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
Chattanooga 

* * * 

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


During A Martin Luther King, Jr. March Is Not A Time To Campaign

It truly amazing what Martin Luther King, Jr. accomplished at just 39 years of age. He changed an entire country. Dr. King was not in elected office or in any position of power. Yet, he accomplished more than any politician.  To me the Martin Luther King, Jr.'s vision was an expectation of life centered in education, hard work, and accomplishment that in time would evolve ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Else $3 Can Mean

Orchard Knob Middle School, located on North Highland Park Avenue in Chattanooga, led every other secondary school in the state of Tennessee last year with 6.8 percent of its students expelled. So as people are working feverishly to keep the school from being taken over by the state’s Department of Education, allow me to pose a question. Last Friday during the last period of ... (click for more)

Man Killed By Officers After Pursuit Tuesday Night In Soddy Daisy

A man was killed by officers on Tuesday night after a long chase that ended in Soddy Daisy. The shooting incident happened around 7 p.m. The chase started shortly after 5 p.m. Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputies were involved in the shooting. No officers were injured. The Sheriff's Office said m ultiple law enforcement agencies responded to the ... (click for more)

City Council Told Cost Has Soared For Moving Sewer Line Off Tubman Industrial Site

City Council members were told on Tuesday that the cost has soared for moving a sewer line completely off the Harriet Tubman industrial site. Bill Payne, city engineer, said it initially was around $1.5 million, but is now pegged at over $4 million. Councilman Chris Anderson, who heads the council's economic development committee, said the assertion brought "stunned looks" ... (click for more)

Tyner Outshoots Brainerd In Big 6-AA Battle

Brainerd’s Jackson-High Gymnasium was filled to capacity long before the girls game had ended Tuesday night, but the overflow crowd had come to see the second meeting between Tyner and Brainerd and a battle for first place in District 6-AA. Both are ranked in the latest state Class AA poll with Tyner listed sixth and Brainerd ninth.  Brainerd had won all four meetings ... (click for more)

No. 3 Cleveland Sneaks Past Walker Valley 59-51

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – State-ranked Cleveland blew most of a 13-point second-half lead, but got clutch field goals from Deontae Davis and KK Curry down the stretch and managed to stay unbeaten in District 5-3A high school basketball action with a hard-fought 59-51 victory over rival Walker Valley on Tuesday night. Walker Valley’s girls defeated the Lady Blue Raiders 43-39 in overtime. ... (click for more)