Posts Tagged ‘House’

Call Your Representative: No Surrender!

Monday, September 30th, 2013

We are at that moment when less-than-courageous politicians will think to waffle, turn back, and avoid a fight.  If we’re to prevent that outcome, it’s going to take some Hell-raising on our part.  Even now, elements within the House of Representatives, in the Republican leadership, are beginning to whisper about capitulation to Obama and Reid.  In the Senate, we already know there exists a group of GOP senators who will be only too glad to put this issue behind them.  It’s going to take a Herculean effort on our part, but we need to buck-up these politicians.  This is, after all, the hard part of their job, and if they won’t stand and be counted in the tough times, who needs them?

Go to the House website.  On that site, you can find your representative, and all the relevant contact info.  Visit their pages on Facebook.  Tweet them.  Email them.  Call them.  The more they hear from you, the more inclined they will be to fight, and the more likely they will be to stand up to leadership if they begin to crumble.  Barack Obama is trying to bully them.  In the end, their own leaders may try to bully them too.  Remind them who it is that had put them in office.  Remind them of their duty. There is no reason Harry Reid should determine what goes on in the House.  Instead of getting tough with conservatives, for a change, John Boehner should be tough on Democrats.  It’s time for them to stand up, even if we will need to hand-hold them through it.

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Life On the Ice: Conservatives Must Join Fight

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Fight Where You Must

If you’re a politically-engaged conservative, you couldn’t possibly have failed to notice the passage of the so-called “Gang-of-Eight” immigration bill in the Senate on Thursday afternoon.  In the end, fourteen Republican sell-outs stepped up and voted for this abomination, with all fifty-four Democrats, meaning the bill will go on to the House.  There were many more than fourteen Republican sell-outs who made this bill possible, and I will be reminding you of the entire list as we move into 2014 mid-term election mode, but for now, we must focus on what lies ahead.  Readers will have heard reports that John Boehner is calling the Senate bill “dead on arrival,” or that “the House will have its own bill.”  Let me assure you that John Boehner is a liar, and he is attempting to manipulate those who don’t understand the process or follow so closely as my readers.  Speaker Boehner(R-OH) intends to give you the Senate bill, but to do it, he must shepherd some bill through the House, that could be almost anything pertaining to the broad scope of “immigration.”  Some will not be informed of the angle on which Boehner and the other Amnesty-Traitors’ gambit relies, so that in order to stop him and his henchmen of the GOP establishment of the House, I must now make clear why we must urge our Congressmen to kill any bill.  We must obstruct it altogether or get the Gang-of-Eight bill when it comes back from conference.

In order for a bill to go to the President to be signed into law, it must be passed in identical form in both houses of Congress.  Ultimately, the same legislative language that passes in the House must also pass the Senate, or vice versa. Since both the House and the Senate are independent in theory, the two frequently pass bills on a similar matter, but the two bills may be significantly different.  In order to rectify the bills, and make them identical, both chambers provide a certain number of people who will represent their body in a conference committee that works out the details of the law so that when they are finished, their final product is known widely as the “conference bill,” or the “conference report.”  At that point, the bill in its completed, rectified, unified form goes back to the both bodies, and they vote again.  If the conference bill passes in both houses, off to the President’s desk it goes for a signature enacting it as law, or a veto turning it aside.

The reason I am bothering with the Civics 101 recital of process is because I know that without understanding this, some Americans, many in fact, will fall for Speaker John Boehner’s ruse.  You see, Speaker Boehner can (and I can promise you he will try) to pass the most conservative-seeming bill he thinks he can get through the House.  It will doubtless be full of provisions that will seem strict, possibly “draconian,” compared to the Senate bill, and this will be done for a reason:  Speaker Boehner needs some bill to pass the House, and its particulars don’t matter in the least to him.  What Boehner and his henchmen Harry Reid and Barack Obama already know is that no matter how thoroughly conservative the House bill may be, it will be stripped from the final language of the conference report.

