To A Republican Talk Show Host Who Lauded Republicans Who Raised The Debt Ceiling For Free
Following is a message I sent to a Republican talk-show host who challenged listeners to say what they thought Republicans should have done with the debt-ceiling and the defund Obamacare effort.. Did they want a shutdown? A default? Another drop in America’s credit rating? How could a showdown bode well for Republicans? He made such noise on this when Cruz promoted defunding of Obamacare, I had to switch to a program that aired the other side. I recently began sneaking back a listen but upon the criticism of Republicans who surrender everything in raising the debt-ceiling, he started up again. It’s maddening.
What should have happened is the last paragraph, but these are all serious questions. I’ve listened to you for years. I prefer listening to you because I like your historical discussions and knowledge. And I don’t use the term “RINO.” I was around at the birth of the term when there actually were Democrats who changed their party affiliation here in Texas for purely political reasons because the tide was shifting during the Reagan administration. I hear what you say and see what you write. I know you are a genuine conservative as are the vast majority of Republican Senators. I voted for Mitch McConnell in his first Senate run (I was in graduate school). And I voted for John Cornyn here. But today I could vote for neither of them; and it isn’t personal, and it isn’t “games.” (a rather annoying word you like to use. By the way, if it is games, what would constitute winning? Perhaps that’s what you are asking? They say it’s a matter of tactics not ideals. And I largely agree. It’s their tactics that are wrong. I believe it’s that disposition and the consequent constant losing ground (even while winning some elections) that has brought us steadily and with increasing speed to the unprecedented hole (a black one?) that we are in today. Were it not for Republican spinelessness, we would not be here. You think otherwise Democrats would win elections and it would be worse. I don’t, and think too many Republicans are gutless, win or lose. Ronald Reagan won two landslides and when he was told what he couldn’t say or do politically, he smiled and did it anyway at the PATCO strike, with Gorbachev in Reykjavik, and at The Brandenburg gate in Berlin. And neither he or Republicans were hated for it. What people don’t like is tentative leaders.
Today it isn’t just a matter of either reducing or maximizing national prosperity. We are at or beyond national calamity, which is not a matter of “games.” Maybe your family will survive comfortably enough when the payoff for what we are doing sets in. But millions of Americans won’t. We should care about the people whom those who pose to defend them don’t. They are those to whom Republicans now surrender, and which surrender you cheer. Why is it Republicans who risk the supposed horrors of a government shutdown, or worse a “default;” which we’ve never had? Was the shutdown after the defund Obamacare effort a horror or was it media provoked hysteria? And are you saying that our credit rating is more secure by borrowing titanic sum upon titanic sum than it would be after a concerted effort to stop the madness? Have we gone down a magical rabbit-hole? Republicans in The House are constitutionally charged with the power of the purse, which they flinch from exercising. Why do Reid and Obama get a pass, even if they refuse to negotiate? Republicans are supposed to know and act to accord with an assumed Obama veto of a good bill. But Obama isn’t supposed to assume that The Congress will not fund this unpopular program that is destructive of the quality and delivery and will balloon the cost of health care? I’ll answer that: No, he shouldn’t, because he and everyone else knows Republicans will cave.
I’m afraid I know why it is assumed that Republicans must and should relent. If the roles were reversed, a Democrat House would by contrast contest a Republican president. But it would in that case still be the Democrat House that would not negotiate and a Republican president challenged and buckling at everyone’s plea not to shut down the government or risk a default…unless that Republican president was a Ted Cruz. Either way, the media would blame a Republican or Republicans. And I expect that. But I expect more from Republicans in government and media than to join in calling for craven surrender and even in the language. Actually, I don’t bother now to expect more from Republicans who lack both courage and conviction; courage to engage the struggle and conviction that truth carries its own power into the struggle. I expect conservative Republican voters to unseat them and wish them well in their retirement. These cringing Republicans treat the truth as though it is just another proposal the contest. In that, they are unworthy of the truth that they are the custodians of. Give the people the truth and you’ve done your job. If they reject it, they deserve what they get. If you don’t stand for it, then it’s on you.
I actually like both McConnell and Cornyn, as examples. But who I like has nothing to do with the matter. What matters is the welfare of the nation and The Republican Party. Will the Republican Party prosper and help the country with their timidity? I think not. Voters respect conviction and resolve, not ambiguity and feebleness. And these timorous Republicans now watch not just the diminishment but the ruin of the country. In hopes of winning elections? I don’t believe that prospect is improved in their performance. And even if it were and they won power, why should we believe (in fact, I don’t) that they will have the steel to do the massive work required to rectify even the direction of the country, rather than just slow the decline a little, perhaps owning the calamity while they are in power? They are not going to win a filibuster-proof majority in The Senate and they won’t have The White House for over 21/2 years at least; probably not then if they are going to be undifferentiated unidentifiable plasma. So we would be at the same standoff. And everyone knows where the weak knees are; especially Obama and Democrats. Obama wins at Poker not because he’s great but because Republicans are weak and transparent.
So now, to answer your question, here’s what should have happened and should be happening. Rather than deserting him or cutting his water off, Republicans should have stood up in unity with Ted Cruz in the Senate behind defunding Obamacare. Hey, had they been united, it wouldn’t have even had to be Ted Cruz as the clear leader. The Republican message should have been crystal clear and unequivocal. But if they’d done that, they could have held it up in The Senate. What’s the worst that could have happened? Refusing to back down, Reid could have forced a shutdown or in the unlikely event that he passed a CR through that defunded Obamacare, Obama vetoes it and forces a shutdown. Either way it’s clear, Republicans refused to fund this damaging and unpopular law and Reid or Obama let the government shut down ONLY to protect Obamacare. They own it just like they passed it: without a scrap of Republican help. And what happened after The Senate caved? A shut down. So the only difference is that Republicans didn’t stand united against it.
This time, after Senate Republicans had shown their unreliability, The House wasn’t going to face the media and establishment scarecrow of a shutdown alone They had funded everything in government EXCEPT Obamacare, and EVEN REPUBLICANS SCORNED THEM FOR CAUSING A SHUTDOWN! By the way I must say the shutdown did hurt me. I think I missed a dessert while listening to media talk about it.