This week’s Guest Dispatch post comes from Arthur Freyre, an attorney and conservative activist in South Florida. Arthur chimes in on a few recent political events including Senator DeMint’s surprise announcement that he was retiring from the Senate to run the Heritage Foundation.
While some of us are still wondering why the Senator was stepping aside, some folks are even upset about it, I think it is a very personal decision and he should be afforded some personal space. Running for office is not easy. Being a conservative and an elected official is doubly hard.
Some folks argue that the days of Congressional giants may have come and gone. I do not ascribe to that point of view. We can have more Joseph Cannons or Sam Rayburns some day, but, these men did not do it alone. They had a party machine that backed them and supported them. They stayed true, mostly, to their ideological core and those that strayed paid the political price.
DeMint, alone, cannot do it. He did not have a strong ideological core of supporters in leadership or in the Senate Conference. If we want more giants, elect more conservatives. To do that, in part, Congress needs to get back to the business of oversight and stop ceding ground, and power, to an ever-hungry executive.
The House Republicans have a shot at setting that new tone, by opposing any plan that increases taxes or tax rates. The oversight power is only as effective as those that wield the Committee gavels or control the proceedings on the floor of the House. The voters gave that charge to the GOP. Use it.
Guest Dispatch: Political Musings from a South Florida Lawyer
By Arthur Freyre
Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptous column on National Review Online is one of my favorite columns. For those that are not familiar his weekly columns, Nordlinger discuss the odds and ends in political news along with classical music. Today, I will try to do justice with this week’s post. But I promise no commentary on pop culture or on classical music.
Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina announced that he was resigning as Senator to become President of the Heritage Foundation. DeMint’s leadership as the conscience of the Republican senators will be missed, especially with legislation that will be arising in Washington.
Senator DeMint’s decision to resign is a reflection of what is wrong in American politics — People cannot keep their word and are always having their eye out on the next big thing. Senator DeMint had an obligation to the people of South Carolina to fulfill his term. To say that you have done all that you can after two years in the Senate is no excuse. And people wonder why politicians are rated lower than used car salesman in terms of trustworthiness. Honor your commitment.
Speaking of the next big thing, former Florida governor Charlie Crist tweeted that he is now a registered Democrat. Some of the political pundits in Florida are anticipating that Crist will be running for Florida’s Governor against current Governor Rick Scott. If Crist were to win the Democrat’s nomination for Governor, the negative ads against him will be based on fact and no distortion.
In terms of political lessons of 2012, consider this news article concerning a speech given by Rod Smith,
Focus on becoming the more welcoming and broader-based party … We make a mistake if we make our party unwelcoming to people who may not agree with us on one subject,” said Smith, citing abortion as one of many possible examples. Go into some of the areas where we’ve not been as strong, and I promise you we’ll find there are one or two subjects alone that are keeping them out of our party. If we continue this idea of having these litmus tests within the parties, you’re going to find wider differences between the parties and less ability to compromise and make government work.
Reading this might make you think that this is another Republican talking about moving the party to the center. But Rod Smith is the outgoing chairman of the Florida Democrat Party. You can find the article about his comments here. Interesting comments when you consider that Obama won Florida in 2012. It also makes you wonder about the comments about the American political landscape in 2012. I do think Republicans have work to do, but we may see the Democrats overplay their hand in the next couple of years. The coalition that Obama built may not be as permanent as some people think.
Finally, this week we also read news concerning the pending “fiscal cliff.” Keith Hennessey has an interesting take on the fiscal cliff negotiations. Hennessey’s main point is that both the Democrats and Obama realize that if the economy goes into a recession, it will be an albatross around their necks and the Democrats might lose the Senate.
I think Congressional Republicans should offer their plan. If it is voted down, then let the Democrats offer their plan for a vote. The President or Congressional Democrats are not serious about this matter. If they did care, you would see serious negotiations going on right now. Please note that this administration has not offered a budget to be approved in his previous four years. All budgetary funding has been based on continuing resolutions.
This past election, the Democrats have been saying that they have inherited a bad economy. I think it is time for the Republicans to say, “Okay. Fix it.” Bill Clinton had been campaigning that his tax rates is what made the economy hum during his administration. Well we can put this to the test. Let’s see if this economy with slow growth and heavy regulations will take off under an increased tax burden.
As for the American voter, they will need to learn that the laws of economics are like gravity. They are immutable and cannot be changed. You cannot run this country on the politics of envy and class warfare. In due time, the American voter will realize that a politician or a political party cannot speak the language of the proletariat and live like the bourgeoisie.