Opinion

GOP Leadership Stifles Conservatism

By Jedediah Bila

By now, you have heard the news of conservative House members–including Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), among others–being removed from key committees by GOP leadership. On the matter, Rep. Huelskamp recently told Heritage that “It confirms in my mind the deepest suspicions of most Americans about Washington, D.C.–it’s petty, it’s vindictive, and if you have any conservative principles, you will be punished for articulating those.” He added, “It’s about blind obedience. And that does a disservice to the institution, it does a disservice to a representational system.”

Heritage adds that Huelskamp “noted that many members were removed from committees dealing with issues in which those members have expertise. Huelskamp himself is a former farmer, but was removed from the Agriculture Committee. He cited Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-AZ) as well, who was booted from the Finance Committee despite his business background.”

In other words, if representatives vote according to their principles and the wishes of their constituents, but don’t agree with GOP leadership, they are punished. It’s a disgrace that disrespects the rights of conservative elected officials to speak their minds and represent the values and policies they were elected to represent. It tramples on the voices and policy wishes of the people who voted for these conservative representatives. And, perhaps most importantly, it stifles free thinking and principled decision-making in the name of promoting the homogeneity of thought that leadership requires to cut the kind of deals it deems appropriate.

Each and every one of you should be angry that anyone in a political leadership position would seek to disregard your votes and the ability of your representatives to protect your policy wishes.

In a larger sense, what exactly does GOP leadership think they are accomplishing here? Do they think the public is blind and/or stupid? (Because we’re not.)

Do they think this won’t cause more and more people to turn away from the GOP in disgust? (Because it already has.)

Do they think that alienating conservatives and all those who respect the rights of representatives to think and vote freely is a smart strategic move? (Because it clearly isn’t.)

And do they think they can win future elections without the enthusiasm and commitment of conservatives and libertarian-conservatives who are sickened by this kind of egocentric behavior? (Because they can’t.)

As Rep. Huelskamp told Mark Levin last night, “I think the Republican establishment has decided that the way they grow into a majority party is they attack conservatives and they tell libertarians to go take a hike.” It’s a strategy, but it’s a losing one.

GOP leadership, suppressing freedom of thought among elected representatives will not be tolerated by voters. We deeply value the rights of our elected officials to defend what they were sent to D.C. to defend. And if alienating conservatives and libertarian-conservatives–which you have been doing consistently for some time–continues to be part of your strategic plan, you will only succeed in weakening the Party and its relevance in future elections.

 

Read more articles by Jedediah Bila

Leave a Reply

111 Comments on "GOP Leadership Stifles Conservatism"

Notify of

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
GARY THOMPSON
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t think anything will change until another attack on our country occurs. God forbid that that will never ever happen again.

Paul
3 years 7 months ago
Electing Boehner as House Speaker once again after 4 years of failed attempts to convince the needed majority of Congress the need for prudent and honest legislation tells me just how entrenched the career politicians are. They are a bane to bringing back to order the conservative principles upon which the Party was founded. We cannot afford another 4 years of a do-nothing Congress, abetting Obama’s increasing use of executive orders and illegal shenanigans which he now knows he can continue with impunity. I think the RNC has been long corrupted right alongside the DNC…each only looking to retain seats with their ever increasing war chests. I have often asked politicians if they would support term limits to which the closest affirmation I received was well, maybe, but that you know we already have that and it’s called the ballot box. True, but it takes money to win elections and… Read more »
Timothy
3 years 8 months ago

YES! Let us repeal the 16′th Amendment, the Federal Individual Income Tax, go to a head tax upon the several States based upon the most recent census, no taxation without equal representation! I suspect that the Federal bureaucrats won’t have time to figure out how to tax us more when their trying to figure out how to corral a herd of 50 furious cats with budgets for huge legal expenditures! Amen! Let the games begin!

Willi
3 years 8 months ago

republicans are supporting the marxists-in-charge.

We need to abandon the republican party and get ONE Tea Party/Conservative Party established.

Allen West, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann come to mind as the most able to stand up to the
enemy within.

Mary
3 years 8 months ago

I agree with you 100%. Until we get rid of the RINO republicans, we don’t stand a chance of stopping the socialist takeover of our country. West, Palin & Bachmann are the perfect examples of true conservatives who love their country, stand up for their principles & would take this country in the right direction. If we continue to run & elect these RINO’S, then we will get what we deserve & the liberals are loving every minute of it. Most of the republicans in office right now are willing to compromise anything as long as they get to stay in DC & get their perks, McCain & Boehner come to mind. They promise us they will stay conservative then cave in & “compromise”. Compromise in DC means liberals get their way & conservatives get nothing. If we could get a Tea Party/Conservative Party, I would join in a heartbeat.

