FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Putting 2013 in Perspective
2013 has been a rough year for conservatives.
This year began with the passage of the $620 billion tax hike, along with $332 billion in stimulus spending. It ended with Republicans in both houses helping pass a bill that raises taxes, raises spending, makes it easier to raise taxes in the future, destroys our leverage for two years, screws disabled veterans, and paves the road for amnesty.
Worst of all, despite Harry Reid’s egregious assault on the filibuster, Republicans obsequiously gave him the votes for all of the end-of-year votes needed to adjourn for Christmas. Despite the fact that Harry Reid has completely shut down the amendment process Republicans were all too eager to give him 60 votes on every piece of legislation this month. Between the unified Democrat front and the lack of leadership among Senate Republicans, 2013 has turned out to be the year of the Democrat supermajority.
Republicans have helped Democrats pass tax increases, debt ceiling increases, funding for Obamacare, the unconstitutional Violence Against Women Act, an internet sales tax, amnesty, special rights for sundry sexual identities (ENDA), a massive farm bill, and some radical nominees.
In October, when House Republicans stood strong in the effort to defund Obamacare, Senate Republicans openly scoffed at them and joined with Senate Democrats to sabotage the fight.
Senate Republicans were so amiable to Harry Reid’s every whim that he decided to go for the kill at the end of the year. He pulled the nuclear option and abolished the filibuster on almost all presidential nominees. Republicans responded by working with him to pass the raw budget deal and the NDAA.
We thought the House was much better than the Senate, but amazingly, only 62 Republicans voted against a deal that was so easy to oppose.
In theory, one can accept the establishment’s argument about this year’s failures. With only control of the House of Representatives, we shouldn’t have high expectations. But if we win back more control in 2014 and 2016, things will change.
However, in order to accept that excuse one would have to buy into the lie that the schism within the party is only over strategy, not ideology. What lays waste to that notion is the inexplicable, yet inexorable, push for amnesty legislation on the part of the GOP establishment.
Along with Cantor’s vocal action on the Dream Act and Boehner’s hiring of a new pro-amnesty immigration staffer, we now have confirmation from Paul Ryan that the budget deal will indeed clear the lane for amnesty next year.
Let’s engage in a thought exercise for a moment – one which is predicated on the assumption that Republican leaders share our values but are merely hamstrung by control of just one branch of government. GOP leadership contends that we cannot block and tackle bad pieces of legislation and pernicious government programs with their current scope of power in Washington. Yet, somehow, we are to believe that Republicans can actively pass new immigration reform built upon conservative principles with Barack Obama in the White House?
To paraphrase Speaker Boehner, ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
Even if you are sympathetic to some form of amnesty under the right circumstances, if you had any shred of conservatism in your soul you would wait until we have someone in the White House who can be trusted to faithfully execute the law and not seek a political victory.
So why would Republicans push amnesty above every other priority? Why not work on something more unifying, such as repealing the ethanol mandate, an endeavor which has bipartisan support?
Sadly, it is quite evident that these people do not share our values. Immigration is just one issue, but it exposes the great establishment lie that the entire intra-party squabble revolves around strategy. It revolves around core values. Our core values are liberty, free markets, a strong civil society, strong national sovereignty, and following the Constitution as it was originally conceived. Their values are money and power. When the two competing ideals overlap, they will be happy to join us. But when those two goals clash, which they often do, they will give voice to the other side – either passively or vocally.
If we don’t rebuild the party from the bottom-up, no degree of electoral success during the 2014 and 2016 general elections will change our current trajectory.