It is at this point that some people become frustrated with the process, because, they reason, it still has to return to the House for yet another vote for final passage after the conference produces the final form of the bill.  Surely, the Republicans who sent the bill to conference would not vote for a watered-down version of their bill?  True, most Republicans will not vote for such a watered-down bill, but John Boehner doesn’t need all the Republicans.  He needs only a few hands-full, along with the whole body of the Democrat caucus.  That’s right:  Speaker Boehner doesn’t care what the form of the initial House bill will be, because it will be discarded in any event.  In the end, what comes back from conference will be almost entirely the language of the Senate bill, and the House will be forced to vote on it, but even if four in five Republicans vote against its watered-down language, the one-in-five combined with all of the Democrats will be sufficient to pass the bill.  In other words, a Republican Speaker of the House will rely upon the Democrats to pass the bill, along with a few establishment Republican stooges.

Then you will be faced with a new law that Senator Richard Shelby(R-AL) termed “the mother-of-all-amnesties.”  The Democrats will march their members up to vote, even if they’re from relatively more conservative districts, and Boehner and the leadership will walk as many off the plank as needed to give them a margin of ten to fifteen.  If it’s close, members on both sides of the aisle will be threatened and extorted and it will be made clear to them that they will lose all committee assignments and maybe staff or office selection if they manage to be re-elected when the Speaker throws them under the bus in 2014.  Yes, and it could get more ugly even than this, but what you mustn’t forget is that the way to preclude this entire fiasco is still to convince your members of the House to vote against any immigration bill in any form, no matter how conservative it may seem.  Whatever they promise, it won’t be the final form of the bill, but in order to foist on us what will be substantially the Senate version of the bill, they must pass something.  Anything.  Four lines that say: Close the border!  It really doesn’t matter.  Any bill passed by the House will be a vehicle by which to put forward the President’s bill, which is the Senate bill.

Unspoken and invisible through most of this debate has been President Obama.  This is because he’s a political liability given his spate of scandals and his recent failure on gun control, such that if the bill becomes about him, it will fail.  They have kept him in the shadows.  This is why he has gone away to Africa.  They want him far away from Washington DC when all of this goes down, and you can be sure that when the time comes to pass a bill in the House, he’ll either be talking about other issues or be out of town on another golf outing.   Upon his return, the bill will have been passed, he’ll hold a Rose Garden signing ceremony, and accompany it with a signing statement proclaiming the border secure, so that there’s no reason to delay amnesty, even if one believes such provisions might materialize somehow in the final bill.

This is the dirty, fetid political sewer into which John Boehner and the other establishment Republicans have taken you.  This is the manner by which they intend to sell you out for once and for all.  They don’t care if you won’t vote for them in coming elections.  They’re either in safe seats, or they’ll jump ship and become Democrats in order to win re-election with the votes of all of those they will now make eligible.  Understanding the game that is afoot, it’s important to understand that the only way, the absolutely, positively only way to ensure that the Senate bill never sees the light of day as law is to make sure that John Boehner and his co-conspirators in the House cannot pass any bill of any sort on the subject of immigration.

This will be difficult, because Soros-funded, phony “conservative” groups are running radio ads that make it all sound as though the bill will be wonderful and conservative.  It’s all a lie, but these ads air during your favorite conservative radio talk-shows, and they’re formatted and scripted to mislead you.  The hosts don’t have much say-so about it, because they don’t own the networks or the radio stations, and they can’t necessarily affect the advertising that airs during their shows, and in some cases may not even be aware of some of it.  In any event, their contracts likely prevent them from talking badly about any advertiser, so that even if they do know, they may be forbidden from saying the first thing against it.

That makes our problem even more difficult, because many people who would be inclined to call their Representatives to oppose the passage of any bill if only they knew the full details are going to be hoodwinked by all of this.  At best, some will be confused, and they will be noncommittal, so that they will freeze in place and do nothing while Boehner and his cohorts put an end to the American republic.  I am detailing all of this for you, my readers, because I know you share these articles, because if we are to penetrate the wall of deceit that has been erected around this bill, we must inform our fellow Americans, and we must make it plain to them, and we must arm them with the full knowledge of the game.  Readers here know the game all too well, from sell-outs on the debt ceiling, or virtually anything else to pass out of the House since John Boehner became Speaker.  We must stop the House bill dead in its tracks, no matter how attractive it may seem, because it will be used to push a horrible bill through in its place without a single vote from anybody who might be considered even approximately “conservative.”

