I read with interest, but little surprise, the column yesterday penned by Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Morain where he rhetorically skewers Congressman Tom McClintock for being… an ideological conservative. To sit and have coffee with Dan, he is quite pleasant in his demeanor — I enjoy the time I spend with him (perhaps because sarcasm is a common trait, making our sit-downs entertaining to say the least). Dan and I also share a mutual angst towards hypocrisy, which of course is in no short supply in the political arena. But Dan’s column attacking McClintock today was actually an assault on the Congressman’s consistency. Dan takes issue with the fact that McClintock does not compromise on his core principles, and says of McClintock, “He is a one-man operation in a business that relies on compromise.” Stepping back, Morain’s critique of Congressman McClintock is really a rebuke of ideologues all together.
It would seem that Dan does not believe that there is a role in the political system for rigidity, and for a steadfast commitment to a core belief. In the world of Dan Morain, that person who actually believes that our nation was founded with the idea of having a limited size and scope for the federal government — and that political power should be reserved for the people, and the states, is some sort of whack-job extremist. It’s hard for him to fathom that as federal spending balloons, as the size of our federal debt grows to epic amounts, that perhaps more and more people will run for office specifically for the purpose of saying, “No more!”
It will come as unwelcome news to Dan, and to others like him, that the government grows more extreme in its regulation of the people, its imposition of its power on the states, and it’s ability to spend more and more with seeming reckless abandon, that more and more Tom McClintocks will run and get elected to public office. A group of officeholders for whom words like “compromise” are synonyms for growing government at a slightly slower pace.
One has to wonder if a “pragmatic man” like Dan has his own “tipping point” where even he would believe that government has grown to a grotesque size, and that the commensurate reduction in the liberty and freedom of Americans is no longer acceptable. Maybe not, or maybe not a point that will be reached in Dan’s lifetime, or that of his children. But maybe it will be Dan’s grandchild, who by some chance ends up a columnist, who will be penning a column in support of public officials who are resolute, uncompromising, and will simply not cast their vote to empower government anymore.
I know I speak for a great many conservatives when I commend Congressman McClintock both for his vote against the “fiscal cliff” legislation, but also for a lifetime dedication to constitutional conservatism. May he continue to shine the light for more defenders of liberty to seek offices of public trust.