By: Howard Kurtz, Fox News
October 16, 2015
Paul Ryan is no closer to becoming House speaker. In fact, no one is any closer to becoming House speaker. And the press has now declared this an existential crisis. It’s not just a messy leadership fight. It’s a struggle for the soul of the Republican Party.
After two Beltway bombshells—John Boehner abruptly stepping down, and Kevin McCarthy even more abruptly bowing out of the race to succeed him—the GOP is being described as a party in chaos. And it’s certainly true that the House majority, torn between its mainstream and hard-line factions, seems paralyzed right now.
Few seem as upset as David Brooks. The New York Times columnist a moderate conservative, an erudite author, consistently civil, an unmistakable member of the GOP establishment. President Obama has granted occasional audiences. He’s the kind of conservative who believes in getting things done.
And so the alarming tone of Brooks’ column the other day, in which he declared the House caucus “close to ungovernable,” is like a primal scream from a guy who usually speaks softly.
The old, cautious conservatism that respected institutions “has been overturned in dangerous parts of the Republican Party,” says Brooks. “Over the past 30 years, or at least since Rush Limbaugh came on the scene, the Republican rhetorical tone has grown ever more bombastic, hyperbolic and imbalanced. Public figures are prisoners of their own prose styles, and Republicans from Newt Gingrich through Ben Carson have become addicted to a crisis mentality. Civilization was always on the brink of collapse. Every setback, like the passage of Obamacare, became the ruination of the republic. Comparisons to Nazi Germany became a staple.
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Though at times he seems to strike a “neutral” position on this ongoing upheaval in the House of Representatives, Howard Kurtz ultimately touts the party line of the GOP “Establishment,” while allowing indefensible denigration of conservative America from Beltway insiders to essentially go unchallenged. Make no mistake about it. Those at the wheels of power in D.C. are facing an unprecedented assault from Real America, and the anger directed at them from people on Main Street has them in shock.
Nevertheless these career politicians, who call themselves “Republican” out of convenience more than devotion to any set of principles, fully intend to retain their hold on the power and money to which they’ve become accustomed over the years. Rather than cede any of their plush circumstances to the peasantry (That’s you and me) they would happily destroy any vestige of the conservative agenda and allow the Democrats to regain control of the House and Senate.
Thus, they are posturing and playing political “shell games” in front of the cameras, while they dig in their heels on the House floor and work relentlessly to ensure an unbroken continuation of the ruse perpetrated by John Boehner with their full approval. Their latest ploy is to refuse to give support to any true conservative vying for the position of Speaker, while decrying those nasty Freedom Caucus crazies for refusing to accept a Boehner clone.
At the same time, they pushed for former VP candidate Paul Ryan to take the speakership. While he initially seemed to be a reasonable choice, word soon leaked out that Ryan would only accept the post on condition of a unanimous pledge from congressional Republicans that none would offer any opposition whatsoever to him. The surefire end result of such a scenario would be an immediate push for amnesty, Ryan’s signature issue.
When Obama engages in such behavior, it is rightly criticized as narcissism. Yet coming from a member of the GOP, it is deemed wholly reasonable and the shining essence of proper governance in our great Republic. Predictably, refusal to comply is condemned as more evidence of fanatical intransigence among those malicious conservatives.
Attempting to make such a case, Kurtz quotes David Brooks, the token faux “conservative” at the New York Times. Brooks, who has never had an unkind word for John Boehner or Mitch McConnell over their incessant betrayals of conservatism and capitulations to Obama, calls the House “ungovernable” on the basis that real conservatives seek to uphold any conservative principle whatsoever. This, according to Obama, Brooks, and now Kurtz is the antithesis of “compromise” (which by all Democrat and RINO accounts is the wholesale acceptance of every liberal agenda item).
Playing nice with Obama, while the country is dragged relentlessly left, amounts to “cautious conservatism” according to Kurtz. In contrast, Kurtz decries such actions as “government shutdowns” as the result of “hard-line” thinking. In essence, the role of the Congress is to rubber-stamp the hideous Obama agenda, and all who refuse to comply are eloquently marginalized.
Kurtz goes so far as to mock those who rightly regard Obamacare, if it is ever fully implemented, as gravely endangering the country. And in total indifference to the loss of liberty, crushing red tape, and flagrant abuses of power and executive over-reaches of the past six years, he suggests that comparisons to historical tyrannies such as the Reich are hysterically overblown and wholly unwarranted. In short, the Obama agenda, and its enablers among the “business as usual Republicans” inside the Beltway represent America the way it ought to be, while conservatives seeking to restore the “Land of the Free/Home of the Brave” are to be marginalized and ultimately rendered irrelevant.
Fortunately, “We the People” are having none of it, either from the White House, its lapdogs on Capitol Hill, or those hardly-objective “pundits” who claim to be on the right but seek to put a good face on the ensuing disaster. The real harm being done to America by liberals in both parties is neither imaginary nor inconsequential. And efforts to dispel fears, while maintaining the abysmal status quo in Washington are being forcefully rebuffed by the common citizen who sees his country being wrested from him, and its promise denied to future generations.
The gig is up. The country does not belong to the “Ruling Class.” Washington insiders had better learn this. Otherwise, the mayhem which they decry will only increase in volume and intensity.
E-mail Christopher G. Adamo at: firstname.lastname@example.org