The Anti-Coopting Business

“I don’t know of one conservative victory that’s happened
in this town in decades that hasn’t happened without
principled conservative pressure coming from the right”

As the Washington Post observed, the “frantic showdown” over our nation’s debt ceiling “looked like the haphazard escalation of a typical partisan standoff” except that “It wasn’t.”

Instead, it turned into an epic struggle between newly-elected conservatives and an entrenched Washington Establishment.  Conservatives succeeded in changing the rhetoric in Washington, but the policy gains remained elusive.  In a piece for The Weekly Standard, Michael Warren provides an informative overview of Heritage Action’s role in the debt debate and how we continue to push back against the “GOP establishment.”

Key excerpts:

“I really think there’s two sides to politics,” said Mike Needham, the 29-year-old CEO of Heritage Action for America, at a Capitol Hill restaurant in April. “There’s getting the right people elected, and there’s holding them accountable.” Needham invoked Trent Lott—veteran of 16 years in the House, 18 years in the Senate, and numerous roles in Republican leadership—who warned in July 2010, shortly before several “Jim DeMint disciples” (aka hardcore conservatives) were expected to win seats and descend on Washington: “As soon as they get here,” said Lott, “we need to co-opt them.” 

Needham and his colleagues see themselves as being “in the anti-co-opting business,” he said. And business is booming. As the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, Heritage Action has been lobbying members of Congress to push for the most conservative outcomes to the most critical legislative debates, including the recent debt ceiling standoff. That hardline stance has frustrated House speaker John Boehner and the rest of the GOP leadership. 

Heritage Action’s work alongside the Republican Study Committee (RSC, the caucus of House conservatives) and the Tea Party helped move the House debate further to the right. But the Heritage Foundation’s newfound influence in politics—not just policy—has rankled a few Republicans otherwise in good conservative standing, especially since Heritage Action announced it would be scoring certain votes. As any incumbent candidate knows, a “bad” score from an influential interest group is perfect campaign ad fodder for primary opponents.

“When Heritage wins, we win, and when we win, Heritage wins,” Chapman says. “It’s good for Heritage for us to be lobbying hard on the Hill for their policies and achieving victories. And when they win intellectually, it makes it easier for us to lobby on the Hill. So we work together in that way.”

Needham says their goal is similar to that of the GOP leadership: “pulling the country to the right.” “There are a lot of times when our interests are aligned,” he says. “We have an obligation, where our interests aren’t aligned, to push them to be bolder.”

The whole article is available on the Weekly Standard’s website.

There is no question the debate in Washington has shifted.  House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told the Washington Post:

Would Democrats have ever agreed if they thought the new freshman class was going to roll over? No. The freshmen made our hand so much stronger.  You had a fear of how far they would go. I’m sure the president looks back, too, and was fearful. But in negotiations, isn’t that the best thing?

Those freshmen and conservatives, the ones praised by McCarthy, were often the target of derogatory quotes from anonymous leadership aides.  Washington has always been a lagging indicator of where the American people are, and this is no exception.  Americans recognize the need that serious reforms are necessary if we are to save the American dream for our children and grandchildren.  Those reforms will not simply happen, conservatives must fight and challenge their lawmakers to demonstrate a willingness to stand up and do the same.

As Heritage Action’s Tim Chapman told the Weekly Standard, “I worked for three different senators.  Never once did someone come to them and offer them [an incentive] to vote for a good piece of conservative policy.”

Please Share Your Thoughts

34 thoughts on “The Anti-Coopting Business

    • There’s a fast, relatively easy & LAWFUL way to do it…Listen up, ALL STATES! Sheriffs in every State have more than enough evidence (as a matter of open public record) to legally obtain Arrest Warrants; The charges are numerous & the evidence needs to only point towards political actions that directly conflicted with their Oath of Office under the Constitution.

      As they hit the campaign trail, Sheriffs then only need to deputize the personnel necessary to make the arrests. Members of Congress are Constitutionally immune to arrest while “in session,” on the way TO session & while LEAVING after the end of a session…They’re still open to arrest while on the campaign trail. However, Obama has NO Constitutional immunity to arrest, at ANY time…

      Then it’s just a matter of the States holding Special Elections to replace the losses with new Officers who WILL be held accountable to their Oaths once they get in. For that, it will be up to We the People to crank up our vigilance so that they can be held accountable.

      “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few.” — Wendell Phillips

  1. Either the Tea Party small government, fiscal conservatives co-opt the big government, fiscal liberal Republican establishment, or the GOP will go into the dustbin of history, a shame to the legacy of Ronald Reagan. I do not believe the GOP will co-opt the Tea Party, although thy may be successful at pulling the wool over some new Tea Party elected Congressmen. These traitors, need to be held accountable & replaced. sadly, Allen west was not “steadfast & loyal” to the Tea Party that elected him & should be #1 on the chopping block to go. Stalwarts like Ron Paul & Michelle Bachmann need to be commended for their principled stand.

