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Is GOP Leadership Already Seeking to Co-opt New Members of Congress?

4 years ago
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Conservative leader Morton Blackwell, for whom I previously worked, has a few rules for the public policy process that might be helpful for tea party conservatives who win election next week.

One of Blackwell's rules is: "Personnel is policy." Another: "Hire at least as many to the right of you as to the left of you." It seems the GOP party bosses are hoping Republicans who get elected this Tuesday will ignore this advice.

According to RollCall,
In anticipation of major GOP gains in next week's elections, House Republican leaders have put together a list of experienced Washington hands to help fill top staff positions for the surge of newly elected outsiders.
Of course, the cynic in me believes this is less an offer of help, and more an attempt to surround newly elected members with staff who will advise being good little soldiers and blindly following their leaders. (Of course, that kind of thinking ultimately led to the near destruction of the GOP brand, and also to the rise of the tea party).

More from RollCall:
"You want to be sure that the newbies, when they hit town, do not necessarily bring their campaign staff to run their Congressional offices, because in some cases they are totally ill-equipped," one veteran Republican lobbyist said. "Winning an election is one thing, running a Congressional operation is another. A lot of these folks are really, really new to politics."
That sounds reasonable. But, of course, it ultimately comes down to this:
A Republican aide confirmed leadership's interest in having staff that works well with [Rep. John] Boehner to move the agenda forward.
To be sure, it is wise for new members of Congress to hire competent staffers. Having someone on staff who knows the game and can serve as a guide, of sorts, may not be a bad idea. This is different from having your staff infiltrated.

But the notion that newly elected conservatives should immediately oust their campaign staffs and replace them with Republican D.C. "staffer" types is a sure way to guarantee the a spread of "Potomac fever."

Newly elected Republicans would do well to maintain their independence, and promptly ignore this advice.

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This is simple. Let's say that the Republicans do take the House. Fine. Then then pass legislation. That's nice. Let's say they also take the Senate with 52 seats. Huzzah. Well guess what folks. Nothing will ever come out of the Senate because you will need 60 votes to pass it, the Tea Party ilk will caucus outside the Republicans, the only Democrats left will move to the left to defend themselves against the far right and thus ... no serious legislation proposed by the House will get moved through the Senate ... two years of impasse. And what will that mean? A Democratic transition in 2012, with a different candidate for president (still waiting for Hillary, you see).

October 26 2010 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't like the sounds of it. Makes one think of unthinkable behavior

October 26 2010 at 7:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Yes, thanks. Tea Party already knows and is trying to prepare them....Glenn Beck had his whole show on it today. Yes, definitely need to keep their beliefs, integrity and independence.....above all keeping what they promised in their campaigns. If not, out they go too.

October 26 2010 at 7:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


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