Remember when you were a child (yeah, I know, it’s been a while, but try) and your mother told you to do something you did not want to do because … “It’s for your own good”? Eventually we all came to our own conclusions about what is actually in our best interests … sometimes right, sometimes not, but our choice to make. And now, our mother has turned into Mark Meadows, U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district and chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
“This is not a new theme that comes up: [Democrats] know that Republicans want to fund the military… so what they do is they hold that hostage in trying to get things that are not in the best interest of the American taxpayer …” – Mark Meadows, Chairman of House Freedom Caucus
What, you may ask, is he talking about? He is referring to the democrats in Congress who are pushing for increased spending in areas besides the military. Things like the environment, healthcare, social welfare programs, education, etc. Silly little things, really, that are designed to help keep people alive and well, and give people opportunities to better their lot in life. But the Freedom Caucus is currently willing to risk a government shutdown in order to stop any increased spending other than military spending.
This is not the first time the Freedom Caucus has reared its ugly head, nor will it be the last, I’m certain. Interestingly, there are only 31 seats held by the House Freedom Caucus, yet they often create chaos within the GOP, for their demands are uber-conservative, far-right, and they are unbending.
The republicans are trying to pass a two-week stopgap to avoid a government shutdown on Friday, and give them time to work through the spending bill. The spending bill cannot be addressed until the tax bill reconciliation is complete, and that, my friends, has run into a few glitches, not the least of which is there are serious errors in the bill due to the last minute changes that were penciled in last Friday night without a full review, as they shoved the bill through at the last minute. So, they need additional time to hash out a spending bill, one that will require the support of at least 8 democrats.
However, the Freedom Caucus is refusing to agree to the two-week stopgap unless Paul Ryan agrees to a commitment to refuse Senate Democrats’ demands for increased spending on non-defense programs. Ryan, understanding that ultimately he will need the support of at least some of those democrats, is not willing to make such a commitment. This is what drove Mark Meadows statement about what is in the best interest of the taxpayer.
When we were young and our mothers told us what was good for us, that was acceptable, for she understood things that we didn’t and she loved us, so we knew that she was acting out of love. Today, however, we have grown up, most of us are well-educated both in academics and in the ways of the world, we are thinkers and quite capable of knowing what is in our best interests. Mark Meadows and his cohorts are not operating out of love for us, but rather out of a desire to see this nation run by a military-industrial complex.
Democratic cooperation with the stopgap measure is also challenging, as Trump foolishly put his thumbs to his tweety-machine last Tuesday morning:
“Meeting with “Chuck and Nancy” today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!”
Bad move, for “Chuck and Nancy” promptly pulled out of the meeting. It must be very difficult for the few in the republican-led Congress who actually do have some common sense to operate when the buffoon in the White House undermines their every effort.
While I have very little respect for 90% of the republicans in Congress at the moment, those who are members of the House Freedom Caucus are the worst of the lot. Rather than simply calling them the Freedom Caucus, which is rather vague, let me point them out specifically:
- Mark Meadows of North Carolina
- Justin Amash of Michigan
- Joe Barton of Texas
- Andy Biggs of Arizona
- Rod Blum of Iowa
- Dave Brat of Virginia
- Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma
- Mo Brooks of Alabama
- Ken Buck of Colorado
- Ted Budd of North Carolina
- Warren Davidson of Ohio
- Ron DeSantis of Florida
- Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee
- Jeff Duncan of South Carolina
- Trent Franks of Arizona
- Tom Garrett Jr. of Virginia
- Louie Gohmert of Texas
- Paul Gosar of Arizona
- Morgan Griffith of Virginia
- Andy Harris of Maryland
- Jody Hice of Georgia
- Jim Jordan of Ohio
- Raúl Labrador of Idaho
- Alex Mooney of West Virginia
- Gary Palmer of Alabama
- Steve Pearce of New Mexico
- Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
- Bill Posey of Florida
- Mark Sanford of South Carolina
- David Schweikert of Arizona
- Randy Weber of Texas
- Ted Yoho of Florida
These are the men that think they know what is best for We The People. These are the men who avidly sought to repeal environmental regulations, who fought hard to repeal ACA (Obamacare) without any viable replacement in sight. These are the men who wish to cut spending on the programs that will help us live, while spending more of our hard-earned tax dollars on guns, planes, battleships, nuclear weapons, and other war toys, despite the fact that we already have by far the biggest military budget in the Western world. It is interesting to note that these are all men … there is not a woman in the House Freedom Caucus. Draw your own conclusions.
If there is a government shutdown at the end of the day on Friday, it is, in part, due to the 32 men listed above, in part due to the rants of the madman in the Oval Office, and in part due to a Congress that simply have no concern for the ‘average American’. Whose “freedom”, exactly, are they supporting? Not mine or yours, I think. Think about it.