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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

“You have to understand, we are one-half of one third up here.”

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That’s what Congressman Rick Crawford told me on Friday’s show, echoing an argument that many Republicans have made to me over many weeks. Crawford is one of the stars of the freshmen class and strong on spending cuts, but this is a talking point he and all the other Republicans should drop.

First, we do understand. Some of us have understood how the government works for a very long time, and elected representatives ought never to assume that their audiences don’t “understand” what is going on. Republican activists especially understand that the Beltway GOP has a twenty year history of getting rolled by the Democrats, and that statements that open with “you have to understand” are cues to warm up the retreat and defeat band.

The second key point is that in fact the majority in the House of Representatives isn’t just “one-half of one-third.” That majority holds a veto. Nothing happens in D.C. unless the House GOP goes along. Nothing at all. The Senate also holds a veto and so does the president, though his is less robust than the House’s or the Senate’s.

But minimizing the House’s power is a red flag for those of us used to the music of surrender from Republicans who can’t handle the heat from the MSM and don’t know how to let the country know that the president is holding the military and the country hostage to Planned Parenthood’s appetite for tax dollars.

The Beltway GOP —except perhaps John Boehner, who is demonstrating an admirable calm and resolve— seems very skittish at this hour, even after the vote in Wisconsin, a very liberal state, signaled the country understands the stakes and the arguments. This is unnecessarily drama because the president wants drama and the GOP has to resist being swept up in the idea that this is a crisis. It is hardship on the military, certainly, and one that the president could direct be avoided immediately.

But there is a fiscal crisis, and the House was given to the GOP by the voters with a mandate to fix it, not retreat in the face of MSM talking points and Harry Reid and Patty Murray.


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