Does anyone remember their history? Certain there are a lot of people who would prefer that we forget our history. Mitt Romney and the establishment would certainly prefer us to.
What is it they would like us to forget?
In 1978, a Republican from Georgia was elected to the House of Representatives. His name was Newt Gingrich. When Newt went to Washington in 1979, Jimmy Carter was President. The Democrats held a 2/3 majority in the House of Representatives. There were times the Democrats did not even bother to tell Republicans about meetings or votes.
The Republican leadership at the time was just fine with this. After all, as soon as the work day was over, they could all get together, have drinks, go to parties and talk about how well they all got along.
There were a few people who had problems with this. One of them was Newt Gingrich.
The Republican leadership did not care about advancing a conservative agenda. In fact, they did not care that the Democrats were advancing a liberal agenda. They did not really care what the Democrats were doing to America.
Newt said ‘we can be a majority in Congress’ and he started the Conservative Opportunity Society with the expressed purpose of making Republicans a majority in the House of Representatives.
What was the response of the Republican leadership? They told the new freshman class to stay away from Gingrich.
Gingrich kept pushing and by 1994, there was the Contract with America and on election night 1994, the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 38 years.
Much of this is known. But what is not talked about very often is the rest of the story.
Gingrich came in and pushed a conservative agenda. This agenda did not go over well with much of the Republican establishment. In the summer of 1997, House Republicans led by John Boehner tried to launch a coup against Gingrich. Only at the last minute did Dick Armey decide the idea was not that good and backed off, thus stopping the coup.
Gingrich eventually resigned as Speaker and from Congress.
Pushing Gingrich out was the revenge of the establishment and since then, there has been no conservative agenda advanced through congress. We ended up with Denny Hastert as Speaker and then, surprise, John Boehner.
Hastert did nothing as Speaker and Boehner has been carrying the water for the big government Republicans. Under Boehner not only has spending and borrowing gone up, there has been no major effort to advance a conservative agenda.
When we start talking about who is and is not a conservative in the race for President, let’s remember the only one who has ever advanced a conservative agenda through Congress and the man the establishment felt like they had to rise against to stop.