Got Leaders? Conservatives Should Look Outside Washington

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Mar 27, 2009 9:33 AM
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/mcconnell_thumb.jpgThis probably goes without saying, but it is becoming more and more clear that conservatives can quit waiting for (in the words of Bruce Springsteen) "a savior to rise from these streets."

... In other words, the transformational political leaders we are seeking will not come from the inside. In fact, we probably don't even know the name of our next great leader, because he's probably running for congress -- or more likely governor -- right now.

Clearly, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are not equipped or prepared to lead any sort of revolution -- but I'm also beginning to think the same sadly holds true for younger Members of Congress like Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan -- both of whom voted for the punitive AIG bonus tax, for example.

Newt Gingrich, of course, was a Congressman who was able to excite and rally the GOP ranks, but it's important to note that before becoming Speaker, he had never served in the Majority. He took power during Republican ascendancy -- which, no doubt, buttressed his courage and confidence.  Today's young Congressmen face the opposite problem.  They seem timid and wedded to the ways of Washington, in the sense that they seem to have bought into the "mainstream" liberal policy premises.

Barack Obama is a prime example of what I'm talking about. Though he was a U.S. Senator, he was not there long enough to be tainted by the DC ways. Had he served a term or two in the Senate, he would probably turned into an impotent "politician" like John Kerry.

While I too am skeptical of the so-called "great man" theory of politics, Republicans are currently following the "mediocre men" theory, with predictable results. My guess is conservatives must look outside DC for inspiring young leaders who haven't been beaten-down by DC, who are still bold enough to espouse " bold colors-no pale pastels" ...