Almost every anti-establishment firebrand is the same. Elected to break the chokehold that Beltway elites have on the republic, they come to Washington with their constituents’ concerns foremost. They are eager to heave overboard the dead weight that sinks the balance of powers — and ready to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Then it happens. One taste of the waters of forgetfulness on Capitol Hill and suddenly their goal is something called “incumbency” and their allegiance is to the powers that be — “the leadership.”
After the earthquake election of 2014, in the wake of a mandate against President Obama’s agenda, it seems as if the Republican leadership in Washington isn’t even waiting for the usual inside-the-Beltway conversions to take place.
They are thinking, it seems, “What if this new class of freshmen members is more Constitution-minded than before? What if they won’t support us Republican custodians of status quo government who are practically indistinguishable on the issues from Democrat custodians of expanding government?”
The question puts the fear of powerlessness into Beltway elites. And so, as American polls closed, Beltway elites closed ranks.
It was clear there was no appetite on high for the red-meat message of Obama rejection that the electorate sent. House Speaker John Boehner reacted to this stupendous Republican victory as “not a time for celebration.” He expressed hope for “bipartisan steps” and working with President Obama. It’s hard to imagine how his statement would have differed had he been responding to GOP losses instead of gains.
Boehner and the rest of the Big Republicans just don’t seem to care. Indeed, the post-election op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that Boehner co-authored with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell failed even to mention Obama’s looming amnesty action.
And after an election that was in large part a referendum on Obama’s promised amnesty power grab, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced that “serious immigration reform” was still on the table.
Whose table? Beltway types — not Republican voters.
Newly elected Republicans are headed to vote for their speaker, this month in their Republican Party conference and, later, after the new Congress begins, in the full House.
According to “multiple GOP sources,” the National Journal reports, a new Republican proposal circulating in the House sets forth that “any Republican who votes on the House floor in January against the conference’s nominee for House speaker — that is, the candidate chosen by a majority of the House GOP during the closed-door leadership elections in November — would be severely punished. Specifically, sources say, any dissenters would be stripped of all committee assignments for that Congress.”
“Severely punished”? “Dissenters” will be “stripped”? This sounds less like a U.S. Congress than an old Soviet politburo with a hint of gulag. Which means the fight isn’t over. Victory at the polls can and will be stolen unless you tell your new Republican representative two things to get off to a good term: Stop amnesty and the GOP establishment.
Diana West can be contacted via [email protected].