News tagged as 'john boehner'

Upton Redux

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

Like a bad penny, RINO Congressman Fred Upton (R-Michigan) keeps turning up in some very unexpected places.

In 2007, for instance, he turned up as the co-sponsor of an amendment to ban the current generation of  incandescent light bulbs.

In January of this year, he turned up as the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on the promise that he would repeal the incandescent light bulb ban he had sponsored.

In July, he was the mastermind behind the failed strategy to present the light bulb repeal ban for a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives under “suspended” rules. This meant the ban needed a two-thirds vote to pass, which it did not receive. (It did, however, receive a clear majority.)

Now, having performed so well in his other duties this Congress, Speaker Boehner has rewarded Congressman Upton today by naming him to one of the three coveted Republican House seats on the “budget reduction” committee.

What are we to conclude about Speaker Boehner, who demonstrates such loyalty to a member of his leadership who is so weak in both commitment to principle and development and execution of political strategy?

Constance Dogood has already addressed some of the problems of the current Republican leadership in her Voices of the Tea Party e-book  How the GOP Establishment is Co-Opting the Tea Party Freshman Class. Ms. Dogood focused on how the desire to secure and maintain political power clouded the judgements of the leadership so badly that they were unable to understand or respond to the principled commitment of the Tea Party freshmen to constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets.

It’s time now to consider another Voices of the Tea Party e-book about the current Republican leadership. This one would focus on the many reasons why it’s time for these out-dated thinkers to step aside for a new generation of leaders in the next Congress.

Does anyone think John Boehner, Fred Upton, and Mitch McConnell are actually going to make the hard choices necessary to cut the federal budget in real terms the current fiscal year, or the next?

I, for one, don’t think they will, and it is a great disappointment to see RINOs like Fred Upton put in  position to make further concessions on fiscal matters to the completely uncompromising Democrats. With Upton on the committee, can “revenue enhancements” be far behind?

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new  e-book, I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial, was published earlier this week. His new book, Covenant of Liberty, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Tweedle-dee, Tweedle-dum, and Tweedle-none

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

In Washington these days, there’s no oxygen  left in the room to debate anything other than the faux debt ceiling issue.  As the “deadline” draws near next week, every minute of talking head time on the cable networks is focused on the game of chicken being played between the competing plans offered by the Democratic and Republican leadership. Both plans are ineffective at dealing with our chronic spending and debt problems. Nonetheless, the debt ceiling appears to be occupying every minute of waking time in the days of the dinosaurs of political leadership currently responsible for resolving the issue.

But the key actors in this little farce remind me more of characters in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland than political leaders of vision and courage:

Strange all this Difference should be
‘Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee!

The contemporary version of Alice in Wonderland we see playing out before us in the halls of power in Washington has added a third member to the Tweedle cast. Let me introduce the actors now performing their roles in our nation’s capital:

Tweedle-dee has set forward a “debt reduction plan” that will cut a grand total of $6 billion from our $1.7 trillion deficit next year.  That’s less than one half of one percent of the annual deficit. There’s no debt reduction in this plan.

Tweedle-dum wants to increase taxes and refuses to cut spending in any meaningful way.

Tweedle-none has no plan other than to step up to a microphone and petulantly complain about Tweedle-dee’s plan.

These three characters are suitable for a child’s nursery rhyme, but their ascension to posts of political leadership in our republic is a sad commenatary on just how little attention the American electorate has paid to the electoral process for the past several decades.

The good news is that this all began to change in November, 2010.

The pathetic display of leadership currently offered by Tweedle-dee, Tweedle-dum, and Tweedle-none merely re-enforces the importance of common sense citizens engaging in the electoral process more heavily in November 2012. All three of these leaders are currently in their positions of power because the voters of the United States have put them there.  We can, and should, remove them all in November, 2012.

But let’s be honest about this mess.

Complaining that this sophomoric trio are doing the wrong thing simply shifts the blame from our shoulders to theirs.  They’re behaving exactly as we should expect them to behave.

Tweedle-dee is behaving like the establishment Republican he is. He’s simply following the time honored Republican traditions of Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush.

Tweedle-dum is behaving like the partisan Democratic hack he is. He’s simply pandering to the special interest groups to which he owes his election.

And Tweedle-none is behaving like the hollow and brittle redistributionist ideologue he is. He’s simply out of his league, incapable of doing anything other than deliver the same monologue again and again.

In the next election, it’s time for constititutional conservatives like us to throw the whole lot of them out, and replace them with common sense people who think and act like we do.  The mechanics of how this transformation can come about is a worthy topic for the next e-book in the Voices of the Tea Party series.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new  e-book, I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial, was published earlier this week. His new book, Covenant of Liberty, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Boehner’s Weakness Enables Geithner’s Contempt for Congress

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

As the absurd theater surrounding the debt limit issue plays out in Washington, Secretary of the Treasury Geithner continues to display his contempt for Congress, while Speaker of the House John Boehner talks tough but fails to use any of his Constitutional powers to compel the Secretary to act responsibly. The Speaker has already frittered away his electoral mandate to cut spending by brokering a deal to “cut” the Fiscal Year 2011 budget by–at best–an insignificant $329 million. Now, when strength of action is called for as the so called debt limit crisis looms, he continues his pattern of tough talk and weak action by failing to push Geithner to produce a fall back plan for the country if Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit.

When confronted with a budget crisis, most families and small businesses develop a contingency “worst case” plan. If income is down, which are the least important expenditures we currently make that we will cut out? Several Republican members of Congress have individually called on Secretary Geithner to produce such a plan for the country in the event the debt limit is not raised, but he has refused to do so. The Secretary’s  intransigence is not only fiscally irresponsible, it also shows his contempt for Congress.  The Speaker’s failure to formally request such a plan from the Secretary is yet another sign of the Speaker’s weakness and unwillingness to back tough rhetoric up with tough but needed action.

A Voices of the Tea Party e-book that examines the history of the relationship between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch on financial matters would be quite helpful. It would show, for instance, the consequences for the country when the Legislative Branch fails to exercise its proper and Constitutional authority in holding back the excesses of the Executive Branch. Perhaps then Speaker Boehner might realize that his responsibility to the country is to exercise his proper authority instead of bending to the will of an authoritarian Administration and its emissary, the Secretary of Treasury.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new  e-book, I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial, will be published in July, 2011. His new book, Covenant of Liberty, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .