The debt ceiling.
The Obama income tax hike.
The Obamacare fight.
The sequester caps.
President Obama’s executive amnesty.
Now, Planned Parenthood.
When does the GOP start winning? Here’s a better question, more appropriate to the times, when does GOP leadership even begin fighting? The GOP leadership has forfeited every one of the above battles without much more than a token, ex-post-facto, response, long after the outcome of the battles were determined.
While the GOP leadership continues to view its own base as problematic and unreasonable, the base is in full revolt, viewing the GOP leadership as deceitful and ineffective.
While the GOP leadership continues to view its own base as problematic and unreasonable, the base is in full revolt, viewing the GOP leadership as deceitful and ineffective. Many in the grassroots community are leaning towards non-politicians in the early presidential selection process as a result of the continued failures of Party leadership. Most unfortunate is that the GOP leadership has made little effort to understand the frustrations of the base, or course correct itself and win back those who have knocked on the doors, waved the campaign signs, manned the polls, and donated their hard earned money. It is my sincere hope to be able to explain to them, in the simplest terms possible, why we have lost faith in their ability to do anything other than make flowery campaign promises.
First, what the heck is their strategy? Do they even have one?
They have forfeited nearly all of the important fights with nothing to show for it. Having campaigned for office myself I have found even the most passionate grassroots conservatives to be very reasonable when it involves using the political machinery to achieve conservative goals. Conservatives largely understand that not every legislative battle will be won but that principles matter and over time, principled votes, even if they fall short, will demonstrate to America that the GOP stands for something.
Being consistently on the right side of the debates on taxes, the debt, healthcare, defense, abortion, immigration, school choice and other issues important to conservatives would have earned GOP leadership a tremendous amount of “trust capital” with the base that would have afforded them some leeway in implementing a strategic legislative strategy. Stated simply, a history of principled leadership would have allowed them to lose a couple of short-term battles without significant consequences from the base because most of us would have understood that these short-term losses were critical towards marshalling resources for long-term, and lasting, Conservative victories.
Sadly, GOP leadership has no such political capital with the base because that’s not their strategy. Their strategy appears to be to forfeit the short-term battles, forfeit the long-term battles, and to do whatever it takes, and to say whatever it takes, to maintain power while ignoring most of what the Party actually stands for. How long do they think this can continue?
This is a fight with such a clear and distinct, right and wrong side that it’s hard to believe even the insulated GOP leadership team is having a tough time picking a side.
After punting on the debt ceiling, we wound up with the sequester spending caps which they then proceeded to punt on as well. After telling the base they would repeal Obamacare they forfeited that fight for a series of show votes, and many in GOP leadership have since moved on. Now we have the Planned Parenthood fight. This is a fight with such a clear and distinct, right and wrong side that it’s hard to believe even the insulated GOP leadership team is having a tough time picking a side. Then, doubling down on silly, they parrot the Left and the media’s ridiculous arguments about government shutdowns insisting, preemptively, that the shutdown would be the GOP’s own fault.
Yes, this is the utter fecklessness of this failed leadership team. A first-grader could follow, logically, that the GOP leadership CAN’T shut down the government. How can they shut down the government if they pass a proper budget, without funding for the organ traffickers at Planned Parenthood, using all of their assigned constitutional duties, and put that budget on the President’s desk? If the President refuses to sign that budget, knowing that his refusal to sign the budget will shut down the government, then the responsibility lies with him. Is this really that difficult for the allegedly bright people elected to GOP leadership on Capitol Hill to comprehend? Or, are they so afraid of the media, the Left, academia, the blogosphere, and just about anyone else with a platform, that they are afraid to take this common sense message to the American people?
If, as a Party, we are going to forfeit the short game, and the long game, because we are afraid to stand on principle, then what’s the point of the Party? If the constitutional power of the purse delegated to the congress is irrelevant, then why not just forfeit away the constitutional republic for a monarchy? Why continue to waste America’s time? Look no further for an explanation as to why there is a rebellion brewing in the ranks of the GOP. We are tired of being tired. We want our Party back and we refuse to waste another dollar, or another bead of sweat, on GOP leaders who are leading us across the eventual horizon of a political black hole.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Conservative Review. The featured image of Senator Mitch McConnell is by Douglas Graham | AP Photo.