Republicans Behaving Like Democrats

By signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law, Indiana governor and GOP presidential nominee wannabe Mike Pence briefly looked like a real conservative, trying to champion the Judeo-Christian morals and principles that made this country great. But within days of signing the RFRA, under unrelenting fire from the secular progressive MSM, Pence’s conservative resolve withered, and he decided the RFRA needed to be re-written ‘for clarification.’

Unfortunately, Pence is not the only Republican in a leadership position who doesn’t understand that the only way to stop secular progressive relativism is to actually be a Republican . . . and not behave like a Democrat. Two other Republican Governors haven’t been acting much like Republicans either. We can now add Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and, if any doubt still remained, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to the list of RINOs.

When Michiganders voted in solid Republican majorities in both chambers of the state’s legislature, and gave Republican Governor Rick Snyder a second term in 2012, conservative Michiganders might have expected great things to emerge from the legislature -- maybe some real fiscal responsibility, or a plan to reduce the size of the state’s government. Some may have even expected a proposal to turn the legislature into a part-time legislature, or maybe a good school voucher plan, or a reduction in taxes. So far, however, apart from becoming a right-to-work state in 2014, none of these ideas are even a speck on the horizon. In light of this, it almost appears that the right-to-work legislation was aimed more at drying up a source of funding for the Dems then making businesses more competitive. Especially since Snyder and the GOP-controlled state congress are now asking voters to go the polls on May 5 to raise taxes on themselves. 

It seems that the biggest problem in Michigan these days is not unemployment, huge underfunded public-employee pension plans, the demise of traditional families, creeping secularism, or even the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy. The real problem is bad roads and crumbling bridges. Many of Michigan’s roads and bridges are in terrible shape and are badly in need of repair, and this, despite right to work, is apparently preventing the state from attracting new businesses and creating more jobs. But most of all this is posing a threat to the health and wellbeing of Michigan residents, especially, horror of horrors, all the kids who have to travel these roads to go to school (straight out of the DNC playbook, it’s always about ‘the kids!’). Michigan did get $1 Billion in stimulus money for road repairs in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but apparently $1 Billion doesn’t go as far as it once did.  Another $1.24 Billion are needed to get the roads up to snuff.

In response to this problem Republicans in the state’s House came up with a zero tax increase plan that would simply have shifted some tax revenue around to pay for the needed road repairs. Some not-so-conservative Republicans in Michigan’s Senate, however, with encouragement from Governor ‘Let’s Raise Taxes Some More’ Snyder, had other ideas -- raise the tax on gas and diesel fuel to pay for the road repairs. 

As a result of the conflicting plans, the House and the Senate had to come up with a compromise. And what a compromise it was. They came up with a plan to increase taxes and spending by $1.9 billion. The only problem with this plan, however, is that any sales tax increase has to be approved by the voters. So on May 5 Michigan voters will have to go to the polls and decide whether or not to vote on ‘yes’ on Proposal 1 and raise their own taxes. And of course the ballot proposal had to make it sound like it’s all about the kids and schools:

“A proposal to amend the State Constitution to increase the sales/use tax from 6% to 7% to replace and supplement reduced revenue to the School Aid Fund and local units of government caused by the elimination of the sales/use tax on gasoline and diesel fuel for vehicles operating on public roads, and to give effect to laws that provide additional money for roads and other transportation purposes by increasing the gas tax and vehicle registration fees.”

GOP lawmakers in Michigan may have though this was a shrewd move. After all, if the voters approve a tax increase this lets Snyder and his fellow RINOs off the hook. They could simply say to voters ‘don’t blame us, you voted for it!’ And so the ‘Say yes to Prop 1,’ campaign has begun. Perchance they are also hoping that Michigan voters have already forgotten that this is the same governor and essentially the same group of lawmakers that implemented a brand new tax on retiree pensions a couple years ago. 

So now Michiganders will get to decide if they want to vote themselves another tax increase, of around $525 per household starting in 2016, thanks to a Republican governor and legislature behaving not that much differently than Democrats might. 

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Chris Christie signed a bill into law on March 23 that will bar religious organizations from selling cemetery memorials, vaults, or mausoleums. The bill was overwhelmingly supported by both Democrats and the Republicans in the NJ House and Senate. 

