Driving the Day: Driving a Tea Party Wedge

Proponents of big-government will stop at nothing to undermine the American electorate.  The message from November was clear – the federal government is too powerful and spends too much.  However, the people that brought you Obamacare and stimulus are now trying to drive a permanent wedge between conservatives and the Republican Party.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has frequently blamed “tea party extremists” for the current budget standoff.  Someone ought to point out to Mr. Reid that his own party – when it controlled both houses of Congress – did not even try to pass a budget or annual appropriation bills.

Yesterday, Mr. Reid said he was “extremely disappointed that after weeks of productive negotiations with Speaker Boehner, Tea Party Republicans are scrapping all the progress we have made and threatening to shut down the government if they do not get all of their extreme demands.”

Although it probably never occurred to Mr. Reid, House Republicans have a unified position.  Five weeks ago, they passed H.R.1.  Notably, no Democrats joined them.  Cutting $61 billion in spending – just 4% of our projected budget deficit – proved a step too far for his partisan colleagues.

A spokesman for Speaker Boehner made that point yesterday saying, “The Democrats who run Washington are desperately trying to divert attention from their own divisions over cutting spending.”

As Andrew Stiles pointed out last week on NRO’s The Corner, Democrats are indeed divided:

Republicans may be somewhat divided for the time being, but at least they are (mostly) united over policy when it comes to cutting spending. Thus far, the best options that Democrats have been able to muster — in the absence of a serious plan or guidance from the White House — are 1) do nothing, 2) raises taxes, and 3) shut the government down. Which party seems more dysfunctional?

Yesterday, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who plays the role of messaging guru and strategist, tweeted the Tea Party was the “only obstacle” to a budget deal.  While Mr. Schumer heaps blame upon conservatives, he ignores his party’s own failures – no budget, no appropriations bills, no plan.

Let’s be clear, the Democrat’s do not have a legislative strategy; they have a political strategy.  Conservatives must stand on principle and urge their elected officials to do the same, but we must also push back against the cheap political tricks being peddled by the proponents of big-government.

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