Yes, I mean every member who is running for re-election, Republican, Democrat, House & Senate.
Every incumbent Republican will do his/her re-election some good if he will repeat the pledge, early and often, without reservation: that it is still his intention to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.
Every Democrat challenger will do his/her chances some good by promising the same.
Just remember, there are more than political reasons why this pledge must be reaffirmed and Obamacare thrown down totally.
As you know, there are whispers going around and trial balloons being cast off by GOP leaders that well, much of the law is already too deeply embedded in the bureaucracy and it will be almost impossible to undo.
No it won’t.
What GOP leaders are really afraid to do is promise to fire that 200,000 plus federal workforce Obama has hired since being in office. They may even like the idea of a bigger dinner table in Washington.
And forget about this notion that there are a few aspects of Obamacare that are pretty good so maybe we can trim around the edges and make it a little more consumer friendly. I think Cantor has said that.
Obamacare is unclean ( טמא Hebrew, نجس Arabic) for the manner in which it was imposed on the American people was closer to rape than legislation.
It’s one of those things that makes you want to take off all your clothes and burn them, just to get rid of its ugliness.
So, if you like some parts of it, Mr Cantor, go back and re-do it. But put your own names on it. Strip away the original names from the masthead, chisel them away as the ancient Egyptians would the hieroglyphs of a misbegotten pharaoh. Every person hired for any job as a result of Obamacare must be sent packing and told to get back in line and reapply.
2. The Super Committee
It’s not for me to say who in Congress has learned their lesson from the debt ceiling compromise/debacle, but now that the members who voted for it are staring down the barrel of $600B in automatic Defense cuts they agreed to, as part of a deal to keep from shutting down the government in July, they should see how they were snookered by now.
There’s a consequence to this.
Either the Dems snookered the GOP leadership (not that hard, both parties have a history in this regard) or the GOP leadership snookered its own members, but the barrel they are all looking down now is loaded and aimed…at those members, mind you, and not the Leadership.
Of course the DoD will be saved. Tough ol’ John, not on my watch, by God, McCain will make sure it’s saved, only this means his famous reach-around under the aisle for a public-be-damned tax hike of some sort. Yes, Defense will be saved, but revenues (taxes most likely) will be increased, and no significant cuts in spending will be made.
Make book on it, this will be the package the same leadership who set up the draconian across the board Defense cuts in the first place, will ask the members to approve in order to prevent those draconian cuts from taking place. See the trap? Dizzying, isn’t it.?
For the newbies, first and second termers, they’ve run out of “fool me once shame on you.” This is why they must be primaried. All of them. The voters have a right, even a duty, to keep looking til they find someone who can get it right.
3. 9% Approval Rating.
Sure, we all know this is a generic rating and not about any member, but the truth is, no matter what their individual voting records, they’re all allowing the freest deliberative body in the history of the world to be drug over a cliff all because of an overpowering herd instinct, and an absence of leadership, when fully half of them were sent there with the specific mission to turn the herd away from that cliff.
There’s leadership and then there’s The Leadership
The 2010 election was in great part about steering in a new direction toward instituting, and defining, a new type of leadership in the Congress. Our side did a bang up job on that account in the Senate, while still not gaining control, and fared very well in the House, gaining 67 new seats, ostensibly conservative, while regaining the House.
A beginning only. Many pieces are there, just not enough to become leadership without having to be wrung through the conditioning process.
You see, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. The new leadership bumped into the old leadership, and they were rolled.
On crucial budget showdown-shutdown votes this year our own Pilgrim rated only 17 of them, his Apocalypse Caucus (I just love that name) as having the star quality to stare down the Democrat leadership on real showdown budget matters. Not all are freshmen, conservatives or even Tea Party Caucus members.
The rest, including the bulk of the Tea Party Caucus (60 strong, 25% of the House majority), followed Leadership in what will prove by Thanksgiving to be a necessary repeat of their July debt-ceiling vote when they compromised and established the super committee instead of calling the Democrat’s bluff.
(The irony of “coward calculus” of course is that by avoiding a government shutdown in order to prevent people who would never vote GOP anyway to think better of you, you now have insured that millions who would likely vote for you now think less of you and may want to look at another candidate before voting again. I’ve never understood the logic of this, myself. But I will encourage the learning curve be accelerated by having them primaried.)
