I’d Rather Be Hung By Strangers, Part II


(This piece was first posted in January, 2014, but recent events with the GOP “leadership” in Washington, have made it beyond appropriate to update and reprise it.)

It’s one of the most powerful scenes in the classic American western Lonesome Dove as Jake Spoon is about to be hanged by his buddies, Woodrow Call and Gus McCrae, for falling in with some murdering thieves to get through Indian country “without getting scalped.” But as Gus tells Jake, who, with noose on neck, sits astride his horse under the hanging tree, “You ride with outlaws, you die with outlaws. I’m sorry it’s us, Jake—I wish it had fallen to somebody else.” Jake responds simply, “Well, hell, boys. I’d damn sight rather be hung by my friends than by a bunch o’ damn strangers.”


As much as I love that wonderful movie, which extols traditional Old West American virtues like honor, justice, strength, chivalry, consequences for behavior and simple right and wrong in nearly every scene, I have to disagree with Jake’s view of his executioners. If I’m going to be done in, I don’t want it to be at the hands of my friends.

Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening in Washington where Speaker John Boehner and others in the Republican leadership appear unwilling to really fight to save our country’s future, fiscal and otherwise. In November of 2010, the voters kicked the buttocks of liberal Democrats from coast to coast, in state houses, governors’ offices and the U.S. Congress. The election sent an unmistakable message that “we the people” have had enough: enough profligate spending, enough demonizing of the achievers in our society who allegedly are not paying “their fair share,” enough lies about Tea Party “haters and racists,” enough of the war on domestic energy sources, enough of Obamacare—or, as it should more accurately be called, The American Health Care Destruction Act—and enough of liberal contempt for the U. S. Constitution.

The 2010 election gave the House a duty call from the American people to resist Barack Obama and his socialist agenda. But by 2011, the Republican spines that should have been rock steady with resolve were turning to linguini as Speaker Boehner acquiesced to the Democrats in every aspect of the “fiscal crisis” discussions—from the non-existent spending cuts to the raising of the debt ceiling. But it didn’t end there.

Boehner abandoned a traditional cornerstone of conservatism—the belief that Americans are taxed enough—by all but kissing Obama’s ring and asking, “How much in new taxes do you need, master? I’ll get you whatever you require.” Then he led a committee purging of patriotic House members who had the gall to not vote the party line—which is becoming more liberal every day—and, instead, vote according to the conservative principles their constituents sent them to Washington to protect.

In early 2013, Boehner proclaimed that his top legislative priority for 2013 was—wait for it—to pass some form of immigration reform (aka amnesty). This at a time when we still had a backbreaking national debt; sky-high unemployment; the administration openly, brazenly, criminally shredding the Constitutional rights of American citizens on a daily basis; terrorists successfully killing us at home and abroad; the Middle East exploding; anger in America nearing the boiling point; and Obamacare becoming the national “train wreck” so many of us knew it would be. Yet John Boehner’s top priority for the year was to help bi-partisan traitors in the Senate pass legislation giving enough current (and future) illegal aliens voting rights to ensure that socialist Democrats will rule in America for decades . . . or until America is totally destroyed, whichever comes first. And, with the recent hire of Rebecca Tallent, who has worked with Sen. John McCain and had a role in drafting the 2006 and 2007 immigration bills providing a pathway to legal status for some illegal immigrants, Boehner makes it clear he is still willing to alienate a huge voting block of traditional conservatives in hopes of gaining a miniscule number of new Hispanic voters.

He also championed the disastrous budget deal co-authored by Paul Ryan which raises discretionary spending above $1 trillion for 2014 and 2015 and reneges on $63 billion of sequester cuts. Its $28 billion in projected deficit reduction over the next decade (planned cuts that far in the future almost never happen) pales in comparison with the $680 billion deficit piled up in 2013 alone. Not to mention raising taxes, particularly on airplane passengers. Note to Speaker Boehner: WE HAVE NO MONEY and can’t afford this budget monstrosity.

And, of course, the budget deal locks in spending for The Affordable Care Act—or as it accurately could have been named: The American Health Care Destruction Act of 2010—ensuring that the worst parts of Obamacare will continue to devastate millions of Americans. Tea Partiers and other conservatives—led by the heroic efforts of Ted Cruz—pushed hard and long in 2013 to get their representatives to fight to defund Obamacare, while Boehner was coerced into reluctantly going along with that opposition . . . once.

But his days of cooperating with conservative groups were short-lived. Boehner’s made it clear to the world that he’s casting his lot with the establishment GOP, the Chamber of Commerce and other big business power brokers while taking dead aim at the same Tea Party that gave him his majority and speakership in 2010. As recently as December, Boehner—referencing the Tea Party’s unyielding support of defunding Obamacare in 2013 and their opposition to the new budget deal–slammed conservative groups saying, “They’re using our members and they’re using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous.”

No, Mr. Speaker, what’s ridiculous is knowing our President and his treasonous cronies are intentionally dismantling our beloved America while you, rather than upholding your oath and fighting like a lion along-side those of us trying to stop him, are raking Constitution-loving American patriots over the coals. If John F. Kennedy were around to write an updated version of his Profiles in Courage today—focusing just on you and other House members this time—the entire book would be about two pages long. You, sir, are a coward.

Barack Obama may succeed in his quest to bring America to her knees. But seeing him abetted by someone who’s supposed to be fighting for the good guys is infuriating. Jake Spoon might have preferred being destroyed by his “friends.” But it turns my stomach.

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