A Reply to Paul Ryan

 

paul-ryanDear Representative Ryan,

This is in response to your email inviting me to take the 2015 Congressional Policy Survey because “This survey is one of the best ways for your voice to be heard.” Being asked for my opinion on leaders who spend more time unilaterally disarming themselves than engaging in the battles that I and others sent them to Washington to fight on our behalf is a dicey proposition, after all. It’s rather like being asked, “Aside from the obvious unpleasantries, how was your voyage on the Titanic?”

My first inclination was to print the email out so I could experience the exhilaration of physically tossing it in the garbage, but I thought better of it. You want my voice to be heard? Fine. Here we go:

From Survey 4869362-42K, I read, “The answers to this questionnaire will help Republican House Leaders confirm where grassroots Conservatives stand on important issues being debated in Congress.”  To which I quickly point out that grassroots Conservatives, by some 60 percent, wanted someone other than John Boehner as House Speaker, and not only were they summarily ignored by Republican House leaders, but Republican members who sided with their constituents were punished.  Just the same, I’ll play along:

  • 1. Please check the top three issues you want House Republicans to focus on in the 114th Congress:

    • Help create jobs and real economic growth

    • Cut spending

    • Eliminate excessive government red tape

    • Repeal Obamacare & lower health care costs

    • Reform the tax code

    • Exercise vigorous oversight of the Obama Administration

    • Keep Americans safe

    • Improve access to quality education

    • Expand energy production

    • Secure the border & enforce our laws

    • Ban taxpayer funding of abortions

    • Make Congress more open & accountable

An innocuous list really, and utterly meaningless since the pursuit of any of these items would require an involuntary spinal transplant for Republican leaders. “Repeal Obamacare?” You’ve had multiple opportunities to sink real teeth into that monstrous law — constitutional opportunities at that. Aside from a plethora of meaningless show votes destined for nowhere, every time Republicans have had a chance to take serious action on Obamacare, you’ve voted to fund it fully.  “Keep Americans safe?” Mr. Ryan, would you be so kind as to inform Mitch McConnell that surrendering the Senate’s treaty review power under the Constitution doesn’t exactly keep Americans safe?

Tell ya what, sir, instead of checking off the top three issues from your list, I’ll narrow it down to one issue — the fact that Nancy Pelosi has more testicular fortitude than all the Republican leaders combined. Oh, she’s about as batty as a saucer-eyed moonie on mushrooms, no question about it! Her ideas consist of undiluted lunacy on the half-shell, but at least she’s willing to advance them rather than cower at her own political shadow. Unless your colleagues on Capitol Hill “grow a pair,” to use the current vernacular, none of the items on your list are attainable, and you know it.

    • 2. Do you believe our $18 trillion debt is a threat to our children and grandchildren?

      • Yes

      • No

      • Undecide

    • 3. Would you say that the current tax code is easy and fair to understand?

      • Yes

      • No

      • Undecided

Anyone who would answer that the debt is not a threat, or that the tax code is easy and fair to understand, wouldn’t be very likely to be on the list of this survey’s recipients, would they? These are “gimme” questions, but to what end? Shallow affirmations of empathy are of little use at this point.

    • 4. Have you or someone you know lost health care coverage, or a doctor, as a result of Obamacare?
    • Yes
    • No
    • Undecided

No, but no one I know personally has contracted AIDS either — that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. I’ve read the data and heard the interviews. What I want to know is why Republicans keep funding this hideous destruction of American healthcare?

  • 5. Should faith-based employers be forced – through Obamacare – to provide services that go against their religious beliefs?
      • Yes
      • No
      • Undecided

Of course not. Should anyone be forced to enter into a private contract by virtue of their simple existence? Of course not. Should the constitutional power of the purse be surrendered in the effort to free Americans from this coercion? Of course not.  And yet Republicans have done it.

        • 6. Should Congress promote responsible legislation that would preserve and protect Social Security and Medicare for future generations?
        • Yes
        • No
        • Undecided

Yes, but hold on to your Depends, because there will be resistance from the White House and the media. Which means that the odds of such legislation being advanced in any meaningful way by your colleagues are exactly zero.