Apparently the Monument Builders of New Jersey (MBNJ) didn’t like the competition the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark was bringing to bear after getting into the monument sales business a couple years ago. So the MBNJ began an 18-month long battle to force the Archdiocese out of the monument business -- with a lot of help from state lawmakers -- crony capitalism at its best. One has to wonder how much money went into GOP war chests in exchange for a law that is likely to be found unconstitutional.

This behavior by Republicans is disconcerting and disappointing, to say the least. If these actions are indicative of what we can expect from Republican leaders today, what might happen if the GOP retains control of Congress and anything less than a true conservative Republican becomes president in 2016?  What is going to differentiate a Republican administration from a Democratic one? 

Some Republicans, it seems, are now in favor of higher taxes and more spending, big government, and enacting laws that impact the free market by stifling competition. And with the exception of a few outspoken Conservative Republicans, the GOP also does not seem too enthused about wanting to repeal ObamaCare, putting an end to Common Core, shrinking the size of government, balancing the budget and reducing the deficit, coming up with a better system of taxation, and defending traditional marriage and restoring the Judeo-Christian values that made this country great and stopping the rampant march of secular progressive relativism. 

If the states really are laboratories of democracy, the GOP needs to start coming up with much better scientists to run the experiments because raising taxes, increasing spending, and practicing crony capitalism are all pretty old and unimaginative liberal ideas. What’s more, the RNC and ‘the old guard’ need to wake up. Conciliation, moderation and caving in to secular progressive moral relativism are all weakening our society and our country. 

Tolerance and acceptance are honorable traits providing they do not become more important than truth. When feel-good emotionalism replaces Logos -- the word of God -- our society and our Judeo Christian culture are in trouble. 

As Samuel Gregg, Research Director at the Acton Institute, pointed out recently,

“The word “culture” is derived from the Latin cultus, which broadly means “religious customs” or “rites.” This illustrates that religion, in the sense of views about the Divine, is truly at the heart of any culture.”

The secular progressive moral relativists want to remove God from our culture, or at least minimize His impact on society. The DNC seems to be all in favor of this, and so long as ours it a two party system, only a strong, conservative GOP that can articulate the advantages of conservativism can stop the advance of secular progressive moral relativism.

The 'silent majority’ in this country is still alive and waiting the make their collective voices heard -- if only the GOP will put up a strong conservative candidate for 2016.

By signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law, Indiana governor and GOP presidential nominee wannabe Mike Pence briefly looked like a real conservative, trying to champion the Judeo-Christian morals and principles that made this country great. But within days of signing the RFRA, under unrelenting fire from the secular progressive MSM, Pence’s conservative resolve withered, and he decided the RFRA needed to be re-written ‘for clarification.’

Unfortunately, Pence is not the only Republican in a leadership position who doesn’t understand that the only way to stop secular progressive relativism is to actually be a Republican . . . and not behave like a Democrat. Two other Republican Governors haven’t been acting much like Republicans either. We can now add Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and, if any doubt still remained, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to the list of RINOs.

When Michiganders voted in solid Republican majorities in both chambers of the state’s legislature, and gave Republican Governor Rick Snyder a second term in 2012, conservative Michiganders might have expected great things to emerge from the legislature -- maybe some real fiscal responsibility, or a plan to reduce the size of the state’s government. Some may have even expected a proposal to turn the legislature into a part-time legislature, or maybe a good school voucher plan, or a reduction in taxes. So far, however, apart from becoming a right-to-work state in 2014, none of these ideas are even a speck on the horizon. In light of this, it almost appears that the right-to-work legislation was aimed more at drying up a source of funding for the Dems then making businesses more competitive. Especially since Snyder and the GOP-controlled state congress are now asking voters to go the polls on May 5 to raise taxes on themselves. 

It seems that the biggest problem in Michigan these days is not unemployment, huge underfunded public-employee pension plans, the demise of traditional families, creeping secularism, or even the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy. The real problem is bad roads and crumbling bridges. Many of Michigan’s roads and bridges are in terrible shape and are badly in need of repair, and this, despite right to work, is apparently preventing the state from attracting new businesses and creating more jobs. But most of all this is posing a threat to the health and wellbeing of Michigan residents, especially, horror of horrors, all the kids who have to travel these roads to go to school (straight out of the DNC playbook, it’s always about ‘the kids!’). Michigan did get $1 Billion in stimulus money for road repairs in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but apparently $1 Billion doesn’t go as far as it once did.  Another $1.24 Billion are needed to get the roads up to snuff.

