In order to 'fundamentally restore' America, we will need to win back the House and Senate in 2012, in addition to the White House. Yes – you read that correctly. We don't control the House yet.
There is a popular misconception that all of the 87 freshmen members are intrepid conservatives – members of the "Tea Party Congress." Sadly, many of the newbies are 'business as usual' types. As Erick pointed out last week, there are members like Martha Roby, who represent conservative districts, yet, they are anything but conservative. We will continue to name names. These uninspiring Republicans don't vote with the Democrats and cannot be classified as RINOs, but they are lock-step followers of leadership. If we continue electing more of the play-it-safe crowd, we will never reverse the inexorable march toward socialism and fiscal insolvency.
On Tuesday, House leadership is planning to pass Harry Reid's CR with unanimous consent. In other words, they will lock in spending levels and policies that completely void the House-passed "Ryan" budget – without any debate. How ironic that Boehner is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Pledge to America with this emphatic declaration: "we’ve kept that pledge, and will continue to keep our promise to the millions of Americans who remain out of work and the small businesses hamstrung by today’s economic uncertainty." In the pledge, they promised to "fight the growth of government" and "efforts to fund the costly new healthcare law." Well, this CR will continue $26.3 billion in funding for Obamacare, and will pave the road for an Omnibus bill in November that will grow the size of government. It will also continue the solar energy loan program that led to Solar-gate.
All of this would not have been possible had we elected a real "Tea Party Congress" – one that would have challenged the status quo mentality of leadership. Undoubtedly, it is quite arduous for a new member to challenge the agenda of leadership; however, it is precisely that sort of indomitability that we will need to restore this country to its constitutional roots.
Congressman Joe Walsh stands out as a paragon of courageous conservatism amongst the freshmen class, and he should be held up as the standard for picking candidates in next year's House races. Unlike Martha Roby, Kristi Noem, and Rick Berg (to name a few), who represent staunch conservative districts, yet fail to promote conservative legislation, Walsh represents a swing district, but has not wavered one iota. He couldn’t care less about getting reelected. Here is what he said at the TeaCon 2011 conference, as reported by the Chicago Tribune:
“John Boehner is a great guy. (House Majority Leader) Eric Cantor’s a great guy. They’re good folk who have the best for this country. The problem is, they’ve been there too long and they’re afraid to fight for this country,” Walsh told more than 600 people attending TeaCon 2011 in Schaumburg.
Walsh said Boehner“pats us on our heads, (and says), ‘Republicans, don’t make trouble. Don’t make waves. Let’s just be quiet, shhh, and we’ll get President Obama out of office in a year.’”
“No, I don’t think the American people are upset because Washington’s dysfunctional. I don’t buy that Washington’s dysfunctional,” the congressman from McHenry said. “But when Washington’s dysfunctional, that means they’re not able to do as much. I think that’s a good thing.”
As we head into the primary season for House seats, we must remember that not everyone who is dubbed as a "rising star" by the media will necessarily be a conservative star. Unfortunately, we have learned that some of them turn out to be leadership stars.
We need more freshmen like Joe Walsh. He will be running for reelection in the newly created 14th district of Illinois. He won with practically no money last time, but he now has a massive target on his back. He certainly won't get any help from leadership – and that's a good thing. But he does need your help. It's a good investment because he is worth more than a dozen "conventional" Republicans.
To paraphrase a favorite bromide of Republican leaders: we need more congressmen like Joe Walsh; otherwise we will be relegated to control of just the minority of the majority of one branch of government.