By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
It is a bit distressing to watch the Republican leadership, starting with Speaker Boehner, wander around on this budget business, continually allowing themselves to be demagogued by the left and outmaneuvered at every turn.
The Republican strategy should have been firm, fixed and gloriously simple. They sent the Democrats a Continuing Resolution (CR) over a month ago that will cut $61 billion in spending and keep the doors of government open through September.
They spent 91 hours of debate and considered 500 amendments. It passed in its final form with a decisive majority. The Republicans should just keep sending that CR over week after week after week, instead of messing around with these temporary CRs which let the Democrats off the hook and do not accomplish anything of substance.
Just keep sending the $61 billion-in-cuts CR over. If Harry Reid and President Obama want to grandstand and play politics and shut down the government and stop paying the military over a thoroughly vetted, fiscally responsible budget plan, that will fund national defense for the rest of the year, LET THEM DO IT.
The Republicans are getting rolled by the Democrats on this military pay issue. The GOP response ought to be simple and straightforward: hey, our original CR covers national defense clear through September. If the military doesn’t get paid, Democrats, because you don’t want to pass our CR, it’s your fault.
By dithering around with these temporary CRs - which the Republicans are doing again - the Republicans are allowing the rock to roll back on them when it should be rolling down on the Democrats. If the GOP would just stick to its guns for once, it would be obvious to the American people who the real obstructionists are.
By allowing themselves to get so badly played, they are showing galling weakness, confusing the American people and losing their leverage. If they continue to adapt to Democrat demands instead of standing firm on principle and on their original package, they will create the indelible impression, when they finally stop dinking around, that they are the ones who suddenly decided to stop playing ball.
It’s maddeningly frustrating to watch the leadership of the GOP stumble around, led around by the Democrats as if the Democrats have a hook through their nose.
And even conservative Republicans are playing into the hands of the Democrats. We kept hearing fine talk about how the last temporary CR was, well, the last temporary CR. That’s it, they were saying, time to stop monkeying around here and git ‘er done.
Now even the stalwarts are saying, okay, just one more. They sound like junkies determined to make the next fix the last one. Only it never is.
If they are not willing to stand their ground on what amounts to 1.6 percent of the budget deficit, why should we expect them to stand their ground on anything else? Time to grow some hair, take a testosterone injection, stake out some turf and defend it.
GOP leadership appears to me to be afraid of all the wrong people. They seem deathly afraid of the Washington Post and the New York Times and the alphabet networks and what they might say about them. They seem to be re-living and re-fearing the old media reaction to the 1995 shutdown. But it’s time to stop fearing the past and start fearing the future, the future of an America without responsible fiscal policy.
It’s time for the Speaker and the GOP to stop fearing the old media and start fearing the Tea Party, the folks who sent them there to get the job done and not fumble around while the country burns to the ground.
Republicans: time to stop playing dodge ball and start playing hard cheese. You spent 91 hours of intense debate crafting the original CR. It’s time to start using it again. And again. And again.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)