Has the Speaker of the House we applauded three short years ago given up the good fight? Is the House leadership so intimidated by accusations about Tea Party radicals from the progressive extremists that rule the Democratic Party that they forgot that the word “compromise” no longer exists?
Giving in to extremism for the sake of compromise is not a bipartisan turning point we can accept. Democrats never would. Since Nancy Pelosi’s fall from grace they have worked tirelessly to shame conservatives into seeing things their way, charging that spineless GOP leaders are in the grip of the Tea Party. Even the House’s capitulation on spending and deficit reduction last week was not enough to keep Harry Reid happy:
It is hard to imagine a more pointless exercise than spending an entire day waiting for a vote whose outcome we already know. But Republicans insist on wasting time simply for the sake of wasting time.1
No, Reid wasn’t talking about the budget deal awaiting approval in his Senate. After patting John Boehner on the back for playing nice, he slammed Republicans for obstructing another Obama court appointee. That’s what happens when you give an inch to extremists. They take it and keep going.
There is no conservative middle ground.
How can the GOP compete from a conservative middle ground when members are up against the kind of progressive extremism that Barack Obama brought with him to Washington? We have not been able to sustain the level of anti-progressive fervor that gripped conservatives during the Tea Party March on Washington:
Let us do as those great Americans we remember in this city have done before: let us stand and fight for freedom. And if we hold the banner of freedom high, I believe with all my heart that the good and great people of this country will rally to our cause, we will take this Congress back in 2010 and we will take this Country back in 2012, so help us God.2
We don’t hear much about taking back America anymore, though given the glut of executive orders and presidential actions (see: Visa Overstays and DACA Applicants Get Lucky), a health care bill that doesn’t work, the excesses of the Recovery Act, deteriorating foreign relations, and debt and spending problems lawmakers ran away from last week, there is plenty to regain. Since spending runs the greatest risk of ruining us, the deficit would be a good place to start.
Agreeing with Democrats makes us slaves to debt.
The newest budget deal ignores entitlement spending and continues to deny Americans freedom by enslaving us to federal debt.
Before the Tea Party handed Boehner the House, Paul Ryan warned that Social Security and Medicare “will grow themselves right into extinction.”3 2014 is an election year and no politician worth a stump will suggest we trim entitlements, so pulling back on spending cuts is timely for Democrats who got a stopgap deal to ”bring stability to the budget process”4 without dealing with the budget.
Will the Tea Party lose credibility because Boehner gave up?
The only thing worse than Speaker Boehner charging conservative groups with losing credibility is buying into Democratic criticism by blaming them for instigating a losing fight against Obamacare. The party’s most fiscally conservative elements are our gatekeepers against Obama’s progressive extremists running amok with America’s money, something not prevented by the Ryan-Murray budget agreement.
The year-end spending squabble has become a Christmas tradition on the Hill that in better days was met with remarks like this from Boehner:
Yesterday in the Senate, we saw a victory for the American people when the so-called omnibus bill had an untimely death. You know, Congress was gearing up for one last big spending spree before Christmas, with thousands of earmarks, but the American people just wouldn’t stand for it. The American people spoke out, and the bill got scrapped.5
This year we got this instead:
“It’s doing what the American people expect us to do, and that’s coming together and finding common ground. Stick to our principles, but find common ground.6
Was throwing conservatives under the bus for an annual $2.3 billion in deficit reduction and a little common ground worth it?