Jack Abramoff Exclusive: A Moment That Passed

June 23, 2014

The defeat of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by a grassroots activist college professor should have presaged a fundamental shift in the Republican Party Congressional leadership. It should have been a wake-up call to establishment Republicans that the unprecedented national animosity toward Congress in particular, and politicians in general, requires a new approach, and new personalities. Cantor’s shocking defeat should have had the canary-in-the-coal-mine effect, with Republicans realizing that they were in trouble. But it didn’t.

In an internal party election that surprised no one, Kevin McCarthy was promoted from the position of Majority Whip to Majority Leader. McCarthy is being lauded in the mainstream media as an amiable sort of guy, a moderate who won’t rock the boat. He won his position because he’s an adept back-slapper and glad-hander. Is this what the Republicans really need in these times of peril?

Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team, for which McCarthy has played a key role, has lost the confidence of conservative Americans. Of the Boehner-Cantor-McCarthy troika, Eric Cantor was by far the most conservative. He’s gone, leaving Boehner and McCarthy in place. Sure, they will be joined by new House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a conservative, but the song remains the same. In promoting McCarthy, the Republican Party House caucus decided to go with the devil they know rather than risk a new direction. Their problem is that America is no longer a place satisfied with safe, failed choices.

We live in vertiginous times. Few things in life seem durable, let alone permanent. Change is the byword of our culture and certainly our politics. The more politically skilled among us – they’re called Democrats – have been able to play the change card successfully, if not deceitfully, for a long time.

Republicans are more hidebound than the Democrats, and have not learned the art of the political pivot as well. In most things, this is good. We want political leaders who stick to their principals, especially when those principals are what made this nation great. There is no cause to celebrate the mendacity of the Democrats, but must the Republicans be so predictable? And are Congressional Republicans tenaciously clinging to valued principals, or just persistent in maintaining their power structure?

The current Republican leadership of the House of Representatives has failed to channel America’s skepticism and anger toward the Democrats into legislative gain. They seem at once timid and discombobulated. Conservatives in Congress are repulsed by Boehner’s diffident leadership and frustrated that he continues as Speaker. But, they have only themselves to blame.

Given a golden opportunity to change the leadership of the House, and thereby effect a change of direction for our nation’s politics, conservatives whiffed at the plate. The usual conservative suspects – Texas Congressmen Pete Sessions and Jeb Hensarling – briefly considered making a run for majority leader and then fled the scene. Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador bravely entered his name in the race, but after a pre-election weekend imbroglio at his state’s Republican convention, his prospects dimmed.

So, conservatives were consigned to vying for the Majority Whip position, which they won with Scalise. But what did they really win? Scalise, at best, will be faced with a hostile moderate dyad of Boehner and McCarthy, requiring him to relive the difficulties his heroic predecessor, then-Majority Whip Tom DeLay, overcame against Newt Gingrich and his more moderate leadership team. At worst, Scalise will truckle and genuflect to get respect and scraps from the less-than-dynamic duo topping the leadership chart.

Either way, conservatives lose.

For the past several decades, voters have sent increasingly conservative Republicans to Capitol Hill. Once ensconced in the nation’s capital, though, these conservatives start to wilt. In sheer numbers, they far outnumber the moderates – yet, the moderates continue to control Republican leadership offices on both sides of the Congress.

Perhaps it’s the desire of politicians to be loved by Washington’s media and social establishment? Or perhaps it’s the veracity of the rule made famous by conservative journalist sage M. Stanton Evans, that once one of our guys – conservatives – gains a leadership role in politics, he fails to be one of our guys? Whatever the cause, it seems that arrival in the city that used to be an official swamp causes the lionhearted to become fainthearted.

According to conservative Congressman Justin Amish, the moment to make the House leadership conservative has passed. He avers that attempting to dislodge Boehner and gang after the November elections will be a Sisyphean task. After the election, the leaders are giving out goodies to Congress members, in the form of committee assignments, office locations and other perks. That’s not the ideal time for a revolt. Plus, in the aftermath of what is likely to be a trouncing of Democrats in the 2014 election, timid conservative Congressmen are unlikely to reward their leadership with a swift kick in the pants.

So, the decision has been made. Republicans have decided that the leadership that has led them to unprecedented disdain will stay in place. The chance to capitalize on Obama’s equally historic lack of popular support will fade.

