Some of the media-driven bruhaha that has dropped straight down out of the punditsphere involves the unusual joint Republican rebuttal of President Obama's SOTUS last Tuesday evening. In pretty much back-to-back fashion, Representative Paul Ryan, up and coming GOP young gun from Wisconsin; and Representative Michelle Bachmann from Minnesota, influential member of the TEA Party Express, and leader of the TEA Party Caucus gave opposition responses to President Obama's State of the Union Address. Very rarely have members of a party distinctly given two rebuttals to one State of the Union Address, especially in a situation where the second rebuttal was not officially sanctioned by the Party Brass. So the
Ryan delivered an inspiring, Reaganesque, 10 minute speech that emphasized the free enterprise and limited government principles that have made America great and have been and should continue to be the solutions to the problems our Nation currently faces. Bachmann said nothing to counteract anything that Ryan said and in fact complemented it by offering solid numbers and policy suggestions that the President should definitely undertake to exercise real solutions to these problems.
"These budget debates are not just about the programs of government; they’re also about the purpose of government.
So I’d like to share with you the principles that guide us. They are anchored in the wisdom of the founders; in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence; and in the words of the American Constitution.
They have to do with the importance of limited government; and with the blessing of self-government.
We believe government’s role is both vital and limited – to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense … to secure our borders… to protect innocent life… to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights … to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity … and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves.
We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility.
We believe, as our founders did, that “the pursuit of happiness” depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government."
He then wrapped up his speech describing how the growth of Government and the deficit due to the actions of previous Congress and administrations has failed millions of people and how these principles of free-enterprise system and limited Government, as well as other conservative values, will be the principles that will solve the problems facing our Nation both in the present down the road:
"We believe a renewed commitment to limited government will unshackle our economy and create millions of new jobs and opportunities for all people, of every background, to succeed and prosper. Under this approach, the spirit of initiative – not political clout – determines who succeeds.
Millions of families have fallen on hard times not because of our ideals of free enterprise – but because our leaders failed to live up to those ideals; because of poor decisions made in Washington and Wall Street that caused a financial crisis, squandered our savings, broke our trust, and crippled our economy.
Today, a similar kind of irresponsibility threatens not only our livelihoods but our way of life.
We need to reclaim our American system of limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations, and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity. And it has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. That’s the real secret to job creation – not borrowing and spending more money in Washington.
Limited government and free enterprise have helped make America the greatest nation on earth."
Bachmann began her speech almost immediately with a presentation of numbers and how the unemployment and big Government growth that had initiated during the Bush administration, completely exploded from the beginning of the Obama's stay at the Whitehouse and has continued. She used a chart that marked the unemployment rate from in 2001 through 2011 and used it to make a correlation and then offered solutions the President could undertake that would add some credibility to the statements he made during the SOTUS.
"Obamacare mandates and penalties may even force many job creators to just stop offering health insurance altogether, unless of course yours is one of the more-than-222 privileged companies or unions that has already received a government waiver under Obamacare. In the end, unless we fully repeal Obamacare, a nation that currently enjoys the world's finest health care might be forced to rely on government-run coverage. That could have a devastating impact on our national debt for even generations to come.
For two years, President Obama made promises just like the ones we heard him make tonight. Yet still, we have high unemployment, devalued housing prices and the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing. Well here are a few suggestions for fixing our economy:
- The president could stop the EPA from imposing a job-destroying cap-and-trade system.
- The president could support a Balanced Budget Amendment.
- The president could agree to an energy policy that increases American energy production and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
- The president could also turn back some of the 132 regulations put in place in the last two years, many of which will cost our economy $100 million or more.
- And the president should repeal Obamacare and support free-market solutions, like medical malpractice reform and allowing all Americans to buy any healthcare policy they like anywhere in the United States. We need to start making things again in this country, and we can do that by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on job creators. America will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Think about that. Look no further to see why jobs are moving overseas.
We need to start making things again in this country, and we can do that by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on job creators. America will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Think about that. Look no further to see why jobs are moving overseas."
Bachmann, then ended her speech with a Reaganesque inspiration of her own, pledging a renewed Republic has just begun.
"I believe that we are in the early days of a history-making turn in America. Please know how important your calls, visits, and letters are to the maintenance of our liberties. Because of you, Congress is responding and we are just starting to undo the damage that's been done the last few years. Because we believe in lower taxes. We believe in a limited view of government, and exceptionalism in America. And I believe that America is the indispensable nation of the world. Just the creation of this nation itself was a miracle. Who's to say that we can't see a miracle again?
Ryan, who is Chairman of the House Budget Committee, is a rising GOP star whose work on the budget and his commitment to conservative values and principles has some urging a bid for the Presidency in 2012. He is a huge part of the Republican conservative operation and clearly is embraced as part of the Establishment. His Road Map for America, which outlines many conservative budget principles and contained some ideas about privatizing Social Security, that wasn't entirely embraced in all forms by the GOP leadership in the last election. But make no mistake that he is a heavy hitter in the New Congress, especially with the crop of TEA-party inspired candidates who pledge to stick to their guns.
Bachmann is one of the leaders of the 40-member TEA party caucus in the House of Representatives and a member of the TEA Party Express. It was Amy Krener, one of the leaders of the TEA Party Express who connected with Congresswoman Bachmann on first broadcasting the Internet rebuttal on the TEA Party Express Website. The TEA Party Express has never promoted positions outside of the Republican Party platform and aside from putting their weight behind a few candidates in Senate races that didn't quite have all of the credentials to pull out national victories, they're largely responsible for a great number of House gains for the GOP last fall. Their presence as a national outfit working in concert with the Republican grassroots has been nothing but positive for the Party. Their mission is solid. Some of the House Leadership have been quoted as saying that her dual rebuttal the other night was "unusual" or "out of the ordinary" and that's what some of the national media has glommed on to in claiming that her supplement to Ryan's message was upsetting and annoying to the GOP. But if anyone were to take a listen to both presentations, they complement one another and not contradict and they certainly don't make conservatives or the TEA Party look bad at all. If anybody in the GOP is truly upset about this development and wish to make this general non-crisis a into a continuing non-story, then they weren't conservative to begin with.
A great thanks to Chip Hanlon's Red County Blog http://www.redcounty.com/content/text-paul-ryans-gop-rebuttal and to NPR http://www.npr.org/2011/01/26/133230238/transcript-tea-party-response-from-rep-bachmann for the text from the various speeches.