As new House Republicans meet to divide the spoils of their victory over the Democrats and elect leaders to run the House of Representatives the next two years, some divisions between the old guard and those representing the new Tea Party wing have emerged.
It appears that John Boehner of Ohio is set as Speaker, and Eric Cantor of Virginia seems to be a lock for Majority Leader. But a battle is brewing between Tea Party favorite Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota and Jeb Hensarling of Texas, who both want the job of Caucus Chair.
The old guard of the GOP — while happy with the victories that gave it a majority — is not content to let the Tea Party waltz in and take over. So it’s going to be difficult sledding for Tea Party-backed candidates to obtain leadership positions.
If that’s the case, they need to turn to the example set by Samuel Adams during the first Continental Congress.
Adams lived modestly by choice. His figure wasn’t imposing. He wasn’t considered a grandiloquent speaker. But his writings inspired and he was great at forming coalitions.
Writing to his friends, Joseph Galloway — a delegate to the Congress from Pennsylvania who left in disgust after the Assembly denied his request to withdraw from a defiant stand against Great Britain — said of Adams, “Samuel Adams eats little, drinks little, sleeps little and thinks much. He is most decisive and indefatigable in the pursuit of his object. He is the man who, by his superior application, manages at once the faction in Philadelphia and the factions of New England.”
When Galloway — a friend of Britain — wrote it, he wasn’t writing to compliment Adams. But Adams’ tireless work before, during and after the Congress kept the liberty movement alive.
It may be that Tea Party-backed candidates aren’t able to lead the parade from the front. But if they emulate Adams with their work behind the scenes, they can steer the GOP in the right direction and move America toward greater liberty.