Over the past week there has been talk about Republican leaders in the House and the Senate coming up with a compromise that will allow President Obama to raise the debt ceiling without the approval of Congress.
Don’t do that deal.
One of the things that drive conservative voters nuts is that in the final hour, when things really matter, the GOP tends to give away the high ground that activists won the hard way by doing that deal.
The public is tired of reckless and wasteful spending by the government. They want real, honest solutions; solutions that cut spending. What they don’t want is the deal that allows some to say it increases spending, while others can claim it cuts spending; a deal that cuts taxes by one method of accounting and raises it by another method; a deal where one side points at the other and says “You did it!”
The American people want honesty, a straight deal.
Honestly? It wasn’t a brilliant masterstroke by the GOP leadership in the House or the Senate that suddenly has President Obama talking about cutting $4-5 trillion in spending. It wasn’t because House Speaker John Boehner made like Henry Clay with an impassioned speech that now has congressional Democrats in competitive districts puckering up their cheek muscles.
It wasn’t because the GOP came up with a nifty sounding plan, like Contract with America, that the GOP took back the majority in the House.
More than anything else, it was the hard work and countless volunteer hours of grassroots conservative activist around the country that made it possible to have a real discussion about cutting the size of government. They knocked on doors, went to rallies, wrote checks, stuffed envelopes and did the job of real leadership that informed and educated voters about the core principles that make this country go.
And the GOP came along for the ride.
If the Republican leadership in Congress abandons the moral advantage that those activists gave them, the sound they’ll hear in 2012 when voting starts is the sound of no hands clapping.
Make no mistake. There are more than a handful of Republicans in Congress who owe their seats to an unprecedented outpouring of support from Tea Party activists.
Ask Rep. Joe Heck, who won his race by about 2000 votes, if he needs those activists to show up for him in 2012. Ask Rep. Scott Tipton, who won his race by about 10,000 votes whether he’ll need those activists next time around. Ask Rep. Blake Farenthold, who won his seat by less than 1000 votes if he needs those activists to show up.