Ruth Massarotti
3 years 8 months ago

Norman:
In my earlier comment I said “tried and true” Governors; I don’t think former Governor Huckabee fits your impression of a Governor, does he?
Tell me your full opinion of how a party organized as one who represents each state individually would function, get off the ground and enable the People to get their power back?

Ruth Massarotti
3 years 8 months ago

Okay! I have made a decision to study the principles and basic premise of the Heritage Foundation and then possibly become a member and put some money where my mouth is.
I’ll keep you all posted as to progress and what I learn from the experience if you want!

Tom Barrs
3 years 8 months ago

You may want to think further about giving money to Heritage. I have sent them letters asking about some of their policies and have never received any kind of response. I don’t see that they have any clout with the GOP (look at the last election) and I have, for the time being, suspended my support to them. I may reconsider later, but as of now, I don’t see that what they are doing is making a difference. If I am wrong, I would love to hear from Heritage to set me straight.

Melvin Volle
3 years 8 months ago

Conservatives need to UNITE and ORGANIZE behind a Central Figure like Rand Paul, Marc Rubio or statement like “TAKE AMERICAN BACK”.

We can do this thru the internet and with our money.

For example, When called this morning by the RNC for a renewal Donation. I WENT OFF ON THE CALLER and told him that my doantion is going to Rand Paul and they can go to -ELL for cutting HULESKAMP AND AMASH off of their committees because they are doing what they were elected to do.

I do not know if that my statement has done anything, but a MILLION like me would sure get their ATTENTION.

What do you think ?

We need to use our financial powers to fight on all fronts.

How about BOYCOTTING the COMMERCIAL SPONSERS OF ALL THE LIBERAL MEDIA SHOWS ?

Call it “Lobbying with out Lobbyists”

Anna deBlanc
3 years 8 months ago
I agree with you. I am angry that the GOP thought Romney (or even McCain!) were good candidates to go against the Dems. We need good leaders with strong conservative values, who can work with the liberals and make positive changes for the country to create jobs. We need to stay involved in politics and let them know we will not stand for kicking conservatives to the curb! We have allowed the attacks on Christian values to escalate through the years, believing “it could never happen in America!” Now we have Christian values expunged from schools and growing Muslim factions in this country. There used to be limits on certain immigrants, but that is all out the window with a president who picks and chooses which laws he wants enforced or not or using executive decree to push through what he wants without thinking about repercussions. He is showing how… Read more »
Norman Linnell
3 years 8 months ago
Democrats win by uniting and organizing behind a central figure because they will do ANYTHING to create and maintain the illusion that their figurehead is indeed the Messiah . It is unlikely that Republicans or Conservatives will ever be willing or able to outperform the democrats when it comes to deceiving the American People . If we are to save America , we must unite and organize behind high profile individuals and organizations that are willing to fight for the great ideas that will restore the government of the People . Ideas like the repeal of the 16th and 17th Amendments will put us on the road to recovery . Ideas for new Constitutional Amendments to rein in the federal aristocracy and return power to the People can put an end to the tyranny of the ruling class . By hook or by crook , the dems can find a… Read more »
Willi
3 years 8 months ago

I de-registered as a republican just before the last election and fully agree that we need to get some leaders in place.

The most intelligent, principled, honest Conservatives were also recently trashed by the rnc:
Allen West, Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin.

They are the only ones with real experience, character and ability to stand up to the the rino vermin currently at the helm. The rest of the “soft Conservatives” are no match for the supreme agitator or the country club
cocktail party repubs.

Norman Linnell
3 years 8 months ago

AMAC and the Heritage Foundation could lead the charge , but they seem to be focused on raking in the donations so that their execs can continue living high on the hog .