They need to be reminded that a timid leadership does not engender followship, only more timidity. And timidity in action only begs for more opportunities to be timid.
Today that Super Committee stands poised to cheerfully force another unhappy choice on those same members as they must stare automatic Defense Department budget cuts or acquiesce to tax hikes and fake budget cuts in the face in order to save DoD, which their Leadership put at risk in the first place. Shutting the government down is no longer an option, but cutting DoD way back (I submit DoD could pull it off if Rumsfeld were in charge) represents an option virtually no GOP member can risk.
So, what was to be a strong new leadership in-training has turned out to be a fragmented group of conservatives, now with a stronger need to get along with Leadership just to protect their incumbency.
This is how new members are re-educated their first year in office.
Every member of Congress needs to be disabused of this notion, and primarying them is about the only way the voters can directly intervene in this internal struggle for leadership in Congress.
Heeding the guiding principle of RoguePolitics that the voters should never assume any good thing about any elected officials, even when true, and never give them an inch, they need to have to sweat each primary season.
While not in favor of caning them (well, not all) I do believe a little pressure can go a long way toward ensuring they are always looking over their shoulders.
So, when the GOP Leadership gets squeamish about Obamacare as they are beginning to signal now, that also signal the electorate that maybe 1) they should be replaced or 2) at least reminded and forced to re-pledge their fealty to their original promises.
As much as I hate the amount of time congressmen must spend raising money, I hate even worse having to play “go along to play along” with the party bosses to ease that difficulty. This is a cycle that must be broken, and it is done with guts, as the Apocalypse Caucus suggests, not timidity. So, I’m in favor of forcing them to spend a little money to spend the summer campaigning against some hellion from the right of them who’s claiming they’ve gone too soft too quickly.
The Establishment Status Quo
We all know the leadership of both parties has a vested interest in maintaining the Establishment status quo. The only problem with that image is that there are two different status quo’s involved, only, go figure, the GOP has never figured this out.
The Democrat leadership has no difficulty, already proven, of easily sliding over into one-party, supra-constitutional control if the opportunity arises…or dictates (sic) it. They see their political arena as ranging from total, even-dictatorial control at the one end, to periodic lapses into second place at the low end, just to keep up appearances, a situation they’d very much like to abolish by law. They are of the Left.
On the other hand, the GOP leadership has no such grand vision. As currently constituted, all it can hope (or wants) to achieve is to get on top for a little while, suck all the perks it can, while it can, then slip back into its hereditary subordinate role of filing out a foursome at the National Country Club. They are not of the Right. They are of the Hot Tub Club.
In other words, the two parties live in alternate universes and America cannot afford this any longer.
Today the GOP leadership, in Congress and in the Party, don’t even have a vision of restructuring the congressional establishment back along the original plan of the Founders, although they do make some rhetorical flourishes in that direction, in much the same way Barack Obama does the military on Veteran’s day.
But neither can they afford to allow a group of newbies to start that old vision quest again, as Ronald Reagan did in 1980. Thus the wringer they’ve put freshmen through this past year. Much of it was aimed directly at them, not the public, not the Democrats.
There are a few Reagan-like visionaries in Congress now, and even one, maybe two, in the current presidential field, who can slip beyond the conventional GOP orbit and actually change world history, but that change in leadership in the end, has to come from within the ranks of the party if it is to last.
That’s how it is. We can elect them, but only they can change the system once there.
Primarying them, keeping their eye on the prizes as I’ve just outlined here, is one of the very few things people out here can do to make that happen.
In the end, this is why voters need to keep Congress on a short leash. It is to create a forum for the rise of a visionary leadership in the GOP. We need to replace their Have Tux Will Travel business card for Have Boots, Will Work for Liberty
NOTE: This is about change from the top. At the other end we have Cold Warrior and his PrecinctProject trying to take over the GOP from the bottom-up on about $5 a day, just like an motor tour of Norway in the 1950s. It’s a hard slog, for big donor money, like the GOP leadership, is wary of an empowered citizenry, which the Precinct Project represents. So, if anyone wants to donate directly $5, $10, $50, $250, please go there and do it. No better money will ever be spent.
But if any one of you know anyone who truly wants to get this bottom-up job done quickly and efficiently for about $250,000 over the next year, understanding it must be accomplished with some stealth, contact me. I can guide you to the next step.