1.1 Trillion Reasons to Dump Boehner and McConnell
Late Thursday afternoon, the Senate passed a $1.1 trillion spending measure that's best described as a fix -- fix, as in an act of Republican perfidy and chicanery.
The process was rigged by Speaker Boehner and Senate Minority Leader McConnell (doubtless with a wink and a nod from Harry Reid) to push through the gargantuan spending measure while giving House and Senate Republicans cover on ObamaCare funding. The bill was an incomprehensible 1,582 pages.
Here's how it worked. House Republicans passed the spending bill with a provision to strip funding from ObamaCare. In the Senate, Harry Reid used rules to see to it that measure wasn't subject to a filibuster, which would required 60 votes to overcome. That meant eight Republicans would have to have joined 52 Democrats to end a filibuster.
Not insurmountable for Reid and his Democrats, siphoning off GOP votes, given the plentiful supply of quislings among the Republicans. But why the headache, and politically, why give Senate conservatives a chance again to shine a harsh spotlight on the very unpopular fledgling ObamaCare health care grab? Why expose Democrats up for reelection this year to that sort of rigorous body-cavity search?
So Reid (this time doubtless with a wink and a nod from McConnell), maneuvered to strip the ObamaCare defunding provision by a majority vote, which split along party lines, 52-45 in favor. This happened quickly without any fanfare.
This analysis from Fox News:
The compromise-laden legislation reflects the realities of divided power in Washington and a desire by both Democrats and Republicans for an election-year respite after three years of budget wars that had Congress and the White House lurching from crisis to crisis. Both parties looked upon the measure as a way to ease automatic spending cuts that both the Pentagon and domestic agencies had to begin absorbing last year. [Italics added]
Simply astonishingly stupid and cowardly. In an election year, particularly one as critical as 2014, it's not time for a "respite," it's time to sharpen differences and up the conflict. The point is to provide voters with crystal clear contrasts to compel choices. What Boehner and McConnell did by greasing the skids for this mammoth spending bill was give Democrats a "Get out of Jail Free" card. It's what one would expect from RINOs, who'd rather accommodate than fight.
Ted Cruz, most notably, saw through this ruse and he, along with other key conservative senators, attempted to force Democrats' hands via an amendment that would have put Democrats in the awkward position of explaining and defending their support for ObamaCare funding. Not a real winning position for Democrats, huh? By offering the amendment (which plotting RINOs voted for knowing it would fail), Cruz and company thus demonstrated the courage and savvy that those feckless RINO leaders, Boehner and McConnell, lack.
"But, but, you just don't understand, Mr. Smith. We RINOs don't want another ugly budget fight that detracts from focusing on ObamaCare during this year's elections. A budget fight just hurts Republicans, Mr. Smith, don't you see, you dimwit?"
No, I don't. Congress is very much a political arena. Setting the table for this year's midterms through a fight over ObamaCare funding is very much an advantage to GOP congressional candidates. Americans are greatly unhappy with, and fearful of, ObamaCare. Voters need more than lip service; they need to see tangible action from congressional Republicans.
"But, but, Mr. Smith, we mustn't speak ill of RINOs. It's an election year. Such criticism will only divide us."
Sorry, Republicans are already divided into craven go-alongs and conservatives who want and appreciate the value of a bare-knuckled fight with Democrats over ObamaCare and a range of other key issues. In politics, winners are fighters with a taste for blood. The prez and his left-ideologue Democrats have demonstrated that fighter-instinct from January 2009 to present. They'll play patty-cake f it helps their causes, but will bring out the shivs, chains, and guns if required.
What use are GOP majorities in the House and Senate if establishment Republicans are in control and roll over for Democrat belly scratches? The nation needs conservative majorities and leadership in the House and Senate come 2014. For conservatives, the fight is within and without this year. That means "goodbye" to Harry Reid and to Boehner, McConnell, and their leadership teams.
Vote conservative in 2014, and insist that conservative candidates for Congress commit to new conservative leadership in the House and Senate come January 2015. Let's stop the 1.1 trillion games played by congressional RINOs.