The headlines tell the story:
- “Government shutdown? Odds are uncomfortably high”
- “McCain may be our only hope for forging fiscal deal”
- “Dragging Republicans towards the government shutdown abyss”
- “Will cooler heads prevail on government shutdown threat?”
- Mitt Romney to GOP: Don’t shut down government to kill Obamacare”
- “Republican threat to shut down government over Obamacare is a bluff they can’t win”
- “Be very afraid of government shutdown”
It’s a story of how bad it will be for Republicans if they push for even modest fiscal restraint and responsibility in Washington and require cuts in spending equal to any new hike in the debt limit.
The debate doesn’t focus on the merits of responsible government. It doesn’t touch on the unsustainable growing debt. It’s doesn’t address the constitutional restraints on the federal government under the Constitution. It doesn’t even hint at what is the morally right or wrong thing to do as government faces yet another debt limit exceeding an unfathomable $17 trillion around Oct. 1.
The arguments are all about how bad it will be for Republican political fortunes if the GOP House uses its clout simply to curtail out-of-control borrowing and spending.
And the arguments are being made by a cultural institution – the press – whose central role in a free society is, theoretically, to serve as a watchdog on government fraud, waste, abuse and corruption.
All of this has one purpose in mind – to get Republicans to stop thinking about how destructive Obamacare will be to the future of the increasingly delicate fabric of American society and to focus on their fears and anxiety about their own political futures.
But there comes a time in the lives of people when they face the choice between doing what is perceived to be politically expedient and doing what’s clearly right.
That’s the choice that will face every Republican member of Congress soon – especially those in the House, where they hold a majority.
You can see the hysteria in the statist media. They fear that the freight train moving at 90 mph toward socialist utopia and unlimited government might be temporarily slowed. Maybe they also fear that Republicans might actually rediscover their principles. Surely, however, no one believes the news media are looking out for the best interests of Republicans by trying to protect them from some fatal political mistake.
So let’s do what the media won’t do: Let’s look at the pros and cons of shutting down government temporarily to make it more accountable to the rule of law and the will of the people.
What’s so scary about that?
Would we prefer to live in a land in which there are no restraints on the power of government?
Isn’t that where we are headed when we suggest that no government spending and no government programs should ever be cut?
Aren’t we really saying that the federal government should no longer be limited by the constraints of the Constitution?
Isn’t all this mau-mauing by the media and the political establishment of both parties really about perpetuating the unsustainable business-as-usual approach?
Think about this. It’s really an amazing fact, when you consider it. There hasn’t been a budget adopted by the White House and Congress for five years. Washington spends about $2.5 trillion a year without any blueprint, no road map, no plan of any kind. It’s catch as catch can. But, somehow, to the media and the political establishment, this non-plan of borrowing and spending as the spirit moves is sacrosanct, inviolable, untouchable and unquestionable.
That’s what I see when I read the daily coverage of this impending “crisis.”
I’ll tell you what the real impending crisis is – bankruptcy and totalitarianism.
The current road leads only in those directions.
What’s worse for Republicans – facing criticism from the media and political establishment or the end of American liberty?
It’s time to choose.