It is a rule of thumb among conservatives, not just in Washington but around the country, that the United States does not deserve the government that the Democratic administration and congress are currently giving it. But the Republican Party, whose drubbing in the last election delivered to the Democrats the excessive power they now enjoy, deserves everything it got in 2006 and 2008 at the hands of the voters.
So now the question is, where does the GOP find leaders who can deliver the nation something better?
Bob Tyrell, editor-in-chief of The American Spectator, believes that a large measure of the answer is in the House of Representatives. In small dinners and large galas he has been showcasing members of the House that he believes show promise. Last Thursday Indiana Congressman Mike Pence was the featured speaker at the annual American Spectator dinner, held in the Capital Hilton, a few blocks from the White House.
Pence lived up to Tyrell’s billing as a man who should seek higher offices.
In a speech (see here: http://spectator.org/archives/2009/11/23/the-evening-keynote ) he displayed wit, insight, depth of purpose, and clarity about the stakes at play in Washington today.
In the course of his address, Pence noted that liberal Democratic Congressman Barney Frank had recently been candid about his party’s agenda. In late October on a MSNBC panel, Frank said. “[W]e are trying at every front to increase the role of government in the regulatory area…”
Health overhaul and cap and trade grab the headlines now. But passing new, vastly expansive legislation is not the only big government game in town. Let’s go down the agendas coming from a sampling of regulatory agencies:
Securities and Exchange Commission:
The SEC is in the process of rewriting how issues can be brought before corporate annual meetings. As former head of communications for the New York Stock Exchange Richard Torrenzano and I argue in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, this will lead to a major politicization of American corporate governance, producing boards populated with members “who answer to constituents, not investors,” as things stand today, constituents of the Democratic Party.
For our article, see here:
Environmental Protection Agency:
The EPA has just set aside its normal timetables and rules of procedure to reexamine a major agricultural chemical. The molecule involved is used in corn, sugar and sorghum farming to control weeds. Variants are used on other crops including in the vineyards of California wine country. Discovered in the 1960s, the herbicide is among the most studied substance on earth and has been ruled safe multiple times by government agencies in the U.S. and overseas. Banning it would devastate agriculture in the Midwest, yet sophisticated D.C. observers believe that Michelle Obama’s organic garden points to where the administration and EPA want to push all of American agriculture.
Federal Communications Commission:
With the high speed Internet extending its reach into homes and cell phones thanks to competition among a once unimaginable variety of carriers – both so-called wire-line and wireless – the new chair of the Federal Communications Commission is pushing for price controls. The term for price controls in the Internet services business is “net neutrality”. The history of price controls in every sector in which they have ever been tried will tell the stultifying impact they will have on the development of telecommunications services in the U.S.
Consumer Products Safety Commission:
Readers here at HughHewitt.com know how the commission is well on its way to banning a wide range of products, devastating numerous companies, over an interpretation of law that defies common sense.
The Administration’s theory goes that the government can predict future economic crises. Treasury wants authority to take control of companies that pose a “systemic risk” to the capital markets. Yet market downturns regularly take the U.S. government by surprise. What should take no one by surprise is Congressman Frank’s desire to use them “at every front to increase the role of government.”
There are many more examples, but you get the idea.
Where do we go from here? Perhaps Bob Tyrell is right. The House may be a good place to look for leaders.
Regarding the growth of government, particularly of spending but also of regulation, Congressman Pence last Thursday offered a different vision. As he told The American Spectator crowd, “[W]e see here tonight and at town hall meetings, tea party rallies across this country, and in the march on Washington in Washington, D.C., [the expression of national frustration] is not the orchestrated theater of liberal special interest groups. It’s authentic and it’s powerful and it’s real and it’s American. And the American people know this is not just about dollars and cents, it’s about who we are as a nation.”