Although I have withdrawn virtually all hope that either major party has a clue as to what is really required to allow this country to avert a painful decline in terms of the economy and civil liberties, I nonetheless momentarily fancied the possibilities of change. Even if they did honestly assess where they have taken our nation, I doubt either party has the backbone to take responsibility for, and to correct the mistakes of even the last thirty five years.
In spite of this sentiment, I had a guarded hope that perhaps the election of John Shadegg as leader of the house might be a breath of fresh air for some of the suffocated republicans. Perhaps, I thought, the small government ideologues in the party might rise up and cast off the shackles of the Leviathan builders and White house water carriers. Yes maybe, just maybe we would hear proposals to scrap No Child Left Behind ... heck maybe the entire department of education! Talk of constitutional government executing enumerated powers would fill the hallowed halls of the Fox News studios. Bill O'Rielly would have to find a copy of the Constitution. There would be talk of budgets cut and taxes repealed. States rights would once again have advocates in DC.
Fueling the fires of my delusional nirvana I hear Congressman Charlie Bass:
Just over 11 years ago, I came to Washington as part of the reform class of 1994. We sat in this very room those first few days and adopted plans to enact the blueprint of our success.
We were here then to “restore accountability to Congress and end its cycle of scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves.” We find ourselves at a similar point today as we were when we wrote those words into the Contract with America.
Like Jefferson, I think periodic revolution within the structure of democracy is “a medicine necessary for the sound health of government...
the selection of John Shadegg would reset the clock for this Conference with the electorate. There would be a full renewal of our governance and a new beginning for those of us who came here to restore the faith and trust of the American people in their government.
That we have lost some faith with the American people can not be denied. All of us hear about it when we are in our districts, we read about it in newspapers of every philosophy, and if we are truthful – we know it in our own hearts. We can not deny that our majority is in jeopardy and we can not deny that we have strayed from our path even with holding the majority over the past few years.
Many of us sat in this room 11 years ago as reform[ers] John Shadegg was with us that day and has remained faithful to that cause.
YES! I thought ... even Ron Paul will get to give his speeches with members present.
Then as if cold water were thrown upon my face in the midst of a wonderful dream, John Shadegg spoke. He described how he had been tainted far less than the other two candidates for the leadership position. He then went on to explain that he had returned any questionable Abramhoff money way back ... last year. (being January, this equated to roughly a month prior). The reality that Shadegg was (or had become) just another beltway hack returned.
The 1994 Republicans spoke a message that resonated with the American people. They talked of accountability, term limits, less government, lower taxes, balanced budgets and a government of, by and for The People. They took the hill by storm. Entrenched democrats were ripped from their congressional seats and cast upon the refuse heap of time ... the Republican renegades armed with a conservative / libertarian ideology had arrived.
Just over 10 years later, we have more government than ever, promises of continual warfare and a formalized doctrine of foreign meddling reminiscent of Wilson. The police state has advanced by leaps and bounds. While our president makes claims of freedom being on the march around the world, we are more hated than ever and freedom seems to be retreating at home. National ID, domestic spying, record deficits, undeclared wars, unbridled corruption, war is peace, freedom is slavery, double speak, double think, Big Brother is watching you. We have gone from 1994 to 1984! All this on the watch of this republican congress.
A pox on all their houses!
I am glad Shadegg was defeated, there is now absolutely no room for hollow promises of reform that would only serve to delude libertarian leaning Republicans. In addition it is a demonstration that there is no virtue in selling halfway out.
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read “The RIGHT is WRONG and the LEFT is STUPID”. That may not be entirely correct, but in this spirit I say to my brothers and sisters on the right and the left ... Get informed, read your history, educate yourself on the economic immoralities and encroachment of freedoms taking place under your nose. Challenge the claims of the entrenched politicians on both sides of the “Washington Party”. Return government to its rightful place of servant not master ... COME HOME TO LIBERTY!
As Ernist Hancock is fond of saying – “Freedom's the answer ... what's the question?”