Stifling Dissent: GOP Establishment Declares War
Following a decision to strip committee assignments from Reps. Justin Amash, Tim Huelskamp, Walter Jones, and Dave Schweikert, it’s clear there is no leadership in the House GOP.
Don’t get me wrong, the positions are still occupied. John Boehner is still Speaker, Eric Cantor is still Majority Leader and Kevin McCarthy is still the Majority Whip.
But those positions are filled with empty suits, not conservatives truly committed to less spending and smaller government.
You see, leaders lead by getting others to follow.
If the most conservative members of your caucus aren’t following you, it’s because you’re not leading.
We’ve seen this throughout the 112th Congress, since the Tea Party tidal wave swept in an historic number of grassroots conservatives, committed to changing Washington.
Since they arrived, it’s been clear those occupying leadership positions in the House GOP were committed to changing the new members into carbon copies of their ideal member – squishy, moderate, establishment hacks.
Unfortunately, they’ve been far too successful.
Many GOP freshmen in the 112th Congress were happy to go along with the establishment in an effort to win favor among the “Washington elite.”
Whether it was voting for the debt ceiling increase, the Budget Control Act which created the failed and unconstitutional “super committee” and sequestration, time and time again we saw many of the House freshmen capitulating to Boehner, Cantor, et al.
But through it all, there was hope.
Some new members weren’t afraid to stand up for their principles; for the commitment they made to less spending and smaller government when their constituents first sent them to Washington.
These members voted on principle against bills like the Paul Ryan budget for failing to cut spending fast enough (if most members of Congress won’t have a pulse by the time the budget balances, it’s not a serious proposal).
How do those running the GOP repay these principled politicians?
By stripping them of their seats on key committees.
Such a move in an effort to stifle dissent within your ranks is more akin to the acts of a tyrant, not leadership.
This move was intended to send a message to all incoming freshmen and the sophomore class: fall in line, or get out.
In effect, the GOP has declared total war on principled conservatives and the libertarian-wing of the party.
This is hardly the first skirmish of this war either.
In fact, the first shots were fired at the GOP Convention in Tampa.
As half a delegation of duly-elected delegates from Maine was refused to be seated by the credentials committee, the battle lines were forming.
When Ben Ginsberg took it upon himself at the rules committee to change a whole host of RNC rules, it became clear the GOP establishment was already waging a war on grassroots conservatives.
It’s worth noting both Reps. Amash and Jones both endorsed Congressman Ron Paul for President in the 2012 primary.
Neither one endorsed the Romney-Ryan ticket.
Representative Schweikert defeated the establishment’s favored candidate Rep. Ben Quayle in a bitter primary contest.
Payback? You betcha.
In some twisted way, the GOP establishment probably has a sick sense of justice from their actions yesterday.
One GOP aide was quoted as saying, “You want good things in Congress and to have a good career? Better play along nicely.”
This despicable mentality is what doubled the size of the national debt during the eight years of George W. Bush.
It’s why Republicans doubled the size of the Department of Education, created the largest bureaucracy ever in the DHS, passed Medicare Part D, TARP and began the auto bailout.
It’s time to fight back.
By their actions, it’s clear what the task is for grassroots activists in the 113th Congress — whip the GOP establishment into shape by making their members realize their loyalties ought to be aligned with their principles and the Constitution, not the party line.
At this point, it’s clear the GOP has learned nothing during their short time out of power.
When the House Budget Committee is unwilling to consider cutting spending back to even 2006 levels (hardly a time of austerity by any means) you know they’re not serious at all.
When the GOP Steering Committee, made up of establishment Republicans, removes the most fiscally conservative members of the budget committee, it’s an act of open aggression against the principles they allegedly stand for.
Call Speaker John Boehner at (202) 225-0600 and demand Reps. Amash, Huelskamp, Jones, and Schweikert get returned to their committee seats.
If you have time after you’ve contacted Speaker Boehner’s office contact the rest of the GOP Steering Committee listed below to let them know what you think about this naked powergrab by the GOP establishment.