Despite making clear that I was not advocating a third party, but rather recognizing that one will spring up if the Republican leadership does not pay attention to the state of its own party, many not only assumed wrongly my advocacy, but resorted to the worn out argument of the Republican leaders over several generations — “we must fight the Democrats first” or the variant “the top priority is beating Barack Obama.”
The problem with this argument is it never ends. How many more trillion dollars must we add to the national debt before the “wait and focus on the other side first” crowd wakes up to what they have enabled?
When George Bush decided to pass Ted Kennedy’s No Child Left Behind plan as his own, conservatives were told they needed to rally and help the President, given his victory while losing the popular vote. We needed unity.
After steel tariffs for Pennsylvania, “hush,” we were told because we were trying to set the stage for a re-election.
Then came the prescription drug benefit and we better not challenge the President because … 9/11 … patriotism … build the party.
He nominated Harriet Miers and more than half the conservative establishment beclowned themselves standing with him.
Then came immigration reform and those who disagreed from the right were racists. Solidarity!
TARP . . . the General Motors bailout . . . still Republicans told Republicans we couldn’t hold our own side accountable because we needed to fight the left “and oh my goodness litmus tests!!!!!”
Earmarks? “Litmus tests!!!!” and “pshaw, they’re just a little teeny-tiny piece of the budget.”
That was some time around $10 trillion in national debt.
Then the GOP began cutting deals with Barack Obama. “Trust them,” others said, “they have a plan.” The tea party led them to victory and the tea party congressmen started voting just like their leadership. The debt ceiling increased, spending expanded, Pledge to Nowhere pledges were breached, and still we hear “we have to fight the other side first.”
And then there was the Senate variant, “Oh Mitch McConnell had to do that or else Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and . . . and . . . and . . .”
Friends, at what point do we hold our side accountable? $20 trillion in debt? $50 trillion in debt? Contrary to what some of you want to think, it was not the Democrats who got us to $16 trillion in national debt. It was bipartisan. Some of it legitimate, much of it not, and all to the tune of “let’s focus on the Democrats instead. They’re the real bad guys here.”
The leaders of the GOP give lip service to smaller government but just last week shut down legitimate private businesses to feed the leviathan more tax revenue. Republicans in the House of Representatives are now urging candidates not to sign the ATR tax pledge and Republicans in the Senate are cutting deals that will boost revenue because — deficits. And still they add to the debt.
So if not now, when? Not until we’re all speaking Chinese apparently.
If the conservative movement cannot fight on two fronts, we’re screwed. But some of you will be okay with that as long as its an elephant and not a donkey screwing you.