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Friday morning saw something rare on the floor of the United States Senate. It was badly needed for the sake of the American people and — like most good deeds — will probably not go unpunished if the GOP leadership, leftist media, and Beltway insiders. In fact, the reprisals began almost immediately.
Sen. Ted Cruz took the floor to call out not just Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, but the whole system that’s used to insulate Congress from the will of the people. In this specific case, it dealt with the effort to end the Export/Import Bank, a relic of the New Deal which uses billions of public dollars to ensure financing for such shoestring operations as Boeing and General Electric. It’s corporate welfare and crony capitalism at its worst and should have died a well-deserved death long ago. It is kept alive by both parties as a source of taxpayer-funded power.
But the essence of Cruz’s words were about the abandonment of conservative principles by the leadership of the GOP. This specific case might have been about Mitch McConnell lying to Republican senators as a deal to keep the EX/IM Bank alive and the legislative trick used to do it, but the thrust of the charge is about betrayal of the voters who have spoken loud and clear on a number of issues.
Cruz laid out the exact details of each step in the McConnell deception with the skill of a nation college debate champion or a precise litigator who had argued nine cases before the Supreme Court and won them all (which he just happens to be). Those who rely on the network or cable news will not get the detail of his exacting and condemning, but they are clear.
Only days later, the House of Representatives saw another act of political courage to address the same lack of principled will by the established GOP elite. This time Rep. Mark Meadows from the 11th District of North Carolina introduced a resolution to declare the position of Speaker of the House to be vacant, creating an opportunity to replace John Boehner.
On the floor of the House, Meadows outlined a point-by-point list of the Boehner failures of both leadership and purpose. The GOP leadership in both houses has funded the Obama agenda while undermining the constitutional power of the Congress. Nothing has been done to contain the spending that assures our children of bankrupt future. Immigration enforcement, repeal of ObamaCare, control of nation spending, and national security comprised the basis for two huge election cycles for the GOP which gave them control of both houses.
What both Cruz and Meadows has done is publicly “out” the elite of the party for their lack of real opposition to the Obama agenda, the very basis for their being in Congress to begin with is a lie.
Regardless of your personal choice for any office, the thrust of what has to happen within the Republican Party is to leap back to the Reagan concept of “bold colors.” We do not need to consider it. We must leap toward it and embrace it. Too many of these get-along types have already taken us down the road too far for anything but a principled, all-out effort to save our children from what the Founders feared.
The media knives are already out for Cruz and Meadows. That includes a great deal of what is deemed “conservative” writers who are — for the most part — too loyal to and comfortable with the Beltway of doing things. Cruz and Meadows will find slim support in either house.
A great deal of what establishment of either party does is to force compliance and silence with party money and bullying in regard to the perks of the Congress, which they control. Both McConnell and Boehner have threatened and bullied with committee appointment and access to the legislative process. Even those who are — in spirit — agreed with Cruz and Meadows know that to publicly stand with them is to lose in regard to access to power and party money.
But an important step to restore the vision of self-government and making it work again is to publicly acknowledge that the present the leadership of the GOP stands in our way. They actively oppose conservatives while voicing their causes. This is little different from the left who have done so much to destroy that vision and practice while proclaiming the very values they destroy.
Does anyone doubt that if the Senate had 60 members like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and House had 270 Mark Meadows that we would have fought a much better fight the last six years and actually have done some of the things promised?
The answer for our children’s future is not with a political party which has long ago committed itself more to social utopianism than to self-government. But the answer is not the Republican Party either. The answer is conservatism.
The answer is returning to a vision of responsible self-government protecting individual rights. Self-government requires citizens, not those who see elective office as a lifetime career path. It is citizens who must be the force that drives the machine.
Both Cruz and Meadows took a step to bring the individual citizen back into the process. They will be pounded by the media, their fellow Republicans who will try and dismiss them publicly, and the elites of the Beltway. Most of those who agree with them will not strand with them publicly. It is the citizens’ role to let their voice be sent as loud and consistently as possible to the members of both houses that both these men have the support and appreciation of the “base” of the nation.
I will again state that this look behind the veil at the shabby way business is done should be a clear call for an Article Five approach to remove more power from the D.C. elites and place more of the emphasis on the people themselves. These two will be feeling the “heat” today and for a long time forward. What they have done is a “game-changer” for their careers in the GOP. They will pay a political price for it from the establishment. If they gain from the people themselves will have to be seen. But the real factor will be what we do now.
The retaliation that Cruz and Meadows will receive from the establishment and the media is predicable. But the most meaningful has to come from us. It has to start now.