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What America needs is a good 12-step program for Republicans.

If Republicans actually believed what they claim to believe and actually used their power to assert those beliefs, it wouldn’t even matter that Barack Obama sits in the White House.

We don’t have to convince Barack Obama that limited government is a good thing; the Republicans in the Congress could impose it on him – denying him the funds he covets to bankrupt America and turn it into a socialist republic.

But in 2011, we saw Republicans were the real barrier to constraining the role of the federal government to the powers enumerated in the Constitution.

All we really have to do is persuade the Republicans, over the next 12 months, to live up to their stated convictions. Failing that, there is no political hope for America. And I refuse to believe there is no political hope for the greatest country the world has ever known.

So I am determined to enlist support for this 12-step program to lobby Republicans to do something drastic in 2012. The 12 steps are actually 12 months of a sustained effort to infuse Republican officeholders, Republican donors, Republican organizations, Republican voters and Republican candidates to take a simple pledge that will transform America in January 2012 back to constitutionally limited government – no matter who is elected president in November.

To understand this simple plan, you have to recognize America is hopelessly divided, stratified, polarized. Americans are giving up on the political system, because it seems we can no longer live together as one nation. What has bound us together, the founding documents and a common political creed, is irrelevant to most Democrats. They believe fundamentally that government should do whatever it wants – the more the better. They believe the strict limits the Constitution places on Washington are archaic anachronisms of a bygone era. They literally believe the federal government should intervene in every aspect of the lives of individuals and states.

There is no dealing with Democrats – no common ground to be found.

With that in mind, I look for solutions that can be imposed on them. And as long as Republicans control even one house of Congress, which I am certain they will do in 2012, Republicans alone have the power to take America back in a dramatic fashion. All we have to do is convince them to use that power.

We failed to do that in 2011.

After the tea party used all of its energy to give the GOP control of the House of Representatives in 2010, the Republicans frittered away their power to impose a balanced budget on Washington. They frittered away their power to return Washington to constitutionally limited government with one vote. They frittered away their power to ensure Obama could not continue to recklessly spend money. They frittered away their power to turn Obamacare into a meaningless piece of legislation that could never be funded. They frittered away their power to get a balanced budget overnight.

They did all this when House Speaker John Boehner used his influence to persuade the Republican majority to support raising the debt limit.

Had they voted no, $1 trillion would have had to be cut from spending plans beginning last year. Government would have been forced to live within its means. There is nothing Democrats could do about it.

Why did Boehner and the House Republicans do that?

I’m not sure. But we must never let it happen again.

We have 12 months to get every Republican officeholder and candidate on record with a pledge not to raise the debt limit in 2012 – end of story.

That’s how simple it is to take America back. We don’t need any Democrats to support it. We don’t need any Democrats to like it.

Ron Paul supports this approach, as does Michele Bachmann. Sadly, only 22 House Republicans voted to oppose the debt-limit hike last summer. We need 218 votes in the next session of Congress.

That should be our single-minded focus – to convince Republicans to stop trying to compromise with Democrats and to use the absolute power they have with control of one House of Congress to impose their solution.

We don’t need any more 10-year plans to reach a balanced budget. We don’t need any more Paul Ryan budgets that actually call for more astronomical borrowing for years to reach a balanced budget. It’s time to go cold turkey and cut up Washington’s credit cards.

Could we convince Republicans and Republicans alone that this is the only way back for America in 2012?

I think we can. But it will take an unprecedented tea party-like uprising over the next 12 months.

I intend to facilitate that uprising – starting now.

If you are with me, sign on to the “No More Red Ink” program today. We need to start bombarding the House Republicans with letters and pressure now if we are to have any chance of success in turning off the borrowing spigot next January.

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