West, after all, appears to favor a dramatically different approach than current Speaker John Boehner.
National Review has an interesting quote from the Florida freshman congressman today on the spiraling-downward estimates of what’s actually in the budget deal Boehner cut with the Democrats on Friday.
“My leadership needs to sit down and have a ‘come to Jesus’ with [each other],” he says. “Character and integrity are important things with me. I like people to be upfront with me. Surprises are for birthdays. When you wake up, and all of sudden you look at the National Journal, and they say that it is really only $352 million in cuts, I don’t like that.”
West says the deal has led him to question the leadership’s early spin. “In the military they teach you that the first report is always kind of incorrect,” he says. “You have to go back and do your studying, you have to do your research and let the smoke dissipate.”
There are those who swear the $38 billion figure in those cuts is real. Certainly it appears all this is open to interpretation.
The problem is, you can’t assume the success of 2010 will carry over to 2012 – as it must, because if it doesn’t the president’s disgraceful speech yesterday showed what’s in store for us if he isn’t turned out of office. The coalition which moved the Democrats out of power in the House and picked up six GOP senators, including some who are actually useful, will only stay together if there is a feeling that the Republicans are on their side.
A budget deal in which it can be credibly argued – even if wrongly so – that what was sold as $38 billion is actually $352 million will not maintain that coalition. It will engender a feeling among the Tea Party crowd that Republican politicians are just as dishonest, incompetent and corrupt as Democrat politicians are, and it will result in Tea Partiers gravitating toward hopeless third-party candidacies or just checking out altogether.
And that can’t happen. Because four more years of Harry Reid and Barack Obama will ruin what’s left of America. There’s reason to believe the Republicans in the House will prevent the passage of legislation which makes things worse than they are. But Obama couldn’t care less about the rule of law, and he’s happy to use the power of the federal bureaucracy to make policy by fiat. And without a filibuster-proof Senate majority, the GOP can’t put a stop to it.
So Boehner has to hold the Tea Party tight to the GOP. The only way he can do that is to earn their loyalty. $38 billion which is more like $352 million in any somewhat credible interpretation won’t do that.
This is all very depressing. Very depressing indeed. Guys like West appear to be the only real hope for a better future.