7. Do you believe the Obama Administration needs to outline a comprehensive strategy to defeat and destroy terrorist groups that threaten Americans – like ISIS?
– Yes
– No
– Undecided

The Obama Administration has a comprehensive strategy and it is called appeasement. At home, ISIS can walk right across our southern border, and your leadership is willing to do exactly nothing to stop them. Our ally, Israel, faces an existential threat from Iran, which vows to also destroy America even as the Obama Administration surrenders at the negotiating table and Republicans hand over their only constitutional means of stopping the madness. The question isn’t whether the Administration has a strategy to defeat these maniacs.  They don’t. The question is whether the GOP has a comprehensive strategy to stop Barack Obama’s crippling of America’s security. Stick some substantive ideas on one of your surveys and then we can talk.

      • 8. Should Republicans continue to press the Obama Administration to provide a full and complete accounting of its response to the terror attack in Benghazi and the correspondences on Hillary Clinton’s private email server?

        • Yes

        • No

        • Undecided

That server should have been subpoenaed long ago. It wasn’t. Representative Gowdy’s cross-examinations are stunning in their ability to expose incompetence and fraud while puncturing the egos of the elite. Aside from that most excellent theater, what are the real consequences for those who abuse the public trust and break the law? I fear this is yet another example of Republican theatrics that highlight, but do not seriously address or correct, the problem.

      • 9. Should Iran be allowed to continue enriching uranium?

    • Yes

    • No

    • Undecided

Should I be required to make a redundant point? With Republican assistance, Iran will be allowed to enrich uranium, and Iran will be allowed to nuke up.  Next question please.

          • 10. Do you agree with Republicans that President Obama’s executive amnesty cannot stand?
            • Yes
            • No
            • Undecided

Hell, Republicans don’t even agree with Republicans on this one, because President Obama’s executive amnesty now stands with bipartisan support! Quoth Mitch McConnell back when he was courting voters: “We will use the power of the purse to push back against this overactive bureaucracy.” And here is one of my favorites: “If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act. We’re considering a variety of options.  But make no mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act.”

And act they did, because, within days of gaining a clear majority, the Senator took to the microphones to announce that, “We will not be shutting the government down or threatening to default on the federal debt.” So not only did McConnell preemptively surrender the power of the purse, he adopted the fictional narrative that Republicans would be the ones to close the government and default on the debt. When asked what exactly he would do to stop the President’s unilateral overreach, McConnell said, “We’ll let you know.” The result was as predicted. Those who doubt whether the concept of unconditional surrender is realistic in modern times need only watch Republicans in action.

As for your boss, Speaker Boehner said, “We are going to fight the President tooth and nail if he continues down this path. This is the wrong way to govern. This is exactly what the American people said on election day they didn’t want!” Fiery rhetoric, that — signifying nothing.

The sad fact is that the President’s executive overreach can indeed stand. It stands to this day, buttressed by the self-emasculation of a nominal opposition that now adds insult to injury with this complimentary idiocy of a survey that I predict will ultimately prove as useful as our own votes were last November.

Now you have your answers.

 

There are 66 comments.

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  1. user_358258 Member
    user_358258
    @RandyWebster

    Dave,

    I’m not quite sure what the solution is.  Any “I’ll take my ball and go home,” talk is derided by the establishment, and in fact, I’m not sure it shouldn’t be.  I really am totally at a loss.  What do you do when neither party represents your views?

    • #1
  2. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Question 11
    I lost my testicles during my debate with Biden. Can anyone find them for me, P90X just isn’t the same sans testosterone.
    Nice rant Dave. The GOP can’t be fiscally responsible , socially responsible , ethically responsible, and intellectually responsible. Their only redeeming quality is ‘Not Commie’.

    • #2
  3. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    The GOP is a pseudo-opposition party.

    • #3
  4. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    Dave, send your answers to the “survey” back to Paul Ryan inside an empty $250 bottle of wine.

    You’ll find those bottles, plenty of them, in the trash receptacles behind any K Street restaurant.