    • Tea Party chosen politicians have really made a mess of things by only voting in favor of big businesses just to put more money in their own pockets by getting paid large amounts from the large corporations while the rest of us lose our jobs or unions have to fight these rich politicians in order for us to stay employed. They should be replaced and jobs kept in the U.S.

  2. the District of Corruption needs cleaning. i. e. All but most of freshmen Congressmen need to be voted out, hoping keeping the republican majority in place, unfortunately the dems are just a little bit worse on tax and spend and cap and whatever else they can think of to expand govt. and line their pockets, not to mention their quest for power. We need TERM LIMITS. We need to cut govt by at least 30-40% and curtail their spending at least 20-30%. they get raises which they vote on themselves, I have never worked anywhere where I decided my own raise, what kind of BS is this? Seniors need to especially vote them out, they have not given these people a COLA raise in 2 years. Lastly there is a lot of pork to cut out, double spending, double actions by vairious committees that overlap each other. The EPS needs to be severly curtailed, Dept of Energy and Education needs to be eliminated. We need a national sales tax and we need to get rid of obomacare immediately. This is just a starting point. I would need at least 10 pages to list where all the cuts can come from. Also we need to get our troops out of the middle east, we cannot fight a war where the people have and will continue to fight and kill each other. Dont forget we need to close our borders. A freeze on everything like President Reagan did would also be approriate at this point.

    • ” … they get raises which they vote on themselves, … ”
      Not so, they get the raises automatically, they would have to vote AGAINST getting the raise!

      • Right on Ray, you have hit the nail on it’s verferbial (sp) I am dead set on the Politicians of all Parties to be given the right to vote for all their own freebies in any and all catagories. Social Security was paid into for all the working people all their lives and for their hopes of having something to help in their retirement. I have seen for some years just how these worker’s for the People’s rights have turned their backs on these same people ,just so they can fill their own pockets. I spent over 20 years in the Service for my country.
        After my retirement from the Military. I worked till my health got so bad that I had to stop and let my wife take care of me, because everything I had been promised when I came in the Service was being taken away from me. Then we were told we could have this and that in small amounts, but we would have to pay for that too. A Government that some of us gave our time and many gave their lives. turned against us and told us, pay or loose all you have, which was not really much: I am now going on 84 years and if I did not have my wife and children there for me I would be up s creek with out a paddle. I am nt one for Politics but I hope and pray that someone will get in there and do some a kicking and give the rights back to the people. I am so sorry to see that Ronald Reagan has gone to his maker, as he was there for us all no matter what party. Thank you for letting me put in my two cents worth.

  3. The people of this country are watching how and what is going on there on the hill. The representatives of this country need to listen to the people who has elected them. Dismissing, bad-mouthing, and name calling is the wrong approach.

    The same old tactics and the way of doing business as usual has changed! We the people, are watching, and their feet will be held to the fire!

    • We need a third party,abolish teachers unions,(opus dei)!! hold all politicians accountable on promises broken(Hope+Change)Term limits,pension rip-offs. LIMIT GOV. More power to the people by the people, not politicians.publicse their portfolio on there way in and on there way out

      • I only disagree with the thought of a third party. A third party would only strengthen the democratic party by dividing the Republican party. Perhaps the Teaparty should replace the Republican Party??

  4. Heritage Action is the implemental, get “down & dirty “voice of the highly respected Heritage organization. As such it is their duty to see that weak kneed Rep.s are empowered and inspired to value the message of Conservative reform as demanded by the electorate

  5. Forget the politics we are America and we had ENOUGH!! Get us back on a conservative small government for our children and future generations.

  6. We need to establish a constitution lobby in each and every state, whose membership is made up of the voters in that state. We must hold every elected and appointed official, regardless of political orientation, judicially accountable and responsible to their oaths of office.

  7. Yes,I said to Ray,you right,gov expend money to much real where is no need,senior live with fix small income reduce a spend in easy 40%cut benefit in taxes to big oils company.Yes seal and close a border and out all illegals preserve a job for we peoples.All Congressman Democrat Out,working for especial groups.Stop spend a monet in foreing gov.

  8. It is time to clean house and send the old line establishment Republicans home. They are no longer (if they ever were) friends of conservatives. Mitch McConneell and his ilk are spineless wimps who were willing to “cave” during the debt crisis. THEY MUST GO! We need FIGHTERS…not APPEASERS!

  9. Isn’t it ironic that the democrats now blame the credit rating decline on the Teaparty! The S&P claim they lowered the rating because of the high deficit, which the Teaparty memembers in congress were the ones holding tight with their votes to try to keep the demos from rising the loan limit! The best thing that could happen to this country would be if the other countries would refuse to loan any more money to us….

  10. The establishment is beginning to run scared now. Whenever the the White House starts shouting “Its ____ fault!” you know that they are afraid of whomever they are blaming!

    Liberals and RINOs need to pay attention to the Conservative voices… the voices of reason and hope for the future!


  12. The issue is simply: We The People vs. We The Elite People in Washington DC.

    Who are We The Elite People? RNC, DNC and MSM. “Talking Points” are all We The People hear nowadays. This used to be called “spin”by We The Elite People.

