Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The leaderless and the statesmen

With the pretentiously named Budget Control Act of 2011 ushered through the Senate and quickly signed into law by the President on Tuesday, I think it’s worthwhile to slow down and take a look at our so-called leaders in the Senate compared to the responsible coalition of the few, but principled, among their ranks. First, the Senate leaders

Mitch McConnell

“Now I know that for some of our colleagues, reform isn’t coming as fast as they’d like, and I certainly understand their frustration. I too wish we could stand here today enacting something much more ambitious, but I’m encouraged by the thought that these new Senators will help lead this fight until we finish the job. And I want to assure you today that although you may not see it this way, you’ve actually won this debate.”
Really? Besides a plan that neither the majority leader nor the minority leader seem to agree upon within the terms of the legislation passed (or perhaps that's just their perception ploy), how is winning a debate that results in opposing legislative action perceived as some celebratory victory? Yes, it is encouraging to see our new Senators stand up to Big Government, but to convince us that this nonproductive bill takes our economy in any positive direction is deceptive nonsense, and the tea party realizes this, Mitch.

“It doesn’t include a dime, not a dime, in job-killing tax hikes.”
Here’s McConnell’s ‘Read My Lips’ moment in which he’s regrettably underestimated his ‘friends’ across the aisle.

“And I want to thank my friend the majority leader [Reid] for his work in getting this agreement over the finish line. We may disagree a lot, but I hope everyone realizes, it’s never, ever, personal.”
And isn’t that part of the problem? These guys puff up their chests, perform their political theater for one another, for the media, for the cameras to transmit across the nation; but when it comes to impoverishing the taxpayer and driving the economy over the cliff, it isn’t personal.

Harry Reid

"We've had too much talk the last few days of Republicans as early as this morning, Republican leaders in the Senate saying there will be no revenue. That's not going to happen. Otherwise, the trigger is going to kick in. The only way we can arrive at a fair arrangement for the American people with this joint committee is to have equal sharing. It's going to be painful. Each party if they do the right thing, it's going to be painful for them because to be fair, we have to move forward. There has to be equal spending cuts, there has to be some revenue that matches that."
See, Mitch…the majority leader has a different take on the relationship between the super committee and the trigger. Fair and balanced (ha!) means tax hikes in both Harry and Barry’s collective consciousness.  And if Republicans can't accept that, they'll be forced to make Defense cuts.  The GOP leadership has placed the party between a rock and a hard place.  Way to use your half a loaf, guys.

“But I can’t let go without responding to my friend who boasted, in his own way, about the new Senators and new members of Congress who came here. I welcome them all, but as result of the tea party direction of this Congress, the past few months has been very, very disconcerting and very unfair to the American people. It stopped us from arriving at a conclusion much earlier, and we must go forward.”
Poor, poor Harry. Besides not being able to keep his dementia-prone mind off the tea party, now he has to smell the people on the Senate floor! So unfair. Seriously though, Reid’s agitation stems simply from the fact that there are now members of the Senate, and in the House, who dare challenge the entrenched power brokers. He, like the rest of the statist Democrats, views these tea party members not as representatives of the People, but as obstacles to Big Government, and this concerns them. However, he and the President both know that as long as they’re led by feckless leadership, conservative Republicans can still be restrained…and this is what they’ll count on through 2012.

This deal is without doubt a joke, but the influence of the tea party is not. The concerted effort of principled conservatives isn’t extreme or crazy, it isn’t terroristic or absolutist; it’s a reflection of the Will of the People, exemplary of what it’s going to take to get our government’s fiscal house in order, and we need many more.  Now, let’s contemplate their Senate positions on this deal…

Jim DeMint

Sen. DeMint's press release echoed his statements on the Senate floor:

“This debt deal puts America at risk and does nothing to solve our spending crisis. We haven’t changed direction in Washington. We’re just tapping the brakes as we speed toward a fiscal cliff.

The President will now be responsible for nearly $6 trillion in new debt in just four years in office, more than any other president before him. The President’s reckless spending policies have made things worse, leaving our economy in shambles and Americans with less hope for the future. To grow the economy, we must stop growing government.

