I had no intention of bringing up outgoing congresswoman Jean Schmidt again before her career ends in just days.
But then I came across an item by Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator’s Spectacle blog, which in turn led me to search on Ronald Reagan’s last name at COAST’s blog and find an item (“Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution?”) from March of last year.
COAST, which worked mightily to defeat Schmidt for almost seven years, even when her opponents were among some of the most pathetic individuals ever to appear on a congressional ballot — including someone who inarguably voted illegally as an absentee for several years (really) — finally got its way in early March when Brad Wenstrup defeated her in the 2012 GOP primary.
COAST argued in late March why, in their view, Schmidt’s defeat several weeks earlier was important (bolds are mine throughout this post):
However, within that spectrum, we have seen the policy and political disasters wrought by unprincipled GOP politicians from George W. Bush (and George H.W. Bush) to Bob Taft, to Jean Schmidt and Kevin DeWine. And we have seen dramatic successes written on the walls of history by those who have followed the lead of Ronald Reagan.
With respect and kindness towards our Republican brothers who all-too-consistently back the more centrist elements in the GOP, and in many cases the unsavory and corrupt elements in the Party, we ask: Do you want to continue to remain on the wrong side of history?
The invocation of Reagan, and the in-essence casting of Schmidt as the anti-Reagan, doesn’t exactly square with Schmidt’s voting record, which includes a 100% rating from the tough graders at the Club For Growth in 2010.
COAST’s false take also doesn’t square with what Schmidt did last week (some paragraph breaks were removed):
Reagan’s House Heroes Stop Plan B
Call it a Reykjavik Moment. An Air Traffic Controllers Moment. Both of which were Reagan Moments.
Moments in American history when, under extreme pressure, Ronald Reagan simply refused to buckle. Against all the chorus shouted from the media and congressional bleachers — that he had failed by walking out on a bad deal with Gorbachev or recklessly fired striking air traffic controllers who were striking against federal law — Ronald Reagan never blinked. And the fact that he didn’t blink made America — and the world — an infinitely better place.
Thursday night 13 conservative House Republicans defeated the Rule for the vote on Speaker Boehner’s highly controversial “Plan B.”
Those conservatives, by name (an asterisk denoting those who will not be returning to Congress next year) are: Justin Amash of MI, Paul Broun of GA, Trent Franks of AZ, Louie Gohmert of TX, Tim Huelskamp of KS, Walter Jones of NC, Jim Jordan of OH, Andy Harris of MD, Jeff Landry of LA*, Thomas Massie of KY, Ron Paul of TX*, Jean Schmidt of OH*, Joe Walsh of IL*
… What is the take away here?
This was a botched GOP House Leadership issue. It is exactly what happens when the governing principle is deal making and not principle.
House GOP Members began to realize that, intended or not, they were perceived as trashing the legacy of Ronald Reagan.
… Three cheers for those thirteen GOP House conservatives for standing up, Reagan-style, for principle.
They had a Reykjavik Moment. An Air Traffic Controllers Moment. They had a Reagan Moment.
And whatever happens next, the Reagan Thirteen are heroes.
Which means that Jean Schmidt, in one of her final acts as a Congresswoman, is a heroine. (Update: This sentence was changed because Congress may be reconvening over the weekend.)
Schmidt’s principled stance on Plan B when it counted — she could easily have mailed it in and sold out to John Boehner’s poorly thought-through maneuvering, but didn’t — shows how big the shoes are which Brad Wenstrup must fill.
On balance, and though far from perfect, Jean Schmidt was much more often than not part of the solution.
Is COAST up to congratulating Schmidt on her “Reagan Moment,” or will it stay spiteful to the bitter end?
Is Brad Wenstrup going to be part of the problem, or part of the solution? We’ll have to see. I certainly hope for the latter.
Going forward, will COAST call out Wenstrup’s screwups, or is it so vested in his success that it will ignore and/or excuse them? We’ll have to see about that too.