Latest from Tony Blankley
Last weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tried his hand at dissecting GOP foreign policy attitudes. I commend the senator for trying to come to grips with this vital question that is getting so little, if any, national discussion. As foreign events grow ever more threatening, the view of the now both culturally and congressionally dominant party — the GOP — becomes central to the range of political options that President Obama has, as a practical matter.
There are two factors to assess: 1) Is the pre-tea party GOP in the process of shifting significantly from its free trade, strong, assertive military posture that it has maintained for two generations and 2) do the new tea party members have a discernible position, and if so, what is it?
Removing the snake from the garden with a stick was a rejection of the snake, but should not be seen as particularly an endorsement of the stick — except as the closest available tool with which to eject the snake. The stick should not be seen as a substitute snake.
That was the tone after the election in which there was a general agreement that the election was a broad and deep repudiation of the president's policies and administration, while also not being an endorsement of the GOP.
We are so used to seeing politics as binary in America, it is almost algebraic: minus 6 D equals plus 6 R. The country either is for the Republicans or the Democrats. The idea that the public could be for neither does not fit our thinking. The effort to talk about the Democrats negatively without talking about the GOP positively (or the other way round) simply leaves us mentally adrift.
In 2011, the two major legislative initiatives of the tea party Congress (pray the voters deliver such a congress) will be to get a grip on the deficit, and to begin to reverse the intrusion of the federal government in American lives and business.
It remains to be seen whether Congress will have the guts — and even the tea party public will give their support-for the entitlement cutting that deficit control and long-term fiscal soundness will require.
Procedurally, however, the method is pretty straightforward. Congress passes a 10-year budget resolution, then passes appropriations and other bills to carry out those objectives. And, of course, the president has to sign them into law. That may result in the greatest Washington political battle since slavery, but at least the legislative method is obvious and straightforward.