GOP: “The Base? What Base?”
Since the election, we’ve seen speculation and ‘what if’ scenarios. Many have expressed their varying opinions on what could have been done differently and what we need to change as a party going forward. For many Republicans, standing firm to our underlying principles and not compromising to the point of sacrificing those principles is at the top of the list.
John Boehner is under intense scrutiny right now, as many feel he is falling into the trap of sacrificing those very principles conservatives hold dear, and going a step beyond that by ‘purging’ conservatives from powerful committees.
One of those conservatives that was purged was the young Justin Amash. Amash has been a vocal libertarian Republican since he was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010. He has garnered tremendous support from tea partiers and libertarians because of his transparency and willingness to fully explain his votes via his Facebook page. Representative Amash has also been known to interact directly with his constituents via Facebook.
As of this writing, Rep. Amash has still received no official word regarding his removal from the House Budget Committee. He tweeted this earlier in the week, calling out those in Congress who have yet to give an explanation:
Still waiting for call from GOP leadership. Are they too embarrassed to explain they booted me for working to reduce debt?
— Justin Amash (@repjustinamash) December 5, 2012
Amash did not disappoint those used to his candor, and responded in earnest on his Facebook page:
I don’t relish this situation, but if one thing is clear based on the response from the grass-roots, it’s that leadership’s actions will backfire. If they think kicking me off of a committee will lead me to abandon my principles or stifle my bipartisan work toward a balanced budget, I have a message for them: You’re dead wrong.
According to The Hill, “The Michigan lawmaker defended his voting record, saying that despite some high-level defections, including voting against the 2013 House budget resolution, he believed he had been a loyal Republican.”
I find it completely lacking in integrity that no one has contacted Rep. Amash directly. What is even more disturbing is a supposed list of criteria used to determine who would be removed. Although the list will remain hidden from the public, Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas confirmed the existence of the list in a story on Breitbart:
We’ve heard from multiple sources that someone walked in with a list of votes and said if you didn’t reach a particular scorecard of what was considered the right vote – which by the way, in most cases, was not the conservative position – then [they said] ‘we’re going to have to remove you from the committee.’
With many Republicans and conservatives in general being strongly disillusioned and disappointed with party leadership, this is certainly going to aggravate that situation. Many feel the GOP establishment is ‘out of touch’. One of our conservative stalwarts, Sarah Palin, also made a strong statement via a Facebook comment:
We send good conservatives to D.C. to fulfill the promises they made to the electorate, and yet when they stay true to their word the permanent political class in their own party punishes them. This won’t be forgotten come 2014. Right now the GOP establishment is more concerned about the opinion of the media and the Georgetown cocktail circuit than they are ‘we the people’ who hired them. For all this new talk of how the GOP needs a ‘populist movement,’ it would do them good to remember they already have one; it’s called the Tea Party movement, and it won for them the majority they now enjoy in the House.
It seems that many in the GOP too quickly forget the momentum built by the tea party in 2010. Despite the predictions of many Democratic pundits that the movement would fizzle out, I personally feel this will only invigorate the conservative base as many are already looking strongly and carefully at the 2014 elections.
- The Tea Party purge of 2012 (syracuse.com)
- After being booted from House committees, Reps. Huelskamp, Amash blast GOP (twitchy.com)
- House Budget Committee Drops Tea Party Reps Who Voted Against Paul Ryan Budget (princevega.com)
- Justin Amash: GOP Leaders “are Willing to Take Really Bad Deals to Avoid any Defense Cuts” (reason.com)
- GOP Rep: Boehner May ‘Target’ More Conservatives (breitbart.com)