We Don't Want No Stinkin' Compromise
In a normal election year, Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst would have coasted to a Republican senatorial nomination victory. But this is not a normal election year. It’s the fourth year of President Obama’s tax-and-spend assault on the American people — and Texans (of which I’m one) are sending Washington a warning: We’re tired of the big-spending compromises!
It started with the Tea Party rallies and packed, rancorous town halls in the summer of 2009, followed by a massive march on the Capitol in
But President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi merely pooh-poohed the warnings and pressed on with their big-spending and ObamaCare agendas.
Another red flag emerged in January 2010, with Scott Brown winning a Senate seat in
The result was the November 2010 election, a mass peaceful protest against the direction Obama and the Democrats were taking the country. I wrote a Forbes piece two months before the election describing it as the “‘I Can’t Wait to Vote’ Election.” An outraged public was chomping at the bit to get to the election booth to say, “Stop the spending madness!”
Unlike President Bill Clinton in 1994, however, President Obama and the Democratic leadership clearly didn’t hear that message either, or if they did they just don’t care. In fact, Obama has doubled down on all of his policies, claiming that the only reason for the voter grumbling is he hasn’t made his case clear enough.
And while the majority of ire is deservedly targeted at Democrats, establishment Republicans are catching their share of the fallout. Former Utah Republican Senator Robert Bennett is a conservative, but he was found too willing to compromise.
I invited Bennett to speak to a small group of business executives in 2009, where he discussed his decision to cosponsor a health care reform bill with Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat. Wyden’s bill also had an individual mandate requiring people to have health coverage. Bennett explained he didn’t think the bill was perfect, but Democrats ruled Washington and he thought there might be some room to amend it later. He was willing to compromise at a time when compromise was increasingly becoming anathema to those determined to see the country return to fiscal responsibility.
Retiring Republican Senator Richard Lugar of
By electing Cruz over Dewhurst, and by a whopping 14-point spread, Texans are sending their own message to
While the media seemed to be surprised by the outcome of the election, many saw it coming months ago. Visiting with a very politically active and conservative Austin-based friend last December, I brought up the fact that every time the media mentioned Dewhurst, they usually included a phrase like “the likely Republican candidate.”
Her response? “I’ve heard that too, but I don’t know anyone who actually plans to vote for him.” The desire for a take-no-prisoners conservative was gaining ground even then.
Of course, that no-compromise stand goes against the constant drumbeat from Washington and the media that what we really need is elected officials who are willing to compromise — read: Republicans who will agree to Democrats’ demand for tax increases.
And the pro-compromisers always justify their demands by pointing out that Republicans compromised their principles in the past — which is one of the primary reasons they were booted out of power in Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.
But just like a spouse who may stand by, albeit expressing growing concern, while her partner with a drinking problem has one, then two and maybe three drinks before she finally steps in, the voters (and not just conservatives) have expressed increasing concern over Obama’s borrowing-and-spending rampage.
And they are sending a warning: “We are fed up with massive government spending and taxes, with corporate welfare (especially the green energy kind), with ObamaCare and fiscal recklessness. You didn’t listen to us in 2009. You didn’t listen to us in 2010. You will listen to us in 2012, because we’re throwing out the big-spenders and putting no-compromisers in.”
That’s why Ted Cruz won — and why Obama is in trouble.