It’s a tall order, but Americans are tall in spirit, and the patriots that hold this country together even against this current onslaught are giants, and it is because I know this that I believe we can kill this bill, but we must educate, and inform, and agitate like we have never done before.  The left and the Republican establishment will try to get us off message, and try to derail us, but this legislation is the greatest threat to the future of the Republic in our lifetimes, and it’s high time we take the measure of this beast and knock it down.  I know we can, but will we?  That is the question I place before you, in the hope that you will answer as Americans always must.

 

Boehner Leads the GOP to Electoral Suicide

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Will He Stay?

Speaker John Boehner marched his members to the cliff, and while their bungee cords permitted them to avert one disaster, they managed to magnify others.  As I predicted here four weeks ago, Boehner wound up passing the “fiscal cliff” bill with mostly Democrat votes.  We’ve seen this before, as this was merely the first sequel in a three or four-volume tale of woe.  As Boehner’s competence and commitment are being questioned all over the nation, Eric Cantor is posturing to perhaps unseat Boehner, but given his track record, I wouldn’t trust him any more than the man he would replace.  There’s a dire edge to all of this, and it comes in the form of the upcoming debates over the debt ceiling, but also the more immediately threatening posturing about gun control. Suicide had been the order of the day, and in the main, Boehner achieved it.  We cannot permit him to take our whole country over a much more gravely threatening “cliff.”

The Republicans in the House have completely wrecked their negotiating credibility, and I cannot for one moment see how true disasters will be averted if they cannot stomach even this small fight.  Meanwhile, Allen West has been unseated, so that only a few conservatives remain in the House, and as some Republicans who are moving toward independence look on in stunned disbelief at the wreckage, they’ve begun to notice that the voices of false unity and party loyalty are precisely the same shady characters who have led them into this dark abyss.  If the Republican Party is to have any hope of coming back, and if indeed there remains anything in it worth preserving, it will only be with the leadership of outsiders.

As this Greek tragedy plays to a conclusion, it is important to take stock of all that the party machine has wrought.  Now inoperable, it is finally possible to begin to assess all that it had rejected on the way to the ash-heap of history over which it now teeters. The party is not in its current state from a lack of “progressivism,” or from a dearth of “moderation,” but from an excess of both combined with a goodly portion of corruption mixed in for good measure.  The machine did all it was able to put up a Presidential candidate that would represent its values, but not ours.

It placed in nomination a man who while being a businessman from mostly private sector experience had nevertheless spent most of the last two decades seeking public office or otherwise operating in the public sphere, and it placed as his Vice Presidential running mate a man who has in his professional career known only Washington DC.  It was not a surprise to see that Congressman Paul Ryan voted for the fiscal cliff bill, since as he admitted, he liked what was in it.  Think of that the next time you rationalize your support of him on the basis that he had been a “good conservative.”  No, this is precisely indicative of the reasons he and Governor Romney lost.

If the wizards of the Republican Party had any brains, guts, or integrity, they would now voluntarily step aside.  They would leave in shame, abandoning it to be rescued while it can by better characters.  Those like Sarah Palin and Allen West among others could theoretically rescue the party, but one wonders if they should, encumbered as they would be by the legions of foul characters who would rush to hitch their wagons to the new team(s.) Everybody seems to have bought the line that such people make good trench fighters, but that they’re not leadership material for some reason, undoubtedly because such wizards can’t imagine getting out of the way.

The truth is that this may be the moment for such people of good character and principles to stand up and make themselves known.  As any conservative will witness, it’s not as though we have a surplus of good leadership, and besides: People wise enough to know that sometimes the victory lies in the trenches are precisely the best leaders any cause might ever find.  Still, while I doubt either of these would be the sort to hold a grudge of the sort to which I’d be prone, one wonders if they could be blamed for washing their hands of this fiasco altogether.

The other problem is that the sorry lot who runs the Republican Party in Washington DC these days is precisely the sort who never know when their day has come and gone.  These are the political vermin who cling to power, with their own versions of “Baghdad Bob” telling the press(and themselves) that they’re still large and in charge.  The bunker mentality with which they’re often finally beset only follows on the heals of a rousing defeat, such as the one suffered on New Year’s Day.

