In Baltimore on Thursday, former House majority leader Richard K. Armey, the chairman of tea party backer FreedomWorks, exhorted a roomful of incoming members of Congress not to stray from the small-government principles that propelled them to power. Don't be dazzled by plum committee assignments or other enticements from Republican leaders, he cautioned, if they come at an ideological price.In Washington, those same Republican leaders continued to make overtures to the new class of conservatives by offering them unprecedented roles to shape the debate in the coming legislative session.Everyone, it seems, is positioning to lay claim to the Republican Class of 2010, providing an early glimpse of the tension that emerges when a movement based entirely on its outsider status is suddenly on the inside.Are the freshmen selling out if they partner with the very establishment they derided on the campaign trail? Or have they already won by capturing the attention of leaders and gaining a seat at the table?
Thursday, November 11, 2010
From Amy Gardner of The Washington Post on Nov. 11: