We all know them. In fact, every election cycle, they woo us with campaign trail promises that they will go to Washington, D.C. and be champions for the conservative cause. However, when they get to Capitol Hill the excuses begin: the time is not right, you don’t understand the process, etc. On and on the well worn excuses go, more smoothly with each use as the power of incumbency sets in and the very folks who elected these people are left scratching their heads in frustration.
Who are these two-faced politicians?
They are #ConvenientConservatives who know exactly what it takes to get elected and have no intention of ever fulfilling their campaign promises.
In fact, as we have noted before, many Republican candidates won in 2014 running on conservative issues: the repeal of Obamacare, halting illegal amnesty, defending life, lowering taxes, etc.
The problem is, very few of them actually intended to go to Washington and fulfill their promises. There are reasons for this. The chief amongst them is many campaigns are poll tested for messaging. In other words, campaigns and candidates know what the voters want to hear often before campaigns are even launched.
Two, those who decide elections have loyally followed the GOP thinking they are the party of limited government and social conservatism and these activists work overtime to get them elected.
Yet charts like this one from the Heritage Foundation beg the question: if the GOP is the party of limited government, why has government grown so much during an era when the GOP has dominated control of the House of Representatives, the chamber from which all fiscal bills originate?
While the above is a sobering reminder, electing more and more conservatives should be encouraging to those who believe that “a government that governs best governs least.”
And they are not alone in their beliefs. A majority of Americans agree with conservatives that Obamacare is not our healthcare solution, that illegal immigration must be stopped (some polls even have Hispanics supporting efforts against illegal immigration at 66% to 21%), that a reduction in taxes is the path forward and that we must oppose abortion in all or most cases.
Could it be that the majority of Americans really are conservatives? Does the silent majority still exist in America today? We believe it does and therefore the electoral math is simple, isn’t it? Run on a platform of 1) Repeal Obamacare 2) Stop amnesty 3) Reduce taxes and 4) Run as a Pro-Lifer and statistically, you’ll have a greater chance of winning (gerrymandered districts not withstanding).
As noted above, however, the GOP Establishment has become a professional spin machine as it advances the cause of its corporate friends on the backs of the grassroots who elect them every cycle, all the while pacifying them with empty promises and throw away lines.
Lock stop with the GOP leadership are these #ConvenientConservatives like Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC). Elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010, Ellmers ran as a comprehensive conservative. She was going to Washington, D.C. to take on career politicians, to buck the GOP leadership, to reduce taxes, limit the overreach of government and fight for family values.
At face value, it would appear that she has done much of that. One loses track of how many times she has voted to fully repeal Obamacare on the floor of the House. These votes mean nothing, though. They are show votes. Whether she is a willing participant in the scam or a backbencher looking to please leadership, none of these votes to repeal Obamacare meant anything (nor will they in the future).
However, on the votes that really matter, Ellmers has not only voted to fund Obamacare, she has voted for abortion loopholes for Planned Parenthood.
How, you ask, has she pulled this off under the noses of her conservative constituents and grassroots supporters?
It’s simple, really.
She voted yes on the $1.1 Trillion Omnibus and Cromnibus spending bills just this past December. While most conservatives are watching the shiny objects like full repeal bills that will never go anywhere legislatively, Ellmers is voting for the $1.1 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill that not only increases the base discretionary spending to $24 billion, it continues funding failing government programs. It also contains a loophole that could allow Obamacare subsidies to fund abortions.
After having read the above, ask yourself: is Renee Ellmers a conservative? She clearly goes out of her way to message like she is. Her voting record on the real bills (not the shiny object ones) indicates that she is not.
As for immigration, Ellmers ran on a strong, cookie cutter conservative platform. She was going to work to secure the borders and fight amnesty. But again, when the rubber hit the road, she voted for the Cromnibus that did nothing to defund President Obama’s executive amnesty that was tied to the Department of Homeland Security funding. Ellmers and her apologists will retort that two weeks ago she voted to send a House bill that defunded amnesty to the Senate.
It passed. And it was a shiny object and an easy vote.
The GOP leadership in the House knows full well that the Aderholt Amendment that defunds amnesty will be stripped out in the Senate and a bill that does nothing to defund amnesty (and frankly, may advance amnesty) will be returned to the House.
This next vote is the one that counts and it appears that the conservatives in the House will likely have to take down a rule to stop the Senate bill from advancing. All eyes will be on #ConvenientConservatives like Renee Ellmers to see what she does in this scenario.
If her about face on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is any indication, not only will Ellmers cave, but the litany of excuses will begin: we don’t have the votes, the President will veto it anyway, etc.
Sadly, Ellmers is not alone in leading the #ConvenientConservative Caucus. There are many more like her and instead of being fooled by show votes and shiny objects, conservatives need to start paying attention to their Members real voting records and holding them accountable when their true colors are exposed.
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