How Conservatives Win

This week on the Foundry, I explain how conservatives win key legislative battles:

It should come as no surprise The New York Times would bury news of a conservative victory over President Obama on page eight. The lead paragraph said it all:

Senate Democrats, bowing to united House Republican opposition, dropped reforms of International Monetary Fund governance from a Ukraine aid package on Tuesday.

The real question is whether this was merely a moment in time or a seminal shift in how congressional Republicans will approach future showdowns. And to be clear, future showdowns are inevitable if we are to achieve any conservative policy victories.

Conservatives in the House and Senate recognized that Democrats were the ones responsible for holding up the aid to Ukraine by insisting on the inclusion of the controversial and unrelated IMF provision. As that narrative began to take hold and House conservatives made their opposition known, Reid relented.

Read my whole column here.

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How to Disrupt Washington’s Corrupt Nexus

Washington’s main priority is protecting and enriching Washington.  In my Foundry column this week, I write that one of the central challenges facing conservatives – and really all Americans – is how to disrupt the corrupt nexus of big government politicians and the special interests that enrich them:

Agree or disagree with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) 12% on policy — and let’s be clear, there is a lot to disagree with — the fact that he makes merit-based decisions, often to the frustration of the professional lobbying class in Washington, is a welcome change. 

By contrast, another Capitol Hill publication ran a story profiling which lobbyists and special interest groups would thrive if there was a minor shakeup within House Republican leadership. Phrases such as “number of downtown confidants” and “new significance to a number of players on K Street” punctuate the story. 

Nothing perpetuates the Washington Ruling Class — and America’s dissatisfaction with Washington — more than this corrupt nexus. The collusion between Washington’s power players does not breed contempt formed out of some deep-seated jealousy; rather, it stems from the very real sense that Washington’s priority is Washington.

Read the entire piece here.

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GOP Accepts Slanderous Attacks on Arizona’s Religious Freedom Bill

Republicans need to stand up for themselves against the Left’s vicious attacks.  That’s the point I make today in a piece for Breitbart on Arizona’s religious freedom bill: 

Can a political party that refuses to challenge the most vicious mischaracterizations of its views win at a national level? The Republican Party seems intent on finding out. 

 The Republican Party–the allegedly conservative party–claims to stand for economic freedom. The 2012 Republican Party platform proclaims, “We are the party of maximum economic freedom and the prosperity freedom makes possible.” How is it consistent with the principles of economic freedom–that a worker should be free to set his own wage requirements–to say that government can force an individual to work a job that violates their personal religious principles? 

Yet the rush to trample economic and religious freedom in an effort to save face with The New York Times was breathtaking. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who used to be one of the great champions of freedom before he became a Senator, said he hoped Gov. Jan Brewer would veto the religious freedom legislation. Sen. John McCain followed suit.

Read the entire piece here.

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On Flood Insurance, Congress Flooded with Flip-Floppers

My piece on the Foundry today highlights the troubling trend of Washington walking away from even the smallest of reform efforts.

Conservatives have some allies in Congress who recognize the danger of rolling back the reforms that are locked into current law, but their efforts to protect those changes are being sabotaged by Republican leadership.

Speaking at Heritage Action’s Conservative Policy Summit, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) 83%, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, pledged, “I will not be part of any program, policy, act that hastens the bankruptcy of a program that is already underwater.” Unfortunately, though, CQ recently reported that Hensarling has been “sidelined” despite Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) having “repeatedly promised to let committee chairmen guide policy in the House.” 

You can read the entire piece here.

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A Vision to Unite America

My National Review post this week focuses on some of the true leaders of the House GOP conference, who will step in a fill a leadership void in the years to come:

Unfortunately, courage is in short supply in Washington. Republican leaders have no compelling vision for the future, which means their only strategy is to recede to the shadows and hope that Obama’s unpopularity produces a Republican Senate. Majorities are important. But majorities with ideas are essential if we are ever to dismantle the mess this administration has made. We owe it to the American people to show them how we would govern as conservatives. The best way to do that is to legislate in the House.

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