Thursday, the US Congress passed the continuing resolution to keep the government funded for another 6 months. It was called House Resolution 117. This isn’t a real budget, its too small to be a real budget. It is a resolution to keep wasting money at the current rate. The Tea Party was against the resolution in part because it included around $1B for Egyptian foreign aid. With angry hordes surrounding the Embassy decrying the evil Infidel, two days after a nearby horde killed an Ambassador, I can see the point. I just though it was stupid to give that much money to anyone when we don’t have it to spend on ourselves. It passed 329-91. That means that most Republicans in Congress voted for it. Check out the complete list of the vote here. I’m not so sure that voting yes was a good idea in the abstract. The Tea Party was sending out emails saying it was, in fact, a very bad idea. (See graphic inset.) If it was a bad idea, then a bunch of Republicans dropped the ball–again.
But the Tea Party is supposed to be holding Congressmen accountable for errant spending. Why isn’t the Tea Party talking about Tom Graves (R-Granger), the Georgia 14th Congressman who voted yes if they are really so mad about the vote? The local Tea Party people love Tom, but they hate spending more! However, when your friends step out of line, you have to bring it to their attention. Today I got a long email from Mrs. Thompson and Dooley from the Atlanta Tea Party. Not a word about the continuing resolution. (Lots about State Senator Balfour, the very powerful Senate Rules Chairman facing a criminal investigation over alleged improprieties in his reimbursement report after receiving a hand-slap from the ethics committee. It has only gone this far due to Josh McKoon and the Tea Party.) The Lanier Tea Party does not have anything about it (but admittedly I was not on their mailing list until just now.) This is not a local issue, but it was voted for by a local Republican.
Now the National Tea Party wants you and I to put the heat on Saxby and Johnny in the Senate to shut the government down 53 days before the election. And when I say “the election” I really mean THE ELECTION! Most Americans don’t like the idea of not paying soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines & coast guard troops, (but ATF, FBI, ICE, Treasury, etc. would be OK) so I’m not so sure that shutting down the government right now is a really good idea. Especially when an axiom of government is that if you make them suffer a little, they will make the citizens suffer more. Bureaucrats have the ability to discontinue the services that inconvenience you the most regardless of the cost-benefit. The pressure to pass a budget should have come months ago. Harry Reid’s failure to bring the budget to a vote is tantamount to treason.
Maybe the Atlanta and Lanier Tea party missed this? Or maybe reasonable people can disagree about the vote? But, hey, never pass up an opportunity to get people to donate, right? So was it a bad idea, or an opportunity to manufacture a “grass roots crisis” to get some money, or both? It is hard to be consistent and steadfast. It is harder still to criticize your powerful friends when they are wrong. If Tom wants to tell us why his vote was a good idea, I will be happy to consider it, and post it here for your consideration as well. Since I’m on the fence about the continuing resolution, I say he probably did the right thing except for the $1B for Egypt. The Republicans should have spent the weekend fighting to remove that part. It would have been a perfect time for Doug Collins (R-Gainesville), the Republican nominee for the new Georgia 9th Congressional District, to weigh in on a real issue of conservative interest and national importance. But there was no email and nothing on his web page.
In a crisis real leaders have to make lightning fast decision with not enough information. Then they have to take action. They can’t wait for a poll or a focus group or consultant. Sometimes the action is good, and sometimes it is in error. But if you just stand there watching the battle, then you surely will lose. The best leaders anticipate the future problems and have constellations of solutions ready as action plans. Obama was completely unprepared for the uprising in North Africa. Congress seemed surprised by that and that the budget has not passed the Senate. Obama is not a leader, he is a fundraiser. Congress is not showing leadership either. I hope that Tom and Doug can show us that kind of leadership in Washington. Some real ticker-tape parade, flowers thrown onto tanks, hero leadership. We are almost at war in North Africa with $16T debt and no budget, and Obama is raising money and Congress is in recess. Like it is all just some Tom Clancy novel and not real American getting brutally murdered by smelly animals in a foreign cesspool. What. The. Heck?
Let me know what you think in the comments below.