Monday, October 12, 2015

A Speaker for We the People

Americans want a government that seeks then speaks their values. At least that’s what this conservative Republican wants. At the outset, Congressman John Boehner of Ohio was a fantastic leader in this mold, even in the minority. He spoke for me, for Middle America. On the margins, this outsider pushed against Big Government liberal Democrats. He unified his jaded conservative caucus against the wasteful stimulus legislation. He stood tall against Waxman-Markey’s Cap and Trade, and fought against the not so Affordable Care Act.

From Obamacare came outrage, and the Tea Party wave swept him to power. Speaker-elect Boehner cried before the camera on 60 Minutes, a small-town patriot who worked his way from barrooms and night school to Speaker of the House. Impressive.

Then the GOP’s donor class flashed its true colors. Big Business wanted to get down to business, and Boehner would have to go along. The Speaker stopped speaking for us, but rather to us, and on behalf of someone else.

I have heard the frustrated refrain many times: “Republican politicians are ignoring their base.” More specifically, they are listening to the monied interests: the Chamber of Commerce, and their agenda does not square with yours or mine. Corporate tax cuts (OK), and corporate welfare (not OK), combined with cheap labor (amnesty, and a generous safety net when their labor is not needed – Hell No!), plus categorical caving on “social issues” like homosexual marriage and abortion. Republicans nationwide have grown more conservative, have become increasingly disillusioned with the political class which has betrayed us, pretending to represent working families and small businesses.
I did not,  could not believe that deep down, in backroom doors, Republicans leaders like Boehner, McConnell, and ultimately Paul Ryan were in hock or rather in bondage to the Chamber of Commerce. The same narrow interest pursuing profit at the expense of the taxpayer, and even national sovereignty, has exploited its undue influence in the GOP for too long. At least in California, the Chamber of Cronyism, er, Compromise, uh Commerce has drifted into self-immolation toward Democratic candidates. Now they have to be purged from their overt intervention in Washington DC. After six years of increased spending, government expansion, and socialized interventionism under Bush II, conservative voters should expect nothing less the best possible from the successors in Congress and finally in the White House.

And a new Speaker of the House will further this needed transfer of power from The Chamber to us.
Boehner has been bounced. I had hoped for this outcome from the moment he had failed to coordinate the factions of the House conference toward better, longer lasting ends. From the fiscal cliff of 2012 to the botched 2013 shutdown, which ended up working for conservatives nonetheless, Boehner seemed interest in golf, compromise, and making nice.

McCarthy the Majority Leader was DOA from the moment he indicated his support for a pathway toward legal status for illegal aliens. Too close to Boehner, and too corporate for a conservative like myself, I know that we can find someone better.

I supported Chaffetz, and yet the conservative Utahn has recently pledged to step aside if former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan seeks the Speakership. Lucy pulls the football away from Charlie Brown, again. Arrgh! Is it too much to ask that the man (or  woman) second in line to the Presidency actually care about the man in Main Street as oppose to the traders on Wall Street or the traitors on K Street?

I want a Speaker who speaks for me. Let’s go one step further. I want a Speaker who speaks for We the People, who represents, defends, and fights for the United States Constitution.
I want – we need -- a Speaker who speaks the truth of limited government, individual liberty, state sovereignty. He cannot be the nation’s  go-to guy for getting a job, nor is he supposed to by a preening rodeo clown seeking the limelight, all while doing nothing but benefiting himself (in my opinion, Trump still occupies the latter category.)

The next Speaker must pledge for better procedures as well as policy. Conservative committee chairmen, not retribution for disagreeing on issues, and coordination between the House Oversight Committee and legal counsel to sue the White House and the Democratic Party. How about a more open amendment process and a team-player attitude to win American voters, even if the votes don’t materialize on the floor? How about cutting the funds for executive lawlessness. Period.
House leaders should display the vigor of US Senator Tom Cotton, who just blocked three executive appointees over the Secret Service targeting of Congressman Chaffetz.  US Senator Rand Paul in the minority forced Eric Holder to restrain his and the President’s power over releasing drones on American citizens. Even Democrats joined his filibuster. Why can’t more House members engage in similar media antics and poke fun at liberals?

What other legislation could the House pass to frame President Obama as rigid, stupid, and insipid? Repeal Obamacare, or force federal officials to live under its mandates, including the Supreme Court. Dismantle the federalized War on Drugs. Implement a federal version of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s labor reforms, which would please every faction of the GOP. How about banning lawmakers from becoming lobbyists once they leave office?

So, Chaffetz? He fights, he punches back at news anchors. Will he do the same with corporate cronies who want the Export-Import bank reauthorized? Will he stall or sit on any legislation which opens our borders, provides a pathway toward citizenship, all while ignoring the nearly one hundred million still struggling in part-time or no-time work? Will he fight Obama creatively and skillfully, all while leading the troops to seek strategic victories, and even turn short-term losses into long-term wins? Whoever the lucky (and hard-pressed) lawmaker will be, the next House Speaker must speak for you and me, and define a common respect for the rule of law, not special interests or crony insiders.

Is this really too much to ask? 

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