A Message To House Republicans: Think Like Uber

Jenny Beth Martin Jenny Beth Martin is co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest tea party organization, and is also chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.
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Are House Republicans about to repeat the same mistake that got them into their current mess? John Boehner’s decision to give up his speakership allows the members of the House Republican Conference a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a mid-course correction. But if media reports are correct, they plan to elevate current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to the speakership by virtual acclamation in next week’s Leadership elections. That would be a terrible mistake, and an opportunity wasted.

Rather than content themselves with the departure of Boehner, and assume that their constituents will, finally, get off their backs about that pesky “direction and attitude” thing, they should take advantage of the chance to show their constituents that they actually meant what they said when they promised repeatedly – in the huge “wave elections” of 2010 and 2014, which gave them their largest House majorities since the Hoover administration – to “do everything in their power” to block the worst of President Obama’s unlawful actions.

They should begin by taking stock, and acknowledging that the complaints against the current leadership are valid, broad, and deep-seated. Last week’s NBC/WSJ poll, for instance, reveals that no fewer than 72 percent of GOP respondents said they were either dissatisfied (28 percent) or very dissatisfied (44 percent) with the current GOP congressional leadership’s ability to achieve Republican legislative goals and priorities. By contrast, only 2 percent said they were “very satisfied.”

Put that another way – for every Republican voter who says he’s “very satisfied,” there are 22 who say they are “very dissatisfied.”

Republican leaders, we’ve got a problem. And simply moving everyone else on the leadership ladder up one rung isn’t the solution.

When it comes to choosing your next leadership team, keep in mind these necessary characteristics of any good leadership team:

First, the ability to articulate free market economic principles, and why we must grow our economy;

Second, the willingness and ability to stand and fight for personal freedom, economic freedom, and a debt-free future with the same determination that President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi have shown in fighting for their agenda;

Third, the ability to build coalitions of Republicans to pass fiscally responsible legislation;

Fourth, the ability to understand the limited and restrained role of the federal government as outlined in the Constitution, and a demonstrated willingness to stand by that time-tested principle;

Fifth, the will not merely to allow conservatives a seat at the table – by returning to regular order, and allowing consideration of amendments through the committee process, as well as allowing conservatives to hold important positions (including chairmanships) on key House committees – but to actively seek their input and buy-in from the beginning.

Perhaps most important of all when choosing a new leadership team is to keep this thought in mind: Think like Uber.

Uber has succeeded because it has figured out how to disrupt a rigged system where business and government colluded together to set up barriers to entry and retard competition, to keep prices high even as service was held low. Uber refused to accept the status quo, marshaled public opinion by showing how better service could be delivered at lower cost, and set the world on fire.

House Republicans, on behalf of millions of your constituents, we’re not just looking for new leaders, we’re looking for a new paradigm. If you’re willing to think strategically about the choices before you, you may find yourself with a larger and more motivated activist base than you’ve ever seen before. And then, working together, we can begin the work necessary to pass on a better America than the one that was handed to us.