So, expecting to pick up a number of seats by “newbies,” what do GOP leaders in Washington want to ensure? They want “GOP insiders to staff outsiders,” according to Roll Call. Eric Cantor’s staff added, “There’s a lot of important work to get done right out of the gate, so it’s important that newly elected Republicans have access to experienced, competent staff so that they can hit the ground running.”
According to Roll Call, “[a] Republican aide confirmed leadership’s interest in having staff that works well with Boehner to move the agenda forward.” And even better, the lobbyists and strategists are in on the act, as well – one lobbyist saying, “[y]ou want to be sure that the newbies, when they hit town, do not necessarily bring their campaign staff to run their Congressional offices, because in some cases they are totally ill-equipped.”
Having worked on the Hill, I can tell you that new members would be better off telling leadership to stuff it.
Of course (as anyone would understand), it’s good to have at least some experience in the office. I do not begrudge the desire of a new member to seek experienced staffers to complement their loyal folks from home who will come with them. Most offices end up with a mix of both.
But that’s not really what this is about at its core. This is about making sure the “newbies” do not rock the boat and get with the program… the Washington establishment’s program. The staff that the establishment will “suggest” to the new members will be the same freaking idiots who have been bouncing around the Hill forever and will be more likely to go along to get along – to continue the same way Washington has been working forever. Just take a look at top Republican offices – they are a bunch of re-treads from years past, Administrations past – and for those of us who have been in the trenches fighting for conservatism, let me just say that we have more often been fighting against them than with them.
And worse yet, of all the possibilities in Washington, the ratio of bad staff to good staff is overwhelmingly high. Right now, let’s say Republicans pick up 8 seats in the Senate, for example. We would need to find 24 staffers to fill the Chief of Staff, Legislative Director and Communications Director jobs – usually the top three jobs in the office. I honestly have a hard time coming up with 24 actual, Constitution-respecting, limited government believing, God-fearing conservatives to fill those roles. I really do. Now, try to find staff for 50+ new House members?
We do need members to have good conservative staff. Leadership is correct that staff is important. And to get the job done, the new members will need them – so they should look to actual conservatives to find those staffers. They should reach out to the Republican Study Committee in the House, the Senate Steering Committee in the Senate, the Heritage Foundation, the Leadership Institute, or just call a conservative (current or former) members they trust to find the few veterans conservative staffers that exist and hire those folks to complement their own teams from “outside” (i.e. from America). Under no circumstances should any new member 1) take the kool-aid drinking hacks that leadership “recommends,” or 2) send their new, fresh staffers from home into the Lion’s den only to be co-opted by those same leadership folks without some reinforcement from actual conservatives who have been there.
This ain’t rocket science, you just need a few smart conservatives who believe in freedom and limited government, and are willing to stand up and fight. Use the judgment that got you there – not the judgment of a bunch of lifetime politicians and staffers who have been partly culpable in driving the country into the ditch.