Stark Raving Ideologues
“It does take great maturity to understand that the opinion we are arguing for is merely the hypothesis we favor, necessarily imperfect, probably transitory, which only very limited minds can declare to be a certainty or a truth.” - Milan Kundera
Congressman Tim Huelskamp is a true conservative who walks the walk. A deeply religious man and father of four adopted children, his compassion is defined by how he lives his life. He is a man of principle who places abidance in conscience above political loyalties and party pressure.
Earlier this week, the Republican leadership in Congress took steps to punish Tim Huelskamp and two other members of Congress for doing what they believed to be right. The Republican leaders said they had a used a “scorecard” to make their determination to remove Congressman Huelskamp and the others from key committee assignments. Politico picks up the story:
Three conservative Republican freshmen are demanding an explanation from House Speaker John Boehner as to why they were recently removed from committees.
Reps. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) sent a letter to Boehner (R-Ohio) Friday asking him to release all the criteria he and the Steering Committee used in making the decision. They also asked for any “vote scorecard” that was reportedly used to determine how closely members were in line with leadership.
“On Monday, we learned that we had been removed from our committee assignments,” the three lawmakers wrote. “Some of us learned of this news from a member of the Steering Committee; others never were officially informed and heard of the action from press accounts citing anonymous leadership staffers. To this date, no formal explanation has been given for the removal.”
Huelskamp and Schweikert spoke angrily about their removal during a Republican Conference meeting on Wednesday. Huelskamp was booted from the Budget and Agriculture committees and Schweikert was taken off of Financial Services. Amash was taken off the Budget Committee.
The use of a “scorecard” by these GOP leaders is funny because establishment Republicans have long complained about the use of scorecards by conservative organizations. Apparently they have now adopted the practice they once derided.
Republican leaders in Congress have a problem. They want the mainstream establishment to think of them as “nice guys” who want to compromise with President Obama to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff”. Of course, this will never happen so long as they have “R” next to their names. So instead of arguing their case they want to come up with some sound bites and a fake agreement that will paper-over the problem in a blaze of positive media attention. It will raise taxes, plan on some future cuts, and avoid any substantive thought on how to address the problem. It will be a lie, the media will call it good, and the people will go back to worrying about Christmas.
Anything would be better than this. Even admitting that we don’t want to go through the pain of addressing the problem - that we lack the will to do anything real about it - would at least admit to the problem and leave it standing naked before us, nagging us for a solution. No, we will play at doing something, lie, pat ourselves on the back, celebrate, eat turkey, watch football, and go to sleep.
Congressman Huelskamp called the Republican leadership “vindictive and petty”. Maybe, more likely they are just practicing that Washington insider ideology of fear and gluttony.
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