Decades ago, conservatives were fond of advising that one should “negotiate like a communist, not a Republican.” The wisdom of that advice is apparent to anyone with even a passing knowledge of how, until the arrival of Ronald Reagan, communists approached every negotiation with the precondition that they got to start the discussion only after you conceded half your demands and almost all of your premises.
Republicans seemed to enter each negotiation – whether with communists, Democrats, unions, race-hustlers, or any other opponent – having conceded half the field, thereby guaranteeing that whatever the split on the remains assured they would exit the negotiations with very little to show.
Republicans came to every discussion prepared to compromise and negotiate. Communists came to every discussion determined to take everything their opponents had. Thus, the advice – or, more accurately, the plea – from conservatives to their leaders was that they not negotiate like the GOP, but rather like the CCCP.
In the years since Reagan changed the political equilibrium in America, Republicans have shown amazing fortitude at times, pursuing their goals like the communists of old. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Far too often the default setting for establishment Republican leaders is a defeatist attitude that often causes them to undercut their electoral success with governing diffidence and timidity.
Among some of the Republican elite, there is undoubtedly a nagging distrust of conservative values and positions. These Republican elites may also feel greater discomfort and embarrassment from their party allies on the right than they do from the leftists who rule Washington, DC. To these elitists, it’s more important to be part of the social scene in our nation’s capital than to do the uncomfortable work of reversing decades of idiotic liberal policies.
If you are a member of the ruling Republican elite who shares even slight disdain for your political allies and their philosophy, it is only natural that you want to end each political battle with the left quickly and amicably, and most importantly, in a way that preserves your dignity and the left’s regard for you as the exception in your party. Thus, you compromise – often before the discussion even commences. Or, even worse, your defeatist approach causes you to discount your side’s strengths, and magnify your opponent’s powers.
Few have personified this severe defect in recent days more than the current Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell. Without a single vote having been counted, with his party perched on the cusp of a potentially historic election, with the opponent party in shambles because of the dangerous, radical and miserable policies of the present Democratic administration, one would think that the leader of the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate would be outlining a vision of victory.
One would think that the man likely to be our next Senate Majority Leader would be inspiring millions of conservatives to pour fuel on the fire with a bold and aggressive plan to reverse the worst liberal nostrums of the past six years. But, instead, we have the opposite.
In a shocking recent interview on Fox News, Senator McConnell was asked whether the anticipated Republican majority in both houses of the Congress would repeal Obamacare. How did this bold lion, this conquering hero, this modern day rough rider respond?
“It would take 60 votes in the Senate. Nobody thinks we’re going to have 60 Republicans… and it would take a president – presidential signature. No one thinks we’re going to get that.”
In other words, Republicans are likely to reclaim control of the legislative branch, but we’re not going to do a thing once we have it. How pathetic can one get? Senator McConnell, if you truly are so lacking in creativity and leadership, how can you possibly demand that your fellow Republicans name you as their leader? And, more to the point, Republicans, are you so desperate that you would let him be your leader?
The American people are about to give the GOP a chance to show their stuff. Throughout the land, the overwhelming majority are rejecting the policies and incompetence of Obama Administration and their Democratic Party enablers. To the great shame of the Republicans, Americans don’t yet look to them as the party likely to solve our national ailments, though they are likely to give them a chance to prove whether they can do the job. If Republicans take that opportunity and fix the disasters foisted on our nation by Obama and his gang, there is a good chance the nation will reward them with control of the executive branch in two years, as well. If they fail, they are likely to slip back into minority party status for the foreseeable future.
The stakes are high, but with a leader like McConnell at the helm, defeat is nigh. What is astonishing is that this feckless politico is broadcasting it now, before the election.
Senator McConnell has been in the Senate since 1985. That’s almost 30 years. One would think that, by now, he could figure out how to use the legislative process to advance conservative ideas and positions. Certainly Senator Harry Reid, the current Democratic Majority Leader knows how to do so. In fact, Obamacare, was only enacted using legislative legerdemain.
When Dirty Harry realized they didn’t have the votes to overcome a filibuster of this havoc-wreaking legislation, he used a procedural maneuver called budget reconciliation to make the Democrat’s dream of government controlled health care a reality. In the budget reconciliation process, a simple majority could rule the day.
Where was Mitch McConnell when this was happening? Did he not learn the lesson that, what can be inflicted on the American people by legislative trickery can be undone by the same process? If the Republicans gain a majority in the Senate as virtually every analyst believes will happen, why can McConnell muster the same fortitude as Harry Reid to fix the crisis Reid and his buddies created?
In fact, there are a plethora of paths to undo Obamacare and almost all of the dangerous liberal policies rammed through by Harry Reid and his party. The most potent is the federal budget. Our system is designed to permit the legislature to direct policy through the purse. If they don’t approve, they cut off the money.
When an executive agency is doing something the Congress opposes, the Congress can – and, in the past, often did – cut off all money. When the salaries of bureaucrats disappear, the bureaucrats carrying out the bad policy disappear as well. The legislative move is called “no such sums.” In short, the Congress directs the Administration that he may spend no such sums to do whatever the Congress disapproves.
Instead of finding a way to pursue the policies that Americans demand, on the cusp of electoral victory, McConnell showcases his ineptitude and lack of imagination. We might disdain everything Reid has done as Senate Majority Leader, but there is no denying that, for the liberal cause, he has been an effective and almost undefeated warrior.
Too bad the Republicans don’t have a conservative Harry Reid, ready to use every legislative move possible to effect the policies we support.
Instead, we have a pathetic fossil, limping to the finish line in a redder than red state against a fruitcake opponent.
Who will the Republicans likely install as the leader of their Senate majority? a ghost from the piteous Republican past, declaring defeat in the face of victory, and constraining his party from repairing the damage done by the community organizer and his gang from hope and change.
And they wonder why voters are holding their noses?