    • #4
  5. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Wow,thanks Dave. We haven’t see much of you lately. Glad you came up for air.

    • #5
  6. Old Buckeye Inactive
    Old Buckeye
    @OldBuckeye

    I e-mailed my rep and told him point-blank that his constituents were looking for bold moves from the GOP in the House when one of the egregiously unlawful executive actions went through. The response I got…crickets chirping.

    • #6
  7. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Randy Webster:What do you do when neither party represents your views?

    I suppose you could just buck up and recognize:

    1.  There are 300 million plus people and only two parties, so it would be pretty strange if either of them were tailored just for you.

    2.  It’s a democracy, and if there was a party that represented your views exactly, it would lose.

    3.  The difference between bad and worse is much more important than the difference between good and better, so you vote for “not worse” and count it as a day’s work well done.

    4.  If you still can’t figure it out, pick up a copy of your local leftist newspaper, see who they are endorsing, and vote the other way.

    • #7
  8. user_358258 Member
    user_358258
    @RandyWebster

    I emailed both of my senators, Corker and Alexander, and told them I’d never support them again because of their stance on amnesty.  I heard back from both of them that it was a complicated issue and that there was no simple solution, meaning, I guess, that there was no solution that would satisfy voters and keep campaign contributions flowing.

    • #8
  9. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    How about don’t waste money on meaningless surveys that are just trying to convey that they “get” our…..concerns.

    • #9
  10. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Larry, always settling for “not worse” is just “worse” by a slower route. It will preserve our government but distance our nation ever more from its founding ideals. America will become something unrecognizable.

    So long as Republicans know they can get elected by being merely less corrupt and totalitarian than Democrats, both parties will continue to drift Left. Only by accepting the high costs of letting Democrats win can Republicans be forced into genuine representation.

    It would be a terrible gamble. But the alternative to risking everything is risking nothing and losing everything anyway.

    • #10
  11. user_7742 Member
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    These questionnaires are constant food for my shredder. Some are accompanied by shiny plastic RNC membership cards. My shredder eats them, too. The almost weekly correspondence I’ve been receiving since 2008 from the RNC over the last year has gotten more desperate, “Please tell us that you’re still a Republican. OMG, if you’ve left the party we don’t know what we’d do…You are still out there, right? Hello? Hello? If you are out there, can you please write us a check? Any amount will do but preferably something over $100 because all these mailers aren’t cheap, you know and yes, we really do read the answers to these completely asinine questions.” Uh…or words to that effect.

    • #11
  12. user_1066 Inactive
    user_1066
    @MorituriTe

    I was walking down the street one day, when I was set upon by a gang of ruffians. They took my wallet, pulled out my money and distributed it to their friends, ripped up my health insurance card, forced me to watch while they ran up my credit cards at the liquor store on the corner, and taunted me about my religious beliefs and affiliations.

    At that moment, a group of Republican politicians came around the corner. They spotted my predicament and walked over to where I was being harassed. Their leader, an impressive and attractive young man, reached into his expensive tailored suit jacket. The ruffians froze for a moment, but then relaxed as they realized he was only taking out a piece of paper.

    “Here,” said the Republican. “I have this survey for you. We’d like to know how you feel about the things these unpleasant people are doing to you, and to the neighborhood. There’s even a stamped envelope where you can return it. You can mark this box here to indicate the amount of your contribution.”

    “Contribution?” I asked. “They took all my money! How can I make a contribution?” The Republican didn’t seem to hear my question. He and his friends were already walking on. The ruffians laughed and went back to work.

    • #12
  13. civil westman Inactive
    civil westman
    @user_646399

    Immediately after the past midterm election, I wrote my congressman, senators, Boehner and McConnell, telling them I would be watching closely how well they resisted the Obama agenda. I didn’t need to watch for long. When I was solicited for contributions shortly afterward, I replied that they could remove me from their list; that there would be no contributions and no future votes for Republicans; that I would only vote for libertarians – were there any on the ballot – in the the future or not vote at all.

