A vivid memory sticks in my head from my childhood days. I was learning to tie my shoes. I watched my mother tie them with ease for me. Now she was teaching me to do it myself.
I fumbled with the laces and after many frustrating attempts, I was no closer. I cried out, “I cain’t do this!” (intentionally spelled the way my accent sounds.) My mother responded with three simple words that somehow stuck in my mind, “Cain’t never could.”
The lesson. You must try. You may not succeed, but you must try. If you have a challenge before you and tell yourself, “I can’t,” then you will not bother trying.
Maybe I should try to set up a meeting with her and Senator McConnell. He would need to leave his Kentucky Bourbon locked in the cabinet or she will politely take it from his hand and pour it out on the ground.
So, while some Republicans are standing around saying, “we cain’t do this”, I share a simple lesson from a simple, and extremely wise woman from rural Georgia – “Cain’t never could.” Allow me to offer a plan.
First, there are three key dates and one number to remember. The dates are December 11, 2014, January 3, 2015, and September 30, 2015. You need to understand those dates because of the political chess match that is about to take place. The number is 6.
What Harry Reid Will Do in the Senate
Harry Reid will make the first move. The current spending authorization bill expires on December 11, 2014. The newly elected House and Senate take office on January 3, 2015. Those are the first two key dates that I gave you.
A Democrat led Senate has not passed an annual budget since 2009. Now, however, Reid will propose that the Senate do its job and pass a budget that goes through September 30, 2015. That is the third key date that I gave you – the end of the fiscal year.
This is key and critical. Harry Reid and Barack Obama want legislation that funds his current programs for as long as possible in the current state they are in. If he can get funding for his Immigration program for the next 9 months, then it will be firmly entrenched.
His rhetoric will focus on the word “shutdown.” The message will be that if Republicans do not pass a budget that authorizes spending through September 30, 2015, then the government will shut down, the borders will be undefended, children will starve, and Republicans will be the devil incarnate. The media will join to under-gird that propaganda.
What Republicans Need to Do
In the House of Representatives
The House Republicans should be proactive. They should pass another continuing resolution that allows spending to continue through January 15, 2015. That will give the newly elected House and Senate 12 days get settled but force them to get to work right away.
The House can pass a short-term spending resolution because Republicans control the majority. The House resolution would go to the Senate.
In the Senate
The Senate is a different matter. Harry Reid is in the majority and he will present a bill that will go through the full year. He will not present the short-term House proposal.
This is where Republicans must first stop saying to themselves, “I cain’t do it.” They need to stand firm in support of the House-passed continuing resolution. They must refuse to adopt any spending bill that goes beyond January 15, 2015.
This is where Senator Isakson can do more for his re-election campaign than a thousand fund raisers. He and GOP Senate leadership need to hear the words of my mother, “Cain’t never could.”
If no one else will do it, then Senator Isakson needs to take a stand and filibuster any spending bill that extends beyond January 15, 2015. He will be blasted from all sides. He may feel that he is standing alone.
I am convinced that Georgians and Americans as well, will rally behind him if he will take a stand. (Senator Isakson, I am trying to help you.)
While Republicans in the Senate are holding the line against long term spending authorization, they should be looking for six Senators who are Democrat or Independent to join them in voting for the House short term spending bill through January 15, 2015.
The Obama/Reid/Media Reaction
The media is already talking “shutdown” and how it will hurt Republicans. Obama and Reid will say that the Republicans are playing politics. They will say that the Republicans are endangering lives. They will say that the Republicans are irresponsible.
Remember these are the same folks who were predicting razor thin races and run-offs in Georgia. Republicans need to look at the results and listen to the people who just spoke so loudly less than 3 weeks ago.
The Positive Arguments From Republicans
The first and easiest argument from the Republicans is that this is a lame-duck Senate. We should not tie the hands of the newly elected members of congress.
The second argument is that the House has offered a very reasonable continuing resolution that keeps everything going just as it has been.
The third argument is that this is about the lawless, unconstitutional, action of Obama.
The final argument is that this is keeping the government running and open for business.
The Positive Actions by Republicans
While they are holding the line on Harry Reid, Senate Republicans need to spend their energies on identifying six Senators who will join them. Obama is no longer a help to the Democrats, he is now an albatross around their necks. Democrats know this. If you don’t believe it, just ask John Barrow.
I don’t know who they are, but there must be six Senators who are on the other side of the aisle who cannot support Obama’s Executive Order. They will break ranks if they know that Republicans will not fold. All they need is 51 votes and the House temporary spending bill passes.
Worst Case Scenario – 3 Weeks
There is a risk involved. If Reid refuses to budge and the GOP stands their ground, then on December 12, there would be no spending authorization and there would be a government shut-down.
If Republicans make it known that they are resolved to stand their ground, they will find six colleagues in the Senate who will join them. They have the moral arguments on their side. They have the political arguments on their side. They have the people on their side.
Republicans say that this is about the Constitution. If they really believe it, they will try to stop it and use every means available to stop it.
If Reid refuses to budge on a reasonable short-term compromise, then Republicans must stand their ground from December 11 – January 3 – three weeks.
Come January 3, 2015, the new Senate would be in control and a short-term spending bill is on Obama’s desk by Monday morning.
So, Republicans in both Houses, I have given you a plan. Use if if you will. Please stop saying that you can’t do anything till January.
Cain’t never could!
I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts. Please forward these to your friends and share on Facebook. Also, let me hear from you. I always enjoy hearing back from you and I try to respond when you take the time to write me.by