This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published March 4, 2013 on The Washington Times website.
One of Bill Cosby’s best-loved routines is “Tonsils.”
Mr. Cosby relates how the doctor explained the need for surgery when he was a young boy. “Your tonsils guard your throat,” the doc says. “They have hand grenades, bazookas and anything bad that comes into your mouth, they fight it off. In your case, your tonsils have lost the war. As a matter of fact, they’ve gone so far as to join the other side, and they’re going to kill you if we don’t cut ’em out.”
Watching the Republican Party establishment wage war on the Tea Party and social conservatives, it feels a lot like Mr. Cosby’s scenario. If the GOP abandons its commitment to traditional values in pursuit of the ever-transient “youth vote,” it will become the equivalent of infected tonsils. The party will cease to be an effective voice against moral and fiscal collapse, and will help facilitate America’s demise.
More than 100 GOP establishment figures have joined a Supreme Court brief against California’s voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The New York Times‘ Sheryl Gay Stolberg observed, “at this point, the Republicans who signed the document are taking a more expansive stance than President Obama, who favors same-sex marriage but has said he would leave it to the states, as opposed to making it a constitutional right.”
In the American Spectator, Jeffrey Lord makes this observation in “GOP Elites and the Abolition of Marriage”:
“It is fair to say that there are serious Republicans and conservatives out there who have zero problem with gays. Who, like myself, have their share of wonderful family members and friends who happen to be gay. But who nonetheless are very concerned that in this rush to political correctness, not to mention appealing for votes, the GOP elites who have signed this brief are oblivious to the idea that they are seen as signing not a Supreme Court brief–but a death warrant. The effective abolition of marriage in America.”
The Republicans who signed the brief are infected tonsils. The Tea Party and other traditionalist Americans already suspect the GOP, as currently constituted, will not effectively resist the Democrats’ relentless left-wing agenda. By failing to slow down the madness of Obamacare, gun control, out-of-control spending, unconstitutional appointments, bizarre nominees, unvetted “czars,” and incentives for more illegal immigration, Republican leaders resemble worn-down speed bumps–in some cases, potholes.
Another case in point: On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed former White House chief of staff Jack Lew as Treasury secretary by 71-26. Mr. Lew epitomizes the “1 percent” that Mr. Obama has demagogued. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, summarized the absurdity: When Mr. Lew “worked at tax-exempt New York University, he was given a subsidized $1.4 million mortgage. Now, Mr. Lew claims he cannot remember the interest rate he paid. Does this pass the laugh test? When Mr. Lew was executive vice president of NYU, the school received kickbacks on student loans from Citigroup. Then, Mr. Lew went to work for Citigroup.”
Mr. Obama has railed against investors dodging taxes in the Cayman Islands, but, “Mr. Lew is a serial Cayman Islands investor. On his watch, Citigroup invested money there, and he invested his own money there,” noted Mr. Grassley, who voted no, unlike 20 GOP colleagues.
When something important happens, have you noticed that there’s almost always a handy Republican or two who joins liberal Democrats to make it “bipartisan?”
John McCain and Lindsey Graham, despite all their thunder about Chuck Hagel being unqualified to be defense secretary, allowed a vote to confirm him rather than continue to filibuster his nomination. Four Republicans–Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Rand Paul of Kentucky–joined all 54 Democrats, plus Maine independent Angus King, in voting yes.
This, despite Mr. Hagel’s disastrous hearing, anti-Israel record, naivete toward radical Islam, including a reluctance to back sanctions against Iran, and his support for nuclear disarmament.
On Thursday, 87 House Republican tonsils, perhaps terrified of “war on women” rhetoric, helped Democrats reauthorize a Senate-expanded Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a piggy bank for the left. As conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly notes, “VAWA has somehow ducked accountability for the nearly a billion dollars a year it doles out to radical feminist organizations.”
Other developments, such as Obamacare’s abortifacient mandate, are testing whether America will succumb to such extreme political correctness that it will extinguish the right of conscience. This assault on sanity and liberty could be blunted if the party of Abraham Lincoln found its voice. Too many in the GOP, however, are scared of the media or are listening to “conservative” pundits who tell them to be more like Democrats.
Despite winning every court case, the Boy Scouts are under enormous corporate pressure to commit suicide by allowing homosexual leaders and members. California Democratic State Sen. Ricardo Lara has introduced a bill to revoke the tax exemption of the Scouts and other youth groups that won’t embrace San Francisco values. Where is the GOP when it comes to the Scouts? Largely silent, with honorable exceptions such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
I’m hearing more and more people ask whether America is over. They say the moral rot and feckless “opposition” is landing us in a pit from which we will not escape because we no longer have the God-given values that sustained America through a civil war, a Depression and two world wars.
Pessimism to the point of paralysis is not the answer, despite the media’s assurance that we’re doomed to live in a socialist version of Sodom and Gomorrah. Thousands of Tea Parties all over America, plus a growing number of churches, are organizing and educating Americans about real constitutional rights. They will be a huge factor in the 2014 elections and beyond.
When the GOP is serious about regaining credibility, party leaders may want to attend some Tea Party meetings. Watching them work to save the country despite the betrayals by the infected tonsils, they could learn something about American character.