Now what? Accountability…
by John Allison, III
I haven’t posted much the past several months, but always planned to make a statement after the midterm election.
Tuesday saw a wave of red wash over the country, enough that it even gave President Obama pause. Though the President still can’t admit to himself the election was a repudiation of his attempt to run the country off the left side of a Socialist cliff, the American people sent a message so clear that most blind Democrats could recognize it. Socialism is NOT the change Americans thought they were voting for in 2008.
But shifting control of the House to Republicans isn’t enough. We’ve been there before.
Remember, Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress for 12 years while government grew and spending ballooned. When the GOP had total control, it did little to rein in spending or limit government’s role in our daily lives. The election results we achieved last week will only mean victory for our side if we keep up the pressure and force our Republican representatives to honor the promises they made throughout this campaign.
Across the country, Republican candidates siphoned the energy of Tea Party activists who clamored for real change–fiscal responsibility, constitutional limited government, and accountability of elected officials. They touted their conservative credentials and told the boisterous crowds what they wanted to hear. They promised to deliver the changes Tea Partiers demanded.
Many Washington-establishment Republican candidates made these same campaign promises. They promised to cut spending, they promised to repeal the massive job-killing Obamacare debacle, they promised accountability to the electorate, and more. But many held office before, and helped create the problems so pressing today.
Have they changed? Did they have some epiphany that converted them to Tea Party style constitutional conservatives?
Only time will tell.
But if Tea Partiers back off now, it will be easy for our soon-to-be-seated representatives to become trapped in the snare of the DC establishment. Remember, back in July establishment Republican, former Senate-majority-leader-turned-DC-lobbyist Trent Lott said, “We don’t need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples. As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.” We also saw establishment Republicans backed by the party in primary races abandon any pretense of conservative principles when true conservatives challenged them in their respective primaries.
In New York’s 23rd Congressional District special election a year ago, Dede Scozzafava was appointed the Republican candidate without a primary. When a third party conservative candidate overtook her in late polling, the Republican establishment candidate dropped out and endorsed her Democrat opponent. In Florida, the Washington DC Republican establishment backed Senate candidate Charlie Crist left the party to run for Senate as an independent when he fell behind in the primary polls to Tea Party backed Marco Rubio. And Alaska’s GOP establishment Senator Lisa Murkowski mounted a write-in campaign to run against the Tea Party backed candidate who defeated her in that state’s primary.
In short, just because we have Republicans in control doesn’t mean our interests will be represented. It’s up to us to keep up the pressure on Republican lawmakers to fulfill the promises they made to get elected.
Because we have wrested control from Obama and the Democrats, my focus will now shift to holding our Republican representatives accountable.
Thanks to all who worked so hard to send the clear message that this is America, the country that became great within the frameworks laid out by our founding fathers. We won this battle, but the war goes on.
Tags: Election 2010, Midterm Elections, Trent Lott, Republicans, GOP, Democrats, Accountability, Tea Party
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