Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) welcomed CPAC attendees with a rousing speech about the importance of victory over compromise. He’s a soft-spoken man, but he makes a great half-time coach. With all due respect to Clint Eastwood and his “half-time in America” Superbowl ad, this really is the second half for the Tea Party. What began in 2010 must be completed in 2012, or they will have won only the most temporary of victories.
DeMint made a Super Bowl reference during his own speech, pointing out that the victorious New York Giants didn’t take the field to “work with” the other guys or “cooperate” with the opposing quarterback. He pointed out that the goals of the Democrats are so diametrically opposed to Republicans that, on the greatest issues facing us, there is no room for “compromise,” which only works well when the two parties have shared goals. “Every time we ‘compromise’ with Democrats, we spend more, borrow more, and grow the government,” he sighed ruefully.
“Conservatism is not a political ‘theory,’” said DeMint. “It is a proven set of principles to make life better, and people freer, and the country stronger.” He added that liberal social planning and the central control of economics isn’t a political theory either – “it’s a proven failure.”
DeMint said “the principles of a strong military, and an otherwise limited government” should not be on trial in America – they should be “held on display, for the world to see, and emulate.”
Noting that our current approach has put America on track to double its national debt, while the Federal Reserve has bought half of our debt in recent years – leaving us essentially borrowing money from ourselves – DeMint declared “there is not enough money in the world” to fund the Left’s agenda.
Pulling out of the dependency death spiral won’t be easy, since “you’ve got half of the people in this country getting something from the government, and the other half is paying for it.” DeMint proposes that the solution lies in remembering what made America great in the first place, and learning to appreciate our exceptional nature more astutely than the current President or his party.
Chief among those virtues is the spirit of independence… which must, of course, be sacrificed to accept the smothering embrace of the Nanny State. “The good news is that people are still working hard, sacrificing, starting businesses… they’re still out there, all over the country,” and anything good happening in the economy right now is due to their efforts, not Obama and his central planners spending billions to “create jobs.”
This is not a “top-down” country by nature. Such a structure must be imposed on a people who do far better by making their own decisions, and fulfilling their own ambitions. DeMint mourned the loss of our “de-centralized government” across the Twentieth Century, and pointed out it is not necessary to question the benevolent motives of leaders like FDR to see that the system they created is wrong, and doomed.
The era of centralized power and “stimulus” plans to over-ride the free market is coming to an end, one way or the other. It’s going out with a bang. “The federal government now virtually controls so much,” DeMint lamented. “Education, health care, transportation, energy, banking and finance, housing…” The efforts of Obama’s mega-government clearly have not improved our situation. DeMint described ObamaCare as “one of the biggest job killers in our country today,” while the Dodd-Frank financial legislation has “not made it easier to borrow money or grow a business… it made things worse.”
DeMint sees the Democrats as institutionally incapable of cutting spending, relaxing regulations, and unleashing the engines of economic growth. “Their whole platform is based on promising more from government, and more government spending.” The need to hide exactly how much all this costs causes them to recoil from the concept of a balanced budget the way Superman shrivels before kryptonite. “They just can’t exist with it,” DeMint explained. “It would destroy their whole platform if we all had to give up the same things, had the same goal, and had to figure out how to stop spending more than we bring in.”
The Democrats’ mania for centralized power has caused them to embrace policies that “don’t even make any sense,” such as blocking the Keystone XL pipeline. DeMint sees the quest for de-centralization as a full-spectrum effort, from both houses of Congress to the White House. Taking the White House without dislodging Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader would be “a waste of a good president.” Conversely, a good President needs good legislation beneath his signature pen.
DeMint is working hard to build a Congress that can pass top-quality legislation to restore American liberty. “We supported Pat Toomey back when Arlen Specter was still a Republican,” he recalled with a grin. America’s great opportunity to give Toomey and DeMint the reinforcements they need approaches.