Skip to comments.A minority posture for House GOP
Posted on 01/19/2013 9:14:11 AM PST by Alter Kaker
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. House Republicans appeared to be coming to grips with a stark realization as they returned to Washington from a three-day retreat here they have a majority in name only.
The party begins the 113th Congress with reduced numbers and confronting a popular president and an increased Democratic majority in the Senate.
Preparing for a cascade of fiscal battles and a presidential push on guns and immigration, the House GOP is adopting a minority posture, hoping to achieve modest goals incrementally while serving as a check on Obamas ambitious second-term agenda.
Republicans have to recognize the realities of the divided government that we have, said Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the partys budget chief and 2012 vice presidential nominee.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his aides have taken to referring to the Democrat majority in Washington in statements in recent weeks.
The stance is a significant shift from the partys mantra in the immediate aftermath of the November election, when Boehner and other leaders claimed one half of a dual mandate from voters who had reelected both Obama and the House Republican majority.
It also represents a resetting of expectations for Republican lawmakers and voters alike.
Coming off what many viewed as a defeat in the fiscal cliff deal, and with Obama adopting a hardline position on fiscal matters, Republicans have diminished hopes of what they can force Democrats to accept.
Managing expectations in the years ahead was a major focus of the retreat, reiterated during listening sessions with leadership, members and aides said.
Instead of passing dozens of GOP-favored measures anathema to Democrats, House Republicans lawmakers intend to make a greater effort of sending bills to the Senate that Democrats would have a difficult time opposing.
There was an element of saying, 'Let's be realistic about what we can accomplish, if we pass something that there's no way in hell they'll even talk about, what value is that?, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said of the conversation that took place most of the day Thursday between lawmakers and leadership.
The value is what we come up with is something that can actually be accomplished and so that's part of the goal (given the president and the Democratic Senate), Bishop added.
Bishop explained that given the Democratic-controlled Senate and Democratic White House, leaders made a point of emphasizing that sometimes we get ourselves in trouble where we have an expectation level that is just unrealistic.
That strategy was on display with Fridays announcement of a path forward on the debt ceiling.
Instead of attaching deep spending cuts or contentious entitlement reforms to an increase in the nations borrowing limit, Republicans chose to use member pay as the string to attach. The issue is seen as a political winner, and both Democrats and Republicans have proposed withholding the salaries of lawmakers if the House and Senate fail to pass a budget.
A senior House GOP leadership source expanded on the Speakers intention of managing expectations during the three-day retreat.
It's important that we set expectations to a reasonable level so that we're not over-promising, that we are actually under-promising and over-delivering, the source said.
Since retaking control of the House in 2010, a number of conservative lawmakers have been frustrated with their leaderships inability to deliver on repealing healthcare or enacting all of the Bush-era tax rates.
Many GOP lawmakers believed that they would win control of the Senate and White House in 2012 but that scenario didnt happen. So, instead of reading the internal party gripes in the media, Boehner and his inner circle wanted to present the facts of the current situation.
And the leadership enlisted Ryans help to emphasize the political reality in D.C.
As Ryan very clearly articulated, we're the minority in Washington, [so] how do you impact real change when you only have the House and you don't have the Senate or presidency? It's pretty hard, the source conceded.
With Ryans conservative cache, leaders laid out a somber situation to manage expectations. That entailed telling rank-and-file Republicans no to promise something you can't deliver on, the source said.
Boehner's never promised something he can't deliver on but that doesn't mean some members expectations are way out of whack. We probably have a handful of members who think it's doable to enact all the policies in the Ryan Budget over the next two years, and that's La La land."
Following the extensive Thursday morning and afternoon sessions with leadership, one GOP lawmaker said that the House lawmakers were prepared to move smaller bills that may force action in the Senate.
We're looking at doing smaller, more incremental legislation that is directly tied to must-pass issues such as the sequestration ... If you think about it sequestration for the president is the same as the Bush tax cut expiration for us ... it's going to happen. It's in law and I don't think he's going to like those cuts, Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) told The Hill.
Where are the defenders of the "self-evident" truths so well understood and articulated by the wise and brave defenders of individual liberty of 1776 and 1787, as well as the succeeding generations of the 19th and 20th Centuries?
Are the founding ideas too simple for purely political minds to articulate?
The choice is between individual freedom and slavery to government--a tyrannical form of slavery.
The formula structured by the Constitution of the United States and laid out in its philosophical foundations--as asserted in the 1776 Declaration of Independence from an overly-powerful government administered by King George III--were explained by America's Founders.
Their writings and speeches, as well as the wisdom writings from previous defenders of liberty, are available online.
THE FEDERALIST, that collection of 85 essays explaining the Constitution's provisions and protections, now can be read in every home and school as a means of enlightening a public which has become too willing to yield their Creator-endowed liberty to a collection of would-be tyrants who call themselves "progressives," but are, in fact taking American citizens back to the bondage from which their ancestors fled in other parts of the world.
Several years ago, a business man by the name of James R. Evans, in his book, "America's Choice: Twilight's Last Gleaming or Dawn's Early Light," suggested 7 simple principles which every citizen could benefit from considering as they watch the so-called "progressives" attempt to enslave them through legislation and Executive Orders.
"1. Does this legislation or idea increase, or decrease, individual freedom and creativity?
"2. Does this legislation or idea increase, or decrease, the power of some citizens over other citizens?