    Term Limits, Cut, Cap and Balance, repeal the 16th Amendment (Flat Tax of 18%), Eviscerate the Federal Reserve’s Charter. Healthcare is same as We The People have. No more special policies for Washington DC’s Elites. Dodd-Frank must go.

    Staffing levels go back to 1955. Pay scales for every government employee goes back to 1955, too. No more pensions. Lobbyists get to meet representatives once a week, one person at a time. Automate everything in Washington DC. No more paper.

    Eliminate some of 158 different, overlapping departments…EPA, Education, Etc. Strike all useless regulations strangling USA’s productivity.
    12 cabinet members, period!

    These are policies and procedures (daring as they may be) that will begin overseas re-patriation of business investments.Confidence in our USofA.

    Do something positive for our country. WE know massive fraud is on its way this 2012 election. So, We’re enacting in every State Legislature a Voter ID requirement. No more dead people voting…no more illegal aliens voting eiher.VOTE for God’s Sake!

  13. In Nov 2012 we need to throw all the bums out. especially the ones who voted for the last bill and didnot address the reduce the spending bill. T he Cut Cap and Balance bill need to be pass ASAP

  14. Repeal ObamaCare; Pass Cut, Cap and Balance; Pass Term Limits; Repeal The 16th Amendment; Pass HR 25 and S 13 (Fair Tax – Eliminates the IRS)! Our Country’s Economy will Explode.

  15. The S&P wanted 4 trillion in cuts. The economy needs to improve befire revenues will increase. the bill did meet the requirements. If you want to end the class warefare arguement and increase revenues. Enact the fair tax

  16. I am in full accord with the idea of firing all of the Washington Politicians-President, staff, senators, congressmen. etc/ that represent bigger government and shady deals. The replacements should have limited terms, no million dollar retirements, no insurance other than that offered to all Americans, pay into Social Security and Medicare just like the rest of us and have the same benefits. Get back to a more conservative approach with a much smaller government, with more security for the people. Send all the illegals back home and close the borders. No Amnesty for anyone that is here illegally. Everyone that is a citizen of the U.S. should speak English. Let’s move our country back to the Worship of God, let the schools have the liberty of allowing prayers and posting of the ten commandments. We are on our way to total destruction unless something is done very soon.. Don’t believe we will enjoy a Communistic Dictatorship!!!!

  17. Now, all we have is our faith and hope that we can give the Senate a hellavah cleaning out come Nov. 2012, as well as send Obama packing to whomever the left-wing spirits are, that are his masters.

  18. The voice of “The Tea Party” are the only ones that are making any sense these days. They are like the “adults telling the children” stop destroying that and come to your senses or you will go to bed early!
    Come on, we all have seen what a bunch of idiots we have in office, The president of the united states, doesn’t even know how many states we have!?
    Obama has to go now! We can’t wait until 2012, or he will completely destroy what we have left!
    Impeach Obama now!

  19. We need to go back a little farther than 1955, say 1776 except for the part about owning anyone(slaves, this is what we are all becoming) . Need people in office that listen to the people not follow trial of MONEY, the elected people don’t care about the regular people anymore ,Senate and Congress is a choosen path (part time) should come with NO BENEFITS, PAY OR PERKS,should be like in 1776 were they were only in session for about 6 weeks, then back to thier REAL JOBS, only about 8 % of the current people in Washington have ever had a real job , THATS HOW COME THEY CAN’T DO WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO DO , BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO WORK, No more Lawyers or Judges , because they know all the loopholes. A straight tax is the correct way to get out of current mess the past 50 years has created , yes get rid of all goverment agencies (there all loaded with pork)

  20. Jim says Sheriff’s can arrest the politicians that have corrupted themselves . Boy , get the jailers ready ! Never would I have thought of that !

  21. By what mechanism can American voters insist upon adding additional, polling-place watch-dogs throughout this country’s voting sites for the 2012 elections?
    This is not a rhetorical question.
    I want to learn how Americans can best protect themselves from the massive voter fraud I anticipate will occur unless we take measures to prevent it, or lessen partisan access to the vote counting process. Anyone have any ideas?

  22. Ilive in oklahona and most of us think that liberals are only on the left and right coast but all of our okla. congressmen voted wilh the liberals and compromized on the debt ceiling. I hope conservatives run against them and people wake up

  23. You talk as if we can do something about what is going on in D.C. well it looks as if you might be WRONG. Every time I look at the emails I receive it is the same thing,GIVE ME MONEY or I cannot do anything to help you. We the AMERICAN PEOPE are not a CASH COW. Are you or anyone else asking the ILLEGAL PEOPLE to PAY for ANYTHING,I don’t believe so or begin to break the WHITE HOUSE LAW. There are so many LAWS on the BOOKS IN D.C. and ALL OF THE STATES that I thing we need to take the time to CLEAN OUT the BAD which should be MOST OF BAD LAWS. There are to many lobbists and LAWYERS in DC and all STATE CAPITALS. Lets get RID of all the TOO MUCH of these people.

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