Republican Rep. Peter King called Speaker of the House John Boehner’s abrupt resignation a “victory for the crazies.”
“Crazy” means irrational. Is Rep. King implying that it’s rational to go along with all of Obama’s policies? Because that’s what Congress did under Boehner’s reign.
Remember that Congress has power of the purse. Congress can refuse to fund any or all government programs if the President refuses to back down.
It was set up that way on purpose. What if you had a President who wanted to install a dictatorship? Congress could simply defund the executive branch of the government to stop it. This is enormous leverage. And it’s needed, to counter the equally enormous leverage that a President has.
Boehner and his party were elected three times in a row to dominate the House of Representatives — two times overwhelmingly so. Boehner responded by doing absolutely nothing to try and stop Obama.
Now the “crazy Tea Party” and anyone who does not like the Republican Party as we know it get the blame for Boehner’s resignation. They should wear the label proudly — but not the label of crazy.
Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote the following in a New York Times op-ed: [S]omewhere along the road, a number of voices on the right began demanding that the Republican Congress not only block Mr. Obama’s agenda but enact a reversal of his policies. They took to the airwaves and the Internet and pronounced that congressional Republicans could undo the president’s agenda — with him still in office, mind you — and enact into law a conservative vision for government, without compromise.
Strangely, according to these voices, the only reason that was not occurring had nothing to do with the fact that the president was unlikely to repeal his own laws, or that under the Constitution, absent the assent of the president or two-thirds of both houses of Congress, you cannot make law. The problem was a lack of will on the part of congressional Republican leaders.
Cantor wants to justify his own failure to stand up to Obama; psychologically, it’s not difficult to understand. He was ousted from office just as Boehner ultimately was.
However, there’s distortion and dishonesty in Cantor’s statements. It’s true that people who oppose Obama’s policies want those reversed. Obama has done very real damage to America. But how about refusing to advance Obama’s policies? Why not at least put Obama in a position where he has to compromise?
Recently, I heard the point made that Obama is a terrible negotiator, based on the fact that Iran conceded nothing when he made a “deal” with them, enabling them to lie about building nuclear weapons and paying them money, to boot. Obama clearly is a horrific negotiator. Why was it so hard to get him to give in on one issue, one time, on anything at all, while the Republicans held (at first) partial and later total control of Congress?
It’s the classic conflict between principle and practical reality. Boehner and Cantor are basically saying, “It’s nice to be principled; but you cannot practice that in reality.” They’re just making excuses for their own incompetence and lack of willingness to ever stand up for one principle, even one time.
The practical way to stand on principle in a situation like this is to refuse to budge. To refuse to pass legislation or fund programs which Congress does not — Constitutionally — have to fund.
It’s true that this risked shutting down the government (not that the most “essential” functions ever closed down). However, at that point real leaders would have gone on television and said to the American public, “A majority of you put us here to defund Obamacare, reduce the size of government, and all the rest. If that’s really what you want, then you have to stand by us. If you did not want that, then why did you put us here when we said we would do so?”
If the American majority who put them in office threw them out at the next election, so be it. At least then we’d have the same rotten policies we have now, only the other party would be getting all the blame, and justifiably so because it’s their agenda.
If we’re going to have two parties, then the opposition party — especially when it controls one major branch of the government — has to actually stand for something different. Otherwise, we might as well have one party. Boehner ran things like the Republican Party was just another version of the Democratic Party. Objecting to that is not “crazy.” It’s the politicians who spend decades of their lives in political Washington DC who have gone crazy, if you define that term as being out of touch with reality.
Politicians do not live or function in the real world. They live completely off the productive efforts of others. While they might understand the manipulations and games in their pseudo-sophisticated world of politics, they have no idea what it actually takes to create wealth, run a business, or be responsible for your own life, at least not most of them. They’re the ones who should have to defend what they’re doing, not the people taking a principled stand against them.
These “RINO” (Republicans in Name Only) politicians want to go along to get along. They don’t care about principle, because they think principle is not practical. But Obama does not say this. Obama understands that principle is highly practical, particularly when you’re willing to stare down your opponents again and again.
The real question here is which principles are practical. Obama stands for an economic interventionist government similar to socialism. He also stands for a weak defense with giveaways to some of our most dangerous enemies, potentially some of the most dangerous people (Iran, ISIS) the world has ever known.
Are Obama’s policies practical? Or are the opposite of Obama’s policies?
Republicans supposedly will answer the second. If they really believe this, they should have the confidence and willingness to stand by their principles — even sometimes — to give our economy and country a chance of surviving and flourishing.
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