Will Speaker Boehner be a Bob Michel or a Newt Gingrich?

This writer recently wrote a commentary entitled “Will GOP Leaders Become Bob Michelized?”  Unfortunately, during the past couple of weeks, the answer seems to be in the affirmative.  The headline referred to the former Republican House Minority Leader, Congressman Bob Michel, R-IL, who was perfectly content to position his party in the minority for his entire 14 years as GOP leader in the House of Representatives.  That is, until an upstart Republican Congressman from Georgia, Newt Gingrich, warned Michel that he would challenge him for Republican leader during the next congressional leader elections.  Michel promptly announced that he would not run for reelection in 1994.

Meanwhile, because House Minority Whip Gingrich organized a massive and historic issues-oriented campaign during the election of 1994, including a “Contract with America,” he not only became leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, but Gingrich became Speaker of the House.

Unfortunately in the current battle  --  named the “fiscal cliff crisis” by the liberal mainstream media  --   between the big-spending, high-taxing Democrats and Barack Obama and the House Republican leaders, the latter seem to have chosen the timid Bob Michel leadership path instead of the courageous and principled Newt Gingrich leadership path.

Alarming headline after alarming headline in the so-called fiscal cliff battle have been greeting the conservative movement.  Right after Barack Obama’s close election (in popular vote) in which Obama received several million less votes than he did in 2008, Speaker John Boehner offered a “compromise” proposal which included an $800 billion tax increase (through tax reform.)  Obama responded by demanding double the amount of tax increases he proposed during his campaign:  a whopping $1.6 trillion in tax increases.  Boehner’s proposal was rejected by Barack Obama and is overwhelmingly opposed by the conservative movement.

The headline in Charleston’s (S.C.) “Post and Courier” yesterday blared “Boehner hints that he could accept higher tax rates on rich.”  The GOP leadership now seems to be doing exactly the opposite of the majority control mandate which the American people gave them two elections in a row:  decrease taxes and spending and major reform of entitlement programs.

It is time for Speaker Boehner to heed the advice of “The Washington Post” columnist, Charles Krauthammer  --  and countless other conservative commentators and members of Congress  --  and let Obama take us over the cliff.  Krauthammer writes on Thursday:  “Let’s understand President Obama’s strategy in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. It has nothing to do with economics or real fiscal reform. This is entirely about politics. It’s Phase 2 of the 2012 campaign. The election returned him to office. The fiscal cliff negotiations are designed to break the Republican opposition and grant him political supremacy..."

Krauthammer writes that Republicans should “stop giving stuff away”.  After Obama takes America over the cliff on January 1st, Speaker Boehner can have his Republicans immediately pass a restoration of all of the George W. Bush tax cuts on January 3rd in the new 113th Congress.  Krauthammer ends his column:  “Result? We’re back to square one, but with a more level playing field. The risk to Obama will be rising and the debt ceiling will be looming. Most important of all, however, Republicans will still be in possession of their unity, their self-respect — and their trousers.”

And in his “The Wall Street Journal” column on November 30, 2012, Congressman Ron Paul’s son and fellow physician, Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, writes about Republicans who want to surrender to Obama on taxes:  “Many Republicans are beginning to cave on the tax front.  Some say to hell with the Taxpayer Protection Pledge they made to voters (drafted by Americans for Tax Reform) not to raise taxes.  Some say they’ll eliminate some undeserved loopholes.  But the truth remains:  If taking more money from the private sector is harmful, it doesn’t matter whom you tax or what form the revenue increases taxes.  Taking more money out of the private sector is injurious to economic growth.”

Senator Paul concludes:  “The Taxpayer Protection Pledge simply codifies what is incontrovertibly true.  The economy and all individuals in it thrive when we are allowed to keep more of what we earn.  If Republicans give up on that principle, we may as well disband the party.”

And that of course is the bottom line.  Speaker John Boehner and the other Republican leaders must abandon the defeatist Bob Michel approach that they are currently on and do what the highly successful Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, did during the conservative Republican Revolution of 1994 and what the Republican-led Congresses accomplished during the ensuing years.  With a compliant Democrat president, the Republicans gave Americans an almost unprecedented job-producing economic boom.  History can repeat itself if the Republicans remain strong.