Not to gloat but man was I right in my prediction that the GOP would abandon principal and assessment that they were never actually in negotiations in which Democrats were willing to compromise. I said they would vote for tax increases and give President Obama almost everything he wanted. That is exactly what happened this week. I was right, I was right! So now that my gloating is over the sad reality must set in, our Party is dying and we have no leaders willing or able to revive it at the moment. Even worse, this is just the beginning. Things are about to get much worse.
How did I know the GOP would cave? Let me walk you through some history. I believe it is important to understand how we got here. Otherwise there is no chance of moving forward.
I never like it when I hear people on the far left or right say “there isn’t a difference between the two parties.” The issue isn’t that black and white. There are elected representatives of both parties who are leading the organizations and making decisions. People like John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Reince Preibus, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. People are right to assume there isn’t much difference between them.
Then there are the people who make up each Party, the voters, on-the-ground people, vast waves of Americans with varying stakes in the ideology of each organization. We want similar things, a happy life, prosperity for our family and a piece of the American dream of doing more than just getting by. Yet we increasingly have vast differences in how we think this can be achieved. I am a Republican not because of the politicians but the people who make up this Party. Because their solutions are the ones I believe and history has shown will be a success. When we Republicans vote we truly want to see a different world than the other half of the nation. We want to believe that what the candidates are telling us is true and that we are electing someone who will fight for that world. Unfortunately all of us are routinely disappointed.
The elected Representatives of both Parties pander to the people and tell them what they want to hear. Once they get to Washington things change. These politicians are rarely if ever true devotees to our ideology. Yes these elected representatives are beholden to corporations, farmers, foreign nations, George Soros and the Koch brothers who fund their campaigns and give them nice retirement jobs and book deals. That isn’t the reason they run from us though. It isn’t why they act so horribly. The truth is politicians are people who seek to wield and maintain power and influence. So they act in ways that will grow and maintain that power and against the interests of limited government, liberty and the ideological ideas they espoused when running. The Koch Brothers, George Soros and all the other demons we create are means to an end for them. The end isn’t ideological though, it is a quest for power, wealth and influence. Our founders understood this motivation and sought to create a government that would keep these machinations in check. Unfortunetly the government they created has been routinely corrupted and converted away from liberty and toward autocracy.
During the reign of George W Bush and the Republican Congress, the size and scope of government grew to obscene levels. We are in massive debt in part because of their reckless binge spending. They created the TSA, Department of Homeland Security, Faith Based Initiatives, No Child Left Behind, TARP and so on. They tossed out conservative ideology the moment they were elected and then blamed 9/11 and the economy. It wasn’t either. If they truly believed in conservative ideology then they would have shrunk the size of government even in the face of crisis because our ideology has proven ways of dealing with crisis. They chose instead to grow government, claiming they could be trusted not to abuse it. They did abuse it and then handed their destructive machinery to a group of people who openly promised to grow it more.
Elected Democrats are no different. Warrant-less wiretaps, limitless detention, an explosion of worldwide drone strikes and expansion of American military influence, massive payouts to drug and medical companies in Obamacare, these are not the will or desire of the people who make up the grassroots of the Democrat Party. How many campaign promises from transparency to closing Guantanamo Bay to ending our worldwide militarism has Barack Obama kept? The anti-war candidate has a kill list. Does that represent the will of Democrat voters? No more than the massive spending of Republicans represented the will of conservatives. Yet in both cases the masses largely stayed silent, that is where we have little difference.
So yes, there is no difference between elected officials and Party leaders on either side. Their ultimate goal is power and influence and they are more than willing to abandon principal to achieve both. Most were lying about sharing these principals to begin with. The people though, we want more. So what both parties do is pick their few slices of the pie. Republicans will raise taxes and spend like sailors but they won’t go as far as the Democrats will. So we conservative voters justify their actions and blame the opposition believing that it would be worse if the other side were left unfettered. Yet the ends are always the same. Whether it is a Republican spending and growing government or a Democrat we end in the same pit.
How did I know Boehner and crew would raise taxes, not cut spending and essentially continue to bankrupt the nation? It is easy to see when you accept that their motive is the consolidation of power and growth of influence, not the advancement of principal. That is why we have seen him silence criticism from members who represent the ideology of Republican and conservative voters. They all put on a great show, huffing and puffing loudly and making it seem like they fought hard for us. Yet they are unwilling to go far enough, incapable of sticking to principal in the face of a public relations problem because they fear losing power.