In response to this problem Republicans in the state’s House came up with a zero tax increase plan that would simply have shifted some tax revenue around to pay for the needed road repairs. Some not-so-conservative Republicans in Michigan’s Senate, however, with encouragement from Governor ‘Let’s Raise Taxes Some More’ Snyder, had other ideas -- raise the tax on gas and diesel fuel to pay for the road repairs. 

As a result of the conflicting plans, the House and the Senate had to come up with a compromise. And what a compromise it was. They came up with a plan to increase taxes and spending by $1.9 billion. The only problem with this plan, however, is that any sales tax increase has to be approved by the voters. So on May 5 Michigan voters will have to go to the polls and decide whether or not to vote on ‘yes’ on Proposal 1 and raise their own taxes. And of course the ballot proposal had to make it sound like it’s all about the kids and schools:

“A proposal to amend the State Constitution to increase the sales/use tax from 6% to 7% to replace and supplement reduced revenue to the School Aid Fund and local units of government caused by the elimination of the sales/use tax on gasoline and diesel fuel for vehicles operating on public roads, and to give effect to laws that provide additional money for roads and other transportation purposes by increasing the gas tax and vehicle registration fees.”

GOP lawmakers in Michigan may have though this was a shrewd move. After all, if the voters approve a tax increase this lets Snyder and his fellow RINOs off the hook. They could simply say to voters ‘don’t blame us, you voted for it!’ And so the ‘Say yes to Prop 1,’ campaign has begun. Perchance they are also hoping that Michigan voters have already forgotten that this is the same governor and essentially the same group of lawmakers that implemented a brand new tax on retiree pensions a couple years ago. 

So now Michiganders will get to decide if they want to vote themselves another tax increase, of around $525 per household starting in 2016, thanks to a Republican governor and legislature behaving not that much differently than Democrats might. 

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Chris Christie signed a bill into law on March 23 that will bar religious organizations from selling cemetery memorials, vaults, or mausoleums. The bill was overwhelmingly supported by both Democrats and the Republicans in the NJ House and Senate. 

Apparently the Monument Builders of New Jersey (MBNJ) didn’t like the competition the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark was bringing to bear after getting into the monument sales business a couple years ago. So the MBNJ began an 18-month long battle to force the Archdiocese out of the monument business -- with a lot of help from state lawmakers -- crony capitalism at its best. One has to wonder how much money went into GOP war chests in exchange for a law that is likely to be found unconstitutional.

This behavior by Republicans is disconcerting and disappointing, to say the least. If these actions are indicative of what we can expect from Republican leaders today, what might happen if the GOP retains control of Congress and anything less than a true conservative Republican becomes president in 2016?  What is going to differentiate a Republican administration from a Democratic one? 

Some Republicans, it seems, are now in favor of higher taxes and more spending, big government, and enacting laws that impact the free market by stifling competition. And with the exception of a few outspoken Conservative Republicans, the GOP also does not seem too enthused about wanting to repeal ObamaCare, putting an end to Common Core, shrinking the size of government, balancing the budget and reducing the deficit, coming up with a better system of taxation, and defending traditional marriage and restoring the Judeo-Christian values that made this country great and stopping the rampant march of secular progressive relativism. 

If the states really are laboratories of democracy, the GOP needs to start coming up with much better scientists to run the experiments because raising taxes, increasing spending, and practicing crony capitalism are all pretty old and unimaginative liberal ideas. What’s more, the RNC and ‘the old guard’ need to wake up. Conciliation, moderation and caving in to secular progressive moral relativism are all weakening our society and our country. 

Tolerance and acceptance are honorable traits providing they do not become more important than truth. When feel-good emotionalism replaces Logos -- the word of God -- our society and our Judeo Christian culture are in trouble. 

As Samuel Gregg, Research Director at the Acton Institute, pointed out recently,

“The word “culture” is derived from the Latin cultus, which broadly means “religious customs” or “rites.” This illustrates that religion, in the sense of views about the Divine, is truly at the heart of any culture.”

The secular progressive moral relativists want to remove God from our culture, or at least minimize His impact on society. The DNC seems to be all in favor of this, and so long as ours it a two party system, only a strong, conservative GOP that can articulate the advantages of conservativism can stop the advance of secular progressive moral relativism.

The 'silent majority’ in this country is still alive and waiting the make their collective voices heard -- if only the GOP will put up a strong conservative candidate for 2016.