You may recall during the failed fight over imposing term limits on members of Congress the Stasis Caucus argued that the country could not afford to deprive itself of the "leadership" and "experience" of veteran legislators.
In a country where the feds require you to put a sell–by date on water, the argument was politicians only get better as marinate over the decades in the heady atmosphere of Washington, DC.
Well here's what 27 years in the Senate brings conservatives who view the debt ceiling fight as the first real opportunity to force the Obama abomination to reduce spending: Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offers a debt ceiling "contingency" plan that combines pre–emptive surrender with the approval of Nancy Pelosi.
Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Coburn (R – OK), who is in the last term of the two he's pledged to serve, offered a list of $9 trillion in potential budget cuts last Tuesday.
The contrast speaks for itself.
Coburn represents voters who want spending cut and believe the debt ceiling negotiations represent a golden opportunity. McConnell offers a plan the Washington Post describes as, "offering President Obama new authority to raise the federal debt limit without cutting government spending" and then boasts in a news conference that, "What we're not going to be a party to -- in the Senate, I'm pretty confident -- is default." Meaning McConnell has lost touch with both reality and Republicans.
This is an epic confrontation. Democrat spenders and their media enablers versus Republicans who believe there is no time like the present to cut spending. House Republicans have the power to block any debt ceiling increase that does not require significant and tangible spending cuts. Looming in the background is the specter of "default." Yet many have pointed out this "default" is beginning to resemble the same pile of hysteria we were sold regarding the dreaded Y2K and "global warming."
In an effort to frighten the masses the Washington Post recently had a page where you could choose "who gets paid (and who doesn't)" if the debt ceiling is not raised.
It turned out to be a mistake. I took the $172.4 billion and paid all the essentials (Social Security; T–bills; Medicare; Medicaid; federal salaries and benefits; unemployment insurance; food stamps & TANF; military pay; Veteran's Affairs; Dept. of Justice) and had $700 million left over to invest in Obama's Capitol bust commemorating his one–term Presidency and the defeat of socialism.
No bond default. No granny being chased by wolves. No obese welfare recipients denied government cheese. Certainly these choices would be portrayed by Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) as a heartless surrender to greed and selfishness, but I believe the majority of America voted last November for fiscally conservative government and they will support efforts to achieve that end, even if it results in a temporary government shutdown.
McConnell obviously either disagrees or can't withstand criticism from Anderson Cooper, so he started cutting himself a backdoor to the Alamo. After completing his escape hatch, McConnell was not content to slink away and save himself from a risky and potentially damaging confrontation that could result in social ostracism.
No, he joins the enemy -- holding a joint news conference with Santa Anna and praising the generalissimo for his innovative policy that replaces with land–intensive burial plots with sustainable funeral pyres that use all natural ingredients.
You can't even dignify the McConnell plan by calling it a "contingency." It's a collaboration. McConnell expands the power of the Presidency at the expense of Congress in violation of the Constitution; imposes a super–majority requirement on what should be a routine vote; throws away any and all leverage Republicans have in Congress; undermines House Republican efforts to cut spending; and lets Obama and the Democrats continue the spending behavior the voters repudiated in the last election.
It's pathetic, ineffectual posturing that insults conservative and independent voters and undermines the cause of debt and spending reduction, all in one neat package.
No wonder Nancy Pelosi likes it and Harry Reid (D – Can I supersize that spending for you?) wants to ratify the McConnell surrender.
To continue my Alamo metaphor, it's time to draw the line in the sand. If it takes a temporary government shutdown to get the attention of Obama and the Democrats, then -- Shut. It. Down.
Why continue the suspense? I believe conservatives and independents can win this fight for our country's future. And if that's wrong, and if the role of conservatives in the future is to manage the decline, instead of reverse it, let's find out now and not put it off until November 2012.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations, advertising and political consultant with experience around the globe. He is also a popular speaker and can be reached at michael–firstname.lastname@example.org.