Celebrating the exit of a RINO, cheering as Rome burns
By Frank Salvato
web posted May 4, 2009
With the defection of the traitor Specter from the Republican Party came cheers from the hard Right. "We are better off without him," they said. "We're flushing the RINOs from the party," they asserted. "The Left can't blame us anymore for what government does," they exclaimed. While this may be so – and perhaps even what the Republican Party needs to motivate it to honestly look at re-evaluating its platform and philosophical strategy, which is being held hostage by an impossible acquiescence to unreasonable individualism – Specters defection will be horrific for the country in the immediate. Anyone cheering for that on the right side of the aisle is a fool, an idiot or both.
In response to the traitor Specter's self-serving switch of parties, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told CNN's Candy Crowley:
"Very exciting, very exciting for the American people, because now we can get things done without explaining process...Hopefully now [Republicans] will also extend the hand of friendship so they can work together in a bipartisan way."
This statement is so incredibly disturbing on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin, but if we are going to survive as a Constitutional Republic until 2010 we must understand the hypocritical juxtaposition and ramifications of Ms. Pelosi's statement.
Prior to the 110th Congress, when the Democrats were the minority in the House, Pelosi frequently complained that Democrats were being ignored and that their level of input with regard to crafting legislation was minimized to an almost inconsequential extent. She repeatedly – on the House floor and during the 2006 campaign cycle – promised to operate the most ethical and transparent Congress in US history. She continued to espouse her dedication to this promise after Democrats won control of the House.
But after the seating of the 110th Congress, Pelosi saw fit to frequently suspend the committee process in the House, first doing so to accommodate the Democrats' campaign promises of fulfilling a "100 hour" legislative agenda which included: raising the federal minimum wage; "breaking the link" between lobbyists and Congress; reinstituting "pay-as-you-go" budget rules; enacting all of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations; allowing Medicare to bargain directly with drug companies; and expanding federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. And although she eventually had to compromise on many of these issues, the precedent for usurping the committee process was established.
To explain the committee process...
"Each bill goes through several stages in each house. The first stage involves consideration by a committee. Most legislation is considered by standing committees, each of which has jurisdiction over a particular subject matter... In some cases, bills may be sent to select committees, which tend to have more narrow jurisdictions than standing committees. Each standing and select committee is led by a chair (who belongs to the majority party) and a ranking member (who belongs to the minority party). Committees are permitted to hold hearings and collect evidence when considering bills. They may also amend the bill, but the full house holds the power to accept or reject committee amendments. After considering and debating a measure, the committee votes on whether it wishes to report the measure to the full house."
"A decision not to report a bill amounts to a rejection of the proposal. Both houses provide for procedures under which the committee can be bypassed or overruled, but they are rarely used. If reported by the committee, the bill reaches the floor of the full house." (Emphasis mine)
To summarize, it is the committee process that ensures that the minority party has a voice and influence in a Representative form of government. The committee process is essential in assuring the rights of the minority, something our Framers were quite adamant about.
It should be pointed out here that when the Republicans held control of both houses of Congress in 1995, they always allowed proposed legislation to go through the committee process.
With the election of Barack Obama to the presidency and an almost super-majority of Democrats to the House of Representatives, Pelosi completely abandoned her pledge to inclusion, ethics and transparency. She immediately declared an "emergency" and suspended the committee process, yet again, this time to pass the so-called stimulus bill, a bill that included tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in special interest earmarks. Additionally, Pelosi intends to use the reconciliation process to advance the mammoth national health care initiative championed by Obama, Reid, herself and the rest of the borrow-and-spend junkies in the Democrat Party.
George Will, writing in the Sacramento Bee explains the reconciliation process:
"Under reconciliation, debate on a bill can be limited to 20 hours, enabling passage by a simple majority (51 senators, or 50 with the vice president breaking a tie) rather than requiring 60 votes to terminate debate and vote on final passage. The president and Senate Democrats have decided to use reconciliation by Oct. 15, unless Republicans negotiate compliantly regarding health care. But the threat mocks negotiations. The reconciliation process was created in 1974 to facilitate adjustments of existing spending programs."
And former Sen. John Sununu, a New Hampshire Republican, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says of Pelosi's use of reconciliation:
"[T]his decision is a deeply troublesome attempt to circumvent the normal and customary workings of American democracy...It's a radical departure from congressional precedent, in which budget rules have been designed and used to reduce deficits, not expand the size of government. And it promises bitter divisiveness under an administration that has made repeated promises to reach across the partisan divide."
Examining Pelosi's statement about the defection of the traitor Specter, in which she says, "...now we can get things done without explaining process..." we can understand her intentions. Not only has Pelosi completely abandoned her pledge to ethics, transparency and non-partisanship, she is blatantly lying to the American people about the mechanics of the process. "Now we can get things done without explaining process" can only mean that transparency is dead in the 111th Congress and a Pelosi oligarchy has replaced our constitutionally mandated representative form of government.
Additionally, Pelosi's claim to non-partisanship is a kin to Hugo Chavez's claim to being a party to legitimate elections. It's simply not true. Joining with her Senate counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), their laughable claim to bi-partisanship consists of both Reid and Pelosi telling the minority what their compromise will be.
In addressing the upcoming health care legislation, Reid recently wrote to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) inferring that Democrats will establish the terms of any "bi-partisan" compromise:
"Make no mistake, we are determined to reform healthcare this year...In order for this bipartisan process to take root, Republicans must demonstrate a sincere interest in legislating...Rather than just saying no, you must be willing to offer concrete and constructive proposals. We cannot afford more of the obstructionist tactics that have denied or delayed Congress's efforts to address so many of the critical challenges facing this nation."
It is clear that the claims of wanting to "reach across the aisle" and to craft "bi-partisan legislation" are based in opportunistic rhetoric meant to deceive the American people even as they claim the voice of the people. The litmus test debunking their claim to cooperation and balance can be found in this singular question: What major component to any proposed legislation have you ceded in your quest for bi-partisanship? It is a hard question to answer when legislation is crafted by a single party's leadership behind closed doors and in usurpation of the committee process.
As for the traitor Specter, his actions solidified the Democrats totalitarian iron fist on the legislative process in so far as the minority party – the Republican Party – has no recourse to the Democrats one-party tyranny. With Specter's defection the minority is even denied the procedural tool of the filibuster. Republicans have no choice but to be seen and understood as inconsequential on Capitol Hill.
So, while those who are counted among the staunchest of Republicans might be happy that the traitor Specter is gone and happy that there is a culling of the RINOs within the Republican Party, that happiness should be severely tempered by the realization that what may be good for the party isn't necessarily good for the country in the immediate future. In fact, for the next three and one-half years the neo-Marxist wing of the Democrat Party will get just about everything that it wants.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for BasicsProject.org a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network and on The Captain's America Radio Show catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times & Human Events and are syndicated nationally. He is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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