Naturally, the underlings immediately begin plotting to undo their leaders, gambling that in a moment of political weakness, they might exploit their positions to maximum advantage.  Watch Eric Cantor over the next few days.  Boehner is nervous, and so is Cantor, because if Cantor misses his moment, he will be finished, and if Boehner stumbles, Cantor will unseat him.  It’s the same old dance, among the same sorry sort of characters who always vie for power when a vacuum appears, however briefly.  You can bet that no matter how it turns out, they will remain fast friends.

The problem the GOP faces is larger than normal, inasmuch as they have a newly re-elected President who is seeking(and thus far succeeding) in running the table on them.  Even if Obama does not win another thing for two years, he knows that his chances of taking back the House in 2014 have just improved markedly.  If he’s smart, he will play carefully and rather than push an agenda that will whip the opposition into some form of unity born of frenzied resistance, he’ll leave Boehner(or Cantor) hanging way out on the limb alone for two years, get the House back, and then do all he wants and more.

If this weren’t all such a fascinating game for DC Republicans, and if they really believed they had anything personally at stake, they’d realize this and get out of the way to let others lead, but power-hungry megalomaniacs seldom do, and what we must remember is that for them, this is all about them.  For Boehner, he gave no consideration to the damage this fiscal cliff bill would do to the nation, but instead only worried how it would look if it didn’t pass.  Cantor and others will undoubtedly see this as an opportunity, one they will pursue if Boehner looks weakened in the light of Thursday morning. That’s the ugly underbelly of Washington DC, and indeed every seat of government, because true public servants are rare creatures of inestimable worth.  The wretched fools now dominating party politics are contrarily all but worthless.

I’ve said as much in my first post of the year: This is a year for choosing, and we must choose between cowardice and courage.  We cannot prevail with the former, only the latter offering any chance at a start toward national restoration.  No politician is perfect, as no human is infallible, but in the evaluation of their worthiness for the job, the single most important issue remains one of character.  You see, we can all make errors in judgment, and we can all make faulty decisions based on incomplete or incorrect information.  It is only in character that you discern those who will work to be morally infallible, because one’s moral bearing is a choice.  Therein lies the deep secret to rescuing the GOP, or even the country, if either remains possible, because it is only with people who strive to make the right choice each time they face one that there is any hope.

Boehner’s current weakness leaves open a chance to bring in the sort of outsider who stands at least a chance of cleaning things up.  Many people have suggested Sarah Palin for the Speaker’s job, but while she spent much of her time as Governor of Alaska battling the corrupt insiders in her own party, she did so with the authority and support of the people accorded to a chief executive.  While she undoubtedly possesses the skills, she would be wasted on the speakership when there are higher offices for which she is better prepared.  Still, if there is a complete outsider who could pull it off, it would be one of her temperament and diligence.  Others have suggested bringing Newt Gingrich out of mothballs to take on this task, and I know those making the suggestion intend a compliment in so saying, but I think the former Speaker is fine with the notion of leaving it that way.  More frequently, I hear(and have once made) the suggestion of Allen West.  West would likely bring the sort of no-nonsense leadership that the herd of Republican cats would need to accomplish anything useful at all.  His military experience would probably assist him well, as I suspect any outsider taking this on would need most of all a firm boot, and the willingness to extend it both firmly and frequently.

Others continue to suggest Cantor, who I wouldn’t trust with the proverbial potato-gun, and a few more have suggested Ryan given his experience as Budget Committee Chairman, although given yesterday’s vote, I still believe he hasn’t the strength of principles to whip this crowd into shape.  This Republican majority is adrift on an unprincipled sea, and it will take somebody of firm commitment to gather this flock.  I haven’t the sense that Cantor is capable of any of it, and I don’t believe Paul Ryan will fair any better.

At this hour, there are rumors that Boehner will quit as early as tonight, but I’ll believe that when I see it.  For all we know, he’s just trying to draw out his adversaries into the open.  At the moment, there will be any number quietly plotting against him, and they’d be easier to overcome if he knows their identities, so I wouldn’t be surprised to find the source of the rumors had been him.  Naturally, it could also be a sort of trial balloon put up by any member, or even staffer, trying to see if there is the sufficient sentiment to provide an opportunity for promotion after all.

