Today in the wake of the second day of the Wall Street blood bath, House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor (R-VA) told his troops to stand firm:
“Over the next several months, there will be tremendous pressure on Congress to prove that S&P’s analysis of the inability of the political parties to bridge our differences is wrong. In short, there will be pressure to compromise on tax increases. We will be told that there is no other way forward. I respectfully disagree…. I firmly believe we can find bipartisan agreement on savings from mandatory programs that can be agreed to without tax increases. I believe this is what we must demand from the Joint Committee as it begins its work.”
At some point this country may no longer need him or his troops. During the debt ceiling debacle I frequently wondered the same thing. How could 80 or so Tea Party Republicans out of a congress of 435 have such a stranglehold on this country? I think the answer to that question comes down to one thing, deference. The Republican leadership, including “main street Republicans” deferred to the Tea Party. They understood those new congressmen had a mandate. They understood the gravity of Tea Party support in their own upcoming primaries. They did not want to be perceived as marginalizing Tea Party ideals.
Today, those more moderate Republicans may be feeling the Tea Party marginalized themselves.
If Republicans who don’t drink the tea have given the radical fringe of their party deference then maybe they should rethink their position. They should ask themselves if ideology can ever govern. Maybe they are beginning to understand the nation needs them. Maybe they see there is more than one answer to every problem we face, and believe me, we face a few. The people have no bread, “let them cut spending.” Bridges are falling in the river, cut spending. There are 14 million people unemployed, cut spending. The orbit of the moon is changing, cut spending.
If I am right, the first manifestation of this change may be the “super committee.” If Republicans have learned anything about governing this country the most hopeful sign will be who they choose to represent them and their constituents. The fringe of their party has proven they have no interest in actually governing so they should be simply be ignored. They should not have a place at the super committee table. They should have only the votes they were given by the voters. If voters gave them 80 or so votes, let them vote 80 or so times. Don’t give these people any representation they don’t constitutionally deserve. Moderate Republicans should tell their constituents they tried doing it the Tea Party’s way and it did not work. The polls say the constituents of moderate Republican’s will understand.