Hagelein and Pence  

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This was a breath of fresh air.

Rebecca Hagelein took the time to comment on a recent speech by Mike Pence. The sentiments expressed are exactly what all Americans need to hear.

Imagine, for a moment, you're back in 2000. A visitor from the present day arrives and tells you that Washington is spending almost $22,000 per household, the most since World War II and one third higher than it was in 2001. Your reaction?
My reaction would be pretty simple. FUCK WASHINGTON.
If you're like most conservatives, you'd probably say, "I guess the liberals won."
Yeah, that too.
We know otherwise. And that makes the spending impossible to explain.
I disagree, Rebecca. George Bush is a liberal Republican, as are most of those in Congress. There are very few conservatives out there involved in the process. The President DEFINITELY isn't one of them. Sure, he's stading up to terrorists and giving us the kind of judges we should have had all along, but let's not make any mistakes in describing who we have elected here. He's a liberal, and he won.
In fact, some people wind up sounding a bit foolish. They'll sheepishly admit that, yes, budget mistakes have been made. But, they say, we've simply drifted off course.
Nah, they'll just parrot the liberal line that it's all "necessary". The libs have brainwashed a lot of people, and it's easy to fall prey to their snake oil sales. Lord knows I did on more than one occasion back in the day. It's nothing to be ashamed of, as long as you're willing to face the truth and join the fight for it.
Sorry, but that explanation (or, I should say, rationalization) won't wash with Mike Pence. The third-term congressman from Indiana and head of the Republican Study Committee recently delivered a hard-hitting address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that demolishes such misguided thinking. Among the highlights:

It's one thing to drift off course. It's another to continue that course when half the crew and passengers are pointing out that nothing looks familiar, not to mention the tens of millions of Americans lining the shoreline screaming, "You're going the wrong way!"
I'm screaming it so loud I'm losing my voice.
In short, we're no longer adrift. We might've been when we started, but now "off course" is the accepted course.

The evidence is overwhelming. While President Bush has called for increases in non-defense spending of 4 percent for the last five years, Congress has delivered budgets spending more than twice that each year. Congress has spent $380 billion more than the president requested under Republican control.
And what business does the President have to call for any non-defense spending in the first place? Then Congress, supposedly conservative, more than doubles it. Do you see my point when I say this is NOT a conservative body?
We are in danger of becoming the party of Big Government. And for the sake of our party and for the sake of the nation, we must say, "The era of big Republican government is over!"
And for God's sake, MEAN IT, please? We heard that line before, verbatim even, and it was a lie then. What proof will we have that it won't play out to be a lie again? Do you somehow think you're more credible than the guy who lied to us from the White House for eight years? If you do, you need to wake up. All politicians are corrupt, and to shake that stereotype, you will have to earn it.
When I think of the state of our movement in Washington, it reminds me of a story:

There was this construction worker, Mac, who'd bring his neatly and lovingly packed lunch to work each day. Mac would sit down, open the brown paper sack and pull out a cheeseburger, chocolate cake and peanut butter cookies. He'd look at his fellow workers and complain, "I can't believe it! A cheeseburger, cake and cookies again! How am I ever going to lose weight?!"

After about a month of hearing him complain, one of his buddies finally said, "Come on, Mac! If you're so concerned about your weight, just ask your wife to send you off with something different." To which Mac replied, "What you talkin' about? I pack my own lunch!"
An EXCELLENT illustration of the state of affairs in Congress today.
The key question to remember is: Who's in control here?
There was a time when it was the voters, Mr. Pence.
Congress might ask itself the same question. We control the spending and the process ... and we wonder how the things got to such a state?
I doubt anyone in Congress wonders how things got the way they are. The problem is that no one in Congress is willing to stand up and see to it that it changes, making the slope ever slipperier.
Fiscal integrity and moral integrity are inseparable issues. You can't complain about the sharks while you're holding a bucket of chum.
I'll be adding that one to my list of favorite quotes. Do you think it's as appropriate as the Churchill quote at the top?
We are not, as a party, bereft of ideas, we are bereft of will -- the will to even consider ideas that might touch on the sacred cows of federal spending. If we are still on the wrong course, it is because we choose to be.
And this is why we are losing voters to the Libertarian and Constitution Parties. If you want to gain them back, the FIRST thing you have to do is start implementing the Constitution in the area of spending.
Every day, we sail further into the dangerous waters of Big Government Republicanism ... perilous straits for a society built on personal responsibility and freedom. We risk finding ourselves past the point of no return on the Road to Serfdom.
Sounds like the Old Sage has been making a few phone calls. At any rate, Pence is right on here (as Sage would also be with this sentiment).
If we must look over our shoulder to see that shining city on a hill, we are sailing in the wrong direction.
We're not looking over our shoulder. President Reagan was right to believe America's best days are ahead. That shining city on the hill is still visible, and it's WAY off in the distance to the right. It's not that difficult a change to make once you decide to make it.
The answer is not mutiny. It's not time to abandon ship. It's time for a major course correction!
Sage might disagree, but I say we give correcting our course a chance.
We need to stop, set anchor and reset our heading based on what we know to be true about the nature of government:

- That government that governs least, governs best.
- That as government expands, freedom contracts.
- That government should never do for a man what he can and should do for himself.
- That societies are judged by their treatment of the most vulnerable: the aged, the infirm and the unborn.

But it's not enough to know these truths. We need to choose to put them into practice.
Truer words were ne'er spake, especially that part about putting it into practice. With regard to Pence's last point, it's important to note that too often society and government are confused. Society is how we demonstrate our good by what we do VOLUNTARILY, while government is how we keep our vices in check by securing the rights of the innocent. The government, especially at the federal level, needs to leave these things to society rather than to order the deaths of the elderly, the ill, and the unborn.
The conservative movement is at a crossroads. Are we committed to the ideals of limited government, fiscal discipline and traditional moral values or not?
Are the Republicans finally deciding to stand up for the Founders' vision? I've been saying this from my early days of blogging. The Republicans' day of reckoning is upon them and us. Will we, as Federalists, be able to stay in the party we have chosen, or will we have to go our own way, possibly with the help of the Libertarians and Constitutionites? Time will tell.
These are hard questions to face. But we ignore them at our peril. The time to address them is now, before the ship drifts so far off course that we find ourselves -- and the future of our country and children -- wrecked on the rocks of Big Government.
Yes they are, Beck. And we DO ignore them at our peril. And the time to address them is now, before the Donks can win seats and have their accusing us of screaming out like Chicken Little actually be heard by someone other than moveon.org.