It used to nearly make my hair nearly stand on end to hear the rant of libertarians, years ago, that there was no difference between the Democrats and Republicans. However, in regard to the leadership of the Republican party, that is getting to be more and more true. Look at this 1582-page budget bill that was just rammed through Congress.
I will remind you that this bill originated in the House of Representatives. Come forward, John Boehner, and own up to this. This is your baby.
This 1582-page bill was crafted in secret. No one in the House had read it when it was dumped onto the agenda and they were given 48 hours to vote, up or down, no amendments allowed. See Breitbart for the shameful details. Staffers and lobbyists apparently wrote it.
You’ve no doubt heard Republicans mock Nancy Pelosi’s statement that Congress would have to pass the 1000-page Affordable Care Act in order to find out what was in it. Well, here we have John Boehner sending to the Senate a 1500-page omnibus spending bill that he never read, and he refused to give his members enough time to read even a fraction of it before requiring them to vote on it. And then the Senate was given the same procedures by Harry Reid. Senator Tom Coburn was interviewed on the Mark Levin show on Wednesday night and said that no one on the Senate Finance Committee had read the bill, and it appears now that is true of the entire Senate.
But that’s only the beginning. It gets worse. The bill is stuffed with nasty surprises. For example, there was howling a few weeks ago when the budget deal was passed and the pensions of disabled veterans were cut. Oh, they would fix that later, they said. Sorry. That’s part of this bill. And some wanted to defund the IRS’s new regulatory work where they intend to enshrine into law their harrassment of Tea Party groups. Sorry – the IRS is allowed to go on its merry way. And no-no (with a wag of the finger) no debating this, no amendments. It was just rammed through. Oh, and some of you were worried about religious groups being forced to violate their consciences and pay for contraceptives. Yes, I know we were talking about putting that into this bill. Sorry – ain’t gonna happen.
I think many conservatives still don’t understand Boehner’s strategy on the government shutdown last October. They thought he was finally getting some gonads. No, no, no, don’t you see? His purpose, which I suspected all along, became clear in his statements about a month ago (see my post – John Boehner – losing all credibility). He was paving the way for the coming steamroller, so he wouldn’t have to put up with all those annoying people in his caucus who keep wanting to fight Obama’s agenda. He was trying to illustrate the futility of shutting down the government. So when pressed about why he caved to the administration on everything they really wanted in this budget bill, he just drops that phrase, “avoid a government shutdown,” and he feels like he can plow forward.
Problem is, those of us who still have functioning cerebrums can put two-and-two together. The Republican brand, at least for now, is riding higher than ever. We were told that doing a government shutdown would be fatal to the Republican brand. Doesn’t compute. Yes, I know that polls at the time were slightly unfavorable. But at that moment, the establishment media was railing on Republicans, so it made people uncomfortable for the moment trying to defend them. But the idea that Republicans stood up – that sticks in people’s minds and is what stays with them. History has shown, in this government shutdown and the last one, engineered by Newt Gingrich, that it strengthens the Republican brand over the long term. Republicans fared very well in the election cycle following Newt’s battles with Clinton. And unless Republicans muck it up now with amnesty and more corrupt political maneuverings, they could fare very well in the coming midterms.
This practice is becoming common now, and is profoundly corrupt, in my opinion – this drafting of huge bills in secret, dumping them on the agenda, and ramming them through with none of our elected representatives reading them or given time to discuss or amend. Defend this, please, if you can see it any other way. And kudos to my own representative, Matt Salmon, for voting against this. We have an unholy alliance here of the Democrats in Congress and the Republican leadership pushing this stuff. Look at the roll calls of who voted for this – it’s perfectly clear what is going on.
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