Michele Bachman, Republican representative from Minnesota and Tea Party leader, is making her case to the GOP for a leadership position in the House of Representatives, according to the Washington Post. In her letter to colleagues regarding their choices for Conference Chair, Bachmann makes her claim that the Tea Party will demand a leadership role in the upcoming political debate over Obama’s policies.
“It is important that our Conference demonstrate to the people who sent us here that their concerns will be tirelessly advanced at the table of leadership.”
The Conference Chair is the fourth-highest-ranking member in the House behind Speaker of the House, Majority Leader, and Majority Whip.
Many things stand out regarding Michele Bachmann’s case for a leadership position. So far, John Boehner and other Republican leaders don’t agree.
Bachmann’s strongly worded letter, posted to her Congressional website, makes her case for Tea Party conservatives to be heard in Congress:
“During this election cycle and across the nation the American people have asked, ‘Will the new Republican majority reflect our values as they assume their position of leadership?’ This is a critical question our Conference needs to answer.”
While it is true that the Tea Party would love to see some leadership in Congress, the GOP is still dealing with a rebellion within its ranks. Had Tea Party favorites Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle lost to mainstream Republicans in their primaries, the Senate might also have gone to the Republicans as well.
How Far Will the GOP Go?
So far, according to Yahoo! News, Bachmann isn’t winning any friends amongst senior Republican leaders. John Boehner hasn’t said anything because he needs the GOP to be unified against Obama and the Democrats.
Others in leadership are backing Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling as their choice for Conference Chair. Outgoing Conference Chairman Mike Pence said of Hensarling that he is “one of the most principled conservatives in Congress.”
The key word in that statement is “principled.” Apparently the GOP wants a party favorite in leadership roles, instead of a wild horse such as Bachmann.
“Pledge to America”
Boehner presented the “Pledge to America” in September of 2010, just in time for the election. Much like the “Contract with America” of the Newt Gingrich era, conservatives are trying to set forth their agenda for Congress.
Republican leaders want the “Pledge to America” to be the guiding principles of their agenda and not the wayward leanings of the Tea Party. The GOP hasn’t forgotten the ultra-conservative base, nor have they forgotten barely losing out in the Senate.
The Tea Party is the new religious right in the GOP, and they demand their voices be heard. It will be up to John Boehner to coalesce his party into a solid anti-spending machine, lest the rebellion in the Republican Party continue its downward spiral.
Sargent, Greg, “Michele Bachmann and ‘real’ conservatism”, Washington Post.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Official House of Representatives Page.
Associated Press, “Bachmann bid for GOP leadership gets cool reaction”, Yahoo! News.
“A Pledge to America”, GOP.Pledge.gov.