FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Some Contradictory Thoughts On The GOP Pledge.
Let me begin by reiterating my sincere respect and gratitude for all the work Eric Erikson and the other Redstate.com staff members have performed in giving ideological conservatives a place to pontificate, evangelize and some days, just flat-out vent. I issue that statement in hopes of banking enough positive account equity to avoid foreclosure on my user account. It would constitute foreclosure for arguing respectfully, but completely against the current Redstate.com editorial position regarding the GOP “Pledge to America.” I think it was a MONSTER step in the right direction for America.
Why do I like this exercise in throwing more short passes than a West Coast offense utilizing its emergency QB? I like it precisely because the objectives are limited. John Boehner is a smart enough man to remain humble. Today is not the day we lower the levels of the ocean. Speaker Boehner is pledging not to be the guy that crams another $1.4Tr unbudgeted deficit down our throats because he knows what is good for us.
John Boehner’s pledge shows me that he understands that his powers are limited. He is not running for “Neo.” He understands well that he has taken over a badly dysfunctional Congress. Regardless of your partisan affiliation, ANY Congress that has the largest one-party majority since LBJ was President should and MUST legitimately pass its budget. My simple-man’s reading of The US Constitution tells me that a House of Representatives that can’t be bothered to exercise the power of the purse is about as useful as The Roman Senate that included Incitatus.
John Beohner shows intelligence in understanding the The House of Representatives he inherits is so badly broken and dysfunctional that he is not going to change the world in 100 days as its Speaker. He will be quite fortunate to get it back to its proper Constitutional functions after the consecutive Gawd-Frikken-Awful Speakerships of Hastert and Pelosi. He is inheriting the rubble of a once great empire.
So he pledges to do that which is pragmatic. He will undermine the Oligarchical Collectivism that is ObamaCare. The Fascist Cap and Trade Bill is dead. The Corporate Statism of TARP will also perish. These are good first steps, assuming John Boehner can find enough good hashish to bribe the Senate Democrats and Barack Obama to sign off on the dotted line after each and every one.
But they still leave Presumptive Speaker Boehner holding on to a basket full of snakes. ObamaCare would never have passed, if it were not in response to very serious issues regarding our healthcare system involving insurance and care delivery. If I were a good and earnest Progressive, and I were writing in The New Republic the day after John Boehner successfully saw ObamaCare off to the dung-heap, my question for the GOP would be this. “I see you enjoyed your Tea Party, Wile E. Coyote, Supra-Genus, now what exactly do we do about this health care debacle?”
If humility is the first step along the road to greatness, John Boehner, to me, becomes one of the most impressive men in Washington DC by giving this question an honest answer. Sometimes, all of us, RMJ included, need to accept “I sincerely don’t know” as an honest answer from our political leaders. Sometimes “I don’t know” constitutes the most honest answer you are ever going to hear to life’s most vexing and complicated questions.
That being said, there is a heck of a lot Mr. Boehner needs to figure out between now and 2012. I wish he knew a lot more. Our nation is hurting and John Boehner will be the one picking up the receiver when our electorate dials 9-1-1 this November. For this reason, Eric and Hogan, and because of fundamental fairness, we need to remain more patient. The problems are hard ones; our mortal capabilities are sadly limited.
The “Fierce urgency of 2008” got us an idiot, Socialist President and a Congress that sits there and watches Stephen Colbert enter an X-ray of his rectal innards into the Congressional Record. This emphasis on the Cultural Revolutions and Great Leaps Forward has yielded a spectrum of results that range from disillusioning to tragic. Small, intelligent steps forward are the true road to sound and sustainable governance that doesn’t ruin the American Dream for an entire generation.
A wise, old football coach once remarked that three things can happen when you pass – a completion, an incompletion or an interception. Two of those things are bad. I would add that the further you try to chuck the ball, the more likely you are to get the bad outcomes.
I can’t blame Eric entirely for his disappointment that John Boehner is not a reincarnation of Ronald Reagan. However, I also can’t slam John Boehner for getting away from the magical thinking that has made our current leadership in Washington resemble a bunch of unmitigated losers. Our nation is currently governed by disorganized nerds who won’t admit they are public servants, not Dungeon Masters. If John Boehner just pledges to remember he is human, I could get massively behind the GOP this time just for that!