But while there may have been times in the past where the public might not have been able to put its collective finger on specifically why it held Congress in such ill repute, this time the reasons are clear. It could be Capitol Hill’s support of the massive, trillion dollar “stimulus” package earlier this year, which has stimulated nothing but anger among the citizenry. Or it could be the waste, fraud and abuse the money has engendered.
Recently Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" demanded an audit of the so-called stimulus funds. Rep. Wilson revealed that Mark Penn, Hillary Clinton’s pollster, received $6 million in stimulus money to preserve three jobs.
In addition, Rep. Wilson pointed out that the Obama Administration continues to fail to thoroughly address the major discrepancies and inaccuracies of reporting on Recovery.gov. A recent report by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office stated that one out of every ten jobs created by the stimulus are fake and that it’s high time for Congress to act.
Or, it could be that some members of Congress have made it all too obvious that they hold those they purportedly represent in low regard, whether by voting like lemmings on spending, cap and tax or health care “reform” bills, or simply referring to those willing to criticize them as “extremists,” "teabaggers," or terms that are far worse.
I think it’s fair to say that a number of Republicans should not escape the public’s ire, not the least because in so many fights of late, it appeared political expediency trumped principled opposition. Some have chalked these failings up to Republicans and conservative leaders inability to create a “Contract with America 2.0” that in simple terms lays out a list of things Republicans in Congress will do.
But it’s important to remember that while the first Contract with America was an important political document that captured the imaginations and emotions of Republicans and conservatives, it was largely a document about process and changing the way Congress operated. We don’t need another document about process; the times we are in call for documents about principle – ideally conservative principles – and policies that affirmatively represent the desires of the majority of Americans who, when polled, now claim to be conservative leaning.
I spent a good amount of time scanning about for such a document. There are, of course, a number of books you might turn to. There are also interesting ideas presented by groups like Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity, and of course the old reliables, like the Heritage Foundation and Hillsdale College. But in terms of a political document, the one I found most interesting was the one that is now not widely available to the vast majority of Americans, and it’s housed in perhaps the least likely place: the House Republican Policy Committee.
The Policy Committee is comprised of the elected and appointed Republican leadership; the ranking members of five key committees (Appropriations, Budget, Commerce, Rules, and Ways and Means); representatives elected from each of the nation’s regions; three Representatives elected by the two newest classes of Members; and at-large members appointed by the Republican Leader. Right now, it’s chaired by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (MI-11), who has increasingly been making a name for himself as a spokesman for conservatives across the country, and it’s McCotter who wrote the "Who we are and what we believe" document, which was circulated to his fellow House Republicans.
My only question isn’t so much why McCotter wrote it, but why it isn’t being shared more broadly, since the document, entitled "We the People: Wide Awake For Our Newest Birth of Freedom" recently was made available on the policy committee website http://republicanhousepolicy.com/we-people-wide-awake. It should be required reading for every office holder, candidate and person who wants to be politically active across our entire nation.
But more important, a document that lays out such principles as: Our liberty is from God not the government; our sovereignty is in our souls not the soil; our security is from strength not surrender; our prosperity is from the private sector not the public sector; and. our truths are self-evident not relative, deserves to be shared with all conservatives committed to seeing a resurgence in the Republican Party and a return to the party’s conservative roots.