I’m for Shadegg Posted by: McQ
on Friday, January 20, 2006
Dale and Jon haven't specifically endorsed any of the three in contention for the House Majority position, but I feel moved to do so. Why? Because part of the purpose of neolibertarianism is to see libertarian ideals promoted and, eventually, implemented through the existing parties. That's the pragmatic side of the movement. Find those who most closely mirror those ideals, support them and push for them to take leadership positions so those ideals can become reality.
Unfortunately due to business commitments, I was unable to listen to the three calls live, but I have listened to all three of the candidates now and my choice is clear. I think John Shadegg is the candidate which best reflects the libertarian ideals we espouse and believe in, and I feel he's the guy would actually work toward implementing the ideals of smaller and less intrusive government and less spending.
Rep. Boehner was also impressive, and after listening to him twice, I was not left with the impression he was too glib, as were others, but that his approach to the position was less to the libertarian side than was Shadegg's. That's an important difference. I also wasn't particularly happy with his answer about what ideals he would bring to the leadership position. I know he was trying to say he was there to provide the proper climate and leadership to enable others to return the party to conservative ideals, but I thought it was a bit vague and unsatisfying.
Blunt, as has been covered here by Jon and Dale, was the least impressive of the three candidates from a neolibertarian standpoint. For whatever reason, after listening to his "conference", the words "DeLay Jr." kept popping into my head. Anyone proud of what the Republicans have done in Congress to this point (recalling DeLay's pronouncement that there was no more "fat" to be trimmed from the budget) isn't the man or woman I'm interested in supporting.
So I'm happy to endorse John Shadegg for Majority leader, for what good that will do. His enthusiasm was refreshing, his candor was amazing, and his openness to ideas particularly gratifying. That and his libertarian bent put him over the top for me. I could live with Rep. Boehner if Shadegg isn't the man. But if the Republicans elect Roy Blunt, I'll predict that their days as the majority party in Congress are numbered.
All that being said, I'd still like to thank all three Congressmen for agreeing to talk to bloggers and taking the time to lay out their ideas and positions. As all three acknowledged at one point or another, this particular form of the new media is gaining it popularity and strength. Their recognition of that and their willingness to participate just strengthens the pillars of our unique brand of democracy, and is much appreciated by all.
UPDATE [Jon Henke]
I'm going to echo much of what McQ wrote. It was impressive that the Congressmen reached out to bloggers and, moreso, that two of them were willing to do so in a freewheeling and transparent format. I hope that continues. Now, for my review of the three candidates....
Rep. Blunt: I've already given my own impressions of Blunt as a candidate for Majority leader. No more need be said.
Rep. Boehner: I thought Boehner was passionate and eloquent, but somewhat lacking in substance. In particular, when I asked him what policies he would bring to the table in the service of limited government, his responses seemed particularly evasive and vacuous. I was very impressed with his response on the warrantless surveillance/FISA issue (uncertain of the legality, but willing to support an investigation), but less than happy with his position on the Medicare Drug bill (voted for it, still supports it).
Generally speaking, Rep Boehner seemed to me like a decent Congressman with some laudable ideals, but without a real passion for limited government. He is, in short, not the revolutionary change the Republicans need in leadership. He would be acceptable as Majority Leader, but...
Rep. Shadegg: I think Rep. Shadegg has the vigor, the commitment to ideals that the Republican Party needs. In addition to favoring the application to Congress of the Freedom of Information Act, he also voted against the Medicare Drug bill, and would like Congress to take steps to suspend it or means-test it. Plus, he's affiliated with the Republican Liberty Caucus and shares a great deal of sympathy with their ideals.
Shadegg is the man. The Republican Party would do well to make him the next House Majority Leader.
There is not other choice. The other two are both liberals who lie to us and say "I’m conservative" and then vote for every big government program under the Sun. It is an insult to conservatives that these two liberals think we can not see how far to the left they are. Any second grader of average intelligence knows that $2.5 trillion is much bigger than $1.9 trillion; a sharp sixth grader could tell him the government has grown 56.3% the last 5 years.
Shadegg is the only one of the three that supports passage of the FairTax (as did Tom DeLay, btw).
Consider the following:
Is There Liberty Without (Financial) Privacy?
(Income Tax Audits) “Congress went beyond merely enacting an income tax law and repealed Art. IV of the Bill of Rights, by empowering the tax collector to do the very things from which we were to be secure. It opened up our homes, our papers and our effects to the prying eyes of government agents and set the stage for searches of our books and vaults and private affairs, even though there might not be any justification beyond mere cynical suspicion” (per T. Coleman Andrews, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 1953-1955). By taxing spending, rather than income, the FairTax restores Americans’ privacy. Investors will be through with income tax recordkeeping, compliance, and IRS auditors if the FairTax (H.R. 25) is enacted.
Unlike the Income Tax, the FairTax aligns tax collections with a growing economic pie, dispensing with central-planning politicians and self-seeking lobbyists. Look, listen, share - and increase financial freedom in America: http://tinyurl.com/7lssy
(If you feel - as I do - that this is a profoundly *sane* idea, join the effort - and *forward* this important gateway post to an associate or two.)
Ditto on Rep. Shadegg. His father Stephen was, of course, Sen. Barry Goldwater’s campaign manager. The senior Shadegg wrote a great book, How to Win An Election, which I read in the summer of 1967.
Boehner couldn’t even hold his post as chairman of the Republican Conference, as he lost to Rep. J. C. Watts. And Blount favors putting "earmarks’ in spending bills— as does Boehner, I believe. Blount has also had some pretty serious health problems.
Shadegg is definitely the best of the three candidates, which means he’ll likely lose.