10:07 AM, Jul 22, 2011 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
O tempora, o mores! O Cicero, if thou couldst be with us now! The corruption of our age is approaching that of your own! But who speaks for the ancient Roman—and modern American!—virtues of civic duty and personal responsibility?
The Republican members of the House of Representatives, that's who. Only one group of public officials has behaved in recent weeks as the elected representatives of the people in a great republic should: the House Republicans. The federal government has a problem. We're hitting a debt ceiling limit passed into law last year by the Democratic Congress, and signed by President Obama. We're doing so because of appropriations passed by that same Democratic Congress, and signed by that same Democratic president. Have the president and Senate Democrats proposed any actual legislation to deal with this problem? No.
House Republicans did pass a budget earlier this year—unlike their Senate Democratic counterparts. Unfortunately, federal spending has gotten so out of control that even if the Republican budget were to become law, we would have to borrow more money for several years to come. So House Republicans last week stepped up to the plate (to use a metaphor that I suppose would be unfamiliar to Cicero). Their constituents hate the idea of voting to raise the debt ceiling. But the House GOP did what had to be done. They voted for a debt ceiling increase, and accompanied it with serious spending cuts, restraints, and the promise of a forthcoming vote on a constitutional amendment to balance the budget by capping spending. They did their duty, in accordance with the procedures of Congress and in the light of day, proposing and passing legislation that their fellow citizens could read, debate, and judge.
And they are the only ones who've done their duty. Having failed to pass a budget for two years, Senate Democrats have done nothing to deal with the debt limit either. President Obama has in effect withdrawn his January budget proposal, and hasn't submitted a new one. So the morally bankrupt leaders of our fiscally bankrupt federal government meet feverishly behind closed doors, out of sight of the public they're supposed to represent, to figure out how to paper over the mess they've created. Gangs of senators occasionally emerge from their hideouts to announce deals that would raise taxes and gut defense in response to a crisis caused by domestic spending and entitlements. The gangs roam the halls of the Capitol, invading television studios in order to terrorize the citizenry with the prospect of default and mayhem. They then retreat to their lairs, while Beltway insiders shower them with praise while scorning the actual legislation produced and passed by House Republicans in accord with the norms of democratic government.
Enough! No more gangs! No more deals! Gangster government is unworthy of a democratic republic. We elect leaders, not dealers. They are responsible for the fiscal future of the United States. They're not negotiating with foreign enemies, where secrecy is often necessary. They're not authorizing covert intelligence operations, which have to be planned behind closed doors. This is a representative democracy—much as many of our elites may resent that fact.
And so all honor to the House Republicans. They disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare how fiscal sanity and probity can be restored. The elites tremble at the prospect of an honest debate on how to restore solvent and responsible government.
For the next year and half, progress is limited by the president, and the Senate majority, we have. The debt limit will be increased, and the best House Republicans will be able to do is prevent defense from being gutted, and tax burdens from being increased. But in 2012, believers in limited and constitutional government have a world to win.
And so: All honor to the House Republicans, who had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce and pass legislation that is a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the gangs and the dealmakers, and that lays the groundwork for victory in 2012.
5:33 PM, May 5, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, told reporters and business leaders this morning at a breakfast on Capitol Hill that House Republicans have returned from their town hall meetings “energized” about their 2012 budget. "I talked to dozens of members yesterday who were excited about their town hall meetings, who went and delivered this message to their constituents, who came back energized like I did," Ryan said.
1:40 PM, Apr 5, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Texas senator John Cornyn plans to introduce a resolution in the Senate that would “[express] the sense of the Senate that United States policy should be to remove Muammar Qaddafi from power in Libya, and [cal] on the President to submit a plan to achieve that goal and to seek congressional authorization for the use of military force against Libya.”
12:11 PM, Apr 5, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Connecticut senator and former Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman, on Paul Ryan's budget:
10:38 AM, Apr 5, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Here's the PDF of the House Republicans' budget that cuts $6.2 trillion in spending compared to the president's budget over the next decade. Some excerpts from Paul Ryan's introduction to the budget:
Urges Congress to authorize military action, endorse regime change.11:28 PM, Mar 30, 2011 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has obtained the text of a letter freshman senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent tonight to the Senate majority and minority leaders. In it, Rubio proposes that the Senate authorize the president’s use of force in Libya, and that the authorization state that the aim of the use of force should be the removal of the Qaddafi regime. (The full text of the letter is below.)
What election?2:19 PM, Mar 30, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In a recent call with liberal college groups (at 6:14 on the podcast), Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, regarding Obamacare: “Now, it’s really disappointing that some in Congress are still trying to repeal the law and argue the results of the last two years.” Hmm. Well, let’s look back at those last two years.
10:15 AM, Mar 18, 2011 • By MATT KATZENBERGER
Perhaps one of the most impressive victories in the November 2010 election was when Vicky Hartzler unseated Ike Skelton, a 17-term congressman and then chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, in Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District.
2:01 PM, Mar 17, 2011 • By MATT KATZENBERGER
“It was more than a hobby,” Rep. Chuck Fleischmann says, talking about his interest in politics. “It was a passion.” From an early age, Fleischmann volunteered on political campaigns, “knocking on doors, passing out pamphlets,” he explains.
9:15 AM, Mar 17, 2011 • By FRED BARNES
Of all the developments worth following these days, from the vigorous Republican insurgency to the apathetic Obama presidency, I’d like to add another: the relationship between the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and Republican freshman Allen West of Florida.
4:50 PM, Mar 7, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The new Rasmussen poll of likely voters shows that, by a margin of 15 percentage points (54 to 39 percent), Americans favor the repeal of Obamacare. This marks the 22nd straight week that Americans have supported repeal by double-digits.
11:12 AM, Feb 25, 2011 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The phone rang just now at home, where I was (and am) writing this week's editorial on Libya. The voice at the other end said, "Bill, this is John Boehner." We've been so swamped with automated fund-raising calls recently that I started to hang up—but fortunately I realized that automated callers don't usually greet me by name. I gathered myself just in time to respond, "Hi, John," and the speaker gave me (and I'm sure many others on his call list) a brief update on GOP budget strategy. It sounds tough-minded and sensible.
1:29 PM, Feb 24, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The Obama administration’s taxpayer-funded, pro-Obamacare TV ads directed toward seniors don’t seem to be working. The new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll shows that, by a margin of 27 percentage points, seniors have an unfavorable, rather than a favorable, view of Obamacare. That’s the highest margin of opposition among seniors in the 11 Kaiser Health Tracking Polls that have been conducted since Obamacare’s passage.