Last night we held another video showing at our sister-group, Glenn Beck Patriots. Read an article about it by Eric Ingemunson below. But first check out and join Glenn Beck Patriots to receive invitations to future events — http://www.meetup.com/Thousand-Oaks-Glenn-Beck-Patriots/
Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you.
Can reformers change Washington without being changed by it? That was the question asked at a Tea Party informational meeting tonight in Newbury Park, where attendees viewed an hour-long C-Span interview from 2004.
What would possess normal folks to take the time out of their schedules to view a six-year-old program on one of the driest networks on television? Quite simply, Americans are catching on to what their government has been up to behind closed doors, and the more they find out, the less they like what they see. But many in the Thousand Oaks Tea Party group are reticent to duplicate the Republican Revolution in 1994, where small-government candidates were swept into office to clean up the system, only to become part of it. While I don’t agree with Nietzsche very often, his quote at the top of this article could have been written for them.
Senator Tom Coburn is one of the ’94 Republican Revolutionaries who hasn’t lost his way, and that’s why the organizers of tonight’s events wanted to show the C-Span interview where he touted his book, Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders.In it, he gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how his Congressional classmates gradually became part of the very system they set out to change.
From what I can tell, Coburn is a highly principled man who puts those principles above reelection—one of the handful of successful politicians who’s done this. His interview prompted a debate at the meeting on the effectiveness of term limits. While I’m sure everyone there was disgusted with Congress, they differed on whether term limits are the right answer.
On the surface, term limits sound great. Limit the damage politicians can do to the country by ushering them out of Washington before they become corrupt. The flip side of that is that good men like Coburn would also be ushered out before he could do much good (although Coburn is a supporter of term limits).
One attendee said that the Founding Fathers wanted term limits, which made me scratch my head and wonder why they didn’t just put it in the Constitution then.
I feel the most damning evidence against term limits is right in front of our noses. California has term limits, and it hasn’t stopped politicians making a career out of public office, it hasn’t stopped government growth, and it hasn’t stopped “politics as usual.” California remains one of the most out-of-control states. Like most laws that solve the symptom rather than the disease, term limits just end up punishing people that conservatives want in government—people like Tom McClintock, who had to run for several offices and ultimately bounce up to northern California to fight the good fight, or like the Stricklands, who each termed out of the Assembly to bounce between various other job titles. Meanwhile, progressives still control the state legislature.
If term limits aren’t the answer, what is? What is the cure to the disease?
The cure was right there in the room with us. People paying attention, educating themselves, and taking action. And like any vaccine, it needs to be administered one person at a time.