The failure of Republicans to replace John Boehner with a principled Speaker is the last straw for me. Voters gave the GOP a ringing mandate to roll back the program of the Obama administration. The House had only to fund government through February – with whatever the administration wanted – so Congress could begin its real work when the new majorities are installed. The President and Senate could accept, bury, or veto what the House enacted in December.
Nobody smart enough to walk and chew gum at the same time could argue the House was shutting down government. Yet Speaker Boehner funded everything – including dictatorial and blatantly unconstitutional executive decrees – with his so-called CRomnibus Bill. But my issue is not with Boehner; it is with the members who did not remove him.
More than half a million letters were delivered to Congress demanding new leadership. Thousands of phone calls – some member offices received a thousand alone – demanding members do what they were elected to do, what they had promised to do. Yet only twenty-five of two hundred forty-six paid the slightest attention to their constituents.
Advertisement – story continues below
We all know the script. “No one else was officially running,” – not true. “Observing party discipline is the only way to get things done in Washington,” – has anyone read up recently on the Constitutional Convention or the Congress that set the slaves free by amending the Constitution? “If I buck the leader he might retaliate and I will become marginalized and ineffective,” – which Boehner has already done; does it occur to anyone that what you do with this kind of tyrannical leader is to stick together and remove him?
This month, the putative front runner for the Republican presidential nomination, Jeb Bush, announced he is okay with redefining marriage since it is now “the law of the land.” Bush is – of course – the current darling of the Republican establishment, and I can promise readers any candidate who wishes to enjoy establishmentarian goodwill is going to have to accept as law what is anything but settled. By the Bush logic, freeing the slaves was nothing but a rebellious mistake; from 1857 forward, the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court supposedly made slavery settled law for all time. Give me a break!
Republicans have put up weak presidential candidates the past eight years – and in the eight years of the Clinton regime. Bush One could not keep a tax pledge; Dole was – what? McCain gave us the McCain-Feingold assault on the 1st Amendment, and Romney was a decent man who could not separate himself from the bankers — their errand boy actually endorsed carpetbagger Neel Kashkari for governor of California. Speaking of governor candidates – in this century, the Republicans gave us Schwarzenegger, Whitman, and the carpetbagger. The best of that bunch was the Governator, so wimpy the nurses’ union beat him bloody and lacking the courage to defend his own laws.
Advertisement - story continues below
This is how the game is played, according to some of the pros; you have to go along to get along, and they are correct. But the game is sick, dysfunctional, and just plain wrong. What is needed is not renewed understanding of how things are done, but new things to be done – a new game. That is what Lincoln gave us; he called it the Republican Party.
The GOP showed plenty of corruption following Lincoln’s death, but Lincoln did inspire a vision of freedom and re-engagement of the American Dream for all. Teddy Roosevelt called for and led a renewal of that vision. Ronald Reagan did the same. Even in the heart of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society – when they were corporately depressed – it was Republicans who gave Martin Luther King the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But at this point, the fix has been in too long. When Abraham Lincoln and his friends determined the Whigs were beyond resurrection, they formed a new party. It is time lovers of our nation and her unique place in the world did the same.
Lincoln’s party lost their first elections; third parties always do. But they hung in there until their gifts and God’s grace brought them 1860. Only a man of Lincoln’s stature and charisma could hold them together during our bloodiest conflict. Lincoln was God’s gift, not our achievement. The leadership molding the new political community will come from the same source. Our contribution will be courage, faithfulness, and humility.
Advertisement - story continues below
Jesus wept over Jerusalem just days before His sacrificial death. He sobbed at how He and His Father longed to take the people into their arms and they would not have it. Then He died and rose for us; he gave us a new world. Jesus formed no political party. But His model is sound for any human enterprise. We need to look upon the horror we have created, express our despair, and move on. We need to die to agenda, expectation, and prerogative. We will then be free to seek new life amongst the roots of what was once great and can be again.
Should Republican leadership prove – not promise – commitment to integrity, I’ll gladly change my tune. Meanwhile, I will follow my Lord Jesus and Abraham Lincoln.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.