Rep. Schweikert kicked off of Financial Services Committee

| December 4 2012
Christopher Cook

Arizona Representative David Schweikert is one of the smartest people in Congress. He truly understands how the economy works . . . the way a lot of other Congressmen should, but don’t. He seemed a perfect fit for the Financial Services Committee, so it seems like a bizarre decision that he would be kicked off.

And yet that is what has happened:

Red State: The Purge of House Conservatives Continues
Maybe it’s because he’s intent on repealing Dodd-Frank.  Maybe it’s because he wants to use his committee assignment to advocate winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Perhaps it’s because of his opposition to the $1 trillion farm bill.  Maybe it’s because he’s just too darn conservative to sit on an important committee.

Roll Call: Schweikert Booted from Financial Services Committee 
GOP leadership has removed Rep. David Schweikert from his spot on the Financial Services Committee for bucking the party line too often.  A person close to the situation said Schweikert was told that “his votes were not in lock step with leadership” as the reason for his ouster.

National Journal: Recalcitrant Republicans Lose Committee Spots
House Republican leaders, especially McCarthy, have been hamstrung by their relative lack of leverage over their own members. While whips in previous years have been able to wield influence over pet projects in a given member’s district, the lack of earmarks in this Congress has robbed party leaders of a stick to go along with a carrot to encourage falling in line. Committee assignments are one of the few goodies left at leadership’s disposal. Robbing these three members of their committee slots can’t be explained away as something done to accommodate incoming freshmen.

Politico:  Schweikert kicked off Financial Services Committee

The Hill: Schweikert dropped from Financial Services panel

12 comments
GregoryConterio
GregoryConterio moderator

I find this very alarming.

I have been leading the argument for conservatives and libertarians to affirm their support of and participation in the Republican Party, and it's actions like this that make it really difficult to push that argument.The Republican leadership needs to SERIOUSLY reconsider their direction on this!

Econ101
Econ101

Schweikert is my Congressman.  He's exactly what the FSC (let alone Congress) needs.  And Boehner & company dump him?   With this final betrayal, I think I'm through with the GOP.  There are other ways to pursue a conservative agenda.  

If the old men of the GOP don't reverse this stupendously dumb move in a week or two, I'm going resign my GOP PC position, re-register as PND (Party Not Declared), halt all further contributions to the RNC or GOP, and support  conservative candidates and causes directly.

The establishment GOP no longer represents conservativism.  Frankly, I don't know what they represent anymore except perhaps their own self-preservation & re-election.   Phooey.  A pox on both parties.

Econ101
Econ101

 @GregoryConterio 

And I've been *buying* the argument that conservatives need to work within the Republican Party.  The result?  Establishment GOP types now *blame* conservatives for GOP losses. Evidently, being in favor of free markets, limited govt, and fiscal responsibility is considered "extreme" in the GOP and costs the GOP votes(?).   Gee, who knew?

Well, then, I guess conservatives should apologize for hurting the GOP and do the Party a big favor by taking our time, energy, money, and support somewhere else?  So be it.  I'm ready.  

 

If conservatives and libertarians want to join up in a new party, the time is now ... not 18 months from now.  In another couple election cycles, with conservative support gone, the GOP could be the "3rd Party", a dusty old rump party with no soul and no unifying principles whatsoever ... 

 

I wonder if Boehner will deign to *say* something about his purge of conservative Representatives -- or will he just hide under his desk, glad to be rid of all us "extremists"?

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @Econ101 From the correspondence we are receiving, there are quite a few people who feel the same way.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @Econ101  @GregoryConterio I agree with you about a fair amount of this, but I also have a question: Who were the three million McCain voters who couldn't be bothered to show up for Romney? Were they squishy moderates? Were they people who, for religious reasons, didn't want to vote for a Mormon? Were they conservatives for whom Romney was insufficiently conservative? I honestly don't know, but the answer, if it could be known, would be instructive.

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @Econ101  @GregoryConterio Thanks.  Sane and sensible, as befits an editor of Western Free Press (I presume you are one of the editors?). ***Yes! Besides a burst of a few phone calls, petitions, and emails, should we now bow from the ankles in front of Boehner, mute all further protests, and just ask him to be nicer to our conservative Reps in the future? ***Certainly not.    How much time do you think we have to take "the long road" that you point to?  How are we doing now with that slow and steady approach?  Are we going forward?  Or are Boehner & Co. pushing us back? ***I am not sure how many alternatives to the long road there are. Even if one were able to start from scratch with a new political party (and the GOP went away entirely), there would still be a long road. All I am saying is that there is no magic bullet---no way to solve all these problems easily or quickly. I am not saying that you should or should not take a particular approach, just that there is no quick fix.   I think Schweikert voted with the (so-called) leadership 95% of the time. In your view, did he overdo his dissent? Does the "long road" approach include supporting Boehner and Cantor no matter what they do to Republican conservatives? ***No, and no. Schweikert was a great choice for the FSC, and it is appalling that they pulled him from it.   If the GOP couldn't win the last election, decisively, with a resume like Romney's and a record like Obama's, we're going to go right on losing to the neo-Marxists on the left unless and until the old boys of the GOP step aside.   ***I am not sure that the old boys stepping aside will fix the problem. Maybe it is a good element or a necessary element, but I doubt that it alone would fix whatever the problem is. The problem is complex. The problem is 100 years of statism injecting statist assumptions into the DNA of everyone, from the electorate to the elected. The problem is reacing the tipping point of dependency. There are tons of problems, way beyond the problem of the GOP establishment. Moreover, imagine if Romney had won. There would be a lot fewer conservatives upset with the GOP right now, but would it have changed much? It would be the same entity, but it would have won. We'd all be a lot happier with the GOP, in spite of the fact that little would be different other than victory. And if we are going down, do you want to do it swinging for the fences or just trying to eke out a few more bunt singles before the collapse? ***I want to do what works best---the best route to the best results. Honestly, I am not sure what that is. Home runs can win games, but they also involved a lot of strikeouts. Bunts can win games, but it's usually a narrow win. I am not advocating one thing over another---just trying to look at it realistically. But trust me, if I see a fat pitch over the plate, I am taking a big swing.   I respect your moderate view, and I used to share it.  Good luck with it.  But with the Boehner betrayal, I, and I'm sure millions of other conservatives, are re-thinking our whole approach ... ***I am no moderate, at least not ideologically. I am just trying to be practical. But these are really hard times, and really tough calls with no crystal ball to guide us.

Econ101
Econ101

 @WesternFreePress  @GregoryConterio 

Thanks.  Sane and sensible, as befits an editor of Western Free Press (I presume you are one of the editors?).  With all due respect, I still catch a whiff of hindsight in your observations about spotting winners & losers in advance. Is there anyone, anywhere on the horizon that you can point to now as someone who "has it"?

 

So -- back to Boehner and "the boys" in the House leadership:

Besides a burst of a few phone calls, petitions, and emails, should we now bow from the ankles in front of Boehner, mute all further protests, and just ask him to be nicer to our conservative Reps in the future?  

Or should we recognize the enemies among the RINOs, hit them and the Dems as hard as we can, and ask our conservative friends in Boehner's district to start warming up a willing one-time "school board member" or someone else to take him on in 2014?  Or will that just invite more punishment?

 

How much time do you think we have to take "the long road" that you point to?  How are we doing now with that slow and steady approach?  Are we going forward?  Or are Boehner & Co. pushing us back?

 

I think Schweikert voted with the (so-called) leadership 95% of the time.  In your view, did he overdo his dissent? Does the "long road" approach include supporting Boehner and Cantor no matter what they do to Republican conservatives?

 

If the GOP couldn't win the last election, decisively, with a resume like Romney's and a record like Obama's, we're going to go right on losing to the neo-Marxists on the left unless and until the old boys of the GOP step aside.  If you don't agree, fine.  If you do agree, we'd better get busy ejecting these guys and rescuing, restoring, and renewing the GOP.  Otherwise we're headed for a socialist hell, including a hyper-inflation blow-out, riots, and martial law.  It may already be too late.  And if we are going down, do you want to do it swinging for the fences or just trying to eke out a few more bunt singles before the collapse?

 

I respect your moderate view, and I used to share it.  Good luck with it.  But with the Boehner betrayal, I, and I'm sure millions of other conservatives, are re-thinking our whole approach ... 

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @Econ101  @GregoryConterio You're right, there's almost never a way to know for sure, a priori, who can/will win and who won't. But you can be reasonably sure. There was no way that O'Donnell was going to win in a state like Delaware. Mike Castle, as bad as he may have been on some issues, was the most conservative candidate who could win in Delaware. (He's not very conservative at all, but neither is Delaware.) I think Angle may have been the victim of fraud; she had a better shot in the general than O'Donnell did in DE. But even still, she was not a very strong candidate. Candidate recruitment is tough---it requires getting involved with party politics from the ground-up (like you did by becoming a PC). By the same token, anyone who saw Marco Rubio knew he had a future in politics, whether he managed a win in that particular race or not. He obviously had "it."

 

Candidates often have to be found and nurtured for school boards and lower positions and then worked up through the ranks. The whole process can take a long time. Ted Cruzes and Marco Rubios don't show up too often. The tea party, as it matures into a permanent force, will have to work through the political party system one way or the other. Whether it's the GOP or some other party, it will still have to involve painstaking work, wrangling, dealing with a wide range of ideological stances, and decades of nose-to-the-grindstone effort to get things to where they need to be.

 

Moreover . . . . .The only truly libertarian/conservative presidents we've had in the 20th century were Reagan and Coolidge. That means there's a problem that goes a lot deeper than just endemic problems with a political party. We have hard work to do on education, on apologetics, on solidifying our own understanding of our core principles, etc. It's a long road, and there is no magic bullet to be found------not even in replacing the GOP with some alternative.

Econ101
Econ101

 @WesternFreePress  @GregoryConterio 

Good points.  But on one issue:

Was it obvious to you, a priori, that the DE and NV 2010 candidates "couldn't win"?  It wasn't obvious to me.  As I recall, polling data actually showed Sharon Angle (sp?) beating Harry Reid.

Was it obvious, a priori, that Marco Rubio *could* win?  As I recall, he started out at 3% in the polls.  Should he have been dumped at that point as someone who clearly "could not win"?

It becomes "obvious" only after the fact who "could" and "could not" win, no?  

The only general guideline I can offer is this: pick a candidate who stands for the Big Three tenets of the Tea Party Movement and leaves room for a range of views and state-by-state decisions the rest, especially "social issues".   Where the 10th Amendment applies, apply it.

So -- 

Should conservatives start looking now for a candidate *now* to primary challenge Boehner?  Cantor?  McCarthy?  And if we do, how do we know, a priori, "who can win"?  

 

Back on topic, can you imagine how the lefties are rubbing their hands with glee, seeing Boehner knee-capping 2010 freshman conservatives?  He's doing to the Tea Party what they could never do.

 

I'm angry, and I don't want to lose it(!).  I draw energy from it.  I highly recommend it to conservatives everywhere!

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @Econ101  @GregoryConterio I definitely sympathize. I am not sure it is entirely off topic, at least not with the assertion that the establishment blames conservatives for GOP losses. The establishment can be a real pain, and I wholeheartedly agree that they should stop trying to be Democrat-lite. I also believe that we should be doing all we can to get good, solid conservative/libertarian candidates elected in primaries so that we can start to fix the party from within. Ted Cruz is a great example. On the other hand, we (meaning the activist base and movement conservatives) have also made some errors on that front (DE and NV in 2010 spring to mind). We have to be smart and pick candidates who not only share our values and core ideological underpinning, but also who can win.

 

And on the subject of the 3,000,000 who stayed home, what if it was conservatives for whom Romney was too moderate? If that is the case (and it is plausible that it may be), then conservatives (at least those 3 million) might really be to blame for the GOP's losses, because that  3 million could have made the difference, both at the top of the ticket and in several down-ticket races.

 

I do not disagree that the GOP is in need of serious repair and soul-searching, and they have merited more than a small share of disappointment from us, but we also cannot ignore other facts, even if they get in the way of a brewing anti-establishment narrative. The situation is highly complex, and does not avail itself of any simple solutions, unfortunately.

Econ101
Econ101

 @WesternFreePress  @GregoryConterio Well, it's off-topic from the Boehner purge, but wouldn't it be nice if the RNC/GOP did a statistically valid survey of a sample of these voters?   I suspect the RNC doesn't want to know.  It might reflect badly on the RNC.  They'd rather whine about conservatives, wring their hands, "co-opt" the Tea Party Movement (as Trent Lott once put it), and blame everyone but themselves as they slip-slide capitulate to the left.  Screw 'em.

 

Save your money, time, and effort for individual conservative causes of your choice and primary challengers for 2014.  Call the RINOs you contributed to in the past and demand to be taken off their mailing list. Tell them why.  Do it en masse.  Be loud about it.  Loss of donor money and primary challenges are the only things these old hacks respect. 

Does that sound drastic?  Coarse?  Indelicate?  What do we have to lose?  The RINOs are doing to conservatives what even the Democrats could not do.

Or should we just go gently into the night?