Friday, January 13, 2006

Michael: John Shadegg's Bid for Majority Leader

(Update: I mistakenly identified the office Shadegg was running for as the Majority Whip. I corrected this mistake. Nobody commented about my mistake - come on people! Hold my feet to the fire!) John Shadegg, Republican Representative of Arizona's District 3 has announced his candidacy for the House's second leadership position, Majority Leader, recently vacated permanently by ethically troubled Tom DeLay. I'm going to make a bold prediction right now: Shadegg is going to win this one.

There are several reasons for my conclusion: Shadegg's ideological pedigree, Shadegg's early support from key constituencies (including his immediate endorsement by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform), the growing influence of the Arizona delegation in the Republican party, Shadegg's monolayer of bi-partisan patina; but the real reason is that Congressional GOPers need some ethical cover from fund-raising and lobbying violations for the 2006 election season and Shadegg's the only guy on the board with a ghost of a chance at providing it. He, too, took Abramoff money, but little of it, and returned it promptly. Shadegg has a reputation for probity and ethical conduct married to a bulletproof neo-con right wing ideological pedigree that few could best. These qualities will make him the next Majority Leader.

I don't think that he will loom as large as did Tom DeLay in that role. The only reason that DeLay was so powerful was his special relationship with Hastert (though technically junior to Hastert, in many ways Hastert was DeLay's creature) and his ability to dole out leadership PAC money like Halloween candy. Shadegg won't have either of these attributes and will likely play a much more traditional role as Leader.

But make no mistake, Shadegg's election will not be a good thing for Arizona, nor for average Americans, nor for anyone other than the most regressive and right-wing elements of the GOP base. Shadegg is a rock-solid right wing ideologue who came to the House in the Gingrich Revolution and now possesses a long and increasingly conservative record (check out his interest group ratings, issue positions, and public statements if you don't believe me) and a penchant for toeing the party line. He will now be strong-arming his fellow party members into betraying America, instead of just thinking up ways of betraying America as he did in his former job as Chair of the GOP House Policy Committee.

Shadegg is neccessary window dressing on just more of the same from the criminals, scofflaws, idiots, and fools who are running our Congress, and our country, straight into the ground.

33 Comments:

At 9:52 AM, Blogger New American Rebel said...

I hope Shadegg DOES win, but all sources are calling him a dark horse. Blunt is a mod according to his staffers and is the incumbent. Boehner has a ton of cash. Blunt is already claiming victory.

You can whine all you want about betraying American and Republicans being regressive, but if Congress were to take a hard right, all this controversy would disappear and we'd win the next set of elections quite handily. Why? Because when Republicans act like Republicans, we win. When we act like Dems, the unwashed masses might as well vote for the real socialists, right?

 
At 9:54 PM, Blogger Jack Benway said...

I'd rather not see Shadegg become Majority Leader, although for quite different reasons.

By all accounts, Shadegg is an honest guy with some real integrity. His politics are pretty standard issue GOP (sporadic deference to the Consitution, fiscal responsibility, and limited government, all overshadowed by corporate welfarism, legislation of morality, and big-government mentality). He has originated some original solutions to real problems (interstate competition for health insurance comes to mind).

I'd rather not see Shadegg become majority leader in the current environment of corruption and power-mongering on both sides of the aisle because I suspect that (1) he won't make any difference no matter how ethical he is and (2) he'll get chewed up by business as usual and lose his integrity. Leader or not, and honest man in the company of crooks will often have his honesty eroded.

Looking at this another way, what's the benefit to Arizona voters of having Shadegg in a high leadership position? Bigger helpings of government pork? A bigger slice of the ever-growing federal government pie?

If voters want real reform of congress, the rise of an honest Majority Leader is the wrong place to start. Voters need to vote out the crooks, the power brokers, and the public servants who serve only themselves.

 
At 4:06 AM, Anonymous Health Blog said...

He, too, took Abramoff money, but little of it, and returned it promptly

 
At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Homepage said...

Pretty interesting post. Thanks a lot. John is good guy.

 
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Shadegg ran for House Minority Whip following the loss of Republican control of the House in November 2006, losing to Blunt. online source

 
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