With the passage of a so-called “clean” debt ceiling bill, Republican leadership has sealed the deal. While they have been accused of being liberals in conservative clothing, and given labels like RINO, they have now embraced all of the accusations that have been thrown at them, and then some.
Under any administration, raising the debt ceiling is an indication of failure. The federal government seems unable (or just very stubbornly unwilling) to handle taxpayers’ money responsibly, so whomever is in the White House has to keep going back to Congress and asking permission to continue the reckless irresponsibility.
It used to be that the minority party would at least put up a little bit of a fight – as well they should. A lot of the complaining about disunity and unproductiveness in Washington just amounts to the Left complaining when they can’t get their way on each and every issue. When they bring canings back to the Senate, I might start getting worried about disunity, but not before.
When Ted Cruz gave his 20+ hour speech on the floor of the Senate pointing out the multitude of problems and illegalities with Obamacare, the GOP had a great opportunity to finally do something productive by getting rid of one of the worst laws ever written. They very well could have responded to all of the critics who accused them of not having a plan to replace Obamacare by offering passage of an Obamacare replacement in exchange for ending the government shut-down that followed Cruz’s speech. At the least, they could have insisted that a repeal-and-replace bill be heard before the Senate, instead of being shelved like every other Republican idea has been.
But Republican leadership was too busy listening to all of the Democrats telling them that Americans blamed the shutdown on them. Instead of using the opportunity to take a strong stand for conservatism, they sent mouthpiece after mouthpiece out to deliver their talking points: they all agreed with Ted Cruz’s sentiments about how bad Obamacare is, but they all said it was the “wrong tactic.”
But now, all of the Republicans who were so busy pointing out the tactical flaws when a Republican actually stood on principles seem to be united on one tactic: roll over and play dead.
They came together for a grand budget compromise; in doing so, they got rid of one of the only substantive reductions in the growth of the federal government in recent history (though, to be fair, the sequester was still just one drop in a very large bucket). Any Republican who pointed out that the budget deal was a horrible idea was universally condemned by both sides of the aisle, who apparently decided to agree that unity at any cost is more important than any modicum of fiscal responsibility.
And then, when they had another chance to fight, they went down before the first punch was swung. You see, Democrats have learned all of the right buzzwords when it comes to the debt ceiling, so the first time they started mumbling their talking points about “paying the bills,” “full faith and credit,” and how those mean Republicans are “hostage takers,” they had the GOP leadership quaking in their boots and ready to pass anything as long as the media and the Democrats would just leave them alone.
So congratulations Speaker Boehner, Congressman Cantor, and Majority Whip McCarthy. You have received accolades from a man whom ever conservative wishes to please: Harry Reid. Was it really worth selling out your ideals?