Rep. Allen West (R-FL) took to the House floor last night to deliver a remarkably candid apology to the American people for Congressional irresponsibility in general, and the disappointing results to date of the 2010 freshman class in particular.
This isn’t some politically twisted “I’m sorry my opponents stink even more than I thought they did” faux apology. He’s straightforward in expressing his dismay that the Tea Party-infused Republican caucus hasn’t performed up to the standards expected by voters. He also makes a very sharp point about the tendency of our majestic Congress to put off so many important issues until the final weeks of the year, precisely so that legislation can be rammed through in a hasty rush, and objections can be dismissed as dangerous flirtations with disaster.
Every Republican who doesn’t raise his objection to “omnibus” bills lousy with hidden garbage should be ashamed of themselves, as should every member of Congress who dares to demand the American people surrender more taxes and liberty when the government doesn’t even have a budget. No one should entertain a moment’s prattle about “fiscal responsibility” from anyone who voted to table the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act – a simple expression of the most essential principles of responsibility.
This is not a doom-and-gloom speech. West does a terrific job of laying out the challenges that remain, and issuing a call to arms for his colleagues to address them. As he tells an unseen Speaker John Boehner, who may or may not be smiling throughout this speech, he learned in the military that “we work until the mission is complete.”
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