Directing a spotlight on the ignorance in politics, and on the complacency of the public at large.
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." - Henry David Thoreau
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Right-wing Fails to Learn from History and Gives Lead to the Left
In December 2010, I wrote that "An indicator of the incoming House Republican majority's seriousness about cutting spending will be which members the party selects to head the various committees." The final roster ended up leaving a lot to be desired from a limited government perspective. For example, the House Republican leadership and its allies went with "The Prince of Pork" to head up the Appropriations Committee.
Two years later, the committee situation is about to get even worse now that the House Republican leadership has decided to send a message that casting a vote according to one's beliefs instead of one's instructions is a punishable offense. On Monday, four congressmen were booted from "plum" committee assignments for failing to sufficiently tow the leadership line. I suspect that the purge was motivated, at least in part, by Team Boehner's desire to have the rest of the rank and file think twice before casting a "no" vote on whatever lousy deal is struck with the White House to avoid the "fiscal cliff."
Three of the purged Republicans are returning members of the 2010 freshmen "Tea Party Class": Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Justin Amash (R-MI), and Tim Huelskamp (R-KS). Over the past year, I have been keeping a loose record of how the freshmen voted on opportunities to eliminate programs and prevent spending increases. On seven particularly telling votes*, Schweikert and Amash voted in favor of limited government every time. Out of 87 freshmen, only Schweikert, Amash, and five others had a perfect record. Huelskamp was six for seven. He also was one of only four Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee to vote against the bloated farm bill that passed out of the committee in July. The fourth outcast, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), had become an irritant to the Republican establishment after turning against the Iraq War and associating himself with more libertarian Republicans like Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).
While this looks to be a serious setback for right-wing fascism in the fight to control the state with left-wing socialism, either way we are screwed. Whether one party or the other (or one half of the single party system) gains control of the state is not entirely significant, as individuals in either paradigm are working toward authoritarian systems of government that have been tried and failed throughout history, but why bother learning from history? Or maybe it's more like a horse race, where the winner is fixed before the race begins...