Senate Republicans bound together last night to defeat the infamous omnibus pork spending bill, all fat-infested $1.1 trillion of it.
Good for them. Though they’re a distinct minority in the Senate, the 42 Republicans there wield real power should they work in tandem and as a bloc. The problem is that several GOP “moderates” from the Northeast — Senators Snowe and Collins from Maine and Senator Brown from Massachusetts — are all too ready and eager to jump ship and join forces with the Democrats.
These Republicans should resist that temptation, at least for now, on every piece of legislation that Harry Reid and the Democrats are determined to force down their throats. And that includes repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the mislabeled “Dream Act,” and the overhyped START treaty.
There is absolutely no legitimate reason, after all, to rush through, at the last minute, the Left’s favored legislative proposals — and good reason, in fact, to avoid doing so. There will be plenty of time — with many more GOP legislators and reinforcements — to consider these proposals in the next Congress.
If this legislation really is as wise and as necessary as the Dems insist, then surely it will compel congressional action in January and February. But in truth, all of this legislation is seriously suspect, which is why the Dems are trying to rush it through now with little real scrutiny and debate.
Certainly, repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is little more than an attempt by the Dems to ensure that their gay donor base antes up in the all-important 2012 congressional election. Indeed, as Jenn DiMascio and Josh Gerstein report for Politico,
Obama was heckled at rallies and fundraisers during the fall, and some donors have already withheld donations from the Democratic National Committee over the president’s perceived failures to tackle issues important to his gay and lesbian constituency.
One key participant in the “don’t ask” repeal effort warned that a similar [donor and funding] boycott could spread to the Senate.
“If [repeal] fails — and it is obvious that the Democrats set it up for failure — it will be IMPOSSIBLE to raise money for Senate Democrats that are up in 2012,” said the advocate, who asked not to be named.
Why in the world, then, would any Republican now support repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Why when doing so will only help to ensure that Democrat congressional candidates are well funded in 2012? Talk about giving your opponents the rope with which to hang you!
Senators Snowe, Collins, Brown and other “moderates” are, of course, free to vote their conscience. But is it really asking too much for them to do so in the next Congress?
“Sometimes party loyalty demands too much,” John F. Kennedy famously said. That’s true. But sometimes party loyalty demands very little; and yet, all of its demands are critically important. Now is one of those times.
If the GOP can’t hold together in the waning days of an infamous and discredited Democratic Congress, then what good is the Republican Party? That’s the question many conservative party activists surely will be asking should the GOP fail in this, its final mission before the new year and the new legislative session.
Political self-interest and survival demand that the congressional GOP stand firm and act as one in opposition to Harry Reid and the Dems.
John R. Guardiano is a writer and analyst in Arlington, Virginia. He writes and blogs for a variety of publications, including FrumForum, the American Spectator and The Daily Caller. Follow him at his personal blog ResoluteCon.com, and on Twitter @JohnRGuardiano.