Others in Washington are hedging their bets, or mending their fences.  Consider that Grover Norquist is now engaged in rationalizing a victory from this shocking defeat, and others in the DC establishment are trying to cast this as a less thorough defeat.  Listen to them if it suits you, but remember that this same crowd assured us that George HW Bush wouldn’t pay a price for his “Read my lips” pledge, despite the fact that in 1992, he most assuredly did.  This is what happens when a party or a leader forgets the principles that placed them in power.  In one last-minute appeal to the “knuckle-draggers,” it was leaked that Boehner had told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to “Go f… yourself.”  Twice! As if this would be some sort of consolation, we are supposed to lap that up as evidence that he was battling for us.

If you’re reading these musings, wondering what might really be going on inside this den of thieves, join the club.  Here is what I know with certainty:  I have contacted my member and urged him to push Boehner out, and to find somebody other than Cantor to replace him.  I will be heard, whether it will have any effect, and you should be heard as well.  Just because the GOP committed electoral suicide yesterday does not mean conservatives ought to ride with them to the silted bottom.  There is an opportunity in this for us as well, and it’s high time we make the most of it.  If politics – like nature – truly abhors a vacuum, let us fill it with conservatism for a change.

Come Thursday, Boehner must go if we can manage it.

Obama Ups Ante on Appointment

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Obama and Cordray

The Daily Caller is reporting that Obama is ratcheting up the pressure on the matter of the “recess appointments” that were not during a recess.  Now he’s asserting that his appointee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, will have full powers of his office despite the fact that the plain language of the law says otherwise.  The 2010 law that established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau includes a section that says many of the bureau’s new powers are to be held by the secretary of the Treasury “until the Director of the Bureau is confirmed by the Senate.”  Until then, those powers are supposed to be retained by the Secretary of the Treasury.  Those extra powers include the authority to write regulations for non-bankfirms, such as payday lenders.

Said Obama during his Friday visit to the CFPB:

“Now that Richard [Cordray] is your director, you can finally exercise the full power that this agency has been given to protect consumers under the law.”

The law requires that Obama’s nominee first be confirmed by the Senate to have all of these powers.  Since no such confirmation has occurred, it’s clear that Obama is again flouting the law.  This is an outrage, and every concerned citizen should be incensed, and they may be, but it seems few are concerned, because the mainstream media is not covering this story.  Most Americans remain ignorant of this controversy.  This is one instance in which conservatives and Tea Party folk should be getting the word out.  It’s time to yell at your members of the House and the Senate, but perhaps more importantly, it’s time to tell your friends and family.  This President is taking dictatorial powers, and our Congress sits on its hands as the United States is reduced to the status of a banana republic.  The reason for Congressional inaction is simple: Your fellow Americans aren’t demanding it, I suspect mainly because they don’t know about it.  That should be something you can change.

This Is No Time For Crying

Friday, January 6th, 2012

What Stinking Constitution?

Barack Obama’s tyrannical actions must be challenged.  This is going to be in the form of what Donald Rumsfeld once explained when he said to cat-calls: “You go to war with the army you have – not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”  We are now in that sort of fix.  John Boehner is a weak leader, at least in terms of his willingness to make waves or engage in battle, but this is no time for whimpering.  President Obama has openly declared by his actions of Wednesday that the Constitution is fungible, and that he has no need to obey it due only to a technicality otherwise known as the law.  This cannot be permitted to go without challenge, and whether the United States Senate will take it up or not, the Speaker of the House must move to begin impeachment proceedings on the basis of Barack Obama’s willful disobedience of the US Constitution.  Members of Congress must assemble to denounce him, and this must be brought to the light of day.  What Barack Obama has hereby argued is that the constitution only matters when he permits it to be the controlling legal authority, but that in all other cases, it is secondary to the whims of his willingness to enforce or abide by the law.

If you haven’t kept up with this issue, or like so many, haven’t heard a peep about it, let’s make it simple to understand:  What’s at stake is our constitutional form of government, and the checks and balances about which you may have been taught when you were a child in school.  Those checks and balances provide that presidents do not possess unlimited authority to act without reference to the other co-equal branches of government.  What the President has done in this case is to make a “recess appointment” without the Senate actually being in recess.  In so doing, he is violating the law, and he has more than one motive with this plot.  Obama intends not only to give a new hand-out by virtue of mortgage write-downs for qualified persons, but also to set the precedent for undermining all law.

