Even though the Democrats removed the $100-plus million earmarked for contraceptives from the so-called “stimulus” package, that doesn’t mean they will refrain from screwing Americans. In fact, by keeping the $335 million included for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, it looks to me as though the Democrats have every intention of continuing to screw taxpayers, but want to do so with little risk of adverse consequences for themselves.
Let’s not let that happen. While we may not be able to stop the bleeding, let’s make sure that when the stimulus hits the fan, we’re right there to give credit where credit is due. Barack Obama has promised to go line-by-line to take out the pork in this package and others — the problem, however, is that the entire bill is pork, and is merely the first volley in a campaign organized over the past fourteen years by bitter Washington Democrats clamoring to obtain power and keep it.
The Democrats had the election of their dreams. They got their results. Now, with the economic downturn hitting Americans where it hurts, the party of the New Deal will surely take advice from presidential chief of staff Rahm Emanuel: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
And they have.
Nearly every portion of the so-called “stimulus” package, as well as nearly every action taken by the fledgling Barack Obama administration in his first fortnight in office, has been meticulously designed by the Democrats as a way by which they can keep and maintain power. The bill passed by the House yesterday included billions for the rehabilitation of federal buildings and government departments, surely intended in part to make and keep federal employees–often pensive when it comes time for an election due to uncertainty about cutbacks and raises and benefits changes under a new administration–and keep their vote solidly in Barack Obama’s column; the same goes for President Obama’s intention on creating 600,000 new government jobs, many of which will be in the swing-voting areas of northern Virginia and Maryland. Furthermore, the billions given to organizations like ACORN will not only serve as payment for services rendered, but a possible down payment for services to come. Even the mob museum seems to be connected to the Democrats’ hopes of maintaining power and influence — after all, if we’re talking organized crime, we’ve got to look at Congress. Maybe the Democrats can even have their own exhibit.
We must hold the Democrats accountable for each and every mistake they make, each and every misstep which leads America toward ruin, financial and otherwise. At that time, should Republicans in Washington still have the testicular fortitude which unified them yesterday against the “stimulus” bill, perhaps they will call out those responsible for the truly failed policies.
For this to happen, however, we must train our elected representatives. While I do not necessarily feel it fair to compare our Republican officials with dogs, the approach to training them should be somewhat Pavlovian in nature. When the family dog does something right, when he sits or he shakes or he lays down or he fetches you a cold one from the refrigerator, the best way to encourage further good behavior is to reward him with treats and with praise. Now, while I’m not insinuating that we send good Republicans envelopes full of snausages when they vote the right way on a bill or amendment, we must ensure that we do not limit all feedback simply to harsh words and ballot-related threats every time they poop in the kitchen.
When you see your Republican representative or senator doing something right, call him or her and leave a message showing your appreciation. Write a letter. Send a Christmas card. The way we do it doesn’t matter — what Republicans need to know is that the key to their own seat in the House or Senate can be guaranteed by a record of reverting to conservative principles and keeping the worries and concerns of their constituents at heart.
When the Democrats apply pressure to those Republicans with hotly-contested seats, call those men and women and let them know that should they do the right thing they’ll have your support. For example, with regard to the upcoming Senate vote on the stimulus package, look for them to go after senators like Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and John McCain of Arizona. The Democrats will say things like “don’t you have your middle class constituents in mind?” or “do you really want to come off as being against economic recovery in your next election?” When they do, call your Republicans and remind them that you have their back so long as they have yours.
(Of course, I expect McCain to cross party lines and once again admonish conservatives for, well, being conservatives — but I hope that Arizonans encourage him to vote against the bill . . . and then themselves vote for Reps. Jeff Flake or John Shadegg should they run against McCain in the primary leading up to the 2010 midterm election.)
Any way you look at it, we as Americans must be involved. In 2007, we saw the comprehensive immigration bill championed by McCain and Ted Kennedy go from a sure thing which was to be passed behind closed doors over a late May weekend, to a bill which was shot down amidst an unfathomable outcry from Americans who cared about their country and truly understood the grim consequences of amnesty and open borders. Similarly, just this week, we saw the Democrats [undoubtedly begrudgingly] remove more than a few pet projects from the “stimulus” bill because of similar adverse attention.
We live in a representative constitutional republic, and believe it or not, we can make a difference. It’s not easy, it’s not convenient, but it is possible. In his dissent in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, the first big case to reach the Supreme Court in the aftermath of McCain and Russ Feingold’s Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that “[t]he first instinct of power is the retention of power.” I believe it.
So long as we stay vigilant, so long as we do not allow our attention to wander from the future of our nation, we can play upon that first instinct of power and effect real change in America. Many on the American political left look at the Republican Party and see a group of graying old men, too hung up on social issues to be relevant in the coastal culture that the liberals know and love; I look at the Republican Party and I see people like Sen. Jim DeMint, former Gov. Mitt Romney, Gov. Sarah Palin, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Gov. Mark Sanford, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Eric Cantor, Rep. Spencer Bachus, Rep. Walter Jones, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Mike Pence, and many more — all able to stay firm with regard to socially conservative principles while appealing to the masses by effectively articulating the tenets of fiscal conservatism. Yesterday was a sign of good things to come, a step in the right direction; let’s turn it into an awakening.
The GOP is overflowing with young and competent talent who can, with the right guidance from engaged and informed people and constituents like you and like me, shape the message of the party and not only compete with the Democrats, but show them that 2010 can be 1994 all over again only, this time, the shift in attitudes in Washington and at home will last much longer than fourteen years.