Establishment Republicans view success as legislators in terms of how many new pieces of legislation they pass, how many lobbyists they satisfy, and by how much money pours into their campaign troughs from inside and outside of their States and local Districts. This is, of course, why establishment Republicans and Constitutionalist and Conservative Republicans can never quite see eye to eye on anything. To the National Republican Party, passing a $1.1 Trillion Omnibus Bill was a tremendous success. They passed a massive piece of legislation which served the overwhelming majority of the lobbyists in Washington D.C. and is certain to pay dividends in campaign finance in 2016. To the conservative grassroots, however, all they saw was more spending and more debt and a liberal President who got everything he asked for.
Congressman Dave Brat, however, working with a handful of other patriots in the House of Representatives has consistently voted no against reckless spending, regulation, and debt. His detractors argue that this means that he has not accomplished anything, after all, Congressman Brat wasn’t able to stop the Republican Leadership from getting their $1.1 Trillion Omnibus through the House of Representatives. Yet, that perspective is terribly skewed.
While the $1.1 Trillion boondoggle was a bipartisan effort, more Democrats (166) voted for it than Republicans (150). 95 other Republicans in the House of Representatives joined Congressman Brat in voting against the bill.
Congressman Brat didn’t merely vote no. He spoke out publicly and loudly against the Omnibus bill. He made his arguments on principle and on a deep understanding of the economic consequences such levels of federal spending would have on the United States economy. Many of the other 95 Republicans who voted against the bill did so because their constituents heard Congressman Brat and his handful of allies in The House explaining their reasoning why it was such an awful bill. Then, after the Republican Leadership knew it had enough Democrats to pass the bill, they began letting other Republicans off the hook, to vote on behalf of their constituents, instead of on behalf of leadership.
Congressman Brat’s “No Votes” come with explanations, explanations that get aired on NBC and FOX News, CNN and CSPAN, and across social media. Folks all across American now know Congressman Dave Brat the way folks all across America knew Congressman Ron Paul, the original “Dr. No”. Congressman Brat understands that he cannot compromise the principles he went to Washington D.C. to fight for in order to successfully pass legislation; and that is exactly what he would have to do in order to be “successful” in the eyes of establishment Republicans.
Horse trading legislation is the name of the game in The House of Representatives and Congressman Brat has refused to play that game. His refusal to play the game and the fact that he’s lived up to all of his campaign promises is exactly what gives him the clout to voice the principles and concerns of conservatives and constitutionalists all across America. And that is a huge success! Name another Congressman from Virginia that has been able to consistently access a vast national audience, explaining to them what the national media and the national Republican Party never would.
That is why principle, integrity, and character are so important. That is why Congressman Brat has been so successful. Love him or hate him, he isn’t a hypocrite. He hasn’t sold out. There are no lobbyists controlling what he says and when. The only reason Congressman Dave Brat is able to reach so many people is because he has never compromised himself or his principles. When the Congressman speaks, even his detractors listen to what he has to say, because it’s what will be repeated amongst conservatives from Virginia, to Texas, to Michigan, to California the next day.
Dave Brat has been a massive success in Washington D.C. I just pray that the 7th District knows what they’ve got in the Congressman and that they do everything they can to keep him on for another term.
Originally published on PendletonPenn.com