Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., is the antithesis of a citizen legislator our founders had in mind when they called for a new nation founded upon new principles 241 years ago.
After “praying” for a number of months about breaking his term-limit pledge, Mullin made it official this week: He will seek a fourth term to represent Oklahoma’s Second District, a clear violation of two term-limit pledges he made in 2012 to serve just six years in the House.
What was his rationale? What did his prayers tell him?
“It’s important for Oklahoma to have people in a position to make a difference. The only way we can do that is to have people in key places.”
No, he is doing nothing on cutting spending, repealing Obamacare, and securing the border; that doesn’t seem to matter. What matters to Mullin is that he has become a member in good standing of the Ryan-McCarthy leadership team and now serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Too bad he didn’t use his seat on that all-powerful committee with jurisdiction over health care to demand full repeal of Obamacare. Instead, he went along with leadership from day-one to break the ultimate pledge to the voters on health care. Thus, why not break the term-limit pledge to continue in office so he can now better manage Obamacare than the Democrat he beat in 2012? After all, Mullin is now a deputy whip — a big boy in the failed Ryan leadership team. Yay, Oklahoma influence!
In 2012, Mullin was very clear about the purpose of the term limit pledge. He declared,
“I don’t want to be up there (in Washington) and become part of the problem,” and that “if we can’t accomplish anything in six years, it’s a waste of time anyway.”
He was right, in some sense. Once you are not part of the solution after six years, you will invariably become part of the problem. The swamp wants socialized medicine, and that includes the leadership in both parties. Sadly, this president has not offered leadership on health care and has accepted many of the premises of the Left.
Therefore, we need Republicans in Congress who actually understand the source of the health care problem and the free market solutions needed to restore freedom, prosperity, and economic independence.
Clearly, that is something lost on Mullin and the leadership hacks (although, to be fair, Mullin did tell some voters in 2012 that he thought the solution to the health care problem is single payer). In that sense, Mullin has fulfilled one campaign promise, because the only logical outcome of the GOP bill will be single payer, albeit a version of it that is perversely blamed on repeal of Obamacare … instead of Obamacare itself.
Yet, Mullin tersely dismissed his act of political adultery with the typical “nobody is perfect” strawman: “I don’t think there’s one person that’s never changed their mind six years apart from each other or how they would approach things.”
In many respects, Markwayne Mullin embodies the Republican Party. There is nothing so righteous as a Republican out of power, and nothing so perfidious as a Republican in power. They are all good at talking the talk and inveighing against the system when Democrats are in power.
But, in reality, they have no fixed principles and do not subscribe to the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. Thus, their political positions are solely about strategic posturing to beat Democrats in pursuit of power, not to defeat the Democrat ideology. They just want a seat at the table.
Therefore, Mullin is placing such high value on being in leadership and having key committee assignments. This is not about repealing Obamacare, downsizing the federal government, reforming the courts, protecting our sovereignty, and reestablishing an America-first foreign policy. This is about the perks that come with the office.
Mullin is one of the House members who purchased stock of Innate Immunotherapeutics on Inauguration Day, after Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., the largest stockholder and a member of its board, reportedly urged several GOP lawmakers to invest in the pharmaceutical company.
Mullin sits on the E&C subcommittee overseeing health care, which has oversight over the FDA at a time when the FDA was considering approval of an experimental drug produced by Innate. This is awfully suspicious for a member of Congress who has not made any major stock investments since taking office.
We seem to observe more coincidences in personal investments than coincidences that lead to conservative policy outcomes. God has a way of leading people to the priorities they pursue through their free will, and conservative ideals are not exactly the pursuit of members like Mullin — at least, not beyond campaign season.
For now, it looks like eastern Oklahoma voters will have a choice in the upcoming primary as to which priorities and what sort of influence they are looking for in Republicans. Jarrin Jackson, a West Point graduate and combat veteran, will likely seek a rematch with Mullin in the primaries.
With conservatives increasingly feeling the disappointment of a vacuous era of GOP control in Congress, the 2018 primaries will be the last recourse to try to leverage conservative outcomes, such as repeal of Obamacare. It offers the last great opportunity to repeal and replace those politicians who have made peace with Obamacare. And in the case of OK-2, voters will have a chance to replace a man who, by his own admission, shouldn’t even be on the ballot.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.