Let’s get right to a story that epitomizes what is wrong with Washington, in general, and the Republican Party, in particular. In 2010, the Republican Party gained a majority in the House of Representatives and came very close to gaining control of the Senate. That move was fueled, in no small part, by the Tea Party. Conservatives in America let it be known they were fed up and they elected representatives to go to Washington and bring a semblance of sanity to the proceedings, especially on fiscal issues. Their impact was not as great as it should have been and much of that was thought to be directly related to Speaker John Boehner and his bid to retain control of the House. I believe that can be confirmed with the news that the Republican leadership has removed several key conservative members from their positions on different committees.
(Breitbart) House Speaker John Boehner and GOP leadership have removed several conservative House members from their respective powerful committee positions, Breitbart News has learned.
Effective next Congress, leadership pulled Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash and Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert off committees from which they could exert conservative pressure on fiscal matters. Amash and Huelskamp were pulled from the Budget Committee and Schweikert from the Financial Services Committee.
Huelskamp, a freshman elected during the 2010 tea party wave, thinks the leadership move to pull him from the powerful committee is revenge for him standing up for conservatism. “It is little wonder why Congress has a 16 percent approval rating: Americans send principled representatives to change Washington and get punished in return,” Huelskamp said in a Monday night statement. “The GOP leadership might think they have silenced conservatives, but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions. This is clearly a vindictive move, and a sure sign that the GOP Establishment cannot handle disagreement.”
As could be expected, John Boehner and his spokesman are both denying this is a move to limit the influence fiscal conservatives may have on what goes on in their respective committees. The decision was based on “a range of factors”, they say. I suspect they are right, but most of those factors are probably related to Huelskamp, Amash, and Schweikert’s refusal to go along with the GOP leadership, just because they ask nicely. Truly, they are trying to serve their constituents and in doing so, they are stepping on the fiscal toes of Boehner and company. That hasn’t been well-received by Boehner and he is moving to limit their ability to step on said toes.
I am sure I am not the only disillusioned Republican in this crowd. I used to harbor a hope that the GOP would right its course and make its way back to the path of fiscal sanity. After witnessing what we have seen since the election, coupled with this latest move by John Boehner, I no longer harbor that hope. I fully expect Boehner to make a deal with Obama that is borderline fiscal insanity. That kind of compromise is what got us into the fiscal cliff mess we are now facing and I see no reason to suspect he will suddenly come to his senses.
We have several new members of Congress who are more than willing to step to the plate and work to return fiscal sanity to the workings of our government. Those members are being sidelined by Boehner and the rest of the GOP leadership. Obviously, they do not want them rocking the boat and this constitutes a major problem for those of us who are tired of seeing the Republican Party act like a slightly more conservative version of the Democratic Party.
I wish I knew what the key to solving this problem is. My first thoughts are for term limits. We have discussed them on this blog before and they have their pros and cons. My feeling is that with the GOP leadership unwilling to allow fiscal sanity back into their ranks, term limits may be the only answer. As long as they are in power, nothing is likely to change. Term limits would eliminate that problem. While it is true term limits would possibly raise their own set of issues, I’m not so sure it wouldn’t be a big improvement on the status quo we are currently facing.
As long as the leadership of any political party remains entrenched, it is unlikely they will relinquish their hold on that power willingly. Clearly, we need new leadership in the Republican Party, both in and out of Congress. If the old guard is unwilling to step aside and allow new blood to come into play, new blood that wants to bring fiscal conservatism back into the fold, then we need to take it on ourselves to vote them out of office. Because that seems so impossible to do with Republicans such as John Boehner, then term limits may be the only way to accomplish that goal.
One thing I am positive about, John Boehner needs to be deposed as Speaker of the House of Representatives. He is not representing the will of the members of his party and he should step down.