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.


If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Sign Up Today
Read more articles by Jedediah Bila

Leave a Reply

54 Comment threads
57 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
76 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

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


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 »


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!


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.

Ruth Massarotti

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?

John QP

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

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 »

mighty manfried

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.

Charles Rhodes

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.


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.


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.


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 »

Richard Benton

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


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.

c brown

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.

No faith in government

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

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

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

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 »

Jane Mohline

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.