Tedder

Republicans Must Stop Helping Bad Bills Pass

It appears the spending orgy has about caught up with President Obama. When he took office, the Gallup Poll showed a 68 percent approval rating and only a 12 percent disapproval. What a difference 10 months and several trillion dollars in hard-earned taxpayer money make. Now Gallup has his approval rating at only 48 percent while those disapproving have reached 44 percent. At this pace it won’t be long before those numbers intersect.

The latest push for socialized medicine isn’t helping the president’s popularity. A recent Fox News poll showed 51 percent of the American people oppose the Democrats’ health care plan while only 35 percent support it. As the Senate vote drew near, one senator admonished his moderate comrades in the Democrat Party, telling them they didn’t want to be on the wrong side of history. That’s exactly what they were trying to avoid.

When the dust settles on the health care bill, one thing will be certain. It will be a totally Democrat debacle. Only one Republican voted for this boondoggle in the House. Their efforts to paint this as a bi-partisan solution have fallen woefully short.

I only wish the Republicans were smart enough to figure out when they’re being had. In the House, the health care bill was DOA until the Republicans gleefully joined with 30-some pro-life Democrats to yank the federally funded abortion provision from the bill. As the Republicans crowed over their “victory,” Nancy Pelosi lined up the votes and passed the most sweeping, socialist piece of legislation in a generation.

The Republicans must learn to stop helping the Democrats rid bad bills of objectionable obstacles. Had they been able to insert language mandating the sacrifice of every first-born child they should have done it. Anything to ensure that this abominable piece of legislation never got the oxygen it needed. Instead, they played into the hands of Speaker Pelosi. Whether she ever intended for the abortion language to survive is debatable. What’s not is that she was able to use that provision as a tool to garner the necessary votes for passage.

Too many of us have been too quick to assume Pelosi is an empty skirt. We shouldn’t make that mistake again.

The question that I’m asked most in recent days is whether or not a sane Congress–that is, one run by conservatives after the 2010 elections–can undo the damage that’s been done. Perhaps. If the tea parties translate into real Republican victories and these are true Reagan Republicans and not RINOs, then there’s a chance that a lot, if not all, of this madness can be undone.

Some of it can’t. Money spent on frivolous make-work projects in the stimulus package is gone. Bailout money for car companies and banks is gone. Most of the health care bill wouldn’t take effect until 2014, which gives a new Congress plenty of time to scrap it. The tax increases, however, would go into effect almost immediately. It’s a little more complicated issue to refund that money but it can certainly be done.

But while we’re fantasizing about the perfect Congress, let’s put a few more items on our wish list. How about let’s stop penalizing those who have made it in life? How about either a flat income tax or abolish the income tax in favor of a national sales tax, the fair tax? How about we actually shrink the size of government instead of just talk about it? How about we pass no new laws that curtail liberty?

If the conservatives are going to win back Congress next year, this time they need to make it count.

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About the Author

Phil Valentine is an author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host with Westwood One. For more of his commentary and articles, visit philvalentine.com.

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