Congresscritters working today in Washington are going to soon learn a very direct Americanism that I have to use frequently on the on the Indian and Chinese new media programmers I hire overseas:
You’ll have to do better than that.
With a sinking feeling over the last few days, we’ve seen our vaunted promise of $100 billion in budget cuts (less than one tenth of the annual deficit, so insufficient on its face!) shrink to only $32 billion in cuts with all sorts of ‘brilliant’ justifications as to why this must be, or how it’s really more than it seems.
Get this: It’s not enough. You will be primaried.
How can I make this bold assertion? Look around at the organizations and alliances that helped get you elected; the Tea Party for instance. Both Tea Party Nation and Patriot Action Network (Resistnet) have formally placed ‘precinct committeeman’ (PC Strategy) activism among their top 2 priorities for 2011. Three more of the biggest, most well funded activism networks in the country are examining or making moves in that direction. Erick Erickson has spoken out in favor of this brand of activism and wrote about it in his book. Many others are figuring it out on their own and just doing it.
Hey! It’s 2011. No big elections this year, so we can all go back to sleep, right? Except many of us have made a different choice. We are using the hiatus to get on our local party central committees. And we are bringing others on board with us. We’re not taking a breather in 2011. In fact, we are increasing the op tempo. The honeymoon is over. Now we are tapping our collective feet, waiting on you. And we talk to each other. Nationwide.
An informal, but very active, aggressive alliance has sprung up amongst LUR’s Concord Project, Coldwarrior’s The Precinct Project, and PROCINCT’s party.procinct.net. More major players will appear soon as part of that alliance soon (formal or informal). There is a powerful, determined drive underway to fill those vacant, voting seats on all those local central committees. And many of the party newbies are discovering that a vacuum exists above them to draft them quickly up on the state committees where they cast votes for the RNC committeemen. We talk to them every week on our conference calls. Look at the new state chairs for AZ and NH and consider how many state party conventions are still ahead of us in 2011. These new PC activists are not being quiet or orderly about it. They are seeking vacancy appointments, alternate appointments and proxies on their central committees if they missed the elections or caucuses. They are not patient either. And they are not in a good mood today.
The short story is this: the party that elected you is about to be governed (or at least very strongly influenced) by a new set of bosses. When the time to file again for office arrives next year, you may find yourself operating in a hostile, alien, foreign environment in your district. In many areas, the new precinct committeemen will control the vote, so besides the expenses of a primary, you will discover that your media messaging is much more expensive to deliver. Where you are currently planning on spending $5 million on media, you’ll have to spend $9 million to satisfy opinion movement goals. And you might just lose that primary anyway.
So to make up for the fact that you put a good scare into many of us today, you’d better resolve now to quadruple Darrell Issa’s staff so he can investigate Pigford, secret deals betraying our special UK relationship, and otherwise sextuple the number of subpoenas he sends flying at this corrupt administration. For indictments, not just transparency.
Then start cutting.
I mean real cuts that’ll send bureaucrats flying to the TV cameras to scream bloody murder. Eliminate entire departments and agencies or fully de-fund them. Want to exhibit some leadership? Start talking about waste in the DOD and put them on notice that they are looking at budget cuts, too. You’d better start calling for Obama to task his AG to appoint a special prosecutor. You’d better start seeking indictments and start wielding a knife big enough to spot from The Gallery. Many of the Tea Party folk are older and we remember what real budget cuts looked like under Reagan. Matters little to us if the cuts come from a different branch this time, but we’ll all clearly recognize the pitiful screams and teeth-gnashing on the Sunday morning shows. Let’s face it: if the bureaucrats aren’t screaming bloody murder, then nobody’s budget is really being cut. So far, we hear crickets.
Collegiality is for the Senate, so forget about ‘hands across the aisle’ and #newtone. Budget brutality should be the order of the day – our current fiscal crisis requires it, and your real primary constituents (the PCs who can deliver the vote to you, or to your primary challenger) demand that you summon the courage and leadership to deal with it.
The House controls the purse strings. Better start pulling. Hard.
(photo above: ‘Cap the Knife’, Reagan’s OMB director who set many a bureaucratic tooth a-gnashing. Photo H/T: Wikipedia)