The Tea Party–Are they Finally Supporting Cutting Defense Spending?

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U.S. Defense Spending Trends from 2000-2011

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The Tea Party Movement has energized the Republican party and poured new blood into a party that had become corrupt and bloated with country club Republicans and RINOs. However, like many self-styled “conservatives,” they did not seem interested in cutting defense spending. Yet now there are Tea Party leaders who are saying that defense spending should not be off limits in attempts to bring government spending under control. This is a positive development.

The military became bloated during the 1950s as a result of the Cold War. Instead of combating Communism, which would have eventually collapsed under its own inefficiency in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, the Cold War created a vast “military-industrial complex,” to use President Eisenhower‘s words from his 1961 Farewell Address. Not only does a bloated military suck up government spending, it encourages the United States to be involved in unnecessary wars that feed the defense industries with fat profits. Vietnam, the U. S.’s involvement in Bosnia, and Iraq are good examples; some response to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was necessary, but an approach using smaller special forces units and CIA agents, which was the original CIA plan, probably would have worked better than sending over 100,000 American troops. The more the military-industrial complex is fed by war, the more money it demands, and the more money defense-related companies with government contract make.

In addition, a large standing army is a threat to freedom–deep cuts in defense spending could reduce the military’s size and limit the potential threat to both the sovereignty of the states and to individual Americans. Concentrations of power in large organizations, whether those organizations be big government or big business, is dangerous to freedom–and the combination of big defense industries, big government, and a large standing army, is particularly dangerous. More than just “cutting the fat” out of the defense budget is required to bring defense spending under control–and I wonder if any Tea Party leaders want the deep cuts necessary. Hopefully the fact that some Tea Party leaders are at least open to cutting defense spending will lead to a broader discussion of the need for deeper cuts to control the power of the military-industrial complex.

The Republican Leadership and “Getting Along”

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Unofficial seal of the United States Congress

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Despite the clear message the majority of voters sent in November that they want government spending controlled and the size of government reduced, the Republican “leadership” insists on continuing the mistakes of the past. They are so concerned to be accepted by the media elites and to “get along” with the Democratic leadership that they have no problem compromising on basic principles. The Tea Party movement attempted to send a message to Congress, but unless the Tea Party freshmen make a stand against the wimpy, weak Republican leadership its electoral victories will come to naught. The recent extension of the Bush tax cuts is a good example. That extension included new spending that further increased the rapidly exploding budget deficit. The Republican leadership seems to have no problem being as eager as the Democrats to sell out the future of the United States for short-term “gains.” When the next Congress is sworn in and convenes, the Republicans had better take the voters seriously–cut government spending (even if Mr. Obama vetos bills) in both domestic and military spending (Republicans must stop being warmongers), reduce the size of government and the number of federal employees, repeal the freedom-denying provisions of the “Patriot Act,” and repeal the parts of the health care bill that entail a massive expansion of federal spending and an increase in size of the federal bureaucracy. The Republicans should not compromise on these issues no matter how much CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and ABC whine about “gridlock” in Congress. The majority of Americans will see through the obvious, open, and fundamentally dishonest bias of the mainstream media and will respect Republicans more for doing the right thing and standing up for the principle of limited government. If the Republican leadership continues the policies of the leadership of the past lame-duck Congress, and if the rest of the Republicans follow suit, they will deserve to lose in the next election–and the nation will deserve a strong third party that is firmly committed to limited government, lower federal spending, and removing the tentacles of the federal bureaucracy from the everyday lives of the American people.

Let’s Get Rid of RINOs!

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Michael Johns, U.S. Senate candidate Christine...

One would expect a political party too support its nominee unless the nominee holds overly radical views. Christine O’Donnell is not in that category, so the Delaware Republican Party should support its nominee enthusiastically. But when she defeated former Governor Mike Castle, a RINO (“Republican-in-Name-Only”), the state Republican establishment said it would not support her. To its credit, the national Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee supported her.

The Republican Party has long been divided three ways: into moderate/liberal Rockefeller Eastern establishment Republicans, into libertarian Republicans, and into traditional Conservatives. Another name for the Eastern establishment types is “Country Club Republicans.” They are basically Democrats in Republican guise. What Republicans in Delaware did was to vote in a true conservative, Tea Party supported candidate rather than a candidate of the old, tired establishment.

It is time for the Republican Party to purge itself of RINOs, especially the country club liberal Republicans. They have fought the party’s conservative base tooth and nail for years. They strive to divide the libertarians from the traditional conservatives so they can push their own agenda and candidates. They support Democratic big spending plans, support massive federal intervention into the economy and into the lives of Americans, and are every bit as liberal on social issues as Mr. Obama. The Tea Party movement has brought out conservative voters to remove these establishment candidates. This does not imply that the Tea Party candidates are always ideal, or that the Tea Party is correct on every issue–many Tea Partiers need to tone down warmongering and support the American interest foreign policy of Ron Paul. But they, at least, listen and are far more willing to change than comfortable establishment candidates.

The press, of course, along with the Country Club Republicans, are writing off Christine O’Donnell as a loser. Both the majority of people in the press and the majority of Country Club Republicans hate middle America and its conservative values. I remember talking to an older lady, very nice, but a Country Club Republican, about abortion. I was shocked at what she said to me: “We have to allow abortions so those poor black babies won’t be born into such bad environments.” I assure you that she is not the only Country Club Republican with that attitude. Comfortable in their gated communities, such “moderate” and liberal Republicans are quite confident in their beliefs about who is worthy to live and who is worthy to die. The Republican Party can do without people like that. It can do without their presence, their politicians, and their money. The only hope for the Republican Party becoming a true Republican Party is the Tea Party and other grassroots conservative movements bringing out the vote. Only then will more establishment candidates be replaced by those who truly desire the Republican Party to the conservative party of the United States, to curb spending and taxes, to give more power to the states and less to the federal government, to stop judges from making laws rather than interpreting them. But to do that, the RINOs have to go!