The Republican Party’s total betrayal on Obamacare repeal has taught every conservative voter that the entrenched D.C. establishment in control of the party cannot be trusted to keep their own promises. They certainly can’t be trusted to abide by the conservative principles they’ve campaigned on.
Seven years of campaign pledges to repeal Obamacare. Three elections since 2010, in which every Republican running claimed to be some form of conservative, claimed to support smaller government, claimed to want to empower Americans with liberty by removing the oppressive hand of government from involvement in their daily lives.
But even with the election of the anti-establishment President Donald Trump, Republican promises remain unkept, and the D.C. swamp has grown and festered.
The true conservatives in Congress are few and far between. They are outgunned. The members of Congress who have tried to keep their promises have been ostracized by the progressive purists in the party who demand a bigger role for government, who refuse to abide by the principles they campaign on. There is immense pressure on conservative holdouts like Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, to buckle, abandon their principles, and vote for a faux-repeal bill that amounts to a bailout for insurance companies.
That’s why former Heritage Foundation president and U.S. Senator Jim DeMint is launching a new conservative group to be a “support structure” for conservatives in Washington, D.C., helping them stick to their principles and “avoid being consumed by the D.C. swamp.”
The Conservative Partnership Institute will educate the public and members of the conservative movement on the inner workings of Washington, D.C. Its goal is to help conservative members of Congress stand up to the Washington establishment in an environment that is hostile and resilient to conservative change.
“Since the Tea Party arose, conservatives have shown they can get new leaders elected to Congress and important organizations now exist to hold politicians accountable when they go astray from constitutional principles,” DeMint writes in an op-ed for The Federalist. “However, being a conservative, especially a conservative in Washington, can be a tough and lonely road. It’s not enough to know the right solutions. If conservatives don’t have the knowledge, strategies, and allies to succeed, this town will beat you down until you give in.”
Fundraising and party loyalty, not conservative policy, is the focus of the entrenched D.C. establishment, DeMint says. Conservatives who refuse to play the game are kicked off committees, targeted by party leadership, and challenged by establishment-backed candidates in primaries. It’s one thing for a conservative to have a genuine policy disagreement with colleagues who may not share his principles. It’s entirely another matter to be character-assassinated and targeted for destruction by members of a ruling class who tell you, the voters, they are on your side while stabbing you in the back.
That’s why DeMint has started CPI.
“Our mission is to educate the public and the conservative movement on how Washington really works and how to avoid the pitfalls of the swamp to achieve policy victories,” he writes. “We will provide workshops on the best practices, rules, and procedures of the House and Senate. We will help congressmen and senators hire and train conservative staff, connect them with top conservative scholars on critical national issues, and advance the best communication practices that will make conservatives more effective.”
DeMint has put together a veteran team of conservative fighters, including Ed Corrigan, who was picked by the Trump administration to lead the personnel selection process for domestic policy, filling hundreds of jobs in the administration. Other notable conservatives are Wesley Denton and Rachel Bovard, who have both previously worked for the Heritage Foundation.
Conservatives on Capitol Hill are excited.
“The Conservative Partnership Institute will provide a critical bridge between conservatives on Capitol Hill and policy experts in the field. Senator DeMint and his team offer decades of experience serving in the conservative movement and fighting on Capitol Hill,” said Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows. “They have been in the trenches on some of the biggest policy battles of our time. The Freedom Caucus looks forward to working with them to get our country back on the right track.”
“CPI fills a unique role that is critically needed in Washington, partnering with conservative members, staff and the movement to succeed in advancing liberty,” said Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah. “No conservative leader is more trusted than Jim DeMint on Capitol Hill and his staff is second to none in rock solid conservative principles.”
Organizations like CPI are needed now more than ever. It’s time to give conservative members of Congress the support they need to help President Trump fulfill his promise to drain the D.C. swamp.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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