February 8, 2011- Today as I was rushing around my office in preparation for CPAC 2011, gathering speaker bios, packing up my laptop, etc, I switched on the Glenn Beck show. It was in its second hour and Glenn was interviewing the talented conservative writer S.E. Cupp as a teaser for her inaugural show.
They were addressing specific terms a general question that has been plaguing me for the past few weeks: are we pushing the new Republican freshman politicians too far, too fast?
As the conversation between Beck and Cupp progressed, it gave voice to the feelings of consternation I have had regarding our adulations and expectations for these freshman senators and representatives, and what part the grassroots/tea party mentality truly plays in the minds and hearts of these incoming senators and representatives.
In getting the opinions of S.E. Cupp, Glenn Beck asked a question that we all should be asking ourselves:
“Who is the Republican who is the most dangerous… who is the Republican who is pulling us into a stateist big government?” – Glenn Beck – The Glenn Beck Show – 02-08-11
The name Lindsey Graham was mentioned, and although Cupp declined to condemn Sen. Graham, she followed up the declination with an important statement:
“You can’t always be Ron Paul way out on the fringes” – S.E. Cupp – The Glenn Beck Show – 02-08-2011
Then conversation turned to the issue that has been at the heart of my concerns: The freshman congressman, and where they stand. Do they stand with Grassroots/Tea Party principles, or was it rhetoric designed to get themselves elected?
Beck bluntly stated it in a question concerning one of the biggest stars in the freshman political lineup:
“Do you buy into this Rubio stuff… he seems to be distancing himself from the tea party?” - Glenn Beck – The Glenn Beck Show – 02-08-11
The conversation continued. Stu, the Executive Producer and Head Writer for the Glenn Beck Program, commented that to him, Rubio is the“sweet spot” between Lindsey Graham and Ron Paul. In response to that comment, Cupp made an astute observation that we all, as conservatives and Republicans, should be looking at:
“How can you get behind him so quickly? He hasn’t done anything yet… we made the same mistake with Scott Brown… as Republicans that’s what we do and it’s annoying.”- S.E. Cupp- The Glenn Beck Show- 02-08-11
She’s right on target, but why have we as conservatives and Republicans failed to see this for ourselves? We are pushing freshman politicians into positions we don’t know if they can fulfill. They are yet unproven, but we push on a path that they are not yet ready to walk. Already there have been pronouncements that Marco Rubio, Allen West, and a number of other freshman elected officials should run, or have a chance at the 2012 presidency. Sen. Rubio, to his credit, has made it clear that he just wants to do his job – conservatively representing the people of Florida.
Beck and Cupp have it right. As conservatives and Republicans we cannot push for these freshman elected officials to run for president, we need to let them prove themselves, and represent their constituents conservatively for a few years without low frenzied efforts to push them into a role they’re not ready for and may never be. Although these efforts are meant with the best intentions, we do a disservice to these newly elected politicians. Let’s give them a chance to do their jobs, prove themselves and gain some experience. There are quite a few freshmen conservatives who show amazing promise – Marco Rubio and Allen West are among them – Let’s keep watch on their actions, but give them time to prove themselves with the responsiblity that they have before thrusting them into a role they are not prepared for – Remember, pushing like that is exactly how the Democrats/Progressives brought us Obama! Thanks to Glenn Beck and S.E. Cupp for hitting the nail right on the head, and getting the discussion out there on the air.