Welcome to the Revolution


Eric Cantor is gone.

John Boehner is going.

Kevin McCarthy may be on the way out if rumors are to be believed, but even if he stays he is damaged goods.

We will probably get Paul Ryan in as Speaker who, though not a rock-ribbed member of the House Freedom Caucus, did propose a budget that had Democrats accusing him of throwing granny off a cliff.

And don’t look now, but the outsiders are still in the lead in the Presidential race. Cruz, Trump, Fiorina, and Ben Carson combined have a bigger lead than the other guys. The establishment picks are losing ground. A new poll even has John Kasich coming in third in his own home state.

Welcome to the revolution.

On August 15, 2003, Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal and wrote this:

Is President Bush really a conservative? When that question came up this summer, the White House went into crisis mode. Bush aides summoned several of Washington’s conservative journalists to a 6:30 a.m. breakfast at the White House to press the case for the president’s adherence to conservative principles. Aides outnumbered journalists. Other conservative writers and broadcasters were invited to luncheon sessions. They heard a similar spiel.

The White House needn’t have bothered. The case for Bush’s conservatism is strong. Sure, some conservatives are upset because he has tolerated a surge in federal spending, downplayed swollen deficits, failed to use his veto, created a vast Department of Homeland Security, and fashioned an alliance of sorts with Teddy Kennedy on education and Medicare. But the real gripe is that Bush isn’t their kind of conventional conservative. Rather, he’s a big government conservative. This isn’t a description he or other prominent conservatives willingly embrace. It makes them sound as if they aren’t conservatives at all. But they are. They simply believe in using what would normally be seen as liberal means—activist government—for conservative ends. And they’re willing to spend more and increase the size of government in the process.

Being a big government conservative doesn’t bring Bush close to being a moderate, much less a liberal. On most issues, his position is standard conservative: a pro-lifer who expects to sign a ban on partial birth abortion, he’s against stem-cell research and gun control, and has drawn the line at gay marriage. His judicial nominees are so uniformly conservative that liberals are furious.

Turns out conservatives have had enough of big government conservatism. Big government conservatism is not conservative and leads to corruption. Voters at large figured that out in 2006 when they sent the Republicans packing. In 2010, when Republicans seemed like they had learned their lesson, the voters let them back into power in Congress and the states.

But the GOP ran as conservatives then governed as if they never learned a lesson. Well, enough actual conservatives have gotten elected that now the GOP must listen. Forty members stood strong and forced out the Speaker of the House for ignoring conservatives and their calls for the Speaker to keep his campaign promises.

Accountability should be the GOP’s friend. Conservatives have made great headway.

Welcome to the revolution.

About the author

Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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