By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
There is no way to sugar coat what happened yesterday. It was a truly sobering setback for morality, economic sanity, political reality and common sense in our nation’s shared public life. But it happened, and it was bad.
The GOP right now faces a crisis of identity and a choice about whether it will abandon its social principles in a misguided lurch to the left in a futile attempt to chase down moderate voters. If it does lurch left, it will simply move farther from its conservative base, and from conservatives who have disaffiliated with the GOP because it no longer represents their conservative values with any degree of confidence and boldness.
If the GOP lurches left (they will tell us it’s a move to the center, but let’s not kid ourselves), it will no longer have a reason to exist. We will have essentially become a one-party country, with the difference between the two parties being one of degree and not kind. If the party abandons its moral foundations, it will shrivel into insignificance, as its dispirited followers drift away, and it will have no ability to be a moral or political counterweight to the socialism of the Democrat Party.
So the message to the GOP: it’s time to paint with bold colors, not pale pastels. Go bold, go big, go conservative, or go home, because if you don’t go conservative, your party faithful will go home and you will be left with leaders but no followers. And, as the man says, if you’re leading but nobody is following, you’re just taking a walk.
But if the party remains true to its core principles, and is determined to oppose the nation-destroying agenda of this administration, here is what it can do, starting today.
1. Refuse to raise the debt ceiling. Republicans can use their House majority to balance the budget all by themselves, and force the president and the federal government to live within its means by the end of this calendar year, simply by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. If Congress doesn’t put any money in the Treasury for the President, he will have no money to spend on his agenda, starting with ObamaCare and the EPA and moving on down the ladder of destruction. The Constitution is clear: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law” (Art. I, Sec. 9). If the House doesn’t appropriate it, Obama can’t spend it.
Let’s not forget that the House Republicans have their fingerprints all over Obama’s $6 trillion in debt. He couldn’t have borrowed a dime unless the House had gone along with unconstitutional schemes to fund government through continuing resolutions and debt ceiling agreements and sequesters and the like. It’s time to stop letting them blame Obama for this mess. They didn’t inherit this $16 trillion debt, they helped cause it. They agreed to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion in exchange for the military-gutting sequester that will go into effect on January 1. The sequester was Obama’s idea, but would have died aborning if the GOP had not given it life. They must not make the same mistake again.
So let’s not allow the House Republicans to skate on this. All of their talk about a balanced budget is just so much bilge if they continue to raise the debt ceiling every time they bump up against it. If they truly want to get spending under control and balance the budget, as they constantly tell us, they can do something about that right now.
And don’t them get away with bloviation about sovereign default. It only takes about 10% of federal revenue to service the debt, so there is simply no reason for default to occur.
At this point, what do they have to lose? Whatever strategy they’ve been following led us to where we finished yesterday, so it’s hard to say we need more of the same because it’s just working so doggone well. Perhaps the awareness of the potentially catastrophic implications of yesterday’s electoral result will inject enough spinal fluid into their cervical columns to galvanize them to actually use their constitutional authority to get spending under control.
2. Filibuster every Obama Supreme Court nominee. Republicans retained enough Senate seats to filibuster any and all ACLU judges Obama nominates. They can plan right now to use the power of the filibuster to short-stop the president on this one. He may well nominate two or even three justices in his second term who will be youthful jurists inclined to issue activist, tyrannical and Constitution-defying rulings for decades to come, along with deflecting any assaults on Roe v. Wade. Senate Republicans must refuse to budge and must be prepared to see the Court operate with 8 or fewer justices if the president will not nominate an originalist judge.
3. Start recruiting a governor today to run in 2016. The American people are going to want a candidate with a proven record of conservative executive accomplishment, rather than a lawmaker like Marco Rubio ( who would make an excellent VP pick). The GOP has a deep bench to choose from, with Rick Perry ( my personal favorite), Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Bob McDonnell and new Indiana governor Mike Pence all in the mix. Let’s saddle up the right guy early and ride him to the finish line in four years.
Bottom line: it’s time to hitch up our pants and get to work. We’ve got a country to save while we can. If we don’t do at least these three things, there will no country left to save by 2016.
(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.)