Driving the Day: Time to Abandon the Tea Party?

“It’s time for him [Speaker Boehner] to abandon the Tea Party and forge a bipartisan compromise.”

That was the strategic advice offered by a liberal from New York, Senator Chuck Schumer.  Considering Mr. Schumer’s primary responsibility to rally Democrats around a political message, we should see through his rhetoric.  Mr. Schumer and his liberal colleagues want to undermine the influence of a newly invigorated conservative movement.

When it comes down to it, liberals are intimidated by the resurgence of conservatism and the Constitution.  They understand that organizations, motivated constituents and principled conservatives in Washington can have a dramatic impact on the debate.

Yesterday’s vote marked a turning point in the debate.  In a matter of days, conventional wisdom in Washington (for what it’s worth) shifted – there is now widespread consensus that another short-term funding measure is not in the cards.

Folks like Mr. Schumer will say this is a sign conservatives want to shutdown the government.  Congressman Allen West (R-FL) took that accusation head on yesterday:

My “No” vote should not be construed as my willingness for a “government shutdown.  My  vote is based on a simple principle that we need to complete the federal budget for 2011.

We cannot wait any longer.  The time has come to have this debate on federal spending and get our nation back on track by cutting spending for the long term economic restoration of our Republic.

The reasons to oppose additional short-term measures are clear (see our open letter to Congress).  The following 54 Republicans opposed yesterday’s short-term measure:

Franks (AZ-02)
Flake (AZ-06)
Campbell (CA-48)
Tipton (CO-03)
Lamborn (CO-05)
Southerland (FL-02)
Stearns (FL-06)
Ross (FL-12)
Mack (FL-14)
West (FL-22)
Graves (GA-09)
Gingrey (GA-11)
Labrador (ID-01)
Walsh (IL-08)
Johnson (IL-15)
Stutzman (IN-03)
Burton (IN-05)
Pence (IN-06)
King (IA-05)
Huelskamp (KS-01)
Landry (LA-03)
Fleming (LA-04)
Harris (MD-01)
Bartlett (MD-06)
Benishek (MI-01)
Huizenga (MI-02)
Amash (MI-03)
Walberg (MI-07)
McCotter (MI-11)
Bachmann (MN-06)
Akin (MO-02)
Long (MO-07)
Rehberg (MT-AL)
Heller (NV-02)
Smith (NJ-04)
Garrett (NJ-05)
Pearce (NM-02)
Jones (NC-03)
Chabot (OH-01)
Schmidt (OH-02)
Jordan (OH-04)
Sullivan (OK-01)
Pitts (PA-16)
Wilson (SC-02)
Duncan (SC-03)
Gowdy (SC-04)
Mulvaney (SC-05)
Gohmert (TX-01)
Poe (TX-02)
Hall (TX-04)
Barton (TX-06)
Paul (TX-14)
Chaffetz (UT-03)
Rigell (VA-02)
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