Look away, please, nothing happening here. Our moment has passed.

3 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • James in Texas says:

    An Conservative from CA is like a Rabbi being put up as the next Pontiff of the Catholic Church, It is not going to happen! And we must always remember that the “Mothers Milk” of politics is “My wealth, My power, My next Election”, Period! The GOP, my former Party, has lost it’s way, and now, like the Progressives aka: Democrats, it is all about “ME”. It is going to take several elections to remove all of the corrupt politicians, and an amendment to the Constitution for Term Limits to “heal our Congress”. Incumbency is the “spoils of corruption” and the cause of our nation being $17+ Trillion in debt. This was no accident or mistake, it was the plan of many generations of incumbents, who wanted only power, wealth and life-long appointment to the elite level of “Rulers”! We’re almost there and if we fail in November it will be beyond our generation to stop the final destruction of American freedom as the world has never before known!

  • bygeorge says:

    The obvious choice of Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca) to replace the defeated Eric Cantor as House Majority Leader, is nothing more than a scab forming over a puncture wound. It reveals that the shocking disarray that swept the GOP ranks and the Washington DC establishment, has abated somewhat and that the GOP leadership quickly rallied to stop the bleeding. Still the GOP Elites don’t get it. It hasn’t abated out here in fly over land. Cantor’s loss is happily viewed as a necessary first step.

    Keep an eye on John Boehner. Watching him in his public uttering’s this past week, reveals that behind his “Cheshire Cat” grin lurks the uncertainty of his even retaining his own position as House Speaker. On the left, dumbo’s like Nancy Pelosi and the left leaning media, keep cheering the GOP on to do what’s best for the left. They’re all scared, as they should be.

    That current lot up there, now jockeying for positions in leadership, all have their eyes on the Golden Goose and the wealth to be made from lobbyists (look for Eric Cantor to be there soon), who are seeking privileged favor and will pay to get it. That massive amount of available money from lobbyists is the common denominator between the Democrat and Republican parties. That’s the name of the game and that’s how it’s played. Little favors asked, is followed by loss of integrity, that leads inevitably to the quicksand of public corruption. That’s why politicians should not be careerists and why, if we can’t have term limits, then ‘primary incumbents so they must explain themselves in the public arena.

    Certain truths have been revealed during America’s short political history. Senators are simply not capable of being President unless they have been Governors first. Congressmen don’t even count. The natural occupant for the most important chair in the free world, has alway’s been either a General officer or a Governor, people who have acted as CEO’s, (General’s and Governor’s), made or followed budgets, insured the basic health of their organizations and knew/know how to spend the funds allocated to them.

    Look at the list of unqualified silly senators who thought they had/have the skills to be President: Start with Joe Biden, now VP. He’s an idiot and proves it every time he makes a public appearance. John Kerry, who fought in Vietnam, besmirched his naval career with lies and accusations of brutality against other fighting men and now he wants to enter into joint combat operations with Iran. Hillary Clinton, OMG, a political animal from the far left with no individual skills whatever except having married Bill Clinton and a failed term in the State Department. John McCain has the developed skills of a bull in a China shop. He rightly lost and for me, his opinion doesn’t count any more. I do wish FOX news would stop interviewing him every other day. Let us not forget Al Gore, the very wealthy global warming expert. He too was a VP and, after losing to G.W. Bush, descended into the murky world of pseudo science, weather quackery and shaman incantations against deniers. Last but not least, is Barak Hussain Obama. He grabbed for the Golden Ring, got it and will now go down in history as the President who destroyed America.

    Here in Georgia we have an available seat in the US Senate. I say that a twenty year congressional incumbent, like Mr. Jack Kingston, has long passed his expiration date. To send him to the Senate is to simply aggravate the already existing problem there, failure to cut spending. Mr. Kingston’s long career is undistinguished in legislative accomplishment except for voting with the majority, which we know has not reduced spending, stopped the growth of government or protected our constitutional rights.

    Mr. Kingston’s career has rarely been interrupted by promotion above “member” in a couple of committees, and I wonder why, after twenty years, he has no grey hairs? Only his hair dresser knows. The changing of the guard has started. It’s important we don’t slow that change down. What’s needed are new people and new blood. Let the scabs form over again.

    1. grandmary42 says:

      GREAT post! Let’s pray the contests today (Tuesday) get new conservative patriots!

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