Last week, Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina referred to Freshman Georgia Senator David Perdue as a “Two year old politician.” The context of that reference was a series of speeches on the Senate floor about the budget process.
Senator Perdue has spent months quietly working with his senate colleagues to address the budget process.Then, on September 28, he scheduled the time for the Freshman Senators to join him.
In the fashion of a learned professor, he lectured the seasoned Senators about the budget. He used plain, common sense language. Just a few quotes below:
- “Four words I have not heard since I have been here: We cannot afford it.”
- “Every dime that we spend in our discretionary spending money is borrowed.”
- “The basic process should be a politically neutral platform that allows us to argue our differences out in the budget process, get to a budget, move to the appropriations, and fund the government by the end of the fiscal year. “
Senator Perdue, then introduced speaker after speaker to address the issue. Most speakers were in their first term. All had run on the platform of rebuilding the economy and getting the deficit under control. Like many before them, they discovered that the culture and philosophy in DC had no resemblance to the culture and philosophy of the voters who sent them to DC.
The debt crisis was the driving issue for David Perdue when he felt the calling to run for Senate. He encountered the same culture, the same traditions, the same morass that every other newly elected Senator encountered.
Like the Borg on Star Trek, the freshman Senators were told to obediently take their place in the Senate nursery. “Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.” (Come to think of it, that voice on Star Trek does bear a resemblance to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.)
As I watched the presentations, two things stood out to me. The first was the absence of tirade against Obama and Harry Reid. While they were mentioned a few times, the focus of the speeches was not on them. It was on everyone in the Senate. The second was that the speeches were all straight forward and common sense.
The addresses were not directed to the Democrats. The addresses were to everyone. Freshman Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa said, “We can’t keep spending money we don’t have on things that aren’t necessary. Washington can’t even do the basic business of balancing our own budget…It might just take a complete overhaul of Washington’s ways to help us solve this problem.”
Senator Perdue was clearly the leader of this group. He introduced each speaker. Each speaker thanked him for leading the way to get a serious conversation going. The entire colloquy lasted an hour.
If you have the time to invest in watching, you may sense a spark of hope. The revolt in the Senate nursery may actually result in real, honest, positive change in the way our federal government deals with the budget.
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