There are many House Republicans. And most of them call themselves conservatives. In fact, what we see over time is that most of the House Republicans ultimately wind up being what I call pro-life statists.
They claim they are conservative because they vote right on life issues and against Obama, but they are perfectly happy driving up the cost of government for their own purposes.
I have developed an easy test to see who is and is not a real conservative, or at least over time will prove to be a real conservative as opposed to a pro-life statist.
The test is this: is the member on the leadership's whip team.
Yet another conservative has been kicked off the whip team for voting conservative on an issue when the leadership wanted the member to take the statist position. This time it is Dave Schweikert from Arizona.
Now, leadership is spinning it as Schweikert lying. From the former Debbie Wasserman Schultz staffer, Jonathan Allen, at the Politico:
Rep. David Schweikert, a freshman from Arizona, was removed from the Republican whip team -- the group of lawmakers who help round up votes for the leadership -- for what sources say is a violation of the first rule of the whip club. The rule: Don't promise to vote one way and then vote the other way. Sources declined to specify which vote cost Schweikert his seat at the table, but he did vote 'no' on the Energy and Water Appropriations bill last Friday. Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam pointed Huddle to Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy's office when asked about the episode. 'This is a whip team family issue," McCarthy spokeswoman Erica Elliott said.
Sources may tell Jonathan Allen that, but sources tell me it is more complicated than that and Schweikert had never been as committed as leadership would have us all believe.
Leadership last kicked Georgia Republican Tom Graves off the whip team for voting conservative instead of statist. It's becoming a badge of honor for real conservatives.
And it is a fantastic indicator of whether your "conservative" congressman will "grow" in office. If they're on the Whip Team, they'll probably become a House version of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.