Tom Barrs
3 years 8 months ago
Right on Norman!! I couldn’t agree more! As far I can see Heritage and AMAC are incapable of persuading the GOP to do anything. Once the election was over, I quickly received the next round of “give me money” letters, particularly from Heritage. If AMAC and Heritage (which implies conservatives) were so “influential,” where were they during the election? Obviously, the GOP doesn’t care what we / they think. Until we can present a united front that wants to win based on the philosophy of Adam Smith, et.al. and get that message to the American people so that they understand that government is not the answer, the class dividers and liberals will win. Unfortunately, when the 2014 elections come around and the Dems take back the house and Hillary or her likeness is elected in 2016, the horse will be out of the barn . I fear that we and… Read more »
John QP
3 years 8 months ago
I have been a conservative all my political life-some 50 years. I have been a memeber of the GOP most of those years. I am now formally switching from the GOP to an Indepenjdent.This is not becauswe my values have changed but because the GOP has changed and frankly I am embarrassed to say I am a Republican. Republicans are no better than the Democrats. Neither is faithful to their agenda or to the constituents that elect them. The poor showing taking place in Washington over the fiscal Cliff is sickening, The GOP is wimping out and the Democrats will get tax increase along with open end spending and moe quantiative easing. Where is Bohener’s backbone? The GOP policy of deleting their own members from Committees because the members won’t do as they are told- reminds me of how the democrats run their house and senate., Many of the GOP… Read more »
Ruth Massarotti
3 years 8 months ago
I also feel we need a new party and here it is: the Party of the United States Citizens!!!! In other words, I would be registered in my states voting registry as: Ruth Massarotti of District #? of the Commonwealth of Virginia THE FOLLOWING IS MY POST AS OF 12/08/2012 THAT HAS LEAD ME UP TO THE PRESENT: 12/08/2012 at 8:59 am Here’s my opinion and I cannot believe that we do not have riots in our streets (not yet!!). Ever since these “progressives” became bolder (Hillary Clinton has proclaimed herself as one and seemed proud of it at the time) our Constitution has been under fire. I have been thinking of these states who are reaching toward secession and I have to wonder if that is necessary. I love the United States and I want to throw this out (for your opinion) as an option to secession: We know… Read more »
Timothy
3 years 8 months ago

YES! Let us repeal the 16’th Amendment, the Federal Individual Income Tax, go to a head tax upon the several States based upon the most recent census, no taxation without equal representation! I suspect that the Federal bureaucrats won’t have time to figure out how to tax us more when their trying to figure out how to corral a herd of 50 furious cats with budgets for huge legal expenditures! Amen! Let the games begin!

Cathy B.
3 years 8 months ago
I’m on board with you, Ruth. Although I’m registered as a Republican, I am a conservative first and foremost. I like your ideas especially the one about having to be a Governor first before you could be qualified to run for President. At least you have a record to look at. I always wondered when it would come to this point where you basically have an enemy of the U.S. leading this country, forcing his agenda and loading the government up with his community organizer, liberal, socialist followers. It’s infuriating that the President is getting away with the Benghazi event and the whole gun running scheme in Mexico where our U.S. border patrol agent was killed. I hold him ultimately responsible. I am in my early 50s and live in northeastern Ohio. I have tried to bring all my family, friends and relatives to listen to Mark Levin, Quinn &… Read more »
Norman Linnell
3 years 8 months ago

Much of the government that you say you want is the government we had up until about 100 years ago when voters apparently ratified the 16th and 17th Amendments . What voters of 1912/1913 ratified , voters of 2012/2013 can repeal .
I do have reservations about limiting the pool of eligible presidential candidates to a group of lazy self-serving governors who wouldn’t fight for the rights of the States or the People .

Repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments !

mighty manfried
3 years 8 months ago

Lets face it. We as republicans failed to get people out to vote. Democrats are training people to vote and vote often. So, either in 2014 you get people from complaining and go to the voting booth or to bend over, stick their head between their legs and kiss this nation goodby.

PaulE
3 years 8 months ago
The Democrats understand the power of indoctrination. The public school system has been an excellent platform for the mass indoctrination of youth since the mid 60s. They get the young and drill them at an early age and all the way through college on ideas of socialism. Real American history is no longer taught. What you have now is social studies and revisionist history as filtered through the lens of the left. Everything is framed as America is at fault for this and that or America has stood in the way of true democratic rule (how they phrase the rise of socialism, communism or Islamic religious theocracies) around the world. The same goes for how economics is taught. All that’s taught in most colleges is a bastardized version of Keynesian economics with a heavy emphasis on “government stimulus spending” and “government price control methodologies”. Even Keynes wouldn’t recognize this version… Read more »
JerryM
3 years 8 months ago

Right on PaulE! Everyone should view the “Agenda – Grinding America Down” DVD documentary available at AgendaDocumentary.com.

