By Craig Andresen 8-2-11
With the passage in the House of the debt deal yesterday and its passage in the Senate today party faithful from both sides of the political spectrum, elected officials and voters alike seem to be hopping mad. Even some who voted yes aren’t happy. What is everybody thinking? Maybe a better question would be…HOW are they thinking?
To answer this latter question one must examine from where they’re coming.
Democrats are really on fire over this. Their ideology is spend, entitle, tax, spend some more and grow government. Anything which gets in the way of that is deemed more despicable than building an off ramp across the environment inhabited by snail darters. Further, they see this legislation as being devised under the direction and strictly for the gain of, gasp, the Tea Party…their arch enemy.
What they think of the Tea Party have been voiced by them for several years. Astroturf, angry mob, racists, fringe element, bat crap crazy and most recently…anarchists, hobbits and terrorists. While there is no evidence to back any of these characterizations nor do hobbits even exist, this is their ideology and they’re sticking to it.
Many Tea Party faithful are also burning up over this deal and their ideology is cut spending, lower taxes, adhere to the constitution, make government smaller cut spending some more and get a balanced budget amendment to the constitution passed. Those hard line Tea Party faithful view this legislation as being devised by and for the purpose of democrats…THEIR arch enemies.
What the Tea Party faithful think of democrats has been voiced by them for years. Liberal, socialist, Marxists, nannies. There is actual evidence to back these characterizations and socialists do exist but this their ideology and their sticking to it.
Okay, so, the debt deal…
To democrats who hate it, the deal goes WAY WAY too far. It cuts spending, it allows for a vote to be held on a balanced budget amendment, it places entitlements on the table, it was not a straight up or down clean debt ceiling vote, it takes away the blank check, their President caved and it puts the people’s focus on fiscal matters.
To republicans who hate it, the deal doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t cut spending enough, it doesn’t force passage of a balanced budget amendment before yet another debt ceiling vote, it covers the raising of the debt ceiling through the 2012 election and it puts defense spending on the table.
Here’s the reality of the deal. It’s all of the above.
So what is gained by passing such a deal? To answer THAT question one must employ LOGICAL thinking rather than IDEOLOGICAL thinking.
This debt deal, for all its issues, is a first step toward a better fiscal future. Logically, it HAS indeed placed runaway spending in the crosshairs of the American public as never before. We now, because of the public display of debate, know the numbers and we have been exposed as never before to the business as usual sausage making of government and legislation. Logical thinking provides that we can NOT turn the economy around in one swift action. No single vote will accomplish the erasing of habits entrenched in Congress for decades NOR would such a move, even IF possible, be good for the economy or the country.
Logically, we cannot reverse the business as usual spending frenzy of the government while in control of only 1 of the 3 branches but we CAN make headway. Is it logical thinking to believe, after retaking the House in 2010, in only 7 months we would accomplish everything we wanted to accomplish and in spite of the fact that the Senate and the White House are still under the control of democrats we would dictate all legislation?
Try this experiment. Declare that you’re GOING FOR A WALK TO THE END OF THE BLOCK! Be emphatic about it. Go to the sidewalk and FIRMLY plant your feet on the first square, be bold and STAND YOUR GROUND! Does logical thinking allow you, in this stance, to get to the end of the block any time soon…or at all?
It can be logically argued that taking a similar stance in this debt ceiling debate would have gained as much progress as standing on that first sidewalk square toward the desired result.
Logically, when we’re pushing a boulder UP a hill, we must KEEP pushing to make progress and if at any point we STOP pushing and stand pat, that boulder will roll right back over us. It political parlance, we must keep pushing, step by step as the top of that hill is November of 2012. The more people who help push the more progress we make. At the top of the hill is the Senate and the White House. If we take the top of the hill, Capitol Hill, we can and will make a great deal progress much more quickly going down the other side as the goal of fiscal responsibility in government and constitutional rule lays at the bottom of the other side.
Those Tea Party backed elected officials who voted in favor of this debt deal legislation deserve our respect and admiration as they put aside IDEOLOGICAL thought for LOGICAL thought to move the process forward. To harp at them, deride them as traitors to the cause, question their motives or abandon them for not standing firmly on ideology simply isn’t…logical.
Rigid adherence to ideology, if that’s what you’re looking for, can be found today at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and in the majority of Senate seats.
Is it not more logical to view the tenants of the Tea Party as ideals to be achieved rather that ideologies to be worshiped? If so, than should not those who strive to achieve those ideals be viewed as Patriots rather than as traitors to the cause?
Our very founders did not stand on ideology, they acted on ideals – and had they not, we would not have gained our independence from those whose ideology we rejected. They employed logic to create a nation and we must do likewise to reclaim it.
For the Tea Party faithful, the debt deal passed into law over the last few days may not adhere to the ideology many stand firmly upon but it does logically move us just a little closer to the ideals in which our founders believed.