Tea Party Lessons Learned for the GOP

I do not like Speaker Boehner’s bill, although I thank him for much of what he has accomplished so far.  But we need not bother to fight and make gains if our effort is to be thrown away with lousy, worse-than-status-quo bills like the one currently under consideration.  Among its problems are several assumptions baked into it:

  • Must raise debt ceiling: what an awful place to start negotiations
  • ObamaCare need not be de-funded in whole: if it were being de-funded, I am sure you would have told us
  • CBO baseline acceptable starting point for calculations: as opposed to raw spending
  • 2011 an acceptable baseline year: as opposed to 2008 or 2007.
  • “Supercommittee” acceptable in our form of government: as opposed to merely legal, if even that
  • Americans willing to commit to unseen UNWRITTEN deals beforehand: the Hell you say

I could go on about those, but everybody is doing that, and I’m sure there are more which I will simply have to forego.  Suffice it to say that these were all mistakes.

I do not know what will happen with this “Boehner bill”, the Reid bill, CCB (one skinny last chance remaining, I believe), and the debt ceiling itself.  There are nonetheless several lessons that I hope the GOP will take away.  Here you go GOP; I’m talking to you.

The Tea Party is not dead, and is not sleeping. We are waiting, and watching, and we remember things you assume we have forgotten. Your current difficulty is partly due to your shameful and craven performance in the continuing resolution (CR) fiasco.  You lied to us in such a transparent, brazen way that assumes we are either too stupid to realize or too weak to act.  Witness your predicament now.  We are not the union-hippie left, and have neither the time nor the inclination to vandalize government buildings while intimidating lawmakers.  No, if you insist on making enemies of us, we’ll get you through politics.  Like this.  Stand by.

The Tea Party means what it says, and when the message is poorly focused, that represents intellectual diversity, not confusion, not weakness, not apathy.  We are evangelicals and objectivists, military officers and isolation-pacifists, rich  anti-communists and blue-collar Reagan democrats.  Expect to have to sort through our messages, but do not mistake that for a lack of conviction.  Each of us believes passionately in a particular subset of the Tea Party set of platform planks, and will fight for those beliefs.  Every single one of us knows very well that the course the government is on is high-speed rails to Hell.  Big-spending Republican business-as-usual lukewarm efforts at accomplishing nothing while avoiding political risk will simply not be allowed.

We have no more patience with losing so that maybe we can win later.  You cured us of that with the tawdriness of the CR debacle.

If we don’t change or defeat you in this battle, then fine, it will be the next.  You screwed us on CR and tried to smooth it over by telling us that after all, we had the debt ceiling battle, and that was where we would really put the thumbscrews to big spending.  That’s the same way ObamaCare was passed, by the way.  Senator Snowe had a chance to prevent cloture on ObamaCare, which would have killed it dead, dead, dead, but she said not to worry, that we would certainly defeat it in a “fair” fight on the floor.  We have no more patience with losing so that maybe we can win later.  You cured us of that with the tawdriness of the CR debacle.  Victory-by-defeat is patent nonsense.

You have allowed the Marxist economic proclamations of the Obama administration to scare you because you wanted to be convinced, and you now try to stampede Republicans into believing it.  Shame.  The date has moved three times, and even if it were exact, the fact is that there is roughly a trillion dollars floating in accounts which are simply not accounted for in deficit/debt projections, because they are clawbacks, reconciliations of multi-year appropriations, or other successor merged appropriation accounts.   That is enough to float us for months, even in the complete absence of monthly accounted (real-time) revenue.

I will pause to express my gratitude for Speaker Boehner’s performance in some of the recent fight.  Things could be much worse, and I appreciate that fact in my bones.  However, in a fogged mirror of my attitude toward John McCain, great American, crap Republican, I am certainly able to maintain my gratitude for Boehner’s not-yet-surrendered stance right alongside a fiery focus on victory and not excuses.

We may not win this fight.  But we don’t believe the bullshit about the debt ceiling, and the real risks therein are certainly worth running compared to the existing hazard to our whole country.  If you had a testicle to share between all of the leadership, you would get out in front and defend this.  Maybe you can borrow one of Nancy Pelosi’s.  Say what you wish about that screeching harpy, but she has balls.

And that’s why we are in this mess, and why you are not enjoying the full support that we otherwise want to give you.  The democrats keep fooling you, and you do not seem to mind.  We do.  Greatly.

We will accept no substitute for victory.  Deliver or be replaced.

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