"3. Does this legislation or idea recognize that the persons who will exercise the power are themselves imperfect human beings?
"4. Does this legislation or idea recognize that government is incapable of creating wealth?
"5. Does this legislation or idea authorize taking from some what belongs to them, and giving it to others to whom it does not belong?
If 'thou shalt not steal' is a valid commandment, can we assume that it is meant to apply only to individuals and not to government (which is made up of individuals), even if those persons in power pass laws which sanction such redistribution of the wealth of others?'
"6. Does this legislation or idea encourage, or discourage, the very highest level of morality and responsibility from the individual?
. . .when government makes actions 'legal' by some citizens at the expense of other citizens, the result may be behavior which would not be considered possible by individuals acting alone.
"7. Does this legislation or idea propose that the 'government' do something which the individual cannot do without committing a crime?"**
**7 principles drawn from James R. Evans book, "America's Choice," and reprinted in a Stedman Corporation (Asheboro, NC) booklet entitled "I'm Only One, What Can I Do?"
The simplicity of these questions and of the core message of the following words by some of America's Founders might jar some citizens into a recognition of what "progressives" and this Administration are doing to the future of liberty for their posterity:
"...nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society." - John Adams
"This was a favorable moment to shut and bar the door against paper money." [This statement referred to a proposed provision in Article I, Section 8, that would have read 'and emit bills of credit (paper money) of the United States,' which the Founders rejected by an overwhelming vote.] - James Madison- Notes of the Federal Convention 1787
"...there have always been those who wish to enlarge the powers of the General Government. There is but one safe rule...confine (it) within the sphere of its appropriate duties. It has no power to raise a revenue or impose taxes except for the purposes enumerated in the Constitution....Every attempt to exercise power beyond these limits should be promptly and firmly opposed." - Andrew Jackson's Valedictory
"...experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government), those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate...the minds of the people...to give them knowledge of those facts, which history exhibiteth. History, by apprizing them of the past, will enable them to judge of the future...it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views...." - Jefferson's Bill for the more general diffusion of knowledge for Virginia
"Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant--they have been cheated; asleep--they have been surprised; divided--the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson?...the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it....It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free." - James Madison
"These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and the blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety." - Thomas Jefferson-First Inaugural Statement of Principles of Good Government
“Managing expectations in the years ahead was a major focus of the retreat, reiterated during listening sessions with leadership, members and aides said.”
Oh this is hilarious! Expectations like what: that the gop will roll over and show it’s soft belly anytime the ‘rats say BOO? Or do they mean expectations that the gop will continue to act in a fiscally irresponsible fashion as they have for the last 20 years? Or are we talking civil liberties issues like NDAA or the patriot act?
Yes gop. DO focus on managing expectations.
The GOP has 24 three branch majorities in the states as opposed to the democrat’s 13. That is a considerable power block if we would use it.
The only way obama is a “popular” president is because the republicans are losers and suck-ups and cowards. Mandate? The republicans know his “mandate” came from voter fraud yet are too chickencrap to say anything about it.
And of course, instead of being gracious when boner says “We’re backing down”, obama says “Na, na, nah, na, na”.
The republicans would have been better off saying “We’re going home until the next election. Let’s see what happens after two years of obama and the democrats getting their way on EVERYTHING. Then we’ll say ‘na-na-nah-na-na.’”
One more thing, the republicans said “obama is a nice guy who’s in over his head”. I haven’t heard them saying that lately. He’s kicked their asses at every turn. He may be in over his head but he’s not as far under as the republicans. Talk about incompetent.
Paraphrasing Murphy’s Law: If having a House majority can be screwed up, the GOP will do it.
’ We admit ideological and philosophical defeat. ‘
Note to RINOS: Hope you lose in 2014 , you`re f*****g useless.
Exactly who is Boehner trying to please? The low-information voters have been back in thier DWTS, Kardashian slumber since before last Christmas.
Time for a third party that isn’t afraid of its own shadow.
And yet, we're supposed to love and support RINOs because they've got an "R" branded to their butts? As if that indemnifies them from any further scrutiny? As far as I'm concerned, in the battle for conservatism, RINO quislings are worth about as much as a bucket of warm spit.
Popular President? He barely got 50% despite overwhelming advantages. He is the president, but popular is a myth. Only because we refuse to engage him is he even still in office.
They should oppose if they are the opposition.
Surrender isn’t going to win them anything
That is so correct!!
Where is the button for friend request? lol
The American people elected a Republican majority in the House of Reps. But they are unwilling to represent their constituents.
They need to be replaced with people who will try to represent the voters, ASAP!
For the most part we have been losing registered voters due to a greater than average death rate as the Baby Boomers get into their 60s. They must be replaced at a higher than average rate ~ so far we are running way behind 2004 where George Bush got 64 million votes!
The Democrats face the same problem and their vote totals dropped 4 million votes in 2012 just like ours did in 2008.
There are another 90 million adults who are not registered, or who are registered but just don't vote. Certainly some of them are interested in voting for qualified Republican Conservatives.
Could be our turn toward the Left has left them with no home ~ maybe we have to just dump the Leftists and their running dog lackeys ~ as soon as possible. Make a big show of it and see if we can pick up registrations!
Seriously, did any of them ever hear the term: “One man, plus truth, is an army”?
Most of them are males, not men, and many of them are as allergic to truth as are their ‘frensh acrosh the aisle’.