Tony Blankley

Perhaps the public will give the current political order one more regular cycle before breaking loose in 2014 or 2016. But the now-tested availability of the Internet as not only a fundraising device, but as an organizing mechanism really does render the political parties redundant. They exist largely out of historic habit. If they don't deliver (or worse, if they are seen not to even try to deliver), it would not take much more political energy than now exists to just walk away from them.

Meanwhile, it seems to me quite likely that the president will have no intention to give up his larger agenda just because he can't get it through the House. He came to office to do large things -- no small ball for him -- and I anticipate that he will use the executive and regulatory process to the maximum extent that the law permits to enact his energy and environmental policies.

This is likely to force the GOP House to use the only blocking device available to it -- refusal to appropriate money for such executive projects. Whether the GOP likes it or not, they may have their hand forced. We may well see a season of government shutdowns. And once that gets going, it may well be used to try to block various parts of Obamacare as well. The tea partiers may not be easily denied. Nor should we be.

The political brutality of the process of a cycle of excessive executive authority assertion inducing congressional-dollar cutoffs will have a harsh effect on the public judgment -- particularly if it occurs in the context of continued high unemployment, mortgage defaults and international trade and currency competition.

The best chance for the GOP is to actually start proposing in the budget resolution real, honest, non-tax-increase-based solutions to the excessive costs of entitlements. No gimmicks. No budget rouses. No stupid policy tricks. Just honestly dealing with that central threat to our economic future may vouchsafe the public's trust in a reborn GOP. Let the Senate or the president reject it if they wish.

Either way, it is going to be a rough political season. The only good coin of the realm for politicians will be honest, courageous policy thrusts. Let the chips fall where they may.


Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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