PaulE
3 years 8 months ago
The Democrats understand the power of indoctrination. The public school system has been an excellent platform for the mass indoctrination of youth since the mid 60s. They get the young and drill them at an early age and all the way through college on ideas of socialism. Real American history is no longer taught. What you have now is social studies and revisionist history as filtered through the lens of the left. Everything is framed as America is at fault for this and that or America has stood in the way of true democratic rule (how they phrase the rise of socialism, communism or Islamic religious theocracies) around the world. The same goes for how economics is taught. All that’s taught in most colleges is a bastardized version of Keynesian economics with a heavy emphasis on “government stimulus spending” and “government price control methodologies”. Even Keynes wouldn’t recognize this version… Read more »
Phil
3 years 8 months ago

PaulE you are right on! We have lost most of our young people to Socialistic thinking and give me everything free so I don’t have to work or it.

Charles Rhodes
3 years 8 months ago

It’s time to walk away from the Republicans as I did the Democrats under Jimmy Carter. Conservatives unite and walk away from both these self serving, devolved egomaniacs while there is still something worth saving. Or we can all become another third world country.

Vern
3 years 8 months ago

It looks like it is time to switch to the Tea Party. If you can’t count on Reagan’s party to toe the like something is wrong.

pete
3 years 8 months ago

As Benjamin Franklin observed:..’If we don’t hang together, we will hang separately.’ Time to lock ranks and resist the foolishness at every twist and turn.

PaulE
3 years 8 months ago
The Republican Party has never been about real conservatism. It’s been about “going along to get along” for decades. If you remember, Reagan had to first defeat H.W. Bush, the Party’s desired candidate, before he stood a shot at going after Jimmy Carter. The Party was never really on board with the Reagan revolution until they saw how well it resonated with the public at the time. Then they couldn’t jump on board fast enough and only as long as it looked like easy sailing. Every time there has ever been any push back from the Dems or the Party had to stand on principle, the first thing the Republican Party has done is to try and throw the conservative wing overboard and adopt Democrat-lite policies. What we see going on in Washington, within the Republican Party this week, is simply more of the same. The knee jerk reaction to… Read more »
livedlong
3 years 8 months ago

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Richard Benton
3 years 8 months ago

When you have places like Florida ( full of retired people) voting for Oboma because they are afraid of losing their freebes and beliving all the lies from the left how we ever fix things.

We have let the Republican Party know that we will remember come next election what they are doing to congressmen that standing up for conservative values. They have to stop letting the Democrats define them and remind everyone what they have done for this country and minoraties. We are losing the media war and this has to change.

I hope there is a change for Speaker of the House

Dan
3 years 8 months ago

I’m 67 and will not live long enough to see meaningful change. I withdrew from the (r)epublican Party after “No More Taxes” Bush was ousted from the WH, and they haven’t gotten a dime from me since. As good as W was, he was not a Conservative. Since I don’t have a voice in any organized party, I will become a part of the problem, not wasting my time in voting and politics but concentrating on getting my wife cured of lung cancer (Obamacare willing), and let somebody else come up with the solutions. My daughters and sons in law are all Liberals, products of government schools and too little guidance from me and Mom, so I have told them they can fix this country my generation has screwed up so badly in their own way. Lotsa luck.

KP
3 years 8 months ago

I hate when someone says that if the Repubs actually ran a conservative they would lose the presidental election, but i think it is true. As long as the educational system graduate thousands of liberals every year conservatives don’t stand a chance. i hate to say it but I BELIEVE IT IS TRUE.

c brown
3 years 8 months ago

I have been a Republican since I was 21. I am a white conservative female but no longer fee welcome in the Republican party. I am not liberal, minority nor dependent on anyone as my late husband and I worked to save for our own retirement and paid off ALL our debts. I will be registering as in independent and when will the Tea Party become a real political party? Already Jim DeMint has left a Senate that is very far left.

getitright112
3 years 8 months ago

I am 70 & been a Republican since I got out of high school. I was married twice to Southern Democrats. Both switched to the Republican party & it had nothing to do with ME but every thing to do with the Democrats. I won’t stay in this party if they can’t get real about my country & less concerned about themselves. I always thought voting for a 3rd party was throwing my vote away but it can’t get any worse. I throw it away anyway here in Ca.

