Boehner Got a Spine, After All


by Arthur C. Schaper


Speaker John Boehner

For the first time in nearly six years, I have witnessed House Speaker John Boehner actually fighting back against this President.

Is this a fluke? Is this really happening?

He was on Fox News Sunday this past week (February 15, 2015), taking hard questions from news anchor Chris Wallace, and the overwhelming gist of the questions turned to: “Why are Republicans threatening to shut the government down once again?”

The Republicans did not shut the government down in 2013.The Democrats did, insisting on passage of budgets and spending with greater taxes and more regulations, much of which were out of consort with the American People. Speaker John Boehner was right when he had declared in October 2013: “The American People do not want a government shut-down, and they don’t want Obamacare”.

US Senator Ted Cruz and his colleagues did the best they could with the limited resources and the negative media attention which often shifts the blame to the Republicans every time the government shuts down. For two weeks, there was little activity in Washington, but military veterans stormed the Washington Monument, and necessary payments on debts and entitlements continued unabated.

The 2013 Government Shutdown was a non-event. Even if it were a big deal, it certainly did not hurt Republicans the following year. In 2015,  the Republicans control both chambers of Congress. Anyone claiming that they are shutting the government now either is not watching the news, or they are dedicated liberal partisans looking to justify a Democratic agenda at all costs, even in the fact of the most glaring realities.

Chris Wallae

Fox News Chris Wallace

Why have Republicans feared government shutdowns in the past? Because the Mainstream Media would right away pounce on the GOP and blame them for the dysfunction.

In 1995-6, two government shutdowns did not derail Republican gains in the US Senate. We have Illegal Amnesty Fighter Jeff Sessions in the US Senate today because of election 1996. They may have lost a few seats in the House, but the Republicans did very well in the US Senate, where conservative partisans are leading the fight to this day.

Come the Shut-down of 2013, and Republicans were not hurt at all by the slowdown. Republicans did what they could, yet they faced a recalcitrant media, now weakened by a New Media seeking to tell the whole story, no longer carrying water for Democrats and dousing Republicans.

Apparently, whatever upset there may have been about the 2013 shutdown, it really did not matter, since Republicans swept the House and took over the US Senate. Democrats are at their lowest, and youngest numbers in the House since the 1930.

Shut-downs seem to work for Republicans, as long as they are coordinated.

I applaud Speaker John Boehner for outlining the position of his caucus: “The House has does its job. We passed a spending bill.”

Yes indeed, the House did its job. If there is any stalling, it is in the US Senate, and it is the fault of the minority Democrats.

The Democrats are at fault, and Speaker John Boehner was not afraid to repeat that point.

When Chris Wallace brought up this conflict to George Will, Will rebuked the Republicans:

“They [the Republicans] promised the American people adult supervision in Washington.”

Then Will berated the Republicans for providing the exact opposite. I am deeply disappointed with Will’s analysis. For years, the Washington Post conservative columnist has chastised Congress for not fulfilling its role as the law-giving, law-making body in the federal contract. During the TARP bailout crisis in 2008, Will surmised whether Congress would become a desiccated museum, a monument to its former power since it abrogated is spending and discretionary appropriations authority with the TARP bailout. During the intense debates about the War in Iraq, Will taunted his liberal counterparts when Democrats took over the US Senate in 2007: “If Democrats oppose the Iraq War, they should cut the funding!”

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid refused to, and continued funding the troops in Iraq.

With Republicans back in power, they are abiding by the full import of the United States Constitution, and they have offered to fund the Department of Homeland Security while indicating that funds will not support, enact, or expand President Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty.

Contrary to Will’s smug assertion, Congressional Republicans are engaging in adult supervision: they are cutting off the funding to a wayward, heedless, spoiled adolescent President. Having expressed routine disdain for the Constitution and its implicit checks and balances, Obama assumes that he can order whatever actions he pleases, and spend taxpayer dollars in the process, while ignoring the basic demands set out in the country’s foundational charter: to provided for the common defense and secure the blessings of liberty.

President Obama, the purported Constitutional law professor, needs a crash course in enumerated powers, many of which has tried to take away from Congress and take upon himself. Congress is pushing back, and while they have reasonably funded all other key agencies, they are making a clear stance that they will not go along with executive amnesty.

Returning back to the Fox News panel, I was surprised that Dana Perino, former press secretary for the Bush Administration, went along with the media narrative that the Republicans would be blamed for another government shutdown.

Question One: Is this true? Second Question: who cares?

The New Media is holding the Republicans over the fire to stand their ground for a shut-down. There are individual bloggers as well as  growing interest groups which expect the Congress to live up to its expectations of adequately funding the government while preventing Obama’s overreach. Where the Marginalized Media routinely hammered the Republicans for shutting down the federal government in 1995-1996, their stock and influence has dwindled considerably over the next two decades. With the sudden suspension (and perhaps termination) of News Anchor Brian Williams from NBC, Big Media is having a big problem holding onto ratings and viewers.

Is anyone even listening to the press’ hollow “I hate Republicans!” narrative anymore?

Despite the bitter pleadings of Fox News pundits, the fight over DHS funding is more than a political argument: this is Constitutionalism at its finest. If anyone is playing politics, look no further than the deeply diminished Democratic caucus and their President sacrificing the welfare and security of this country for an easy cohort of Democratic voters.

Speaker John Boehner should be commended for placing the blame squarely where it belongs, on the US Senate minority of Democrats who are blocking funding for the Department of Homeland Security. The minority caucus will not even permit an amendment process, when Republicans had permitted the same on the Keystone Pipeline Bill.

Let’s hope that Congressional conservatives hold onto principle, instead of heeding the press and the polls in the upcoming fight over DHS funding.

Arthur Christopher Schaper is a writer, blogger, and political commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.

Twitter — @ArthurCSchaper
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