Boehner's Partisans

Given the compromising nature of Congressional alliances, caucuses, and “gangs” the actions by Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh) in stopping the worst of the financial bailout package are so encouraging. There’s not a Democrat among Boehner’s “partisans,” just diehard conservative Republicans who refuse to drive the get-away car for Democrats who are dead-set on looting the bank with their current bailout legislation.

We all remember the “Gang of 14,” that “non-partisan” coalition of Senators formed by John McCain and Lindsey Graham in 2005, ostensibly to aid in securing the confirmation of conservative federal judge nominees. Their less publicized goal was to prevent then Senate Majority leader Bill Frist from using the “nuclear” — i.e., constitutional — option to secure confirmation of judicial nominees by forcing simple majority votes.

Although they may want it, the “Gang of 14” cannot be credited with the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts because many of the same nominations that were languishing in the Senate then are still languishing there today. And we cannot overlook the fact that the nuclear option was never used. The cold hard fact is that the Gang of 14’s legacy is that the Senate still operates in a world where 60 votes, instead of raw majority of 51, are needed to secure judicial confirmation. This is just what the Democrats wanted and just what conservatives opposed.

More recently, the “Gang of 10,” which consisted of 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans, put forth their “bi-partisan” (Democrat) energy plan at a time when McCain was pulling away from Obama by focusing on the need for energy independence. While McCain was touting a “drill here, drill now” approach in Newt Gingrich fashion, Republican Senators Bob Corker, Saxby Chambliss, and John Thune, among others, were destroying his momentum by agreeing to an energy policy that Dennis Kucinich would be proud of.

Enter Representative Boehner who joined with Indiana’s Mike Pence, Georgia’s Tom Price, North Carolina’s Thatcher-come-lately Virginia Foxx, and the rest of the “drilling rebels” to nationalize the issue while Pelosi and the Democrats took their summer vacation. These men are conservative and constructively — even refreshingly — partisan; they also refuse to back down on issues of principle. And now they are the gang that refuses to be part of the Democrat bailout scheme promoted by Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Boehner’s gang of partisans have not supported the tax-payer funded bailout of institutions that were either mismanaged (by Democrats in the case of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) or which failed due to excessive regulation (by Democrats again, in the case of private banking and mortgage companies). Democrats are now trying to shame the Republicans into signing onto the president’s bailout and providing them cover. Yet in this weekend’s negotiations, it appears that Boehner’s Partisans have succeeded in minimizing the bailout’s intervention in the financial markets.

What makes the real motivation of the Democrats so obvious is the simple fact that they hold a majority in the House and the Senate, and therefore do not even need the support of Boehner’s partisans to pass their legislation. In other words, the problem to this point has not been that Pelosi and Reid can’t pass their legislation without conservatives but that they refuse to pass it without conservatives. This should tell us something, folks.

And if you’re still not convinced the Pelosi/Reid bailout is a liberal gimmick, consider the AP report from Friday evening, September 26, which revealed that this legislation has “swelled” from 3 pages originally to 42 pages now. Only a liberal would need 42 pages to say what a well-versed 9th grader could say in a paragraph.

But Boehner’s partisans weren’t just opposing this liberal mess, they were actively promoting an alternative plan with options other than a government takeover of the assets of failing institutions. Under this plan, instead of acquiring assets the government would “provide insurance to companies that agree to hold frozen assets.” Such a “bailout” would “remove the burden…from taxpayers and place it, over time, on Wall Street instead,” according to Republican Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia.

Of course Pelosi and Reid weren’t interested in the Republican alternative to their plan any more than they were in having tea with Boehner. But who really expects them to be? They have never been impressed with the idea of lowering tax burdens or limiting government.

When the “Gang of 14” formed, Democrats praised McCain and Graham for crossing the aisle and seeking middle ground. (If Democrats crossed the aisle to approach Republicans on even their smallest idea, it’d be newsworthy because it never happens.) And when the “Gang of 10” put forth their “bi-partisan” energy solutions, Barrack Obama praised them; he knew he had found Republicans with whom he could work.

But when Boehner’s gang of partisans said “no” to the administration’s bailout legislation, nary a Democrat offered praise. Instead, Pelosi, Reid, and that embarrassing piece of humanity named Barney Frank angrily denounced the partisanship of the House GOP. I say it’s about time there was some partisanship on our part. The only other alternative is partisanship on theirs (for there is no middle ground while Reid and Pelosi are in charge).

And let’s be honest, the thing that’s really got them riled up isn’t the partisanship. It’s the fact that unless the Republicans volunteer to drive the get-away car, the public at large will see the Democrats standing on the curb holding bags of money they’ve looted from the people they promised to protect.