Rep. DesJarlais: Getting Things Right Is More Important Than Just Getting Along - And Response (3)

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - by Rep. Scott DesJarlais

Lately, some of my conservative colleagues and I have been attacked by both the mainstream media and the Washington, DC political establishment as being obstructionists who refuse to compromise. They decry our inability to play by Washington’s rules and do not understand why this new wave of Republicans can’t just get along.

I often hear these folks talk a lot about the “good ole days” when Republicans and Democrats could negotiate with one another and pass bipartisan legislation to move our country forward.

But here is what they conveniently forget. While these legislative proposals were indeed supported by both Republicans and Democrats, it was often because they were loaded up with each party’s special interest earmarks and pork barrel spending. It was not uncommon for Members of Congress to vote in favor of legislation, not because they supported the bill, but because they supported their individual pet projects. And the legislation that party leaders said was moving our nation further? Well it turns out all it did was further was our nation’s debt.

Unfortunately, both parties were complicit in this scheme. In fact, there came a point in time where it was nearly impossible to distinguish the two parties from one another. The policies being put forth by Republicans frequently did not live up to our party’s fundamental tenets of responsible spending and limited government. As a result, the American people removed Republicans from power in the House, Senate and White House.

Of course under President Obama and the Democratic Congress, we saw government go from a level that accurately could be described as excessive to a level completely beyond what the framers of our constitution could have ever imagined. In fact, the level of government created by the Obama Administration along with Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid threatens the future of our democracy.

But who could voters trust to restore government back to its proper role when both parties were complicit in creating the problem?

 In 2010 Republicans took back control of the House of Representatives. But many of us elected that year could certainly not be classified as your typical Republicans. The class of 2010 was given a clear message by the voters who sent us to Congress: the status quo is no longer acceptable from either party. The American people expected us to go to Washington and work for them – not special interest groups, not party leadership and not political election organizations. And that is exactly what we did.

We said no more to the automatic debt limit increases. We eliminated special interest earmarks. We required Members of Congress to cite constitutional authority before introducing legislation. And now we are saying no more funding for ObamaCare.

Our hardline stance on these issues has certainly frustrated many career politicians on both sides of the aisle. They found they no longer have the carrots or the sticks to get these new lawmakers to fall in line. That is because we care little about the prizes that were once bestowed by party leaders to loyal Members of Congress. Rather, the only thing we truly care about is representing our constituents and doing what is right.

And we have found that listening to and acting on behalf of voters in our districts leads to rewards that are much more intrinsically valuable than anything that could be given here in Washington. I am talking about respect, trust and the ability to go home after a week in our nation’s capital and look our friends, families and constituents in the eyes and say, “I did what I thought was right.”

So when the political talking heads go on television and ask why this new breed of conservatives will not abandon their effort to strip funding for the president’s health care law, the answer is really simple: We believe it is the right thing to do because our constituents believe it is the right thing to do. They are our guide.

I am not in Washington to win a popularity contest or make friends. I am here to put our country back on the right track. Believe me; I do not like always having to say no. No more than a parent enjoys disciplining a child. But someone has to be the adult in Washington.

Tennessee voters recognize the perils we find ourselves in as a nation. They understand that tough decisions are required and we need leaders who are more interested in getting things right than just getting along. This logic may confuse some of those who make politics their profession, but I promise it makes perfect sense to the folks that truly matter – my constituents. 

* * * 

Thank you for this detailed explanation (13 paragraphs) of how the new breed of Republicans legislate. It's an explanation that you could have easily summed up in one sentence: We aren't doing anything until the black guy is out of office.  

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. ~Thomas Jefferson 

Herb Montgomery

* * * 

So well put, Mr. Montgomery, spot on with few words.  And you didn't even resort to impugning the very impugnable character of the author.

Michael Lawrence 

* * *

It is utterly amazing that a man who was raised his entire life on a gubmint salary supplied by the Veterans Administration, would allow risking disability payments going out to our veterans over shutting down a government policy that is already established law.  Who is the freeloader?

Whether or not you agree with Obamacare, denying veterans their rightfully earned disability payment over your attempt to defund Obamacare is outrageous. Maybe the first check to be missed should be Rep. Desjarlais' father's pension from the Veterans Administration.   

Stephen Durham

What Is Thanksgiving Day For?

As I thought about tomorrow, I asked myself this question: "What is Thanksgiving for?"  For some, it is simply a break from work. For others, it is a time to gather with friends or family or both, to enjoy one another's company and our favorite foods, and to give thanks for the many blessings we've enjoyed.  Thanksgiving encompasses all of those things, but for me ... (click for more)

This Thanksgiving Think Of Others

I used to keep a framed picture in my classroom: “Your Life is God's gift to you. What you do with your Life is your gift to God.” I wish every child could hear that repeated every day. And what teachers do with their gift benefits so many children on a daily basis. Teachers are often on the front line of the poverty battle. It is important that children know from where their gifts ... (click for more)

Residents Concerned Over 7-Story Building On The Southside

Downtown Chattanooga residents expressed their concerns with the proposed seven-story apartment building on Cowart Street on the Southside at Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting. The apartment building, originally zoned at four stories before Belle Investment petitioned for seven, has not been adequately publicized, residents claimed.   Architect and Planning Professional ... (click for more)

Commissioner Graham Chides Chairman Bankston For Shredding Arts Cigarette Tax Letter; Says Sunshine Law Violated

County Commissioner Joe Graham on Wednesday chided Chairman Chester Bankston for shredding a letter related to the proposed cigarette tax to aid the arts. "Have you shredded any other county legal documents?" he demanded. Chairman Bankston replied, "No, I have not done that." He said the letter did not get the necessary six signatures to forward to the Legislature. ... (click for more)

Jones Thankful For Resiliency, Resolve Of 2015 Vols

The day before families gather around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving, Tennessee football coach   spoke about what he and the Vols are thankful for. "It's a time to reflect and we have so much to be thankful and grateful for in really the resiliency and resolve that this football team has shown, the growing of this football team and the growing of this football program," ... (click for more)

Red Bank Girls Stay Unbeaten With 53-51 Win Over Soddy Daisy

The Red Bank Lionettes pulled out a 53-51 victory over the Soddy Daisy Lady Trojans on Tuesday night at Red Bank's Susan Ingram Thurman Gymnasium, but the win was more signicant for Red Bank coach Bailey McGinnis than probably any she'll celebrate the rest of the season. You see, her older brother Drew Lyness is the Soddy Daisy coach and he had bragging rights after winning both ... (click for more)