Lame Duck Washout Demonstrates Tea Party Resilience
Clearly, a profound concept is crystallizing among the Democrats who retained their seats in the Congress. The Tea Party movement is here to stay. Though some liberals were able to weather the 2010 Tea Party storm, they have no desire to incur its wrathful gales during the next twenty-four months.
The 2010 post-election “Lame Duck” session of Congress is officially underway, and represents a brief period of time in which America could conceivably be in the greatest peril of its existence. With nothing else to lose in the immediate aftermath of this year’s mid-term elections, Democrats had once been expected to utilize the time between November 2 and next January’s convening of the Republican dominated Congress to implement a host of legislative atrocities.
Somewhat surprisingly, relatively few new affronts to the Constitution and the country are on the calendar. While this is certainly no time for conservative America to let its guard down, the attack on the nation appears, for the moment at least, to be subsiding.
Of course this does not mean that the nightmarish liberal onslaught of the last two years is over. Yet its key players have been severely stunned by the magnitude of the grassroots uprising against them, clearly rendering them reluctant to continue their broadside against the American institutions and traditions against which they mercilessly railed, beginning in 2007, and at a ferociously accelerated pace once Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009.
Clearly, a profound concept is crystallizing among the Democrats who retained their seats in the Congress. The Tea Party movement is here to stay. Though some liberals were able to weather the 2010 Tea Party storm, they have no desire to incur its wrathful gales during the next twenty-four months. Perhaps more significantly, they are aware of the real possibility of even greater conservative momentum in the event of a strong presidential candidate on the 2012 Republican ticket, and the disconcerting likelihood of Barack Obama as their torch-carrying Democrat in that year’s election.
Any Democrat efforts to continue the debasement of America that was perpetrated at break-neck speed in 2009 and 2010 will surely generate an even broader and more strenuous backlash at the polls in 2012. Emerging shell-shocked from this year’s races, surviving congressional Democrats are increasingly desirous of taking the necessary steps to avoid any repeats of their recent bloodbath.
Over in the Senate, it might seem that in the wake of several Democrat upsets, which left such political albatrosses as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-NV) and Barbara Boxer (D.-CA) in place, that body ought to be less pliable than the House. But this is not entirely the case. Liberal Senators are painfully aware that this is no time to indulge in premature gloating.
Amazingly, circumstances in the Senate portend an even greater showdown in 2012. Unlike the House of Representatives, whose members are all up for re-election every two years, only one third of the Senate faces the voters during the same period. This constitutionally mandated schedule operates irrespective of political party, the result often being that one party or the other faces an election cycle in which a lop-sided proportion of its members are on the political “chopping block.”
In 2012, Democrats will have to successfully defend twenty-one of the thirty-three Senate Seats that are up for a vote, as opposed to nineteen out of thirty-seven in 2010. In short, they must carry nearly two thirds of the Senate races just to remain even with their current Senate majority.
It is therefore no wonder that, despite having the Presidency, a three-seat majority in the Senate, and retaining a vestige of their majority in the Congress at least until January 3, Democrats are desperately trying to keep big-ticket liberal/socialist items off of the radar screen. At present, they are only touting a few more pork-barrel expenditures (though sadly, these are measured in the billions of dollars) and some token efforts at claiming the moral “high ground,” (which means using the tax dollars of one citizen to provide “compassion” for another).
Even Obama’s treacherous promotion of the so-called “Dream Act,” which essentially amounts to amnesty for illegals, is being conducted behind closed doors, and as far as possible from the public spotlight. While his subversive efforts predictably continue (What else is a leftist to do?), he is clearly assuming a defensive posture.
In contrast, members of both houses now talk of extending the Bush tax cuts, ostensibly an impossibility given the party breakdown of the Congress and Senate, and once presumed to face a certain Obama veto. The voters made plain whom they consider responsible for the current economic debacle, and nobody inside the Beltway has any desire to bear culpability for a continuation or perhaps even a worsening of the situation through a sudden increase in the tax burden that would ensue, were the 2001 tax-cuts allowed to expire as currently scheduled.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has found his conservative spine, and is asserting unequivocally that his party will stand resolutely with the American people in opposition to the federally sanctioned embezzling known as “earmarks.”
No facet of this current liberal “retreat” would have been possible, had not the conservative grassroots of America coalesced and raised its thunderous voice against the leftist insurgency on November 2. But although the mid-term conservative gain is greatly encouraging, it bears with it an element of responsibility, about which conservatives must remain diligently aware. The fervor of the people that resonated so profoundly across the nation on Election Day must not be allowed to dissipate, lest the political class sense an opportunity to descend once again to the relative unaccountability of its past practices. America must remain resolute in its opposition to any regression back to “business as usual.”
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, as has written for regional and national magazines. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.