By Tucker Scofield
I’ve been consistent in promoting the need for what I term “conservative hell raisers” in Washington, people who are unafraid to say those things that need to be said and damn the torpedoes. It seems I’ve stumbled across yet another conservative hell raiser, and man, do I like what this guy is threatening to do!
His name is Ron Johnson and he’s a freshman Republican senator from Wisconsin. The 56 year-old Johnson proudly associates himself with the Tea Party, has a degree in accounting, and is the owner of a manufacturing company, PACUR LLC, a polyester and plastics manufacturer located in Oshkosh.
Three things immediately stand out on Johnson’s over-simplified bio: He is a business owner, the business is manufacturing, and that business is located in America’s industrial heartland. These three things immediately qualify Johnson as an excellent spokesperson for both small businesses and the manufacturing sector, a man capable of accurately speaking to the challenges facing modern-day entrepreneurs, and a man capable of offering solutions to jump-starting our clinically dead economy.
Not coincidentally, these three things also mean that Johnson is infinitely more qualified to address these matters than our academia-laden, capitalist-loathing president.
Anyone who has owned a business knows that success does not follow indecisiveness or inactivity, and a mere six months into his tenure Johnson is fed up with Congress’ inactivity surrounding our debt, our deficit, and the budget. He took to the Senate floor this past Tuesday to express his displeasure and in the course of doing so, Johnson made clear what he intends to do to end to the posturing and bloviating creating this gridlock.
“Washington is broken and America is going broke. Our economy is in a coma,” said Johnson. “America hungers for leadership and it’s not getting any; not from President Obama, not from the United States Senate.” He went on to chastise our Democrat-led Congress for not passing a budget in over two years, and our Democrat president for submitting a budget “so unserious” that it did not receive a single vote of support in the Senate.
“Instead of rolling up his shirtsleeves and personally tackling the number one problem facing this nation right from the beginning, President Obama delegated his role in sporadic negotiations to Vice President Biden,” chided Johnson. But now that negotiations have broken down and Obama has engaged in the process, what type of process is it? A “broken process,” a closed-door, hidden-from-view process that Johnson calls “business-as-usual”…a process Johnson feels he was elected to change.
But how does one freshman member from one chamber of Congress change behavior in our leviathan body politic?
Johnson’s solution uses an arcane Senate rule known as “unanimous consent.” Unanimous consent is typically used to push through the countless housekeeping measures that keep the Senate chamber running. It prevents the Senate from being further bogged down by procedure on measures which all members are in agreement.
But all it takes is one member to disagree, one solitary voice of dissent, and things grind to a halt. Johnson intends to be that voice.
“Now I’m pretty new here,” said Johnson. “I don’t pretend to understand everything that makes the Senate work…but I do know the Senate runs on something called unanimous consent. So unless we receive some assurance from the Democrat leadership that we will actually start addressing our budget out in the open, in the bright light of day, I will begin to object. I will begin to withhold my consent,” he said. And with those words, Johnson drew a line in the sand.
Is it really that simple? Could it be that an effective tool for slowing down Obama’s hell-train to socialism has been in place all along and that Johnson is the only Senate member possessing the smarts and/or the guts required to utilize it?? It sounds too good to be true. But oh dear Lord, how much FUN would it be if it worked?? To see Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer and the rest of the Senate’s liberal Dems squirming in anguish as they are held hostage by Johnson’s solitary voice of dissent would be priceless! And from a freshman, no less!
Senator Johnson, we here at The DC Post tip our hat to you! It appears you have a simple yet brilliant strategy, and we can hardly wait to see its implementation. We promise to follow this closely and report your victories as they come because it’s not just Wisconsin who cares about this, Senator…it’s all of us.
Now go get ‘em.