No faith in government
3 years 8 months ago
Mrs. Brown, stay strong. We are all disheartened and deeply disappointed. We all feel betrayed by our fellow citizens who have “lost their way.” The teachers across America must feel very smug about how they have “dumbed down America.” My wife does not feel like the Republican party is “anti” women. It is really a matter of we have the wrong people leading our party and they are not articulating the conservative principles and values in a way that reaches our fellow Americans. Sadly, Romney really blew his opportunity for many reasons. I personally believe he would have been able to turn our economy and jobs situation around even with all the resistance he would have met. Why not join a women’s Republican party group and help establish your conservative ideas. You know our country is truly at risk. We all need to fight Obama to the very end.
No faith in government
3 years 8 months ago
Boehner would not be Speaker today if it were not for the conservative Tea Party voters who made it possible in 2010. HE IS AN INGRATE. HE MUST HAVE “SELECTIVE MEMORY”. Since we put him in, we can take him out in 2014. We, The Tea Party, gave the House a Republican majority. We also changed the landscape for the state legislators and governors. WE HAVE TO DO THIS IN 2014 AND NOW IS THE TIME TO GET STARTED. HERE IS WHAT BOEHNER MUST SAY TO OBAMA, ONE FOOT FROM HIS FACE, IN FRONT OF THE MEDIA RECORDING, AND WITH A NATIONAL AUDIENCE WATCHING: “Mr. President. Stop your class warfare. It is not the way America became great. Stop inciting class envy.” “Mr. President. Your incessant desire to raise taxes on the “rich”, the 2%ers, will only run the government for approx. 8 to 10 days, at most. I assume… Read more »
TM Schlechty
3 years 8 months ago

I think when your friends and neighbors ask you to be their representative in the Congress it should be a humbling experience and impress upon you your duty to actually represent their views. It should not be celebrated as entry into the cash and influence grabbing club it now is. Term limits are a great idea to allow our best and brightest to take their/our ideas to Washington and yet return to their communities no more than two terms later with more understanding of the political process and therefore able to more ably assist their communities in becoming more informed and responsible citizens. The current old boys club (whether male or female) needs to understand that the will of the people is to be championed, not the pursuit and exercise of power, Power is supposed to repose in the people.

Art LeBeau
3 years 8 months ago

Lots of good comments, but we never get to the point. How can Boehner do this on his own? Are not other Republicans also abetting Boehner? Why aren’t they named? Let’s name all of them and keep their names
in front of the voters as to what “traitors” they are. My rep Blaine Luetkemeyer is also a spinelss person. Lots of talk but no positive corrective action from him Gosh do we need term limits and no pensions!

Jerry Pfaffly
3 years 8 months ago
The people that are putting Jeb Bush up as a possible candidate in 2016 are barking up the wrong tree. Anyone that has followed the political scene closely knows the policies of the Dubya administration is the catalyst that brought us the community organizer from Chicago. The name Bush should not be mentioned for president for years to come. It will drive away to many voters. Any Democrat that could breathe would have had a good chance to be elected against any Republican four years ago. We need a firebrand to run that will tell the American people about their adversary. If John McCain or Mitt Romney would have publicly ask about all the ultra right wing backers of Obama and brought them up in the debates we may have had a different outcome.When you are in a street fight with the Chicago political machine you have to take off… Read more »
Ray Downen
3 years 8 months ago

George W. Bush is an honorable and honest man. He did very well as President of this republic. For Republicans to scorn one of our champions is to push many Republicans out of the party. I’m a fan of George W. Bush. My opinion about this essay is strong disagreement. But Ron Paul is a Libertarian and I’m not at all impressed by his views. I’ll remain a Republican and call for repentance from such as this writer. He doesn’t speak for ME.

Eric Rhodus
3 years 8 months ago
I agree Mr. Downen, that “W” is an honest and honorable man. Having said that, he DID NOT do very well as a president, because he had very poor advisers and “handlers” (aka Channey)! He lost me, after standing on the rubble of the world trade center and vehemently swearing that “We will no allow them (terrorist) to change the way we live!” Then, with in months, we had the biggest “Big Brother”, Gestapo-like agency ever created in the federal government! The rampant trampler of civil rights in the history of the United States, the Department of Homeland Security!” They have managed to creep into ever facet of American life, with voluminous regulations and red-tape, that have not done one thing to make us safer! A bloated, insidious, incompetent bunch of SS neanderthals, even worse than the 2nd worse group, the BATFE! I just voted in a local runoff election,… Read more »
Jane Mohline
3 years 8 months ago

I agree with Vernon Hulbert (10:25 this morning). If every disappointed, hurt, emotionally tired Republican pulls out of the Party, you definitely will be handing over the whole USA to the Obama (Muslim filled) Machine.

wpDiscuz