Yesterday’s Senate vote on the Ryan budget was a line-in-the-sand moment for Republicans.
Forty Republican senators, including Marco Rubio and Mike Lee, stepped forward to lead the way on saving Medicare and providing the first real alternative to out-of-control Washington spending that our nation has seen in decades.
Every single Democrat, including Florida senator Bill Nelson, voted in lock step with the Obama administration to oppose Ryan’s plan.
There are three Republicans vying to replace Bill Nelson in Florida. Two of them, former U.S. senator George LeMieux and current Florida state senator Mike Haridopolos, refused to say how they would have voted on the Ryan plan. That makes them no better than Bill Nelson.
Only one candidate, Adam Hasner, had the courage to step forward and unequivocally announce his support for the Ryan budget.
“I would vote for the plan without hesitation,” Hasner said, “because I know that the alternatives are rationed care and declining healthcare options, watching Social Security and Medicare slowly go bankrupt, or America faltering under the weight of unsustainable entitlement programs.”
The 2012 election is the most important in our lifetime. If President Obama is reelected, and Democrats retain control of the Senate, the transformation of America into a European welfare state will be a foregone conclusion.
Simply electing more Republicans to Washington is not enough. We need to elect conservatives who will have the courage to take the tough votes, and stand with the conservatives already serving in the Senate.
A good place to start will be to support only those Republicans who had the courage to support the Ryan budget.
— Ken Blackwell is co-author of Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.