I’m with Rush Limbaugh in his reaction to Congress’s budget deal:
When you surrender the power of the purse — and that’s the primary power the House of Representatives has. Not a penny of money can be spent in this country by this government without the House of Representatives authorizing it. Obama can spend all he wants, but if the House doesn’t give him the mechanism, he can’t spend any of it. But the Republicans squandered that. They gave up the power of the purse. The reason they did that is because for some inexplicable reason, they are literally paranoid and scared to death of even being accused of doing something that would shut down the government.
So to avoid even the accusation that they were going to or would ever even think of shutting down the government, they signaled that whatever Obama wanted to spend, he would get, because they figured that had less damage to them politically than the allegation that they were shutting down the government. So, very simply, ever since the Republican Party became the party of keeping the government open at all costs, we get bills like this. There’s simply no stopping the Democrats. There’s no mechanism. Every constitutional mechanism found in the power of the purse, Separation of Powers, the Republican Party years ago gave it away, in total fear of the media.
I’m sure that if one sat down with an inside-the-Beltway-connected Republican, he or she would have a coherent, technical argument as why this legislation had to go the way it went, but as with President Obama’s claim that he misjudged the national temper on terrorism due to insufficient cable-television-news viewing, the national GOP is disconnected and therefore missing something crucial. Republicans currently have control of the House and Senate in order to oppose the president and give some real, governing expression to the feelings and beliefs of the people who elected them.
That will necessarily mean doing and saying things that get the mainstream media (especially in Washington) going on a tizzy fit. That may make things uncomfortable at an inside-the-Beltway cocktail party, but it’s what the electorate wants. “Trust us” just isn’t cutting it anymore.