By Noel SheppardAssociate Editor, Newsbusters.org
As the Obama-loving media continue to encourage the passage of the president's economic stimulus package while scolding conservatives like Rush Limbaugh for hoping it fails, Republicans should recall what happened in 1993 when they unanimously voted against Bill Clinton's first budget.
Republicans came together as a united political force and set the stage for the revolution that would occur fifteen months later when Newt Gingrich and the GOP startled the world by taking back both chambers of Congress in the 1994 mid-term elections.
For those that have forgotten, during his Address to the Joint Session of Congress in February, the newly inaugurated commander-in-chief shared his visionof the future:
When Presidents speak to Congress and the Nation from this podium, typically they comment on the full range and challenges and opportunities that face the United States. But this is not an ordinary time, and for all the many tasks that require our attention, I believe tonight one calls on us to focus, to unite, and to act. And that is our economy. For more than anything else, our task tonight as Americans is to make our economy thrive again. Let me begin by saying that it has been too long, at least three decades, since a President has come and challenged Americans to join him on a great national journey, not merely to consume the bounty of today but to invest for a much greater one tomorrow... And at this historic moment, as communism has fallen, as freedom is spreading around the world, as a global economy is taking shape before our eyes, Americans have called for change.
Change. Where have we heard that before...or recently? Or terms likeinvesting for a better tomorrow?
But I digress. Despite having 57 Democrat Senators and 258 Democrat Representatives at his disposal to enact his economic plan -- quite similar to today's 56 and 256 respectively, mind you -- change still didn't come easily for Bill Clinton in 1993.
Quite the contrary, both chambers of Congress debated for months about this issue. Six months, to be exact.
And, when the final votes were counted in August, Republicans who didn't believe raising taxes would help the economy stuck together and voted unanimously against the final version of the bill...in both chambers!
Not only that, six Democrats in the Senate joined 44 Republicans in voting "Nay," and the bill only passed due to Vice President Al Gore, who cast the tie-breaking vote. A similar result happened in the House where 41 Democrats joined 175 Republicans in voting against the final bill thereby creating a photo-finish victory of 218 to 216.
Although this was a win for Clinton, his inability to woo all the members of his party, or ANY Republicans, was viewed as a huge failure of leadership on his part, while also indicating cracks within his own caucus.
More importantly, Republicans came together as a united political force and set the stage for the revolution that would occur fifteen months later when Newt Gingrich and the GOP startled the world by taking back both chambers of Congress in the 1994 mid-term elections.
This is the precedent Republicans should follow today if they have any interest in winning back Congress in 2010 and/or the White House in 2012.
But the economy warrants bipartisanship.
Really? Shouldn't Republicans ONLY cross the aisle when they believe it's in the nation's best interest? As we know from the lessons of the 1930s, you can't spend your way out of a bad economy; isn't repeating the same mistake 70 years later a desperate, expensive and foolish act of futility? According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, most people think so. Only 43 percent of respondents felt that the "recently proposed economic stimulus legislation" was a good idea. Sixty percent were concerned that the government would spend too much money on such a plan.
Let me repeat that -- 60 percent!
This is just further proof that the nation isn't as interested in profligate government spending as the Democrats and their media minions want us to believe.
With this history lesson in mind, a united Republican front against fiscal irresponsibility -- at a time when most Americans are trying to rein in their own out of control budgets -- could be just the tonic conservatives need for another historic midterm surprise to take place 22 months from now.
Noel Sheppard is associate editor of the MediaResearchCenter's NewsBusters.org. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.