What Ronald Reagan Would Think of Striking Senators

05/24/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Brian Ross Managing Editor, and pioneering ezine editor of the first sports ezine, MLNSports

WWGD -- What Would the Gipper Do? Crush recalcitrant Republican senators who would stop the government's business in what was a de facto strike without picket signs, that's what.

Reagan demolished PATCO, the air traffic controllers' union, when they tried to walk out on Uncle Sam, violating laws which prohibit federal workers who are vital to safety from conducting strike or strike-like actions.

The GOP in the senate, who were largely responsible for that legislation, just conducted their own quasi-legal walk-out.

Just chalk it up to more of the "Do as I say, don't do as I do," convolution of the Republicans on Capitol Hill.

It was bad enough that they were not participating in governing. Now GOP lawmakers are actively gumming up the works of the government, stopping hearings designed to put more cops on the streets of Iraq to free up our troops, and to establish the law to curb the excesses of the banks that lead to our financial crisis.

Carl Levin's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing was canceled, leaving command from Iraq cooling their heels over at the Pentagon because Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C objected to meeting after 2:00pm. Homeland Security took a holiday today too.

"What a ridiculous notion that we've got to come beg the minority party so we can have a hearing on the police contracting in Afghanistan," McCaskill told UPI.

As recalls:

In his meetings with advisers, Reagan quoted Coolidge, "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time." With the backing of transportation secretary Drew Lewis, Reagan gave the controllers 48 hours to return to work. 48 hours later most of them were fired.

Who affects public safety more than the United States Congress?

Reagan was the forefather of this crazy movement that has devolved into power-blind politicos with union haircuts and fear of breaking ranks with other slick, dogma-first Republican politicians, but, even in the name of Bonzo, he would not have stooped to the level of shutting down the work of the government.

He said that government was the problem, and unleashed a generation of people working in government who claim to not only hate it, but who have advocated, in more mild forms until our African-American president came along, to destroy it and diminish it, all in the name of hypothetically making government "better" because it was "off of our backs."

Well, it was off of the backs of rich folks who were able to make the middle class and poor folks a whole lot poorer. From the excesses of Wall Street traders to the companies which now have Bob in Bangladesh answering the customer service phone that you used to pick up, to the massive sink hole of a deficit that they created on a spending spree over the eight years of Bush which would make even FDR blush, there is not one of them where the truth supports much of their record.

They hope that you forget, and by coming up with stunts like their no-show in hearings today, that you pay more attention to the circus they're putting on than the morally and practically bankrupt state of their policy making.

The GOP, the party of Lincoln, used to stand for something. Now they're just the clowns in the Fox News circus.

For those of you who loved the Gipper, who in turn loved his country, would Ronnie encourage his membership to stop doing the people's business, to turn their back on the military, on public safety, or the other vital business of government? He may have spun a good yarn about government being the problem, but he sure used its power to great affect throughout his eight years.

Unlike Reagan with PATCO, President Obama cannot fire the Republican senators playing games, as the loophole that they are using is legal.

You can though, if you are a Republican, or were one until recently.

There are a lot of good Republicans. You may be fiscally but not socially conservative. You want accountability, and limited government, but you don't want gridlock, race-baiting, and lapses in decorum. You may be socially conservative, but you aren't willing to shove your beliefs down the throat of your neighbors and co-workers who don't believe as you do. You may have become an Independent, and turned in disgust when Bush and the remnants of the Congress that spent trillions and broke all of the party's core principles ran amok.

America needs you to go back to your party. Take it back. Stand firm for your principles.

Allowing the extremists and the nut-cases push the party into oblivion serves no one. There is more than one perspective in this country. They all need fair airing and representation, but, at the end of the day, we must all come together, even when we disagree, and find enough common ground to move forward together.

We do it out here in the real world. Now it is time to tell our politicians on Capitol Hill that they must do it there.

My shiny two.