Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Political Asylum

The Moose is looking for a few good Republicans.

The lock-step discipline that the leadership is imposing on House Republicans reflects their defensiveness about their hold on power. Expect GOP truthtellers to come forward in the coming months to articulate their disappointment with the course of the failed Republican Revolution of '94.

Monday's Boston Globe contained an illuminating piece titled, "House GOP seen straying from pledges in 'Contract' "

"10 years of Republican control of the House, members of the majority party appear to have strayed from some of the promises that got them there. The nation is running up record budget deficits, term-limit pledges are being jettisoned, and House Republicans voted last week to weaken the ethics-enforcement process in Congress."

One current GOP House member unburdens his soul in the article,

''The first thing we were asked to do [in Congress] was to raise the ethical standards, and the first thing that this new [2005] freshman class was asked to do was to lower the standards," said Representative Zach Wamp of Tennessee, who was one of 73 newly elected Republican House members who took office in January 1995.

''There clearly are some areas where we've gone astray," Wamp said. ''But the movement is alive. There's a great second wind among reformers."

What is interesting in this quote is not just Wamp's expression of disillusionment but his declaration about "a second wind among reformers." If they are the reformers, who exactly is the establishment? Democrats should seize the opportunity to approach rebels such as Wamp and discover whether they are truly serious about reform.

Another voice of disillusionment is an ex-aide to would-be Speaker and former Appropriations Chairman Bob Livingston, Quin Hillyer, who writes in the New Republic Online

"...ten years into the GOP revolution that Gingrich started, the ethics of Congressional Republicans can only be described as, well, offensive."

The Democratic Party should consider granting political asylum to Republican dissidents who are willing to come forward. What about starting a new group?

We can call it Republican Swiftthinkers for Truth!

-- Posted at 8:30 AM | Link to this post | Email this post