Message to RSC Members: Get in or Get Out
Rep. Jim Jordan, the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), is taking massive heat from many of his own colleagues within the RSC for his public opposition to the Boehner debt deal. RSC staff is being called out by name for doing their job effectively. Calls are coming from all Leadershipistas to fire the RSC staff.
These members—such as Rep. Renee Ellmers (NC)—don’t like the fact that they are perceived on the wrong side of where the conservative movement ended up. Some are threatening to quit their membership in the House of Representative’s predominant conservative caucus.
If that’s what they think, they should submit their resignation—today.
I’d like to give everyone a brief understanding of what the RSC’s role is in Congress. I know because I worked there for over four years, served under three different RSC chairmen, with a two-year stint as its staff director.
The RSC is the conservative movement in the House of Representatives. It is not an arm of the elected House Leadership. It is not a cheerleader of everything that Leadership is doing. In fact, its job is to push Leadership as far to the right as is possible and flat out oppose it when necessary. As a result, Leadership often has a rocky relationship with whoever is the Chairman of the RSC because he or she is a political counterweight on whatever they are trying to do.
Now let me add a dynamic to the picture. A lot of—let’s be generous here—casually conservative Members of Congress like to join the RSC in order to be perceived back home as a 100% winger, but in reality, these Members are in the “Just Happy to Be Here” Caucus. They don’t fight, they often take bad votes if their Leadership wants them to, and when the RSC Chairman decides to fight, they often make his or her life absolutely miserable. Some threaten to quit the RSC. It is part of the territory.
In spite of all that abuse, and in spite of being from Ohio as Speaker Boehner is, Jim Jordan is proving to be one of the most effective Chairman in the history of the RSC. I know because I’ve worked for some of the others. Instead of being raked over the coals, he should be honored as a patriot.
Message to RSC Members who don’t like how the RSC is being managed: Get out.