GOP Establishment vs. a kingdom of conscience

I received a lot of feedback on yesterday’s commentary about how Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have traded their Conservative principles for compromising politics; needless to say, it was a mixed-bag of supporters and detractors.

One of the glaring arguments presented by those who disagreed with me was how I was setting the bar too high, making it impossible for our representatives to clear. My reply to this contention is that setting the bar too low is how we ended up with Donald Trump. In other words, the Conservative bar is high because it has to be.

One of my readers took a stand in defense of Cruz, explaining that the Texas Senator was simply making a few short-term compromises in the interest of long-term goals. Such rationale reminds me of the movie, Kingdom of Heaven, where Queen Sibylla tries to convince Balian to join her in a plot to murder her husband Guy, and assume the throne for the good of Jerusalem.

“There will be a day when you will wish you had done a little evil … to do a greater good!”

A few of my readers and listeners challenged me to provide proof that anyone in Washington actually lives by their convictions. Thanks to Senator Rand Paul, I can.

The junior Senator from Kentucky voted against the confirmation of Mike Pompeo as the new CIA Director. He explained his “no” vote–the only Republican to do so–in an op-ed for Rare:

“I voted against the new CIA Director because I worry that his desire for security will trump his defense of liberty.

More than ever before, oversight of the secretive world of intelligence is critically important.

Programs are authorized, money is spent, and operations are carried out in the name of the American people, yet only a few members of Congress are even allowed to know what is happening in the dark corners of these U.S. intelligence programs.”

Paul goes on to point out the sad history of how the government has arbitrarily spied on Americans in the past and how “the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress about the existence of the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.”

As a Senator who has taken heat for his defense of Constitutional liberty from GOP-establishment hacks like John McCain in the past, not to mention the frightening support of NSA spying by others, this vote is a brave demonstration of putting principles ahead of politics.

By the way, when you add Trump’s attitude about intelligence agencies along with his support of The Patriot Act and NSA spying, you get a whole new reason to be concerned about Pompeo.

Like Rubio and Cruz, Paul honored his pledge as a GOP presidential nominee to support Trump, but he didn’t allow that to change his core beliefs like they did.

In another scene from Kingdom of Heaven, Balian is pressured by Tiberius to reconsider his decision not to join the plot to murder Guy, marry Sibylla, and become King of Jerusalem. After all, such compromise would be for the greater good.

TIBERIAS: “Who is he that you save his life? He’s a man who hates you, who has insulted you…I play Devil…but for the salvation of this kingdom. Compromise yourself. Jerusalem does not need ‘a perfect knight.’ This is the world.”

BALIAN: “No…it is his kingdom, and it is my life. And both are kingdoms of conscience, or nothing.”

“A kingdom of conscience, or nothing.” Sounds exactly like what we need in Washington.

Originally posted at The Strident Conservative


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David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically-incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.

His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.