The House Freedom Caucus wants to follow up rhetoric with actual action.
Republished from FoxNews.com, by Adam Brandon, October 18, 2015.
Political journalism in the modern era increasingly resembles a series of gossip columns, where catty swipes at “the other side” replace hard news and actual analysis.
With the constant flow of information passing through people’s Twitter feeds and Facebook walls, public opinion has never been more easily shaped by quick and simplistic memes, slogans and soundbites. As long as it fits in 140 characters, accuracy be hanged!
Few have been the victims of this misinformation mill as much as the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 conservative Republican lawmakers trying to actually do something meaningful in government. But the status quo doesn’t take challenges lightly, and so the HFC has become a virtual pincushion for the barbs of media elites eager to marginalize the opposition.
In the interest of setting the record straight, then, here are five popularly repeated myths about the House Freedom Caucus.
The HFC has been habitually shut out of the lawmaking process by their party’s own leadership, being punished for any form of dissent against House Speaker John Boehner.
They’re not interested in hijacking anything; they just want to be able to keep the promises they made to their constituents, and not be
forced to support bills that would make them hypocrites in the eyes of their voters.
Myth 1: The House Freedom Caucus Is Trying to Shut Down the Government
The establishment’s favorite trick to increase the size and scope of government is to wait five minutes before a shutdown to present the House with a monster spending bill, and then demand that they vote for it — or else. When the framers of the Constitution gave Congress the power of the purse, this is not what they had in mind.
Instead, Congress is supposed to enact a series of 12 appropriations bills over the course of the year, allowing time for debate on each one to ensure that money is spent wisely and in the right places.
The departure from regular order and the continued governing by crisis is a disgraceful perversion of the process.
All the HFC wants is to return to regular order and have a real conversation about spending, instead of being blackmailed into voting for an omnibus bill no one has even had time to read.
Incidentally, it should be noted that prior to the most recent continuing resolution, it was President Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., threatening a government shutdown, not House Republicans.
Myth 2: The House Freedom Caucus Is Hijacking Government
The HFC has been habitually shut out of the lawmaking process by their party’s own leadership, being punished for any form of dissent against House Speaker John Boehner. They’re not interested in hijacking anything; they just want to be able to keep the promises they made to their constituents, and not be forced to support bills that would make them hypocrites in the eyes of their voters.
Given an opportunity to support pro-growth economics, fiscal restraint and limits on the regulatory state, the HFC would not stand in the way of a well-functioning Congress.
Myth 3: The House Freedom Caucus Is Only Interested in Attacking Obama
Despite media claims to the contrary, the differences between the HFC and the president are not personal. Its members don’t want to bloody Obama; they want to negotiate with him. The president has been notoriously imperious in his dealings with Congress, refusing to come to the table and demanding that his agenda be accepted without discussion. A perfect example is the president’s recent appointment of a new education secretary without allowing the Senate a confirmation process.
Add to this the fact that Republican leadership has been unwilling to send bills to the president’s desk if he even hints that he might veto them, and you have the most powerful lame duck in history. The HFC realizes that if it can’t force him to the table, it will continue to get rolled.
Myth 4: The House Freedom Caucus Is Bad for the Party
Never mistake silent consent for functionality, and never confuse vigorous disagreement for chaos.
The Founding Fathers never wanted politicians to just go along to get along. They wanted debate, the same kind of debate that Madison and Hamilton engaged in when they wrote the Constitution.
The conflict of ideas helps ensure that the truth emerges, and in a democracy, it’s healthy for the voters to be presented with a range of opinions, not just a watered-down party line.
The difference is that the House Freedom Caucus wants to follow up rhetoric with actual action.
The Republican Party is going through some growing pains, to be sure, but the end result is that the Party will ultimately be stronger for it.
Myth 5: The House Freedom Caucus Is a Bunch of Right-Wing Marxists
This one is just silly. Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the writings of Marx should know that the HFC stands in direct opposition to the policies he espoused. On the contrary, the HFC wants to combat the $18 trillion debt, economic stagnation, an entitlement system that is going bankrupt and a government that encroaches further and further on personal liberty each year.
These are all things that the GOP claims to stand for. The difference is that the House Freedom Caucus wants to follow up rhetoric with actual action.
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