Grimm Still Has My Support: Why The Congressman Is Getting Unfairly Demonized
The honeymoon might be over, but the offending party here is not Mr. Grimm.
That was my response when reading my colleague’s piece about the recent debacle between Congressman Michael Grimm and various Tea Partiers, who took offense to a statement made by Rep. Grimm about keeping the government from shutting down.
The fact is Mr. Grimm’s remarks were not targeted to the Tea Party movement as a whole, and much of this angst toward him is unnecessary.
Let’s get down to business.
The Tea Party values are just as right as they were when the movement first started, but the solid majority of Tea Partiers and Americans cannot want a government shutdown as it stands without any promise of compromise or concord.
We know what happened last time Republicans caused a shutdown: they lost support. In 1995, 46% of Americans said they’d blame Newt Gingrich’s caucus for the government shutting down, while only 27% placed the blame on Bill Clinton.
Let’s get real.
Republicans have a chance to win the Senate and White House next year. Frankly, given the people leading those two entities now, GOP change would be refreshing. Republicans cannot allow this extension to go on forever, but they cannot allow the Democrats to weaponize a government shutdown and use it to throw them out of office come next year.
That would be disastrous.
It might sound like the courageous thing to do for some fiscal conservatives, but imagine how independent voters will respond when their retired mothers and grandmothers stop receiving social security checks or friends working for the government are temporarily locked out.
The GOP could very well face the wrath of voters.
Going back to what we had from 2008-2010? A Congress that did nothing but pass unpopular measures like ObamaCare?
That cannot be permitted.
That’s why the GOP has to be cautious in how they handle this situation and keep their eyes on the victory. They have sought tactically to wait while putting pressure on the Democrats.
Yes, this whole scenario is quite troubling.
But let’s face facts. Nationally, both Republicans and Democrats have failed us over many, many years when it comes to fiscal matters. Both sides encouraged huge deficits to be raised, the latest being President Obama’s stimulus that basically kept the states from going bankrupt sooner than they would naturally have. In fact, many governors this year have had to make very difficult decisions as to how to manage their own deficits in the wake of losing stimulus money from the feds.
The credit cards have run out. Both for the states and the federal government.
In this situation, we have Michael Grimm, and imperfect yet honest (I believe) representative who is trying to navigate his freshman year amidst one of the most difficult years any congressman could enter. He is trying to be a realist while staying true to his principles. That’s not an easy thing to do.
So he made statement. The statement he issued makes a clear distinction between the “extreme wing of the Tea Party” and the Tea Party itself, which is a very proper distinction to make. There are those that are serious about making responsible and necessary cuts in our federal budget, and then there are those that want to carelessly wreck the economy and blow up the whole thing just to prove a point.
Mr. Grimm was targeting, I believe, the latter of the two groups. And not incorrectly.
As evidence, take this video from Fox Business between Grimm and Judge Andrew Napolitano.
That video suggests to me that Mr. Grimm is hardly against Tea Partiers. If anything, he just miscommunicated his message.
Mr. Grimm should not be demonized because of a poorly worded press release written by some unfortunate staffer. That punishment will only be deserving if he and his fellow Republicans do not achieve a bill that Americans can be proud of and that starts to close the massive debt gap this country has as its own.
Then, Tea Partiers and Americans at large may properly excommunicate those that do not seek to find an adequate solution.
The fact is, if anything positive has come out of this fight, it is that Mr. Grimm has been reminded of where his base stands on this issue. But Michael Grimm cannot be blamed for everything Congress does. He can, however, be blamed for not adequately representing his district’s positions.
I fervently hope that never happens.
Until then, I tell you, he still has my support, and I’m certainly glad to have him in Congress over Mr. McMahon.