 votes. The tools for this strategy were outlined by Senator Judd Gregg, but this is being ignored in favor of ‘messaging amendments’ (code for: we don’t have a plan, so let’s offer ‘messaging amendments’ even though we have no actual message, instead of useful, divisive amendments that might actually be a poison pill).”

Readers should print out to carry with them Senator Jud Gregg’s manual for Senate delaying.

The Heritage Foundation writes about a number of Obama Administration proposals that may arrive on the Senate menu right through a possible lame-duck session, bills that deserve to be delayed to death.

Lamentably, the Senate Republican leadership apparently had already decided that the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill was not worth obstructing and delaying. Today the Wall Street Journal editors reported about “The Uncertainty Principle: Dodd-Frank will require at least 243 new federal rule-makings.” Here is a link to the bill’s (H.R. 4173) conference report.


Nonetheless the Senate Republican leadership should quickly begin to
delay and obstruct other Obama Administration priorities between now and August 9, the beginning of the summer recess.

If enacted, bad bills will be very difficult to repeal. If Dean Elena Kagan is confirmed to the US Supreme Court, that begins a lifetime of anti-constitutional influence.

If the experience with the Bush Administration is any test, even rolling back bad regulatory innovations might well be an uphill fight with future Republican presidents.

Between now and the next Congress in January, we have to fight with the Senate army we have. As we have written,
our current impression is that too many Republican Congressional incumbents are wholly beguiled (and distracted) by a vision of a “blow-out victory” next November. Instead of indulging in premature triumphalism, we need commitment to wage a stubborn, unrelenting fight in the Congress from now until January.

Despite their spirited denunciations of the Obama Administration’s measures, the Senate Republican leadership has accomplished little. 

The costs of the Senate Republican leadership maintaining their respectability in the Beltway Establishment by failing to obstruct and delay are too high for the future of the Republic.

Perhaps our best hope lies with prompt local guidance – – to their senators in leadership roles – – from the Tea Partiers and the conservative base in Kentucky, Arizona, and Tennessee. These are the states represented in the Senate by the Republican leader, the Republican whip, and the Republican conference chair.














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