“If you fund it, you own it,” says the message to high-powered Republicans from their grass-roots critics. Conservatives and tea partyers wonder how lawmakers can oppose the Affordable Care Act, then duck for cover when the chance comes to defund the monster health care law. To make their point, a pair of feisty organizations have embarked on a weeklong journey through five states, declaring that House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are “the biggest chickens in Washington.” Why? The GOP kingpins appear unwilling to join Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah, who insist Obamacare be defunded.
When budget battles begin in late September, Mr. Cruz envisions a surgical strike. It’s not a government shutdown. Instead, he recommends the House pass a continuing resolution that funds the federal government in its entirety for one year — except Obamacare. The lawmaker predicts a “grass-roots tsunami” of like-minded folk will rise up to support him.
And here comes the tsunami: ForAmerica — a conservative group promoting American values and limited government — and the Tea Party Patriots, the largest national umbrella group, have launched their efforts in Lexington, Ky., home state of the aforementioned Mr. O’Connell. Next up: Austin, Texas; Jackson, Miss.; Columbia, S.C.; and Richmond, Va. The groups have bought time for broadcast ads and launched a phone, email and social media campaign. They’re armed with alarming evidence that Obamacare has potential collateral damage. And of course there’s a new “Washington Chickens” video.
“Congressional Republicans are on the record opposing Obamacare, but now, when presented with the opportunity to take meaningful action against it, they chicken out,” points out organizer Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin.
“The only way to stop the train wreck is for Mitch McConnell and other Republicans in Congress to stand up and say: Enough. We are not going to force the American people to pay for this train wreck. Defund this monstrosity, Sen. McConnell,” Brent Bozell, founder of ForAmerica, told a crowd gathered in Lexington on Tuesday. “The wheels are already off the Obamacare train.”
AND ABOUT THAT SYRIA STRIKE
“As President Obama considers next steps in Syria, I call on him to consult Congress as prescribed by the War Powers Resolution. Congress is not a potted plant in this process.”
Rep. E. Scott Rigell, Virginia Republican, on recommending that Mr. Obama should call an emergency legislative session before authorizing military force in Syria. A total of 33 lawmakers have signed a letter to the president, noting that they “stand ready to share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement.”
ABOUT THAT STRIKE, PART 2
“A military campaign needs an objective. We can’t just launch a feel-good bombing campaign to try and save face after President Obama retreated when he was tested by an insane dictator. If we wanted to use military force, we should have done it immediately and decisively,” points out Allen B. West.
The former Florida congressman was an Army officer for 22 years, and served in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“We simply can’t keep going on like this. Our adversaries — China, Iran, North Korea, Russia — are watching us and measuring our weakness while our allies are confused and bewildered,” Mr. West says.
CONSERVATIVE RECALLS SPEECH
He remembers the press of the crowd as he edged closer to the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago as Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. It was electrifying, says Jimmie L. Hollis, who serves on the national advisory council of Project 21, a conservative black leadership network.
“What I took away from his speech was the intensity of his message, which, to me, was the ‘can-do’ attitude, the empowering, the uplifting — not the victimhood or the downer or ‘you owe me.’ It was we can do. We can become anything we want to,” Mr. Hollis says. But he did not forget the pastor’s message.