This bill doesn’t cut the debt; it will add about $7 trillion in new debt over the next ten years on the backs of our children and grandchildren. This bill doesn’t stop deficit spending; it locks in trillion dollar spending deficits for years to come. This bill doesn’t stop tax hikes; Republicans and Democrats are already promising to consider job destroying tax hikes in this new Super Committee. This bill doesn’t protect our nation; it puts national security at risk with unbalanced cuts to funding our troops in the field. This bill doesn’t guarantee our AAA rating; it puts it at further risk as the world sees Washington as incapable of cutting wasteful spending.

I want to applaud Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell for doing their best, but they were negotiating with a President and Democrat party that refused real solutions and sought a blank check for their big-spending agenda. However, this deal isn’t anywhere close to what needs to be done to save our nation from bankruptcy.

This sad debate makes it clear that Washington will never stop spending more than it takes in until Congress is forced to with a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.”

While still remaining civil, a stark difference in tone, one of integrity and frankness, is detected by this stalwart conservative kingmaker, who has proven time and time again to move against the all-too-common current of our Big Government behemoth and side with the Will of the People that too many in Washington have disregarded.  It is with this character that is understandably why Sen. DeMint would also defend the tea party a day earlier from V.P. Biden and Congressman Doyle’s slanders.  And speaking earlier to McConnell's 'it's never, ever, personal' comment, another symptom of the problem lies in that last image of the above video, in which Sen. DeMint notes the abscence of a quorum (i.e., an empty Senate).

Along with DeMint’s comments on the failings of this so-called Budget Control Act, here’s what other tea party conservatives said on the Senate floor throughout Tuesday’s debate…

Rand Paul
"What America needs is a balanced budget and an economy that grows and thrives and creates jobs. Yet, a malaise hangs in the air. America is a ship without a captain. Instead of the president chastising job creators and preaching class envy, we need a president that will show us leadership. The president needs to accept responsibility for an economy that has worsened under his failed leadership. Unemployment is up. Gas prices have doubled. This president will add more debt than all 43 presidents combined. America got a deal on August 2, but not a solution. What America wants is a solution, not a deal. I hope in the next six months the president will find it within himself to lead the nation, the courage to lead and embrace reform, the reform that is necessary to get this great country going again."

Mike Lee
"I stand today to explain my reasons for voting against the debt limit increase that we will be voting on in just about a half an hour from now. This is a crisis that America faces. It's an ongoing crisis that will neither be created nor eliminated with today's vote. This is a crisis that has been building gradually over the course of years, decades, in fact. It's a crisis that we have certainly known about ever since this Congress was sworn in January of this year. This is a crisis that threatens potentially every federal program from defense to entitlements, because as we continue to borrow more money as a nation, adding to the already almost $15 trillion that we have accumulated in national debt, roughly $150,000 for every taxpayer in America, as we continue to add to that enormous debt, we get closer and closer to the unknown, but nonetheless existing point at which we will no longer be able to borrow, at least not at interest rates that will make this kind of borrowing sustainable."

Marco Rubio
"The facts still remain that this coming month and every month to come, more or less, this government will spend $300 billion a month. That's a lot of money. More than any government has ever spent in the history of man. $180 billion of that $300 billion is money that we collect from the people of our country through taxes and fees and other ways. But, we borrow $120 billion a month to pay our $300 billion-a-month bill. That's just too much money. That's too much money for Republicans. It's too much money for Democrats. It's just too much money. Although we should be happy that tomorrow and in the days to come we're not facing a default, an inability to meet our bills, the truth is, an undeniable one, that I don't think anyone here would disagree with me when I say, we can't keep borrowing $120 billion every month or more. Because, the day will come when the people who lend us that money will stop lending us that money."

Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a couple dozen more from the DeMint crew! Then there’d be no doubt that effective statesmanship could quickly return to a Capitol that hasn’t seen it in quite sometime.  And although there are many shorts and sparks flying throughout the craft of government, we are nonetheless on a slow burn, so 2012 is still alterable. Never give up and never surrender! Take the Rush and Levin approach towards the media and extend the middle finger to them. Resilience is a MUST. Focus on the targets of Big Government's destructive forces, and spread the word to all Americans, VOTE THEM OUT! First and foremost, the statists; then the enablers will crumble.

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