First, the decisiveness of that election can never be emphasized enough. Only two years after putting President Obama in the White House and keeping Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in control of the Senate and House, voters rejected Democratic policies and gave Republicans their most massive midterm victory since 1938. Besides putting Republicans back in control of the House, voters also elected 11 new GOP governors and nearly 700 new GOP state legislators, thus giving the party command of the critical redistricting process following the 2010 census. But the depth of the GOP win is mainly a measure of voter rejection of Democratic policies. Republicans are still on probation and will remain there until they deliver what they promised, including repealing and replacing Obamacare, cutting federal spending, deficits and debt, ending oppressive bureaucratic regulation, and restoring economic growth and opportunity.
Second, it was the genius of the Founders to devise a republican form of government that divides power vertically and horizontally among federal, state and local authorities, thus forcing competing interests to compromise. But there are two forms of compromise: the genuine kind, in which government is moved in the direction dictated by the voters, and the faux kind favored by Democrats and their liberal allies in the mainstream media. The latter is characterized by merely slowing the pace at which Democrats continue to do the very things voters emphatically rejected last November. For example, a budget agreement that reduces the rate of federal spending growth from 10 percent to 5 percent is not really a compromise, it's passive resistance to voters. A genuine budget agreement would actually reduce federal spending by 5 percent.
Finally, House Republicans should heed the advice ofExaminer columnist Hugh Hewitt: "House Speaker John Boehner needs to start talking now about the 'selective shutdown' of the federal government that is ahead if the president refuses to listen to the verdict of the voters rendered decisively in November." If confrontation and the threat of a government shutdown are all but inevitable, then Republicans must begin now defining what that means for the public. House Republicans must, according to Hewitt, "reassure Americans and especially senior citizens [in advance] that they have provided the Senate with the bills necessary to fund Social Security, Medicare and defense, but that the president is holding these appropriations hostage in order to defend Obamacare, the bureaucrats at EPA and the left-wing broadcasters at NPR." In other words, key functions of government can be maintained even as Republicans deliver what voters demanded in November.