First things . . . Richard Falknor on 18 Oct 2013 04:29 pm
These last weeks have been a turning point for American conservatives. Let’s see why.
Again, the Republican Establishment failed signally to preserve the Constitution and our traditional freedoms by limiting Obamacare.
But that is nothing new since the Tea Party movement brought the current House GOP leadership to power in January 2011.
Since January 2011, how many Obama policies of consequence has that cabal stopped by defunding?
And Mr. Boehner’s circle persists in bringing to the floor omnibus appropriations bill only specialists and lobbyists can read.
Angelo Codevilla explains –
“Until circa 1990, Americans had taken seriously the relationship between appropriations and democracy. House and Senate used to divide the Executive departments’ requests for funds and programs into multiple categories and sub-categories. Then many committees and subcommittees held hearings on each item, followed by ‘mark-up’ sessions in which each would be modified and voted on. Thereafter, the full House and Senate would debate, amend, approve or disapprove them, one by one. This was ‘regular order’ – more or less as described in civics books.
This changed at first gradually in the 1980s, when Democrats (and Republicans) who were resisting the Reagan Administration’s efforts to trim government figured out that individual appropriations bills delayed until the end of the fiscal year could be rolled together into “omnibus” bills. These could be advertised as merely ‘continuing’ the current year’s programs and spending levels. In reality, these all-in-one bills 1) protected current programs from scrutiny, amendment, or repeal 2) were stuffed with new favors, programs, provisions and priorities that could not have survived an open process. Since 1989, the Congress has followed mostly ‘regular order’ only twice: in 1995 and 1997. Not since 2000 have the people’s representatives voted and taken responsibility for each of the government’s activities. In this century, the US government has been funded exclusively by single, omnibus ‘Continuing Resolutions’ (CRs).” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
(We need appropriations reform, but to explore that objective further is best left for another time. Meanwhile, readers will find this Liberty Law Blog post a most valuable resource.)
Behind the scenes, the Beltway GOP including House and Senate GOP leaders and their pilot-fish consultant class and the Republican National Committee have all done their share of badmouthing conservatives — real ones — not pretend conservatives, like Karl Rove’s front groups.
That is nothing new either.
But what is new is the open declaration of hostilities toward the grass roots from big government, liberty-indifferent Republicans and their statist enablers.
Yesterday Jia Lynn Yang and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post crowed, “Business groups stand by Boehner, plot against tea party” here –
“Rather than revisit their strategy of supporting Republicans after this week’s near-disaster, influential organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are standing behind Boehner. More important, Boehner’s friends in the business community are getting ready to take sides in a few Republican primary races against tea party candidates in Michigan, Idaho and Alabama who could cause the House speaker more trouble.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Today the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty declares here –
“But this time, the question is: What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party movement? That the government shutdown was a political disaster for the party that engineered it is widely acknowledged, except by the most ardent tea partyers.”
NewsBusters’ Tim Graham deconstructs the Tumulty piece here –
“The alliance between the ‘agreeable’ GOP and the media is getting more transparent. . . . Guess who will be very willing to ‘get damaging information in circulation’ about the Tea Party before they can win primary elections? Reporters like Karen Tumulty. They’re even more willing to put out damaging information after the primary is over. (Highlighting Forum’s.)
Snarling or mocking voices like those of policy-erratic John McCain and of the many-faced (wilfully-big-government-blind and open-borders, to name two of his faces) Grover Norquist openly attack senator Ted Cruz by name.
A raft of soi-disant conservative pundits, likely seeking advancement through the patronage of the Beltway Right, echo these attacks.
But the good news? A Maryland Tea Party friend notes that if the conservative base were powerless instead of resonating increasingly outside of the Washington. D. C. area, this kind of open GOP Establishment pushback would be unthinkable. The Establishment’s emergence from their big-government closet is a measure of their fear.
As Angelo Codevilla, a gifted teacher, points out in two short videos here and here, the GOP Establishment controls the Party’s institutions — but the Party’s energy, ideas, (and numbers) come from the base.
Third Parties & GOP Primaries
There are many compelling arguments against forming a third party.
And RedState chief Erick Erickson reminds us of the good work underway for the 2014 Congressional primaries –
“Never before have the people been less dependent on a party apparatus to play in primaries. Conservatives now have groups like Heritage Action, Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, For America, and others to fund and rely on.”
But will this commendable effort be enough?
An extremely-well-bankrolled undertaking by Karl Rove and his confederates representing the Bush Dynasty is now making open war on GOP conservatives.
Whatever our antipathy to the Rovians, we cannot blind ourselves to their power and resources.
And these “agreeable Republicans” have natural allies in the Legacy Media and perhaps even on Fox.
Should the Rovians succeed in getting Big Amnesty enacted soon – and that is certainly a central and well-financed goal of theirs – a GOP schism in the House would certainly ensue.
And that would be the least of the consequences for America workers and our civic culture.
What Does the GOP Establishment Want?
The GOP Establishment would rather have a modest serving from the Obama Platter than fight for serious conservative goals that undercut the president’s “transformation’ of America.”
Ted Cruz’ long talk to the United States Senate was a mortal threat to the rice bowls of many in the Beltway GOP for Cruz’ path could well curtail the GOP culture of crony capitalism.
Readers might reflect on the wider implications of John Batchelor’s 2009 post here in the Daily Beast “How Obama Can Buy Off Mitch McConnell.”
A National Conservative Pow-Wow?
One seasoned conservative blogger told us that we need a national pow-wow of trusted conservative leaders now to develop a road map.
She is right.
Widely trusted and smart figures — like Ted Cruz, like Mark Levin with a detailed plan for his “Liberty Amendments,” like Sara Palin, like Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, and some other key conservative advocates — need to come together to sketch out a conservative road map.
Perhaps on a state-by-state or region-by-region level, we ourselves need to put together parallel plans especially if we find ourselves, in fact, largely driven from the Party’s institutions and if our conservative primary challenges are only modestly successful.
And we need to keep on organizing visibly to keep fighting credibly in the House: against Giant Amnesty and against Obamacare.