If I were granted one wish about the state of today’s politics it would be for the Democrats to be saddled with their own version of John McCain. Once again, McCain is working to score points for Democrats and undermine Cruz/Paul and Lee – the “Wacko Birds” – in their attempt to prevent a free debt ceiling increase.
Back in January, Republicans and conservatives got together at Williamsburg and agreed to “suspend” the debt ceiling law until May 18 in return for the Senate passing a budget. I never liked the idea because, among other reasons, a Senate-passed budget is not such a good thing. Yes, they are not so excited about publicizing their blueprint for more debt, and yes, the fact that they didn’t pass a budget for over 3 years was a good talking point. But do we really want them to have a vehicle for fast-tracking tax increases, debt ceiling increases, and other nefarious policies through reconciliation?
That concern is shared by Senators Cruz, Lee, and Paul. They are also concerned that if the Senate goes to conference with the House on the FY 2014 budget, they will slip in a debt ceiling increase. Once that becomes part of the conference report, it would be privileged and inoculated from the filibuster or the amendment process. To that end, they have decided to block Harry Reid’s unanimous consent request to go to conference over the budget until they agree not to slip in a debt ceiling increase. Needless to say, the Democrats have not made that commitment. I wonder why.
In comes John McCain, Obama’s newest ally, along with Susan Collins to chide the actions of the conservative senators as bizarre and unprecedented. He’s right. It is unprecedented for new members of the Senate to take a leadership role in defending the country from the bipartisan statism that he has propagated so fervently over the past two decades.
It’s about time we send some reinforcements to our guys. We’re going to have solid opportunities in red state like Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Arkansas, Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota – just to name a few. There are already some solid prospects on the horizon. The real question is if the professional conservatives are going to blithely ignore another primary cycle and let McCain and his ilk destroy the party.