This is extraordinary, and for the President to undertake this action is a treason against the United States Constitution.  What he is attempting to do is to pull the rug out from beneath his opponents by buying off enough of the electorate to swing the vote in his direction, and he’s willing to violate the law to carry it out.  This sort of reckless indifference to the rule of law is unprecedented in American history, and it cannot be stated loudly enough or often enough that it must be opposed by every American, but particularly our political leadership.  This demonic assault on the separation of powers embodied by our Constitutional Republic must not be permitted.

Congress must act.  We haven’t the luxury of waiting for an election.  Every member of Congress must stand and in one voice denounce this violation of law. Every American should be upset by this, because what it means is that one man, Barack Obama, has arrogated to himself the power of law.  Ladies and gentlemen, let none persuade you that this had been a trivial matter.  Presidents swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, and here, Barack Obama has taken it upon himself to simply ignore the law.  At the American Center for Law and Justice has an excellent piece on the specifics here.

Let none be mistaken:  Your lives are under attack by this action as surely as by the act of a foreign aggressor.  If you’re not writing and calling and raising a ruckus, what you’re doing is to participate in the surrender of our nation.  This isn’t just another act by Obama in defiance of some statute, or some judge’s ruling, all of which are bad enough to impeach him, but instead a direct head-on assault upon your US Constitution.  Why do so many shrink from this?  I realize the media is downplaying it for the most part, so it’s not really caught on with most people who aren’t even aware of the situation, much less its details.  This, I submit to you, is when you can be most effective if you’re inclined to fight for your country.  Pick up the phone, call your Representatives and Senators, call your friends and family, and call anybody you know who will give you a few minutes of their time.

Explain to them the simple facts, direct them to the ACLJ link above, and make it known that this is a serious issue with which we must contend.  I read many oaths in the comments section, some of which do not get published because they’re too profane, but a constant theme is how you will fight for the country.  This is one of those times.  It’s Friday, and the press is putting the week to bed, but if you wanted to, by Monday morning the country could be a sea of uproar over this issue, with or without the media’s reporting.

I have long feared that for too long, this nation has suffered a surplus of sports fans and a dearth of active citizens.  I would hate that my surmise had been proven correct over an issue of such glaring national effect.  Will we have the rule of law, or the rule of one man?  It’s time for you to decide.  It’s time for you to place those calls.  It’s time to make the start of a resistance to a growing, grasping dictatorship.  Unopposed, he will grow to love his newly discovered power, and he will make ever greater use of it.

 

Boehner Surrendered More Than Legislation Today

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Doing What He Does Best

This is a crying shame, and conservatives ought to be weeping, while Tea Party patriots ought to be throwing a fit.  John Boehner has managed to lead the House Republicans directly into the jaws of yet another defeat, and in the end, when he surrendered, he did so because losing is all Boehner really knows how to do.  The Republicans in Congress capitulated to Barack Obama and Harry Reid again on the matter of the payroll tax cut extension.  House Republicans didn’t learn the lesson of 2006, so a mere five years later, they still think they can conduct themselves as candidates throughout their terms, considering only short-run political expedience. The problem with GOP leaders in the House is that each time they go to the mat, but then subsequently cry uncle, they’re harming themselves and the country.  This so-called compromise was nothing but a surrender that merely weakens the Republicans, but more importantly, the country.

John Boehner suffers from an inability to lead.  He simply doesn’t understand leadership, or he’s not intellectually vigorous enough to exercise it.  Either way, he’s a perpetual loser, and we shouldn’t dare hope he will accomplish anything useful during the term of this Congress.  Consider him either intellectually or morally incapacitated, and save yourself some trouble fretting over the endless string of defeats House Republicans will suffer because John Boehner doesn’t know how or isn’t willing to lead.

In this context, leadership would have meant sending his members out to have town hall meetings, and to send them forward to every media outlet on which they could find time, and make the case first to their own core of support, and get their buy-in followed by a more active support.  Instead, Boehner sat back and waited for it to happen, and he knew it would, but it’s fair to say he helped engineer this defeat.  He’s bent upon the notion of trying to restore order within his caucus, and he’s willing to become minority leader to do so.

