Start small--end big. Raise your hand if you know someone who woke one morning and ran a marathon having never so much as walked around the block.
Of course not. A few freaks of nature might be able to go from zero to 26.2 in no time, but most people would hurt themselves trying. And never do it again.
When a sane sedentary person decides to run a marathon, he starts by walking. Then jogging. Then learning. Then applying what he's learned to extend his runs. And so on. Eventually, barring injury, he runs a marathon.
Missouri's Republican Congressional delegation wants you believe it can get all limited-government at once.
Call Ann Wagner's office to talk about Ex-Im and you'll hear a litany of reasons why she should vote to extend the First Federal Bank of Cronyism. Among her (discredited) reasons will be: "Ex-Im isn't the battle to fight. It's too small. Let's keep our powder dry for something big!"
Right. What I hear is this: "I don't have the guts to fight mega-corporations over something small, but I'll miraculously find courage to fight for the flat tax or the Transportation Empowerment Act or something monumental."
She might actually believe it. Some people believe they could go out and run a marathon anytime they choose without working up to it.
They're both wrong.
If the GOP, with majorities in both houses, lacks the courage to let Ex-Im sunset now, who believes they'll find the courage to stand up to crony corporations over something really big?
Yesterday I wrote about a nation 2,000 miles off course and people who want to wait for a miracle to get their country back to the starting line to try again. The Missouri Republicans who want to extend Ex-Im now and save their energy for a Really Big issue later fall into this trap.
There is no magic potion.
There is no rainbow-colored limited-government pony.
There is only way to walk back the mistakes of progressivism: turn around and start walking.
If Republicans can't take the corporate heat from cooking Ex-Im, they won't stay in the kitchen for the recipes that really matter.
I'm not asking for Ann Wagner or Roy Blunt to repeal the 17th Amendment; I'm asking them to do the right thing on a matter they say is too small to think about.