Our friend Representative Tim Huelskamp (KS-1) illustrated well what drives the limited government constitutional conservatives in the Republican Party to back fighting the fight to defund ObamaCare to the point that it has caused partial shutdown (actually more of a slimdown) of the federal government.
In an interview with NewsMax Huelskamp noted that, "I'm from a district that pretty much ignores Washington. If you say government is going to shut down, they say, 'OK, which part can we shut down?'"
In other words Huelskamp represents “no waiver” America.
That’s the vast majority of Americans outside the Washington Beltway who work in or own small businesses, family farms and other enterprises that don’t enjoy a privileged status in Washington – they have to abide by the rules Congress passes with no waivers or free passes from President Obama.
Huelskamp has also been at the forefront of another ObamaCare fight – the battle to protect religious liberty from the encroachments of ObamaCare.
One of the underreported stories of the fight over the various iterations of the continuing resolution to fund the government is that the House included conscience protection language in the resolution it passed on September 29.
As Congressman Huleskamp noted, “This provision is a victory for our religious liberty as guaranteed by the First Amendment. Unfortunately, under the guise of ObamaCare, the Obama Administration has consistently trampled on this fundamental constitutional right. With the HHS Mandate to provide abortion drugs, contraceptives and sterilization, millions of Americans – from Hobby Lobby to the Little Sisters of the Poor – are currently being forced to violate their deeply held religious beliefs.”
Of course standing and fighting for these First Amendment principles makes the Republican establishment as uncomfortable as drunks on Carrie Nation’s birthday.
But standing and fighting for limited government constitutional conservative principles is exactly what Huelskamp and other Tea Party backed Members of Congress were sent to Washington to do.
As a conservative author and strategist for the Madison Project Daniel Horowitz told POLITICO, tea party candidates made an “inviolable promise” to constituents not to allow entitlements to take root.
And it is this commitment to actually fulfill their campaign promises that keeps these limited government constitutional conservatives in the fight. According to Horowitz, “They have no allegiance to K Street and Wall Street. They were elected by passionate heartland conservatives of modest means,” Horowitz told POLITICO. “While money is still important, [to their campaigns] the advent of social media has allowed these people to connect directly with their constituents and largely bypass the old power brokers.”
As President Ronald Reagan said “We need new leaders unfettered by old ties, old relationships” and Tim Huleskamp, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and the other Republicans in Congress who have committed to defunding ObamaCare, and bucking the Washington and Republican Party establishment elite in the process, are exactly that kind of leaders.