Do Republicans in the House of Representatives even realize they possess a “nuclear option” that could kill Obamacare, stop Barack Obama from frittering away trillions more in the next two years and starve the federal government into compliance with the Constitution?

It’s amazing what control of one house can do. But I wonder if Republicans have the courage to utilize it.

The nuclear option is the debt limit.

It must be raised for business as usual to continue in Washington. And for it to be raised, enough Republicans in the House need to succumb to the pressure of the Beltway establishment to vote for it.

This is a powerful weapon.

Personally, if I were speaker of the House, I would use it. I wouldn’t negotiate it away. I would pull my caucus together and explain how this nuclear device works – how it gives the Republicans parity with the Democrats who control the Senate and the White House. I would attempt to persuade all Republicans in the House that refusing to raise the debt limit any more is what the people sent them to Washington to do. I would argue that it probably represents the Republicans’ best hope of bringing fiscal responsibility and constitutional government back to the U.S. in the short term. Since spiraling debt is the nation’s No. 1 economic problem, I would suggest the best way to attack it is to ensure we don’t get any deeper into the hole. And, lastly, I would point out that Obama’s plans to destroy the American economy will be strangled by invoking this option.

It’s the next best thing to impeachment.

Needless to say, as I pointed out in my column yesterday, some so-called “economic conservatives” are already plotting the surrender of this doomsday weapon.

They are drafting the terms of capitulation. They are bartering it away for the promise of budget cuts.

Why would they do this?

Deeper budget cuts are inevitable anyway if the debt ceiling is not lifted.

This is the ultimate test of whether “fiscal conservatives” are what they claim to be.

My contention is they are not.

In fact, there is no such animal, and we need to recognize that.

Don’t get me wrong. I recognize there are people who identify themselves as “economic conservatives.” But it’s a misnomer. They are more accurately people who tend to be more conservative on fiscal matters than they are on less materialistic issues. But it’s just not accurate to call these people conservatives at all.

Conservatives, by definition, sit on a three-legged stool – constitutional government, recognition of biblical morality as the basis for self-government and a commitment to the defense of the country.

If you remove one of those legs, you fall down. So-called “economic conservatives” sit precariously on a one-legged stool. When people like Dick Armey of Freedomworks advise the tea-party movement to stick only to economic issues, they are, in effect, encouraging us to avoid correcting any problem in America that is not strictly, by his narrow definition, economic.

Now, at least two other prominent “economic conservatives,” GOProud board member Grover Norquist and former Bill Clinton adviser Dick Morris are both waving the white flag of surrender on raising the debt limit by simply advocating a trade of unnamed, unspecified budget cuts.

Why are they doing this?

I can only assume because they actually want the debt limit raised.

Whose interests are they really representing?

Certainly not the little guy, who is crushed by inflation-created debt and the continued growth of government.

You’ve heard the debt crisis characterized as a “bomb.” It is not hyperbole. It’s a ticking time bomb. It’s not a question of if it goes off, only when.

The only way to defuse it is to stop creating more debt.

Republicans are holding all the cards, as long as they don’t fold. Take note of who is advocating folding – the so-called “economic conservatives.”

That’s because they’re not real conservatives at all.

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