Naked Emperors: How and why the Gingrich Revolution collapsed

Perhaps the next single most important book for Tea Partiers and new members of Congress backed by Tea Parties to read is an objective insider's look at how and why the Gingrich Revolution collapsed.

We mustn't repeat that history.

Scot Faulkner was brought in during the 104th Congress to be the first Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. He later wrote Naked Emperors: The Failure of the Republican Revolution. He's not a politician, but a private sector strategic planning consultant.

As an up-close witness, he chronicled the institutionalized statism, egos, power struggles and personal failings that ultimately spelled doom for the ideals and idealism of the Gingrich Revolution and the Class of 1994.

Faulkner details the initial excitement and promise the Gingrich Revolution was to usher in, then how all that deteriorated in the face of internal opposition from old-bull, big-spending, establishment Republicans.

Presumptive Speaker John Boehner was a Gingrich lieutenant in that historic but fateful 104th Congress. Former California Congressman and head of the House Ways and Means Committee, Bill Thomas, was a nemesis and figurehead of opposition to institutionalized changes.

The old guard liked the old ways. Institutionalized statism -- protecting power of big government and incumbency through internal rules designed by incumbents -- was fine with them. They blocked and sabotaged efforts to make the Congress more accountable, reduce corruption, and allow for upward mobility of new members. The result was that small-government policies promised by the Class of 1994 never stood a chance of succeeding.

Tea Partiers who read Naked Emperors will see similarities to what's taking place now. Naked Emperors is a good overview of the institutionalized statism within Congress that blocks what conservative, Reagan Democrat and independent voters want.

Neither the Reagan Revolution nor the Gingrich Revolution resulted in actually scaling back government to the Founder's vision. Naked Emperors explains why the most sincere politicians with the highest ideals can't succeed unless they know what institutional barriers to eliminate.

Even with the recent impressive electorate victories, statism must be de-institutionalized if the Tea Party movement is to achieve an actual return to constitutionally limited government. Reading Naked Emperors is the best way to understand the unforeseen problems Tea Party candidates will face and must overcome.
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