Needed: Religious Conservatives with Backbone

The revolt in the Republican ranks over the nomination of Harriett Miers to the Supreme Court is extremely significant. For the first time since George W. Bush was elected president, the leading conservative watchdog groups, even many from the religious right, are showing some backbone and are not blindly walking the plank for this man.

However, there is another revolt within conservative ranks that finally has caught fire. You must fan these flames because it is equally as important as a seat on the Supreme Court.

There are two ways we can lose this republic, which was established for us through much blood and sacrifice: We can allow nine political operatives to be elevated to the Supreme Court. Five justices form a junta and begin dictating to the powerless electorate. The second way is through loose fiscal policies.

After 40 years in the political wilderness, Republicans were swept into power in 1994 with their Contract with America. A major part of that contract had to do with cleaning up Congress and getting federal spending under control.

In less than two years, GOP leaders began throwing in the towel. They were first in line at the spending trough. Spending our money was both easy and fun. Furthermore, it gave them power. It wasn’t long before they began spending at a rate faster than their Democrat counterparts.

One by one, I saw my GOP heroes in the war against spending fall by the wayside. Today, they are a joke. In 2000, when a member of their own party was elected to the White House, the problem went from serious to critical.

GOP leaders at least put forth some effort to stand against President Clinton’s wasteful spending. However, there has been no attempt to stand against waste in the Bush budgets. In fact, Congress took this waste as a White House permission slip to add even more of their own. Now, Democrats love spending (investing) our money. Therefore, since Bush has occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, there has been no one to bar the door.

Federal spending has grown twice as fast under President Bush as it did under President Clinton. Forget all the GOP rhetoric; Brian Riedl of the conservative Heritage Foundation has a new study out showing that most of that increase is totally unrelated to 9-11.

Hurricane Katrina has given these GOP leaders yet another excuse to increase in the federal budget. Bear in mind – it is just an excuse! Under the GOP, so much needless spending and outright pork has been added to the budget that offsets easily can be made to make up for the money needed to rebuild New Orleans.

The courageous members of the Republican Study Committee – 100 of the most conservative members in the House of Representatives – have come up with a whole list of offsets, including a plan to repeal the automatic congressional pay raise scheduled for January.

The RSC refused to buckle under the strong-arm tactics exerted by GOP leadership. Now, House Speaker Denny Hastert and Majority Leader (in exile) Tom Delay reluctantly have agreed to press for a mere $50 billion in offsets. Both of these hypocrites should be ousted, permanently! For far too long, they have been part of the problem.

Disputes within parties are healthy. In fact, they are crucial if we are to have good government.

Those interested in seeing the GOP maintain its leadership must jump into this latest battle to get a grip on spending. Previous attempts have died for lack of enough foot soldiers, with few, if any, from the religious right.

Why? Most Christian leaders have close ties with the GOP because of its stand on the moral issues and have failed to speak out on spending issues unless issued talking points from the White House. As non-defense, non-security spending shot up 31 percent during the Bush presidency, they have said nothing. In this area, the Christian watchdog organizations have been as effective as GOP-trained poodles.

Yes, the primary focus of these organizations is the moral issues, but stealing is a moral issue! Taking the public’s money under false pretenses (all this is necessary in order to run the federal government) is stealing.

The tight-fisted members of the RSC have come up with a list of proposed cuts totaling $950 billion over 10 years. If only 10 percent of them are adopted, it would be a major victory.

On Tuesday, the Senate, feeling the heat, voted to bypass its annual cost-of-living pay increase. The House should be pressured to keep the freeze in place until the budget is balanced – because safeguarding our money is its primary job!

One thought on “Needed: Religious Conservatives with Backbone

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