    I must say that, by this decision, I have reduced my resentments and regained a modicum of calm as to the future of politics, having let go of all expectations as to Republicans. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me hundreds of times…. no more.

    • #13
  14. user_75648 Thatcher
    user_75648
    @JohnHendrix

    WOW!.  Just WOW! This has the be the most scathing post I’ve read in some time.

    Dave Carter, I just want to register my slack-jawed admiration for your prose.

    • #14
  15. raycon and lindacon Inactive
    raycon and lindacon
    @rayconandlindacon

    Dave;  It is time to acknowledge that God has stricken from us any meaningful way of restoring America to her promise until we first, as individuals, choose Him, and unloose His hands to once again bless this nation.

    • #15
  16. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    The GOP leadership dismisses criticism by explaining that we can’t always get everything we want.

    To which the conservatives ask, can we ever get anything we want? Can we at least try for one thing? Just to get the feel of it, perhaps.

    The GOP leadership doesn’t seem to realize that we’re getting less and less, and they weren’t delivering a lot to begin with. How is it that the Democrats, who command far less public support, seem to have the upper hand in every negotiation?

    And if your answer is that nothing will get done without the White House, then why should we waste time and money on you? If you’re not willing to fight for your constitutional authority, and abandon the fight entirely to the White House, you’re admitting your own uselessness.

    You guys campaigned on opposing the Democrats, we elected you to oppose the Democrats … and now you want to know whether you should oppose the Democrats?

    Stop wasting our time. Fight or get out of the ring.

    • #16
  17. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Dave is a true American treasure, as his soon-to-be wife.

    I joined the Navy during the Carter administration, knowing that no matter how bad he was, one man couldn’t hurt the institutions that made this country great.

    I was wrong.  Jimmy Carter not only let our military deteriorate to the point many of our ships couldn’t go to sea due to maintenance backlogs, but our submarines (including mine) couldn’t go to sea with a full load of torpedoes.  How would you feel if you could only put four cartridges into your six shooter?  When Reagan became President, it was as if the world became normal again . . .

    But now the world is abnormal, thanks to Obama.  These so-called Republicans in office have zero—I say again, ZERO—spine or incentive to fight the forces of evil (Obama and the Democrat party) when it comes to keeping things normal.

    If I were President, the first thing I would do in office is to use RICO to pronounce the Democrat party a criminal, corrupt organization, and to confiscate all of their resources.  Let them get a taste of the John Doe laws of Wisconsin, and see if they want to change their tune and work with us to restore this country to what it used to be, a place where open and honest debate could take place without ordinary citizens cowering in fear because they backed the wrong side . . .

     

     

     

    • #17
  18. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Yes, it is your opinion that they would like. If it is anything like the “surveys” I have received, the final question involved how much money you would send in. Pretending that they care about your opinion when they really just want your money is a little insulting.

    I just received a note from Reince Priebus telling me that they need to confirm if I am still a Republican. Obviously, that is how I am registered at my polling place, but they are telling me that I also have to send in a renewal contribution.

    renewal

    • #18
  19. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    I think the thing that upsets me the most at the moment is Trey Gowdy not subpoenaing Hillary’s emails when he first heard about this issue last summer. I was flabbergasted that when we heard about we were told that Gowdy had already known about it for 6 MONTHS! (But, don’t worry, because he got right on it once it was public — that should make you feel better.)

    First, why wasn’t this a story after someone received an email from Hillary in 2009 sometime? Surely, this information must have been available. How can it be that no one on our side knew about this during her tenure as SOS? And then it only became available to people charged with investigating this woman last summer. That is simply insupportable. I cannot understand what is going on here?

    • #19
  20. user_358258 Member
    user_358258
    @RandyWebster

    Larry Koler:I think the thing that upsets me the most is Trey Gowdy not subpoenaing Hillary’s emails when he first heard about this issue last summer. I was flabbergasted that when we heard about we were told that Gowdy had already known about it for 6 MONTHS! (But, don’t worry, because he got right on it once it was public — that should make you feel better.)

