The Revolution Has Begun
"You can almost see the circuits blowing." -- Neil Peart, in Far Cry
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it started, but with Speaker John Boehner’s resignation announcement, there’s no doubt the revolution has begun. Perhaps it was the first time you bookmarked the Drudge Report. Or maybe, when at the Drudge Report, you said: “Who is this Breitbart?” Eric Cantor’s primary loss to Dave Brat was certainly a moment when the revolution was stirring and produced tangible results rather than just internet narrative.
Regardless of when the revolution started, it’s clearly underway.
First, what do I mean by revolution? Like with all revolutions, the old ways are being replaced. But this revolution has a twist: the revolution is trying to replace the old ways of doing business with even older, and more timeless ways. Namely, this revolution is a revolution against centralized power.
It could be that this revolution really started two centuries ago. Perhaps it never stopped. We were warned about the price of eternal vigilance, weren’t we?
There was a time when the Republican Party stood as the bulwark against centralized power, against Washington, D.C., eroding personal space. When both houses of Congress were held by President Obama's party, the Republican Party stood as the most well-placed institution to oppose his agenda.
Things were bad. But if only we had the House! That was the rallying cry from fundraisers, politicians in the minority, and their consultants. So the revolution delivered the House in 2010. But things didn’t seem to change. Obama consolidated his gains and entrenched. There was no consequence.
If only we had the Senate! That was the new rallying cry from the fundraisers, politicians in the House majority, politicians in the Senate minority, and their consultants.
So the revolution delivered the Senate in 2014. Again, things didn’t seem to change. Instead of opposing Obama with every constitutional tool available, yes including the power of the purse, the new leadership failed to return the favor that the revolution bestowed on them in 2010 and 2014.
Instead of the speaker of the House rolling back Obama’s counter-American revolution, Boehner gained a golf buddy. (And yes, that’s precisely what Obama represents -- a retreat from American ideals two centuries old. But more on that another day.)
The revolution is bad news for a number of Republican figures. Jeb Bush might top the list.
Jeb’s presidential campaign seems like a political sitcom from Antenna TV -- the cable network with the rabbit-ears logo that plays shows from a kinder, gentler time, decades ago. That was before the progressive left marched through federal institutions and turned them against mainstream America. Jeb’s campaign is suited for another time.
The revolution was also very bad for Eric Cantor and others who seem to feel more at home appearing on the pages of the New York Times than in conservative media.
One of the favorite canards used against the revolution is: “What would you have us do, shut down the government?!” Fear of a government shutdown is to Republican leaders inside the Beltway what fear of witches was in colonial New England. But the Planned Parenthood videos changed everything, and rendered GOP fear of a shutdown a morally bankrupt position. The revolution isn’t happy.