Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bass Calls for New GOP Leadership

New Hampshire representative Charlie Bass, currently chairing the group of Republican House centrists known as the "Tuesday Group," called Tuesday for new leadership elections in the GOP caucus in January, "so we have a fresh slate of officers outside of the speaker for the next session of the Congress."

Bass said he is not planning on running for a position in the leadership, but thinks that the conference "would be healthier and more unified if we had real elections and if (former House Majority Leader) Tom DeLay would step aside for the good of the conference." Confirming other reports, Bass said DeLay is still "very much around" in the leadership circles.

Going beyond the leadership question in interviews with the Manchester Union Leader and radio station WBUR, Bass said "I think that obviously, with the party’s fortunes down, with the message clearly that most Americans would rather see a more moderate form of leadership in the country right now, then it’s time to govern from the middle. That doesn’t mean we do nothing. It just means we listen a little bit more."

Of last week's centrist rebellion, Bass said "Obviously, there are plenty of members of Congress who are concerned about the fact that a lot of their own party, Republicans, are complaining that we seem to be more concerned with the bridge to nowhere in Alaska and earmarks in appropriations than we are about what our fundamental principles are, which is less government, lower taxes and a strong national security. So people like me, although it is through the moderate agenda, are sending a message to our leadership that we want them to shape up and stop thinking about what they can do for themselves and start thinking about the country and what our agenda is and what our priorities are."

Good for Bass. I hope he and the others keep it up. This is good for the party, and good for the country at the same time.


Post a Comment

<< Home