There are probably few people on Capitol Hill who feel comfortable balancing guitars and writing books attacking Communist China, but Rep. Thaddeus McCotter happens to be one of those.
His new book Seize Freedom! is dedicated to addressing several of the challenges facing 21st century America, including what McCotter calls America’s War for Freedom (as opposed to War on Terror) and its fight for faith, family, community, country and self-evident truths against moral relativism.
Although he argues against big government and also the "too big to fail" ideology in Seize Freedom, McCotter, who represents a manufacturing district, defended his vote for an auto bailout to the tune of $14 billion of TARP funds in an interview with Townhall. He explained his reasoning: the Wall Street bailout credit crunch already destroyed credit markets for auto companies to restructure, and he felt it was better to vote for using the money already agreed to be spent in TARP to bail out main street workers’ jobs instead of Wall Street jobs. McCotter also wanted Congress, based on the model Congress used for Chrysler in the 1970s, to be the ones overseeing the decision – not the administration, which is what eventually happened (they upped the loan to $60 billion).
McCotter said that any potential presidential candidates who try to defend support for TARP and a stance against using some of the TARP funds for auto companies will be in serious trouble in the Midwest.
"I think a large part of this was Republicans who got snookered into voting for the Wall Street bailout overplayed their hand on the auto bailout, when in fact they were two separate things," McCotter said.
McCotter also devotes a chapter in his book to going after Communist China, a topic few politicians make a marquee issue. McCotter said it’s not an easy topic to talk about during a recession since there's a lot of money to be made there, and there’s not a lot of political benefit, especially for Republicans, since businesses like to send jobs there. But McCotter’s chapter title on China – "Deter the Dragon"—makes it pretty clear where he stands.
"This isn’t brain surgery. We’ve defeated a communist, nuclear-armed dictatorship in the past, and there’s no reason we should be ushering this one onto the world stage," McCotter said.
Though his book deals with serious themes, a photo of McCotter on the inside jacket playing a red, white, and blue guitar shows the author is anything but straight-laced. When asked if D.C. politicians in general take themselves too seriously, McCotter said he thinks the problem lies more in that they have trouble understanding what’s unimportant versus important.
"They act as if everything’s a crisis, they act as if they can control everything," McCotter said. "And so, when you lose your sense of proportionality, you tend to make mistakes."
McCotter observed that leads to D.C. politicians becoming insulated and cut off from the reality of everyday life, until they end up trying to manage yours, and everything else.
"If you’re the servant of the sovereign people, you don’t manage them, they instruct you," McCotter said.