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

Join the Discussion   Add Your Comment

  1. GARY THOMPSON says:

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

  2. Paul says:

    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 the longer a politician stays in office, the more favors he receives for their votes and as an incumbent the election most often goes to them because of lazy voters who do not research their voting records; the money they have at their disposal if not from corporations for their loyalty, then money from the RNC itself as they pick and choose winners; and of course there is always name recognition. This Congress just like the last with Boehner at the helm in the House and Speaker McConnell in the Senate will continue as it has. The greater number of true conservative House members will be a distraction at best. Those politicians who are deeply entrenched will not want to relinguish any of their powers…this shown already by the ousting of such members as chairpersons for key committees. I fear that the time it takes for America to awaken to what is really going on with the coordination of the obfuscation of facts in essentially all branches of government, our freedoms fought and paid for in blood long ago will continue to diminish as we find ourselves like frogs in a kettle. As good citizens we must take a greater interest in the daily running of our government at all levels. Too many rights and freedoms have already been inked away– to the willing ignorance of our citizens. Amazing how involved a small nation became only on two issues: freedom of religion and no taxation without representation. Sadly we have given both of these away and more without a hint of mass public outcry. We tend to not get involved unless a known particular threat directly impacts us, and that not until legislation has already been passed and we are appalled by the audacity of our elected officials. And then most likely 80% will shrug their shoulders and say what is done is done. Maybe the other 20% will write their Congressmen and probably less than 5% will actually be enraged enough to campaign for its repeal. For all the information we now have at our fingertips it is amazing how ignorant we still choose to be on issues that will effect our very futures. It is like as a nation we have embraced fatalism as our lot.
    A real test is headed our way and very fast on gun legislation. How many have expressed their informed opinion? Will our nation suffer the loss of the Second Amendment as a reinterpretation of its meaning of two parts as a well regulated state militia and an individual citizen’s inherit right to keep and bare arms of his choosing? With the absence of adjectives in the Second Amendment, will that leave room for regulation to dictate type and number of weapons citizens will “legally” be able to own? And finally will the “well regulated” slip into the second part of the statement and give federal regulators the “right” to require registration? And later will it mean that all weapons of private citizens be locked up in an armory? This is worrisome if one understands the original purpose of the Second Amendment, but wait, that takes research and people haven’t the time to see where this may take us a nation. This is on the agenda of the Obama administration. If it does not pass legislatively, he only needs to wait for an appointment or two to the Supreme Court to rule judicially in his favor and since we have given the Supreme Court the position of the final say on everything, that ruling will stand. We have lost our way on checks and balances and it is hurting our nation going forward. Frustration abounds with our current condition as a nation. Perhaps that is an underlying excuse taken up by the shooters of late. Angry young men, jobless, unthinking, irresponsibly directing that anger toward innocent victims. There must arise at some point a feeling of empowerment with things functioning as they should, but that may only come on the other side of heaven!

  3. Timothy says:

    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!

  4. Willi says:

    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 says:

      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.

1 2 3

What's Your Opinion?

We welcome your comments! Join the discussion and let your voice be heard.