When Republicans were completely shut out of power a few years ago, they railed against the absurd policies of Pelosi and Reid and the out of control spending proposed by Obama. The Tea Party rallied to the cause of freedom and limited government, and helped elect a Republican majority to the House just two years after they were relegated to the ash heap of history.
Upon assumption of power, conservatives and tea partiers turned to the new Republican majority in anticipation that they would pull the trigger on the pledges that they so stridently pronounced during the campaign season. At that point many leaders within the party looked at us as if we were from Mars. They impugned our motives, marginalized us, and referred to us as “extremist” “purists” and “intransigent.” We were subjected to all sorts of ridicule and contumely: “You would have opposed Reagan too.” You’re not team players.” “You’re going to call him a RINO too?”
In reality, all we wanted from Republicans was consistency; a commitment to continue fighting alongside us against the Democrats’ socialist agenda – an agenda Republicans so emphatically condemned during the elections. Instead, we got results that were antithetical to the agenda and the pledge that buoyed them into office in the first place.
While they talked incessantly about the unsustainable Obama debt, Republicans agreed to grant Obama another $2.1 trillion in debt issuance for nothing. As a result, we are now on pace to incur the largest amount of debt ever amassed over a 12-month period. We’ve already racked up over $1.1 trillion in additional debt in less than 7 months since the debt ceiling was raised.
During the elections, Republicans mocked Democrats for their failed stimulus and bailout programs, yet they support a highway bill that is being advertised as a Keynesian jobs stimulus, and that will require a massive general fund bailout.
They rebuked the Democrats for passing 1000-page omnibus bills without ever reading them, yet they did just that when they jettisoned the Ryan budget in favor of Harry Reid’s minibus and megabus bills, even though they weren’t posted online for 72 hours.
They warned the American people at every turn that if Obamacare is implemented, our economy and healthcare system will suffer irreversible damage. Yet, when presented with the only opportunity to ensure that the program is thwarted (we can’t rely on the Supreme Court or taking back the White House and Senate), Republicans cowered and passed several budget bills funding Obamacare.
They mocked Obama for picking winners and losers in the market and for his “Solyndra economy,” yet many of them support subsidies for ethanol, Boone Pickens/Soros natural gas cars, and Big Wind. Don’t even start with the Import-Export Bank.
Throughout the elections, Republicans laughed at the idea of super long-term unemployment benefits, yet they agreed to extend them.
As conservatives, we merely want Republicans to remain consistent, and not support things that they opposed during the elections. We are not looking for purity; we are looking for consistency. Unfortunately, they view us as mere pawns in their plans to assume power for power’s sake. They want us to join them in feigning outrage over big government during the elections, but then they eschew our principles after the elections in order to keep cheering the red team. Well, we’ve had it with the red vs. blue game. We’re not going to sit on the sidelines and reelect members for 30 years just because they are incumbent Republicans.
On the surface, it is quite perplexing why Obama is not condemned to inevitable defeat, given the state of the economy and the extremist bent of his policies. Additionally, Republicans should be a shoo-in to win back the Senate, possibly with a supermajority, given the political climate and the one-sided nature of the Senate election map this year. Yet, Republicans are struggling to eke out enough wins for a simple majority.
However, in reality, the political landscape is no enigma. Republicans are not offering a bold contrast to Obama on most issues. They are muddling their message by supporting their own forms of stimulus, bailouts, and corporate welfare. Voters see Republicans advancing the same budgets, the same debt, the same policies; albeit, with less alacrity.
The American people will always choose the more definitive path; they will ignore the pale pastels amidst the bold colors.
All we ask for is some consistency and a bold contrast from the party we are all supposed to be fighting. If that is too much to ask for, we will find new members in the primaries.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project