This latest flap was more than political circus, but that’s how it has been portrayed, and given the surrender of the Republicans, that’s how history will now record it.   The truth is that big issues had been at stake, but due to a little bad press, the Republicans wet their collective diaper and ran home.  Boehner will offer that this happened because they’re only “one-half of one-third of the government.”  The facts suggest otherwise.  Did he try to rally the conservative base?  Did he seek out support in such ‘friendly media’ where his own declarations haven’t already poisoned those wells?  No.  He stayed in the back rooms, smoke-filled no longer, and had his head handed to him on a silver platter.  He knew it was coming, and indeed, he invited it.

The first thing he did to invite this had been every previous surrender going at least as far back as the debt ceiling vote, when he actually worked on a backroom deal with Reid to undercut the House bill known as “Cut, Cap, & Balance.”  From that moment on, Democrats knew they had a patsy who would do anything to avoid a little negative press.  In the end, he and his Republican members must now share in the blame for the credit rating downgrade we suffered as a result.  Had he instead remained willing to let everything shut down, he might have forestalled the downgrade, because the rating agency might have concluded at least one party had gotten serious about budget control.  Politically, he would have taken a hit in the short run, but the truth of the matter is that Democrats would have relented once their base started screaming loudly, or rioting, because they had not gotten their hand-outs on time.  There’s no sense making a stand if you’re going to fold at the first sign that somebody’s calling your bluff.

Democrats read Boehner’s moves as clear telegraphing of a bluff, and they called without blinking.  Ever since then, the Obama looks at Boehner and thinks: “There’s my b*t*h.”  The tears certainly don’t help with that impression.  Since that first monumental cave-in, each subsequent instance has been repeated, only more quickly, each time with with less pressure than the last, as conservative and Tea Party members of the caucus are now demoralized.  They see things slipping away, much as they did in 2005-2006, and it’s all for lack of effective, committed leadership.

On this basis, I have written a letter I am sending to my own member, and I want from him a pledge to support somebody other than Boehner and his crew for leadership, whether they maintain the majority in 2012 or not.  The way things are going with Boehner, you’d better plan on “not.” As it is, due to his vote on the Debt Ceiling matter, I am already eying potential primary challengers for my own Representative.  If he’s going to continue to support the sorry leadership of John Boehner, it’s best to get rid of him, too.

Now, for those of you who weren’t paying attention, let me explain what has happened:  The House approved a version of the extension much to the liking of the Senate, and it does not include the Keystone XL pipeline provision, meaning tens of thousands of jobs and a fresh conduit for oil will not be had by Americans any time soon.  While you must certainly lay the greater portion of blame on the actions of Obama and Reid, the truth is that Boehner shares in this too.

I realize some will say “but, but, he’s right: Without the Senate, what could he do?”  The answer is always the same: Stand on principle.  Be willing to take the bad press. Be willing. The problem is that this sort of thing makes its own bad press that goes on long after the terms of surrender were signed.  You see, when Boehner plays brinksmanship, but then walks away with nothing, it gives ammo to the opposition that this had only been a political game.  This is why the Republicans took a beating from Bill Clinton in 1995:  They ultimately flinched first in this game of chicken, making it look for all the world as though they had been merely posturing right along.

Instead, had Boehner rallied every member of the House Republican caucus to stand firm, and held out indefinitely, shutting down government, they could have gone to voters saying: We had to be the responsible party, and we had to put our foot down against irresponsible and reckless spending proclivities of the President and the Senate.  The people who would have been angry at them would likely have been people other than who had elected them.  If they can’t withstand some bad press now, when will it be better?  If they will not stand on principle now, when the country is on the verge of a greater depression, if not in it, when will they find the guts to do it?

The answer: Never.  John Boehner and his kind are so consumed by holding onto power, and holding onto office, that they cannot dare to risk it all in order to stand for the principles on which they were elected.  One begins to wonder if this is because they’re not hip-deep in all of the crony capitalism and insider trading about which we’ve been hearing, because it’s not as though House members have it so good solely on the basis of their salaries and benefits.  One quickly begins to wonder if the monetary inducements to hold office aren’t greater in fact than appears on the surface, because I do not think I could trade my principles for the salary they’re paid.  No, there must be something more to it, or these are the most morally corruptible people on the planet.

It’s time we hold them to their promises, and the principles they declare while campaigning.  For me, that’s going to entail spelling it out for my own representative. I’d suggest you do the same, but what we had better do is say it, and mean it, lest they get the same idea about us as Democrats now have about them and their lack of spine.