    First, why wasn’t this a story after someone received an email from Hillary in 2009 sometime? Surely, this information must have been available. How can it be that no one on our side knew about this during her tenure as SOS? And then it only became available to people charged with investigating this woman last summer. That is simply insupportable. I cannot understand what is going on here?

    Um.  It’s the government being the government.

    What makes you think that they have your best interests in mind?

    • #20
  21. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    Randy Webster:

    Larry Koler:I think the thing that upsets me the most is Trey Gowdy not subpoenaing Hillary’s emails when he first heard about this issue last summer. I was flabbergasted that when we heard about we were told that Gowdy had already known about it for 6 MONTHS! (But, don’t worry, because he got right on it once it was public — that should make you feel better.)

    First, why wasn’t this a story after someone received an email from Hillary in 2009 sometime? Surely, this information must have been available. How can it be that no one on our side knew about this during her tenure as SOS? And then it only became available to people charged with investigating this woman last summer. That is simply insupportable. I cannot understand what is going on here?

    Um. It’s the government being the government.

    What makes you think that they have your best interests in mind?

    They need to think about fig-leafs, don’t they? Did they think this could be hidden from the public? Evidently, Gowdy doesn’t plan on doing his job but he should at least make the effort to seem like he is doing it. That’s just basic self-preservation.

    • #21
  22. Essgee Inactive
    Essgee
    @Essgee

    It is hard to have the ball in your court when both have been taken by the other side leaving you with a high pitched whine begging for more of the same.

    Dave…you are right on as usual.

    Now I wish there was an answer for all the phone calls of desperation for money that come weekly, not realizing that most of us woke up in the last few years and are not going to fall for the game plan any longer.

    There is no opposition party…there is just one that will go more slowly then the other towards big government solutions.  We need to clean out the barn…..it is getting just too deep.

    • #22
  23. user_1065645 Podcaster
    user_1065645
    @DaveSussman

    Now… How do we get this post in front of GOP leadership.

    • #23
  24. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Dave Carter: Mr. Ryan, would you be so kind as to inform Mitch McConnell that surrendering the Senate’s treaty review power under the Constitution doesn’t exactly keep Americans safe?

    One of the most discouraging events of my lifetime.

    • #24
  25. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    When Republicans found out Clinton was illegally performing State Department business from a private server, they should have subpoenaed the server the next day. That they politely waited for a criminal to voluntarily submit evidence against herself shows how unserious they are.

    • #25
  26. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Many thanks to all for your thoughtful responses.  I’ll go through in detail and read them now, having been helping at a church function all day.  Specifically, my fiancé and I, and her mom, helped her brother in law with an all day function at his Greek Orthodox church. To put this in proper perspective, picture a Native American Indian and Louisiana Cajun making pizzas at a Greek Fest. On the other hand, the Ouzo (is that how it’s spelled?) was an out-of-body sort of experience.

    • #26
  27. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Randy Webster:Dave,

    I’m not quite sure what the solution is. Any “I’ll take my ball and go home,” talk is derided by the establishment, and in fact, I’m not sure it shouldn’t be. I really am totally at a loss. What do you do when neither party represents your views?

    This is the primary reason that the Article V initiative has ignited my interest, included as it was in the Constitution by the Framers precisely to address a situation in which the people’s representatives no longer represent them, govern against their consent, conspiring behind closed doors only to emerge with incomprehensible “omnibus” bills that further subjugate the citizenry. Washington DC will not fix itself.

    • #27
  28. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Mike LaRoche:The GOP is a pseudo-opposition party.

    Except that lately they seem to spend more time opposing the voters.

    • #28
  29. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    PHCheese:Wow,thanks Dave. We haven’t see much of you lately. Glad you came up for air.

    I keep a horrendous schedule these days,…but  it’s always great to check in!

    • #29
  30. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Dave, as usual, you’ve hit one out of the park. Now if we can hit the GOP leadership “up ‘side the head” with this, we might get somewhere. All common sense statements. Of course, that is the problem, isn’t it? Common sense doesn’t exist anymore, especially in Washington.

    Sounds like you had a nice Saturday!

    • #30

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