Who won the just completed epic budget battle on Capitol Hill? Most people believe Republicans won because they control only one-third of the government but they gained two-thirds of what they wanted. Others, however say Republicans lost because they caved on their pledge to cut $100 billion out of this year’s budget. Those people seem to forget two things. First, the Republican controlled House passed a budget that contained $61 billion in cuts from the current budget. That same budget represented $100 billion from President Obama’s proposed budget. By gaining approval of reinstating the school voucher system in D.C. and by banning abortions in D.C. the Republican controlled Congress took two giant steps in the direction of life.
In addition to cutting the budget, protecting life, and improving education the Republicans were successful in getting Senate Majority leader Harry Reid to promise to hold votes in the Senate on the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the repeal of President Obama’s healthcare plan. I have no doubt both votes will fail but it will put all the Senators on the record concerning their stand on these issues. Even the left-wing editorial section of the New York Times bemoaned the compromises President Obama and the Democrats made to get a budget deal done.
Now we find out from the Congressional Budget Office that nobody won because the budget deal is a sham. CBO scoring of the deal reveals a paltry $352 million in actual cuts to the 2011 budget through September. When you add what will be spent to fund three wars you end up with a $3.3 billion increase in spending. No wonder the American people are crying out for integrity in leadership. Republicans may have won the public relations war over the budget but substantive cuts remain the primary casualty of the battle.
The debate now becomes a battle between Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed budget, that cuts $6.2 trillion over ten years, and President Obama’s budget that promises to raise taxes on the rich (households making over $250,000) and trim $4.4 trillion over twelve years. The Republican controlled House of Representatives, led by the Tea Party freshmen, have already approved the Ryan budget. It remains questionable whether or not Senator Reid will allow Ryan’s budget to make it to the floor.
America is in serious trouble as we face a debt crisis that threatens in short order to destroy our economy, our national security, and our way of life. We need someone who is mature, steady, battle-tested and a rock-ribbed conservative both socially and fiscally, to rise to the top. And we need them now, not six months or a year from now. In a normal election cycle we might have the luxury of sifting through a myriad of candidates with the hope of finding the right person for the job. But the sword of Damocles hangs over our heads and the heads of every succeeding generation. We don’t have time to wonder if Donald Trump is sincere or if Rick Santorum has enough experience. As Bonnie Tyler would say, “we need a hero and he’s gotta be sure and he’s gotta be soon and he’s gotta be larger than life.”
More than anything else, he’s gotta have the final three qualities of real, biblical leadership. He or she has to be an innovator…someone who is willing to lead God’s way even when it doesn’t make sense. For example, consider Gideon. The Bible says he started out with an army of 32,000 men against the Midianites who were, “as numerous as locusts”(Judges 7:12). God reduced Gideon’s army down to 300 men, who routed the Midianites by following a very unorthodox battle plan. Innovative leadership sees what God is doing, seizes the moment, and secures success by attacking the problem in a whole new way. Many obvious solutions to our nations problems have been applied and failed. We need the eyes of a true innovator who will see our national problems in a new way and offer solutions that can forge consensus by the power of their rightness and logic.
We need a leader who has and will overcome adversity. Nehemiah led the Jews back to their home city of Jerusalem where, against all odds, they completed the walls of the city. The people were discourage, afraid, and on the brink of failure. Nehemiah overcame the adversity of all these project killers by trusting in the Lord and calling the people to work with “the trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.” We need a Nehemiah….a leader who knows how to deal with adversity without giving up the fight.
Finally, we need a leader who understands the need to leave a Godly heritage to the next generation. Leaders who lead for the moment leave us bankrupt when the moment is past. Elijah realized the need to pass the mantle of leadership to Elisha. Paul raised up, encouraged, strengthened, and then passed the mantle of leadership to Timothy. Moses relied on the wilderness-tested strength of Joshua to lead the Jews into the Promised Land. If we are going to find our way out of our self-made wilderness into the Promised Land of fiscal, constitutional, and moral government we must realize it will take more than one generation of leaders. We need a strong leader who will inspire others to follow in his footsteps.
We aren’t asking for much. We are simply asking for a leader who embodies righteousness, perseverance, courage, commitment, decisiveness, inspiration, innovation, the ability to overcome adversity, and a clear understanding of the heritage we have and the heritage we must leave behind.
We really do need a hero.