Many of us are starting to wake up. To realize that it isn’t enough to just elect people who call themselves Republican. It no longer feels right to back someone like Mitt Romney, John McCain or Speaker Boehner. We feel dirty doing so, knowing that, like Lucy and Charlie Brown, the football will simply be taken away. Yet our fear of the alternative, of a nation run on progressive and liberal ideology without limits will take us to an even darker abyss than the one we currently occupy, drives us to fall in line.
We must remove that fear because we are already living in that world. Our complacency has delivered the nightmare we thought we were avoiding.
Until now I have been somewhat skeptical of conservative attempts to target candidates who have impure voting records but could win elections. I feared it could backfire leading to the old adage of biting off ones nose to spite the face. Yet towing the Party line and giving power to openly hostile Republicans has simply weakened our Party and clouded our judgement. We now live in a world where most Americans associate the fiscal recklessness of the Bush years with fiscal conservatism and the remaining years of the Clinton era, with budding conservative control of Congress and increasing deregulation, as liberalism. That isn’t because some George Soros left-wing media conspiracy is brainwashing people. That is because we’ve lived through an age of Republicans acting like progressive liberals and some Democrats acting like fiscal conservatives. Why? Because at that time both sides thought that was the best way for them to consolidate their power and grow their influence. They embraced an ideology that was contradictory to their own in order to “win” not to make the lives of individuals better or advance a cause.
There was never any chance the GOP would adhere to the principals it claimed to espouse in the last election. I knew that the moment we lost and I had real fears they wouldn’t had Romney won. Why? Because we’ve lived through Richard Nixon and both Bush presidencies and the same people who ran those administrations were the ones advancing Romney’s candidacy.
After the election Speaker Boehner and company did not want the public relations disaster that would have ensued had they allowed taxes to rise and spending to be cut. Congress created this artificial cliff and even though they could have spent weeks or months coming up with a better plan, the sense of urgency they themselves created demanded an immediate solution. So what we got was the compromise, laden with the same pork spending and fiscal irresponsibility we have come to know from both sides in Congress.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was passed in the darkness of night, with little to no debate, transparency or reason. It contains payouts to Hollywood and NASCAR along with green energy schemes and lord knows what else. It will raise taxes on most Americans. It runs counter to the Republican reasoning that has defined our Party for decades. We have argued that placing a high tax burden on wealthy Americans and businesses stalls the economic engine. Well, that is exactly what Republicans just agreed to do. So what are we fighting for?
The most shameful aspect of this bill is that it raises the taxes of working Americans but offers nothing in terms of solving the underlying problem, which is spending. In fact Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates show it will actually raise the deficit by almost $4 trillion. That is what you get when bills are pushed through in the shadows, under the guise that some unforeseen monster will attack without it. You get solutions that create more problems.
Why did elected Republicans do it? To keep power and avert what they believed would have been a public relations disaster. They will do it again and again just as they have for years when faced with an obstacle. That is how we got to this point and that is where we will continue to go. People like Boehner and Paul Ryan talk a great conservative game. They rarely if ever actually play it though.
Politicians are not celebrities and rock stars, they are not Gods to be idolized and we should not excuse their faults and failings. For too long elected Republicans and their cheerleaders have hid behind the red herrings of the “liberal media” and demons like George Soros. They’ve used them to explain away massive spending bills and compromises to the Constitution. We have been too willing to buy it all from them. Is there a liberal media? Yes of course. Is Rachel Maddow as big a threat as an elected Republican putting forward policy for unlimited detention, tax hikes or possibly amnesty or Second Amendment restrictions? Not even close!
If we deal with the disease plaquing our own Party, the politicians running it, we don’t have to worry about MSNBC. If we enact conservatism and raise the livelihood of all Americans, we win. If we continue to vote for Democrat-lite and allow liberalism to be branded as conservatism, we lose. It is that simple.
I have one single resolution in 2013 and that is to be as vigilant fighting the forces of corruption in our own Party as fiercely as I would fight those on the other side. To speak truth even when it isn’t what members of this Party or readers of this blog want to hear.
If elected Republicans continue on this path we will see defeat time and again. We will see it in weeks or months when they fail us on the debt ceiling. We will see it when they collapse on the second amendment. We will witness it when they give up on amnesty. We will be treated to failure time and again. That is the issue we must face immediately, swiftly and without fear. Not doing so will put the final nail in the GOP coffin and guarentee this nation descends into bankruptcy and defeat.