Words of Wisdom from Jim DeMint

After the Republican blowout on November 2, 2010, a lot of media pundits and people in the political class rushed to the microphones to tell us what it means. At least one of them got it right. In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Senator Jim DeMint had this to say to the newly elected conservative Senators:

“Congratulations to all the tea party-backed candidates … (Y)ou must now overcome determined party insiders if this nation is going to be spared … The establishment is much more likely to try to buy off your votes than to buy into your limited-government philosophy. Don't let them … (S)omeone can't be bribed if they aren't for sale … (D)on't request earmarks. (H)ire conservative staff … (B)eware of committees … used as bait … (D)on't seek titles … (D)on't let your re-election become more important than your job. You've campaigned long and hard for the opportunity to go to Washington and restore freedom in America … When you are in Washington, remember what the voters back home want—less government and more freedom.”

Senator DeMint’s advice is sage and timely. Because the Republicans in the Senate are still in the minority, it should be relatively easy for the newly elected Senators to stand on their conservative principles. As we know, it is the majority party that gets to “make up the rules” as they go along. But the situation in the House of Representatives is much more worrisome. There, a Republican Old Guard now sniffs the heady aroma of power.

In an emotional television interview last night, soon-to-be majority leader John Boehner kept speaking about “the American people’s agenda.” It peppered his address like a mantra. But he seemed unable to articulate the agenda, contenting himself instead with trying to give the impression that it is his agenda, as well. But, is it?

I don’t know John Boehner, and I have nothing against him. Nor do I follow the inner-workings of the House of Representatives closely enough to cite chapter and verse what he or any other Representative has done on Capitol Hill. But, I am a fairly good judge of character, and I can usually see the signs and symptoms of trouble before it comes. So, I have some advice for Representative Boehner and for the newly elected conservative majority in the House of Representatives. Here it is:

Don’t reach across the aisle to the Democrats. Let them reach across the isle to you. Don’t reach out to Mr. Obama. Let him twist and turn in the political wind of his own making. Remember that the people sent you to Washington to stop the Marxist agenda of the Democrat progressives. Remember that the more government tries to do for the people, the more freedom it usurps. Remember that the administration will try to outflank the people’s House with Executive Orders and administrative regulations, and the people want the leaders of the House to stop the administration dead in its tracks. Remember that you, too, can be voted out of office – the moment you break faith with the American people. Remember, most of all, that when you take your Oath of Office, the American people not only expect, but demand, that you dedicate yourself to fulfilling it.”

If the newly elected conservative majority in the House of Representatives remembers this much, it will be enough.

After the Republican blowout on November 2, 2010, a lot of media pundits and people in the political class rushed to the microphones to tell us what it means. At least one of them got it right. In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Senator Jim DeMint had this to say to the newly elected conservative Senators:

“Congratulations to all the tea party-backed candidates … (Y)ou must now overcome determined party insiders if this nation is going to be spared … The establishment is much more likely to try to buy off your votes than to buy into your limited-government philosophy. Don't let them … (S)omeone can't be bribed if they aren't for sale … (D)on't request earmarks. (H)ire conservative staff … (B)eware of committees … used as bait … (D)on't seek titles … (D)on't let your re-election become more important than your job. You've campaigned long and hard for the opportunity to go to Washington and restore freedom in America … When you are in Washington, remember what the voters back home want—less government and more freedom.”

Senator DeMint’s advice is sage and timely. Because the Republicans in the Senate are still in the minority, it should be relatively easy for the newly elected Senators to stand on their conservative principles. As we know, it is the majority party that gets to “make up the rules” as they go along. But the situation in the House of Representatives is much more worrisome. There, a Republican Old Guard now sniffs the heady aroma of power.

In an emotional television interview last night, soon-to-be majority leader John Boehner kept speaking about “the American people’s agenda.” It peppered his address like a mantra. But he seemed unable to articulate the agenda, contenting himself instead with trying to give the impression that it is his agenda, as well. But, is it?

I don’t know John Boehner, and I have nothing against him. Nor do I follow the inner-workings of the House of Representatives closely enough to cite chapter and verse what he or any other Representative has done on Capitol Hill. But, I am a fairly good judge of character, and I can usually see the signs and symptoms of trouble before it comes. So, I have some advice for Representative Boehner and for the newly elected conservative majority in the House of Representatives. Here it is:

Don’t reach across the aisle to the Democrats. Let them reach across the isle to you. Don’t reach out to Mr. Obama. Let him twist and turn in the political wind of his own making. Remember that the people sent you to Washington to stop the Marxist agenda of the Democrat progressives. Remember that the more government tries to do for the people, the more freedom it usurps. Remember that the administration will try to outflank the people’s House with Executive Orders and administrative regulations, and the people want the leaders of the House to stop the administration dead in its tracks. Remember that you, too, can be voted out of office – the moment you break faith with the American people. Remember, most of all, that when you take your Oath of Office, the American people not only expect, but demand, that you dedicate yourself to fulfilling it.”

If the newly elected conservative majority in the House of Representatives remembers this much, it will be enough.

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