Texas Conservatives! Keep your eye on the ball!
by Artemio Muniz on December 3, 2010 at 11:53 AM
America is burning, Ever since David Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General, resigned and went on a Paul Revere style ride throughout the nation shouting about deficit spending and national debt, we have been in serious trouble. Americans have been answering the call, even in Houston where I was proud to stand with 14,000 fellow fed up people assembling and protesting with fury. Four news helicopters hovered above us. It was a great movement to bring awareness to the problem to our fellow Americans. Now we are fully aware, and Americans in essence on Election Day heard our appeals for fiscal restraint by yanking Conservatives out of the political doghouse and voting in a wave of Republicans.
As we take the field to bring our public policy ideas to the tables, we must be keenly aware if our elected leaders and conservative leaders are truly representing the fiscal restraint they are representing. So far there are glimpses of relapse, of our politicos revealing a return to old vices of easy money politics versus the promised virtuous ways of restraint and the deconstructing of public money-eating government machines. Eight GOP Senators fell off the wagon and voted against the Earmark ban, including Mississippi’s Republican Senator Thad Cochran who received $490 million in porky stuff, the highest in government. Thad Cochran has a 0% score with NARAL, which makes him a pro-life champion and voted yes on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, I guess some will give him a pass for being a true social conservative, but I won’t and considering the times, you should not either.
Even our beloved Tea Party leaders, those who have joined the first ever historic Tea Party caucus, 52 in all so far in the House of Representatives, have been caught saying one thing but doing another. Citizens against Government Waste lists the total amount of earmarks taken by Tea Party caucus members at $1 Billion. These are people like Robert Aderholt from Alabama who have won awards from Focus on the Family for his pro-life and pro-family stances. There is also Denny Rehberg from Montana who has a 0% score from the ultra liberal NARAL and a 100% score from the National Right to life guys. The problem is he is the highest earmark signer in the nation with this name attached to 88 projects totaling over $100 million. There are more conservatives on this list, and their pedigree when it comes to social conservatism is unquestionable, the problem is we are in perilous times; we need capable fiscal conservatives to lead while defending our social conservative stances. Even with the faults of our leaders, there is still time to redeem ourselves.
Texas is no exception. Right now we are faced with a $17 billion budget shortfall. I truly think it is imperative that Texas conservatives step back and ask themselves what the word “conservative” really means. Especially in our Speaker of the House race developing between Joe Straus and two other contenders. Paxton and Chisum’s camps' attacks come from the idea that they are truly conservative, that they are not RINO’s because they espouse pro-life and family stances. If your argument is that social conservatism is the epitome of conservatism, sorry you just lost in my book. There is no hierarchy, we should embrace all conservatives but right now we need fiscal leadership. Under Joe Straus we cut our budget for the first time since WWII and put away $9 billion to our rainy day fund. That is a total of about nine Tea Party Caucus earmark lists put together at the federal level.