Don Young on a Shutdown

Photo courtesy Navajo Nation Washington Office, Flickr, Mar. 6, 2012

I had the unfortunate experience a couple weeks ago to listen to Representative Don Young call in to the Rick Rydell radio show on KENI. While most of the conversation was expected, one of his comments really got my attention. Young promised that the House of Representatives would not be shutting down the government.

Perhaps it is Beltway-speak. Perhaps it is his real view of the world he inhabits while out of state. Perhaps he has been in Washington DC too long. For my part, it is none of those. Rather it is the worldview of a House majority that has been beat up in the media to the point where they instinctively give up all their constitutional authority the first time Obama glowers in their general direction. They exhibit all the signs and behaviors of a battered spouse.

As such, Young is signaling cowardice, lack of responsibility, and a tin ear toward those of us who put him in office and gave his party its majority in the House of Representatives. It was Don Young’s vote to install John Boehner as Speaker of the House. It was that Speaker who trotted out within days of being installed with one of the largest Republican majorities in history last year and gave up the power of the purse, promising no government shutdown.

And Don Young did nothing about that outrage.

As a reminder to all who read this piece, congress does not have the power to shut down the federal government. That power belongs to the Executive, President Obama. And if the last shutdown is any indication, his political operation headed up by co-President Valerie Jarrett will make things just as painful as possible for everyone should another one happen. Essentially, failure to deal with the WH political operation caves in to a bully, aiding and abetting what is essentially a hostage taking of the citizenry by a lawless, out of control executive.

Congress has the power of the purse. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, congress would pass a series of 13 major funding bills. It is through those bills that money is provided for government operations. Should congress not want something funded, it is only addressed in one or two of those bills. Everything else is funded – completely at the level congress sees fit.

Should Obama and his political operation choose to not spend that money as it has been appropriated, it is up to that very same congress to harshly, brutally and expensively as possible remove his political appointees from office so as to “educate” them on the error of their ways.

Oh I forgot, Don Young’s elected Speaker took that off the table too.

So what are we left with? We have a Republican majority in congress that no longer has the stomach for a fight. Yet that is precisely what the people who busted their back sides in 2010 and 2014 to put them in the majority are demanding.

If Don Young no longer has the will to fight, perhaps we should replace him with a conservative who will.  Then Don can enjoy his retirement hunting and fishing.